(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange) The Norwegian Album Classics on CD project started out hoping to release album classics unavailable elsewhere, whether they were albums only released on LP og MC, or CDs out of print. Little did they know about the demand when starting up, and as we reported in April 2021, within 100 days they had 90 albums already crowdfunded and in the pipeline for release.
Now, two and a half years later, they’re about to pass the 500 releases mark! And why stop there, when there’s LPs, EPs, books, album boxes, Bluray movies and more to dig into? This project grows in all directions, and especially this electro wave single compilation would be of interest to many Side-Line readers, with Bel Canto maybe having the largest international appeal.
In the 1980’s a bunch of 7″ singles were released by Norwegian synth pioneers. Some bands came and went, while others endured for a long time. Dark, melodic, melancholic synthpop and dance music went hand in hand. The common thread was 4-track recorders and analog synthesizers. And the hairstyles.
Now the Norwegian Album Classics on CD crowdfunding project are going to compile the most essential singles, with the A-sides on CD1 and the B-sides on CD2. The cover art for the first three records in the series are already designed, but the realization of the releases are completely dependent on the help to start the second act.
The main initiatiors willingly elaborated when questioned about ELECTRO WAVE – THE 7” SINGLES – VOL. 1:
Side-Line: How did this 7” compilation side-project come about?
Christer Falck: Since we started Norske Albumklassikere på CD, the urge of releasing non-album tracks increased. After the HUGE success with the AOR/Melodic Rock-compilations, where we collected all the 7’’ hard rock singles from the 80’s, Per Aksel had the idea of making a compilation with obscure hard-to-find 7’’ with synth, synthpop and new wave as well. We gathered a small group of experts, and started the licencing part – which is the most time-consuming part. Fortunately, everyone we asked said yes, and then we just put it out on bidra.no/cd to check the response. Two days later, the album has been more than 50% financed, so we’re quite sure it won’t end with this collection.
Per Aksel Lundgreen: Yeah, well, I have been collecting rare synth/new-wave/alternative music since the mid 80’s, and when Norske Albumklassikere på CD started releasing really rare/weird and obscure stuff from the tape scene, like Dynamo Forte, Famlende Forsøk and The Headcleaners, I kinda saw that they were open for more alternative stuff too. What they did with the AOR compilations and included both the A-Sides and B-Sides of self-released and rare 7″ singles as a double CD, I really wanted this to happen to “my music” too. Christer asked me to get some people together, and Øystein Moe, Nils Inge Graven and Tore Dolg Stemland are the 3 people I know who knows the most about the alternative Norwegian music scene, and they all wanted to participate!
S-L: Are there more compilations like this in the pipeline?
CF: I’m always looking for experts in all genres to cooperate with. For the moment, we have 2 similar (BUT DIFFERENT) concepts. Hopefully we will crowdfund at least one of them before Christmas.
PA: Yes! There’s a lot of great stuff from tapes, EP’s, 12″ Maxi Singles and compilation albums that needs to be made available too in my opinion, so if this first concept goes well, I am sure Christer can be convinced to do other types of compilations within the electronic/wave genre too!
S-L: The main project was CDs, it grew to LPs, books about albums, and recently Norwegian movies on Blurays – and books about movies! Where does it end? Cassettes and MiniDiscs?! 😉
CF: I would like to re-release old classic hard-to-find books as well. And books about books. But so far I have more than enough to do, so one thing at the time. I also like the idea of a festival, with old bands reuniting, movie festival and literature festivals. Cassettes… hmmm… don’t get me started…
PA: HA HA HA!!! This is a never ending story, for sure! And I love it! There’s never ever been done more in Norway to preserve our cultural heritage in music and film, and I am proud to be a small part of it! 50 years from now, I do hope that people will realize how important this work was, before it all was gone and forgotten!
S-L: Is this crowdfunding-classics-idea something to franchise in other countries?
CF: I have never seen anything like this other places, but I guess it won’t take long before someone in other countries ”steal” our idea. Because it’s a great idea, and a perfect thing to do if you’re a music enthusiast with huge plans and no money 🙂
PA: I have never seen it done anywhere else either, but it would be a perfect concept for Sweden for example, who also have, maybe even more so than Norway, a lousy track record of taking care of their Swedish album classics. Sooo many releases there have never been on CD, like for example the catalogue of Secret Service, Style and Freestyle, which are three Swedish classic acts. Not even all their albums are out on CD’s and end up being bootlegged in Russia instead!
Get your own copy of ELECTRO WAVE – THE 7” SINGLES – VOL. 1 right here.
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