Pure, Scandinavian Joy

Scandinavia. Land of fair haired, blue eyed folk. Land of fjords, whimsical children’s books…. and in the present day, really great music. In the decades before now? Not so much, and I say that lovingly. I adore ABBA. I grew up with their music [they were very, very popular where I come from], but if you’re looking for 70’s cheese, you only have to look at their costumes to know what you’re in for.

The Swedes in particular love their music. There are so many forms of folk and popular music in Sweden and Scandinavia generally, that I’d be here all night trying to explain them all. And that would be very dull, indeed.

The thing I enjoy most about Scandinavian bands are the slightly ridiculous, well ok, more than slightly ridiculous costumes, poses and well, everything. It’s a strange, cultural and supremely cheesy phenomenon. What isn’t to love?

samuel.jpg

Oh, how I love me some soft focus. Soft focus and flicked hair. What more can you ask for? A common thread in all these album covers I’ve noticed, is the forced smile, usually with one person almost looking almost like they mean it. I’m not sure any of them are really comfortable here. Maybe it’s the shirts. Or the belts. Or the pants.

tusberg.jpg

Oh, but yes! Wherefore have you been all my life, umm… what is his name? Harald Tusberg. He was a Norwegian TV personality in his day. He’s also going to ruin his lovely Tudor costume carrying on like that. Just as well the monarchs of old can’t see him. They’d be terribly jealous of all those bubbles, but he could quote sonnets to me all night as long as he kept that collar on.

svenericandersericson.jpg

And here we have another example of the famous “forced smile”. Who do you think looks most like they mean it in this photo? My money is on the guy on the top right. The guy next to him looks like he’s on the toilet and everyone else appears to be having horrible flashbacks to having their school photo taken. It’s not pretty. Then again, we have the shirts…

stedje.jpg

I had to save the best for last. Where could I possibly start? Is it the glasses? Which might look better on someone with better hair? Or…. is it the jacket? The pants? No. I know exactly what it is. It’s the pose. It’s all about the pose. WHY on heaven’s earth did Olav feel the need to pose so proudly with an aeroplane? I could understand it if it was his plane and it was a personal photo….. but an album cover?

There are 463 people listening to Olav’s music on Last.fm.

Ok, I’m done.

I *heart* Scandinavia.

Thanks again to lp cover lover and whomever else I can’t quite recall for the inspiration…

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~ by at her discretion on February 1, 2008.

6 Responses to “Pure, Scandinavian Joy”

  1. OH GOD I fucking love ABBA! I love Scandanavia hair styles. Their hairs looks so silky and smooth. I could run my hand through it and be guaranteed that my hand won’t get stuck. I love it.

  2. Ah, yes. There is a lot to be said for hair that isn’t knotty. It must be all those Norsca products ;)

    ABBA rules, ok. I said that when I was 4 years old, and I will say it again today…

  3. Hey, don’t knock soft focus! I’m starting to see the advantages of it as I get older. ;) Is that a ladder they are leaning against? Somehow they don’t look like the tradie types… Especially not with the belt the guy on the right is wearing.

    I looked for Olav on youtube. I found a cheesy duet from 1985, with a rather charming Norwegian introduction. Maybe the album above is a compilation of flying songs. You know, like those driving compilations that always come out around the holiday season? I bet Norwegian fly boys are snapping them up off the shelves as we speak…

  4. Ahhh! The facial hair! I’m surprised that Sweden is so given to camp. You’d expect gloomier tones, seeing as how the sun only shines a couple hours a day there.

    Olaf is attempting to cash in on TOP GUN-chic. I think it’s funny because he’s evidently trying to be as cool as Iceman and Maverick, but coming up a little short. He’s a Diet Coke fighter pilot.

    Harald appears to be in the showroom of a jacuzzi dealership. My guess is that he’s actively driving customers away.

  5. AWTF – Hehe, you’re not wrong about soft focus, teehee. Those shirts do look like Hard Yakka shirts circa 1979. Damn, I wish internet translators would translate from Nordic languages…

    Ooh, I’ll have to look up Olav on YouTube. Fantastic. Flying songs… yesssss… that must be it…. heh.

    D – Do you think they’re compensating for the lack of light? I mean, a lot of photos from that era look camp nowadays, no matter what part of the world they’re from.

    Maybe the makers of Top Gun took their inspiration from Olav, becuase he clearly predates the film. Look for him in the film credits…

    Hehe, I think you’re right about Harald.

  6. :D

    here is a gift for you

    http://www.svenskadansband.se/database.php

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