Sir Henry and His Butlers


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1964)

- Ole Henry Bredahl -- vocals, bass 

- Leif Davidsen -- drums percussion

- Carsten Elgelstrom -- lead guitar 

 

  line up 2 (1964-65)

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

NEW - Jens Bogvad - - drums, percussion  (replaced Leif Davidsen)

- Carsten Elgelstrom - - lead guitar 

NEW - Paul Petersen -- lead guiatr  

 

  line up 3 (1965)

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

 Jens Bogvad - - drums, percussion 

- Carsten Elgelstrom - - lead guitar 

NEW - Tommy Mortensen - - keyboards 

NEW - Arnie Schroder -- rhythm guitar  

 

  line up 4 (1965-70)

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

- Jens Bogvad - - drums, percussion 

- Carsten Elgelstrom - - lead guitar 

- Tommy Mortensen - - keyboards 

- Arnie Schroder -- rhythm guitar

NEW - Tommy Seebach -- vocals, organ

 

  line up 5 (1970-72) as Sir Butler

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

- Jens Bogvad - - drums, percussion  

- Carsten Elgelstrom - - lead guitar 

- Tommy Mortensen - - keyboards 

- Arnie Schroder -- rhythm guitar

- Tommy Seebach -- vocals, organ

 

  line up 6 (1972-75) 

NEW - Claus Asmussen -- (replaced Ole Steel Nielsen)

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

- Jens Bogvad - - drums, percussion  

- Carsten Elgelstrom - - lead guitar 

- Tommy Mortensen - - keyboards 

- Arnie Schroder -- rhythm guitar

- Tommy Seebach -- vocals, organ

 

  line up 7 (1975-77) 

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

NEW - Torben Johansen -- lead guitar

NEW - John Roger -- drums, percussion

- Tommy Seebach -- vocals, organ

 

  line up 8 (1980-83) 

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

NEW - Søren Bundgård -- keyboards

NEW - Ole Carsten Juu -- drums, percussion

NEW - Kurt Bo Jensen -- lead guitar

 

  line up 9 (1983-84) 

- Ole Henry Bredahl - - vocals, bass 

 - Søren Bundgård -- keyboards

- Kurt Bo Jensen -- lead guitar

NEW - Sten Kristensen -- drums, percussion (replaced 

   Ole Carsten Juu)

 

 

 

 

- Ole Henry Bredahl (solo efforts)

- The Five Danes

- The Flinestones (Jens Bogvad)

- Hot Eyes (Ole Henry Bredahl)

- The Noblemen (Claus Asmussen)

- Tommy Seebach (solo efforts)

- Shu-Bi-Dua (Claus Asmussen)

- Teenmakers (John Rogers)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sir Henry & His Butlers Are Serving You

Company: Sonet

Catalog: SLPS 1211

Year: 1965

Country/State: Copenhagen, Denmark

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor crease on rear seam; Danish pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4581

Price: $100.00

Cost: $59.40

 

There's a large wealth of information on the web about Sir Henry & His Butlers.  The only problem is that almost all of it is in Danish, which does me absolutely no good since I can't read the language.  As a result, virtually everything I know about this outfit comes from the liner notes on this album ...

 

The collapse of The Five Danes found singer/bassist Ole Henry Bredahl, drummer Leif Davidsen, and lead guiatrist Carsten Elgelstrom continuing their collaboration in Sir Henry & His Butlers.  The trio attracted some attention in national battle-of-the-bands competition, seeing original drummer Davidson replaced by Jens Bogvad.  By late 1964 the lineup had been expanded to include keyboard player Tommy Mortensen and rhythm guitarist Arnie Schroder.  The band became a staple on Copenhagen's club circuit including Place Pigalle (where they apparently performed with their own stripper), but their first big break came when they won a contest to find a Danish version of The Beatles. The victory was enough to get the band a contract with the Sonet Records label. where they released a string of singles:

 

 

