Thursday, November 25, 2010

In and Out of Print

It's twenty years since Happydeadmen released their first album Eleven Pop Songs, and probably almost as long since it went out of print, at small Swedish label Ceilidh. It actually is quite strange that it's been unavailable for so long, since it's up there with the first Popsicle album and Hep Stars' It's Been a Long Long Time as one of the best Swedish pop albums ever. However, this fact has given it a 'holy grail' status and it has also been virtually impossible to come by even in Sweden.

What about the songs then? Happydeadmen's sound was not really all that unique as there were plenty of other groups around at the time playing jangly guitars (The Watermelon Men, The Playmates etc.) but what separated Happydeadmen from the rest were their purely indiepop influences, while the other bands were part of the garage rock revival in 80s Sweden. The Watermelon Men had probably listened to American and Australian bands, while Happydeadmen sounded like British groups on Creation.

The reissue has finally been taken care of, by Swedish label Fraction, and it is a very faithful reproduction of the original LP, down to the pastel cover art. It includes the 11 tracks and has not seen any remastering. I seem to recall a Japanese reissue with some bonus tracks, but if you really want to hear the 7" version of "Silent Sigh City" you can always get the Classics: A Decade In Pop compilation which is still in print.

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