The Floor


Band members                             Related acts

   line up 1 (1967-68)

- Steen Bergstroem -- keyboards 

- Joergen Krabbenhoeft -- vocals

- Bjarne De la Motte -- bass 

- Mogens Petersen -- lead guitar 

- Torben Sardorf -- drums, percussion 

 

 

- The Cliffters

- The Hitmakers

- Little Freddie and His Rockboys (Torben Sardorf)

- Medley Swingers (Torben Sardorf)

- Melvis and His Getlemen (Torben Sardorf)

- New 66 (Torben Sardorf)

- Johnny Reimar & the Cliffters (Torben Sardorf)

- Melvis Rockband (Torben Sardorf)

- The Rookeys (Torben Sardorf)

- Sir Henry and His Butlers (Torben Sardorf)

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  1st Floor

Company: Philips

Catalog: XPY 855 701
Year:
 1967

Country/State: Copenhagen, Denmark

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5870

Price: SOLD $140.00

 

Genre: psych

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  1st Floor

Company: A Shot of Rhythm & Blues

Catalog: SHOT 04
Year:
 2002

Country/State: Copenhagen, Denmark

Grade (cover/record): VG+/ VG+

Comments: reissue package

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2244

Price: $40.00

 

 

Yes, I'm an admitted sucker for mid-1960s European pop-psych and Denmark's The Floor are a perfect example of this overlooked genre (well they're overlooked here in the States).  

 

Through the mid-1960s The Hitmakers had been one of Denmark's better know beat groups.  When they called it quits in 1967 Steen Bergstroem, Joergen Krabbenhoeft, Bjarne De la Motte, and Torben Sardorf decided to continue their musical partnership as The Floor.  Not only did the four drop their beatband sound, they also shifted musical responsibilities - former lead guitarist Bergstroem took over keyboards, rhythm guitarist Krabbenhoeft focused on vocals, De la Motte remained on bass (the liner notes referred to it as 'base') with Sardorf continued on drums.  Mogens Petersen was brought in as new lead guitarist.

 

Produced by Johnny Reimar (who also contributed a couple of songs to the album), 1967's "1st Floor" marked a major change in direction from their earlier Hitmakers catalog.  Exemplified by tracks like  'Hey, Mr. Flowermann' (their spelling, not mine), 'Mrs. Grady' and 'A Rainbow Around Us' it was clear these guys had whole heartedly embraced English psych and while the results were clearly derivative, several of the performances were quite impressive - even more so for a group for whom English was a second language.  Can't imagine The Beatles, or Stones sounding any better had they recorded an album in Danish.  Leading the charge, 'Bergstroem' had a voice that was versatile, yet quite commercial.  Yeah, his vocals were accented, but for the most part you really didn't notice it.  He was backed by a capable rhythm section; drummer Sardorf deserving considerable credit, while lead guitarist Petersen proved the band's secret weapon turning in a catalog of interesting effects on his spotlight moments.

 

"1st Floor" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Damned Little Fool   (Kurt Ard) - 2:28

Complete with Baroque horns and multi-tracked vocals, 'Damned Little Fool' was cute in a fey kind of way, but compared to English competitors the results came off as somewhat flat and one dimensional.  You kept waiting for the song to hit a bridge, or leap to a hook.  Never it happened ...   rating: ** stars

2.) Trusting Mr. Jones   (Johnny Reimar - John Inglis) - 2:47

With Krabbenhoeft turning in an acid soaked vocal that seemed to have borrowed a page from The Fab Four's 'For the Benefit of Mr. Kite' and some hysterical backward guitar from Petersen, 'Trusting Mr. Jones' was actually pretty cool.  The interpersonal sound effects were hysterical.  Wonder how much time they'd spent taking notes on 'Magical Mystery Tour" ...   rating: *** stars

3.) Nevertheless   (Kurt Ard) - 2:29

'Nevertheless' was a pretty, breezy ballad with some very nice harmony vocals.  It also sported an offbeat lyric seemingly about a jilted boyfriend committing suicide.  Quite strange and disturbing.   rating: ** stars

4.) Hey, Mr. Flowermann   (Johnny Reimar - John Inglis) - 2:43

While their were lots of Beatlesque influences on the album, as exemplified by the poppy 'Hey, Mr. Flowermann' (sic) these guys were willing to borrow from a broad range of bands.  This time out the target seemed to be The Hollies.  Snappy sunshine-pop that probably would have been a hit had they been English.   rating: *** stars

5.) In Every Hand   (Bent Birkholm) - 2:47

'In Every Hand' was built on a pseudo-classical piano and organ melody line.  Imagine Procol Harum had they been Danish ...   I actually like this one quite a bit.  It was also tapped as a Danish single.