- 1964's 'Hi-Heel Sneakers' b/w 'Sick and Tired' (Sonet catalog number T 7183)  

- 1964's 'Hi-Heel Sneakers' b/w 'Giddy Up a Ding Dong' (Sonet catalog number T 7184)  

- 1964's 'Let's Go (Oh Holly Holy)' b/w 'Johnny Be Good (By By Johnny)' (Sonet catalog number T-7183)

- 1964's 'You Are So Mystifying' b/w 'Zip Dee Doo Dap' (Sonet catalog number T-7190)

 

  

Hard to believe, but Decca actually released the first single in the States (Decca catalog number 31723)

   

Enjoying a national hit with the second 45 saw Sonet management finance an album.  Produced by Per Serense, 1966's "Sir Henry & His Butlers Are Serving You" isn't half bad.  Sung in English, the set offers up a mixture of US and UK pop and soul hits.  Don't expect anything drastic as tracks such as 'Heart of Stone', 'Birds and Bees' and 'Sweet Little Rock and Roller' seldom stray far from the originals.  On the other hand, Bredahl was a decent singer whose weird accent added to the album's low keyed charm. While not exactly a threat to Jimi Hendrix, Elgelstrom turned in some tasty licks, including a nice little figure on the group's bizarre cover of Cole Porter's 'Zeep De Doo Dap'.   To my ears the band were at their best on  tougher rock material, with their Stones cover 'Heart of Stone', 'I'm Just a Rolling Stone' and 'Sweet and Tender Romance' providing the album highlights.  (Elsewhere, the somewhat fractured English liner notes including member bios (courtesy of producer Serense) were also worth reading.)

 

"Sir Henry & His Butlers Are Serving You" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Times A-Getting-Hard   (Lee Hays) - 

2.) You Never Can Tell   (Chuck Berry) - 

3.) Stupidity   (Burke) - 

4.) Heart of Stone   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 

5.) I'm a Hog For You   (Lieber - Stoller) - 

6.) Something Else   (Cochran) - 

7.) Birds and Bees   (Barry Stuart) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) The Zoo  (M. Lane - J. Linde) - 

2.) Lawdy, Lawdy Blues   (arranged Ole Henry) - 

3.) Sweet Little Rock and Roller   (Chuck Berry) - 

4.) Zeep De Doo Dap    (Cole Porter) - 

5.) I'm Just a Rolling Stone   (Donegan - Curie) - 

6.) I Can Tell   (Baker - Night) - 

7.) Sweet and Tender Romance   (Shakespeare - Hawker - Powel) - 

 

 

1965 saw the band add 15 year old singer/keyboardist Tommy Seebach to the line-up and the band signing with EMI/Columbia.  Over the next three years both EMI and former label Sonet (which had seemingly stockpiled a ton of material), release a string of non-LP singles:

 

 

- 1965's 'Eve of Destruction' b/w 'It Keeps Raining' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 770

- 1965's 'I'm Just a Rolling Stone' b/w 'The Zoo' (Soonet catalog number T 7211)

- 1965's 'White Christmas' b/w 'Jingle Bells (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 776)

- 1966's 'The Zoo' b/w 'Money Honey' (Polydor International catalog number 421.035)  German release

- 1966's 'Times A-Getting Hard ' b/w 'Money Honey' (Sonet catalog number T-7237)

- 1966's 'Jenny Take a Ride' b/w 'Beautiful Brown Eyes' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD-760)

- 1966's 'Marianne' b/w 'Hucklebuck (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 788)

- 1967's 'Mr. Joyful' b/w/ 'Sweet Dreams' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 793)

- 1967's 'Camp' (instrumental) b/w 'Pretty Style' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 799)

 

The latter 45 even saw an American release:

 

- 1969's 'Camp' (instrumental)  b/w 'Pretty Style' (ABC catalog 11130)

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  H2O

Company: EMI Columbia

Catalog: C 052-37 006

Year: 1968

Country/State: Copenhagen, Denmark

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Danish pressing; small cut out hole bottom right

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 216

Price: $125.00

 

I'm sure there's another English review of this album out there somewhere; I just haven't stumbled across it yet ...  

