Thursday, March 13, 2014

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Svensk

SVENSK-Dream Magazine/Getting Old  U.S. Fontana F-1605 1967



















The curiously named 60's group Svensk were not in fact Swedish but were a U.K.pop/psych duo from Bournemouth! Formed in 1967 by locals Roger Hopkins, an aspiring music journalist AND fashion photographer and Jason Paul, a model. The two had met on a shoot in Paris and upon their return to the U.K. hatched the ideas to form a group. Hopkins secured a meeting with Page One impresario Larry Page through none other than Roy Orbison and upon hearing their demo for an original composition called "Dream Magazine" Page smelled a "hit" and signed them to his Page One label.  The single was launched in August 25, 1967 as Page One POF 036. It's American counterpart, seen here today hit the shelves in December 1967 on Fontana (as was the practice with nearly all of Page One's releases destined for America until the label was launched in the U.S. in June of 1968).

For those who've never heard it "Dream Magazine" is a perfect mid tempo pop psych masterpiece.  Starting out with some classical Bach organ it's simplistic backing of acoustic guitar, drums and bass works well with the subdued vocals and the atmospheric organ adding just the right touch.  It reminds me of a mix of Nirvana meets Philamore Lincoln, never a bad thing at all.

The flip "Getting Old" is a bit rougher edged but still has a pop/psych air about it and though not as powerful as the A-side it is still a great tune.  It reminds me a lot of the End's "Cardboard Watch", maybe it's the vocal phrasing.  Sadly the tune was not the hit Page predicted, but he kept them around for one more single "You" b/w "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (Page One POF 050 November 1967).  I have not come across a domestic copy of this so it's safe to say today's specimen was their only U.S. release.

Svensk, courtesy of Marmalade Skies

"Dream Magazine" was reissued on the debut CD of excellent "Piccadilly Sunshine"series on "Volume One" as well as the CD version of "The Electric Sugarcube Flashback".  "Getting old" showed on on the "English Freakbeat Volume 3" CD/LP as well as the "Hen's Teeth Vol.1" CD.

For the full story on Svensk head over to Marmalade Skies here.

Hear "Dream Magazine":

http://youtu.be/u0saBEH0Jbk

Hear "Getting Old":

http://youtu.be/X6aPunRbW4g

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