Ache


Band members                          Related acts

- Steen Toft Andersen - (1975-)

- Glenn Fischer  - drums, percussion (1968-71)

- Stig Kreutzfeld - (1975-)

- Peter Mellin - keyboards (1968-71 and 75)

- Finn Olafsson - vocals, lead guitar (1968-71 and 75)

- Torsten Olafsson - vocals, bass (1968-71)

- Gert Smedegard - 

 

 

- Kashmir (Gert Smedegard)

- Finn Olafsson (solo efforts)

- Tortsen Olfasson (solo efforts)

- Stig and Steen (Stig Kreutzfeld and Steen Toft Anderson)

 

 

 


 

Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Green Man

Company: Philips

Catalog: 6318 005

Year: 1971

Country/State: Denmark

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: original Dutch pressing; gatefold sleeve; lamination is beginning to separate from cover and was taped

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4883

Price: SOLD $100.00

Cost: $66.00

 

You can credit (or blame) keyboardist Peter Mellin for Ache.  A graduate of the Danish Academy of Music, in 1968 he hooked up with drummer Glenn Fisher and brothers Finn (lead guitar) and Tortsen (vocals/bass).  The quartet spent a couple of years refining their chops, culminating in a collaboration with the Royal Danish Ballet Company and dancer/choreographer Peter Schaufuss.  Billed as the first (and hopefully last) 'rock ballet' a couple of live performances, including dates at Copenhagen's Royal Theatre and Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet won rave revises and caught the attention of several record companies.

 

Signed by Philips their 1970 debut basically committed their 'ballet' and a second piece ('Little Things') to vinyl.  Featuring two side long pieces, "De Homine Urbano" (roughly translated as 'About Urban Man') found the group giving bands like Yes a run for their money in the pomposity department.   

 

In comparison to the debut, 1971's Johnny Reminar produced "Green Man" found the group toning down some of the earlier excess.  That's not to say this stuff was particularly commercial, but at least the debut's side-long suites were replaced by a series of shorter, occasionally rock oriented pieces.  Yes, there was still one multi-part suite ('The Invasion') and to be complete honest, the atypical title track sported a killer, radio friendly hook.  With Tortsen Olafsson responsible for the majority of the seven tracks (the track listing included one non-original), the results offered up a mixture of classical, hard rock and progressive moves.  That probably doesn't sound all that impressive to most folks, but parts of the collection were actually surprisingly enjoyable.   Like much of the debut, echoes of other bands were found throughout the set, including ELP ('Equatorial Rain'), Peter Hammill and Van Der Graff Generation and Yes ('Sweet Jolly Joyce').  At least to my ears the group was actually at their best when playing it fairly straight including Mellin's instrumental rocker 'Fanfaronade' , the catchy title track and their Vanilla Fudge-styled cover of The Beatles' 'We Can Work It Out'.  Another highlight came when they showed off their Gary Brooker and Procol Harum influences.  Borrowing a baroque inspired melody, the tuneful ballad 'Shadow of a Gipsy' was probably the album's best track.  Released as a single 'Shadow of a Gipsy' b/w the non-LP 'Over the Fields' provided the band with a large European hit (Philips catalog number  6019010).

 

"Green Man" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Equatorial Rain   (Torsten Olafsson) - 

2.) Sweet Jolly Joyce   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

3.) The Invasion   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

     Fanfaronade (instrumental)    (Peter Mellin) - 

     Invasion   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

     Monologue   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

     Break-down   (Glenn Fischer) - 

4.) Shadow of a Gipsy   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Green Man   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

2.) Acheron (instrumental)   ( Torsten Olafsson) - 

3.) We Can Work It Our/Working   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney / Ache) - 

 

The group's original plans called for touring the album with the Ache Rock Theatre which was to incorporate a full scale theatrical presentation including dance and acting segments.  (Be sure to read the inner sleeve liner notes to see how grandiose their plans were.)  Luckily financial considerations quashed such plans.  The lack of sales also spelled the end of the band until a 1975 reunion.

 

In case anyone cares, I found an Ache website, but unfortunately the thing's in Danish:

 

http://www.achesite.dk/achebioto.htm

 


 

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