 

 

Released three years after their debut LP, judging by the title and the cover art, 1968's "H2O" seem to promise a band that had updated their sound well beyond their initial beat and pop orientations. A quick scan of song titles like 'Love', 'Patricia the Stripper', the cumbersome titled 'When a Day Has Gone (and You Can't Find No Fun)', and 'Pimp' (hard to imagine that title on an American LP), seemed to underscore this set was going to be way more happenin' than their earlier releases. And to some extent that promise came true. Featuring all original tunes, tracks like 'Poor Bobby', 'When a Day Has Gone (and You Can't Find No Fun)', and 'Mr. Brown's Friend' found the band dabbling in a mixture of conventional rock with occasional dollops of blue-eyed soul ('Naughty Girl'), lite psych ('Love'), and even incidental porn flick orchestration (the instrumental 'Cosmorama'). Those efforts were all quite impressive and enjoyable. The only problem was that they were packaged with an annoying number of more pop-oriented efforts like the cloying 'Teddy Bea' and 'Patricia the Stripper'.

"H2O" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Monkey's In Wood   (Tommy Seebach) - 2:32

Geez, what in the world was going on with 'Monkey's In Wood' ?   The title clearly reflected some sort of breakdown in the Danish-to-English translation.   Bouncy and upbeat, adding to the song's weird factor was Seebach's hyper-speed delivery and what had to be one of the strangest refrains you've ever heard "didley-didley-didley ..."   Gawd only knows why, but the track was tapped as single    rating: ** stars 

2.) Poor Bobby   (Ole Henry Bredahl - Arnie Schroder) - 2:38

Opening up with some screaming guitar, 'Poor Bobby' sounded like the Shocking Blue-meets-Flash In the Pan ...   Yeah, I know Flash In the Pan didn't record for another twenty years, but this time out Bredahl's flat delivery bore a strong resemblance to that group's flat delivery.   So this is what I was expecting to hear - a hard rocker that sounded very late-'60s.  Great lead guitar from  Carsten Elgelstrom.   rating: **** stars 

3.) Do It Again   (Tommy Seebach - Jens Bogvad) - 2:55

'Do It Again' found the band returning to a more commercial pop sound.  That said, the song had a decent, if over-orchestrated melody that could have generated considerable radio exposure, which probably explains why EMI tapped it as the lead-off single.  It was actually released in advance of the album.  rating: *** stars

4.) Teddy Bear   ( Ole Henry Bredah) - 2:14

A horrible slice of toy-town pop , the only thing 'Teddy Bear' had going for it was the fact it was mercifully short.   rating: * star

5.) Love   ( Ole Henry Bredah - Jens Bogvad) - 2:49

'Love' opened up with a distinctive lysergic feel - trippy guitar and organ effects, weird timings, acid-tinged vocals.   Imagine something off of "Magical Mystery Tour" and you'll know what to expect off of this one.   rating: *** stars

6.) Patricia the Stripper   (Tommy Seebach - Jens Bogvad) - 2:01

In spite of the risque title (and the bizarre end of song plot twist), complete with barrelhouse piano and banjo, 'Patricia the Stripper' was a campy, pseudo-Vaudevillian flavored track.  Way too cute for it's own good, it almost sounded like the band had overdosed listening to The Beatles' 'Rocky Raccoon'.   Wonder if Bredahl had any idea where Tennessee was located ...    rating; ** stars

7.) When a Day Has Gone (and You Can't Find No Fun) (instrumental)   ( Ole Henry Bredah) - 3:18

The title was certainly convoluted, but the combination of strumming acoustic guitars, pedal steel, and Procol Harum-styled organ made the instrumental 'When a Day Has Gone (and You Can't Find No Fun)' one of the album's more engaging endeavors.   Seriously, it did sound a bit like a Procol Harum outtake.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Pimp   (Tommy Seebach  -  Jens Bogvad) - 3:27

