Monday, August 26, 2019

Aunt Mary - Loaded (1972 norway, stunning organ drivin' heavy rock, 2002 remaster and expanded)

In the summer of ’71 Deep Purple played in Odense, Denmark. And as usual when big names visited the town, Aunt Mary was asked to support. The band performed so well that they were called back for encores. That was not very popular with Deep Purple. It didn’t help much that the audience went ballistic as Aunt Mary started playing Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. 

Rumours had it that Aunt Mary played in circles around Deep Purple that night. In a later interview, Ritchie Blackmore allegedly should have referred to Bjørn Kristiansen: «A Norwegian guitar player in Denmark. He is one of the few good guitarists I have met. And if anyone should take over the throne (as guitar king), it should be him.» Neither Bjørn nor the other aunts can confirm the truth of this, as they haven never seen the interview.

That same summer Aunt Mary toured with Jethro Tull for three days. The tour opened in Copenhagen, where Ketil Stensvik played a drum solo so popular with the audience that the band were forbidden to play encores. The summer continued with two concerts with Rory Gallagher, one with Ten Years After and two with Muddy Waters.

Johnny Reimar approached the band with an idea: What if the band made a rock version of Marvin Gayes’ "Abraham, Martin and John" and replaced the names with the recently departed Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Brian Jones? The single became a huge hit, but was refused airtime in Britain by BBC on account of the song characters’ association to drugs. Regardless of the single’s success, the band never saw any money from it.

On May 1972, a new single was recorded in Norway: "Rosalind". On the B-side was the band’s version of Edvard Grieg’s "In the Hall of the Mountain King". This turned out to be the end of this line-up. Organ player and lead vocalist Jan Groth was an active Christian and had found the music and the lifestyle increasingly difficult to combine with his belief. Thus, he decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career as a Christian artist in Denmark.

With Jan leaving, the band no longer saw the need to stay in Denmark, and relocated to their home town Fredrikstad, Norway. They found a brilliant keyboard player, Bengt Jenssen, almost in the neighborhood, and decided that Bjørn should be the bands new lead singer. September 1972 New album "Loaded" produced by Johnny Sareussen in the famous Rosenborg Studio in Oslo, Norway, "Loaded" showed a much heavier version of the band.  It performed very well for an album in that genre and became a huge hit among the fans.
1. Playthings Of The Wind (Bjoern Christiansen) - 2:59
2. Joinin' The Crowd (Bjoern Christiansen, Svein Gundersen) - 3:43 
3. Delight (Bjoern Christiansen, Kjetil Stensvik, Svein Gundersen) - 2:50 
4. Upside Down (Bjoern Christiansen, Svein Gundersen) - 4:15
5. Farewell My Friend Pt. 1 (Bjoern Christiansen, Svein Gundersen) - 2:25 
6. Farewell My Friend Pt. 2 (Bengt Jenssen, Kjetil Stensvik, Svein Gundersen) - 1:00 
7. Blowin' Tiffany (Bengt Jenssen, Bjoern Christiansen, Svein Gundersen) - 7:32 
8. Fire Of My Lifetime (Svein Gundersen) - 5:17 
9. G Flat Road (Bjoern Christiansen, Svein Gundersen) - 5:44
10.In The Hall Of Mountain King (Svein Gundersen, Kjetil Stensvik, Bjoern Christiansen, Jan Groth) - 4:35 
11.Stop Your Wishful Thinking (Svein Gundersen, Kjetil Stensvik, Bjoern Christiansen, Jan Groth) - 3:49 
12.Rosalind (Jan Groth) - 2:50 
13. Jimi, Janis And Brian (Abraham, Martin And John) (Dick Holler) - 4:25
Bonus Tracks 10-13

Aunt Mary
*Bjoern Christiansen - Guitar, Vocal
*Per Ivar Fure - Flute, Harmonica, Saxophone, Mouth Organ, Vocal
*Bengt Jenssen - Keyboards (Tracks 1-10)
*Svein Gundersen - Bass, Piano, Vocal
*Kjetil Stensvik - Drums, Vocal
*Jan Groth - Vocals, Keyboards (Tracks 10-13)

1970  Aunt Mary - Aunt Mary 

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