 

 

- 1967's 'In Every Hand' b/w "Damned Little Fool (Philips catalog number PF 355 332)   rating: *** stars

6.) Turn It On   (Bent Birkholm) - 3:40

You wouldn't have expected it, but Bergstroem injecting a touch of blue-eyed soul into the mix resulted in side one's standout performance.  'Turn It On' had everything going for it, including a great melody, a pounding bass line from De la Motte, and a fantastic Petersen guitar solo.  Easily the album's standout performance.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Mrs. O'Grady   (Bjorn Ulvaeus) - 2:16

Side two opened up with another nod to the Fab Four - in this case 'Mrs. O'Grady' clearly borrowing heavily from 'Eleanor Rigby'.  Nice 'Penny Lane' styled horns ...   Also worth pointing out it was written by Hep Stars member (and future ABBA megastar) Bjorn Ulvaeus.   rating: *** stars 

2.) Moonbeam   (Kurt Ard) - 2:48

Hum, a Danish band trying to pull off an English folk song ...  Nah, Fairport Convention styled material was not a good choice for these guys.  Way too lame; even Krabbenhoeft sounded uncomfortable on this one.   rating: * star

3.) A Rainbow Around Us   (Bjame De la Motte - John Inglis) - 2:55

Written by bassist De la Motte, 'A Rainbow Around Us' was the lone original composition and happened to be one of the standout performances.  Complete with cityscape sound effects this was another acid tinged number, complete with nifty Eastern-flavored Petersen jangle guitar.  Side two's highlight ...  rating: **** stars  

4.) Little Mr. So and So   (Kurt Ard) - 2:18

The Vaudevillian-styled 'Little Mr. So and So' sounded like a bad Kinks cover.  Not nearly as cute as they thought it was.   rating: * star

5.) I Think I Can Change You   (John Inglis) - 2:40

The album's most overtly commercial track, 'I Think I Can Change You' sounded like a Herman's Hermits outtake.  Not necessarily a good thing in my book, though Petersen's jazzy guitar figure was nice..   rating: * star

6.) Hush   (Kurt Ard) - 2:45

'Hush' was an overly sensitive ballad that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Donovan album.  Clearly meant to appeal to the young hearts, the results were actually major lame.  Yech !    rating: * star

 

Yeah, if had its moments, but all-told this one was just too erratic to get anything more than a mediocre recommendation.

 

 

One final non-LP single and they were history:

 

   

 

- 1968's 'You AIin't Going Nowehre' b/w 'Open the Door Homer' (Philips catalog number PF 355 338)

 

 

Not intended as advocating anyone do business with a bootleg label, but the Radioactive label reissued the album in CD format (Radioactive catalog number 151).  There's also an extensive, two CD Hitmakers/Floor retrospective: 2008's "The Hitmakers / The Floor: The Complete 1963 - 1968" (Universal Music).

 

  

 

(CD 1 - The Hitmakers)

1 - I Saw Her Standing There
2 - She Cried
3 - Jambalaya
4 - Sweet Little Sixteen
5 - Surfin' Germany
6 - Tricky Dicky
7 - Singing The Blues
8 - Let's Go
9 - Little Boy Sad
10 - You'll See Me Cry
11 - Walking With My Angel
12 - Bony Maronie
13 - Hi-Heel Sneakers
14 - Back In The USA
15 - Don't Play That Song Again
16 - Hello Josephine
17 - If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
18 - Pink Dally Rue
19 - I Should Know Better
20 - A Little Bitty Tear
21 - Da Doo Ron Ron
22 - What'd I Say
23 - Stop The Music
24 - What You Gonna Do About It
25 - Michelle
26 - Who'll Be The Next In Line
27 - This Boy (Live)
28 - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (Live)
29 - Little By Little
30 - Somewhere They Can't Find Me

(CD 2 - The Hittmakers cont.)
1 - Last Train To Clarksville
2 - Mohair Sam
3 - Traed An Ved Markronerne (Part 1+2)
4 - Lille Viggo Vekselstrom (Part 1+2)
5 - So Much In Love
6 - Love Me Baby
7 - Where Were You When I Needed You
8 - Feelin' Groovy
9 - Ginny Come Lately
10 - You're The Reason

 

The Floor
11 - Damned Little Fool
12 - In Every Hand
13 - Trustin' Mr. Jones
14 - Nevertheless
15 - Hey Mr. Flowerman
16 - Turn It On
17 - Mrs. O'Grady
18 - Moonbeam
19 - A Rainbow Around Us
20 - Little Mr. So And So
21 - I Think I Can Change You
22 - Hush

The Hitmakers
23 - You Ain't Going Nowhere
24 - Open The Door Homer
25 - Ogni Volta
26 - Sabato Sera

 

 

Drummer Sardorf has an interesting website at:

 

http://www.sardorf.dk/index-uk.html

 

 

 

 

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