With its tack house piano opening, 'Pimp' momentarily sounded like an ABBA track, but then opened up into one of the band's strangest ballads complete with Seebach's growling Danish accented French lyrics.   The lyrics were certainly dark and disturbing (except for the French which was unintelligible), but with Seebach pounding away on the piano, it made for one cool song.   rating: **** stars

2.) Everybody Knows a Place   (Tommy Seebach - Jens Bogvad) - 2:02

With a slight Motown feel (yeah I know that sounds strange), 'Everybody Knows a Place' was another great track with a rockin' melody (kudos to drummer Jens Bogvad) and a killer hook.  Shame they faded the track just as the band was starting to really jam.  Personally this is one of the tracks I would have picked as a single.

3.) Promised Me   (Tommy Seebach - Jens Bogvad) - 2:27

Well I'm a pushover for harpsichord and this song started out with Seebach showing off his deft moves on the instrument.  Musically this was a pretty enough ballad that had the sound and structure of an ABBA tune.  You'll either love it, or hate it.   rating: *** stars

4.) Mr. Brown's Friend  ( Ole Henry Bredah - Carsten Elgelstrom) - 3:08

Wow, toytown freaks out ...   'Mr. Brown's Friend' started out as a fey slice of pop and then unexpectedly shifted into dark, rock mode with some totally bizarre lyrics about buying a cat, and then returned to op mode before ending with a brass band arrangement.   What the world ?   Extra star for being so strange.     rating: **** stars

5.) Naughty Girl   (Ole Henry Bredah - Jens Bogvad) - 2:32

The title was attention grabbing, as was the combination of Bredhal's fanstastic driving bass line and Seebach's descending piano riff.  In spite of Bredhal's weird scat segment, this was easily one of the album's most commercial and enjoyable efforts.   One of those songs that climbs in you head and won't leave.    rating: **** stars

6.) Cosmorama (instrumental)   (Ole Henry Bredah) -2:41

The album's second instrumental, 'Cosmorama' was a piano propelled ballad that with some anonymous female harmony vocals slapped on top of the mix, sounded like incidental music for a French porn flick.  rating: ** stars

7.) How To Succeed In Business   (Tommy Seebach - Jens Bogvad) - 2:21

No matter what you think of the album, you've got to admit that some of the song titles were a hoot ...  'How To Succeed In Business' opened up with a fantastic slice of Booker T.-styled keyboards and then revealed a totally unexpected slice of blue-eyed soul.  I certainly wouldn't have expected a skinny, pale Danish white guy to have any soul moves in him, but Seebach certainly surprised me on this one.  Great way to end the album.   rating: **** stars

 

As mentioned, the latter credited to the abbreviated 'Sir Butler', a pair of Danish singles were released off the album:

 

     

 

- 1968's 'Do It Again' b/w 'Poor Bobby' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 804)

- 1969's 'Monkey's In Wood' b/w 'When a Lady Has Gone' (catalog number EMI/Columbia catalog number DD 819)

 

So how do you summarize and album like this?  Flashes of talent and real promise, but way too much fluff ?  Shame they weren't given the opportunity to show their more creative sides with a producer that would have given them some direction a creative freedom to play around.  In spite of those criticisms, it's a fun album and well worth tracking down.. 

 

 

As mentioned above, the group shortened their name to Sir Butler and with a steady stream of personnel changes, continued to record through the mid-1980s.  I've never seen a complete discography, but here are at least some of the releases:

 

- 1970's 'Annie Got a Date' b/w 'Like a rose' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 831)

- 1970's 'Keep On Waiting' b/w 'Over and Over' (EMI Columbia catalog number C 006 37074)

- 1971's 'A Lovely Day' b/w 'Frankness' (EMI Columbia catalog number DD 838)

- 1973's 'Hedji Hi Hoe' b/w 'Not Funny To Be a Tommy' (EMI catalog number X 9066)

 

 

 

 

 

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