35 years ago a new Swedish progressive rock band called Kaipa came onto the music scene with it’s self titled debut. The line-up featured a young Roine Stolt (guitars, vocals), Hans Lundin (Hammond organ, Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha synthesizers, harpsichord, Logan string machine and lead vocals), Tomas Eriksson (bass, vocals) and Ingemar Bergman (drums, vocals).
The self titled debut was released in July 1975 and received it’s first re-issue in August 1992 on Musea Records. At this time the music was remastered. It was remastered again in August 2005 for the Decca Years: 1975-1978 box set from InsideOut Music, the band’s current label.
Just like the version that Musea released, there are two bonus tracks featured on the box set. The box set, I believe, was a limited run so if you can find it, do yourself a favor and pick it up. I will warn you that the 70’s Kaipa sounds very different to the current version. The 70’s recordings reflect the times as well as having a more folk-ish sound.
The music of Kaipa, especially on the self titled debut remind me a little bit of a mixture of Yes & Genesis around the same time period. I feel that Hans Lundin was just as good as Wakeman or even Emerson. At this point, Roine Stolt hasn’t created his signature sound that he’s famous for later on in The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Agents Of Mercy and his tenure with Kaipa again from 2002 to 2005. In my opinion, the rhythm section of Eriksson and Bergman are as Squire & White or Rutherford& Collins.
If you don’t mind the Swedish vocals, I would recommend getting the box set because there’s some bonus discs included, a live recording and an unedited master demo from 1974 included. It did take me awhile to get used to the Swedish vocals but in time I thought of them more as an “instrument” that fit among the music.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 19th, 2010