Florida Fun

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1977-79)

- Christer Follin - vocals, guitar, synthesizers

- Peter-Olof Friden -- bass

- Martin Hennel -- guitar, mandolin, vocals

- Hasse Nordon -- pedal steel guitar

- Jan Olsson -- lead guitar, vocals

- Joakim Rooke -- drums, percussion





- Follin (Christer Follin)

- Jai Guru Dev (Christer Follin)



Genre: rock

Rating: **** 4 stars

Title:  Memory Ride

Company: Sonet

Catalog:  SLP 2063

Country/State: Malmo, Sweden

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: custom inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3574

Price: $80.00

Not the first time I've encountered something like this, but here's a short-lived mid-'70s band I know virtually nothing about.   


They hailed from Malmo, Sweden and at the time they recorded their first studio set, the line-up featured former Jai Guru Dev singer/guitarist Christer Follin, bass player Peter-Olof Friden, guiatrist Martin Hennel, pedal steel guitarist Hasse Nordon, lead guitarist Jan Olsson and drummer Joakim Rooke.  Their 1979 debut "Memory Ride" was co-produced by Ola Hakansson and the band.  With Follin and Hennel responsible for the majority of the album's ten tracks, the collection's always struck me as  mildly interesting for sporting a rock sound that bares more than a passing resemblance to early-'70s Rolling Stones.  Exemplified by tracks like the opener 'Lady Freak', 'Mona Lisa' and 'The Heart of Your Mind' it wasn't to hard to imagine a Swedish version of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  Nah, the set wasn't particularly original, or life-changing, but  the performances were all quite enjoyable (in case anyone was concerned, the band's English was excellent), and anyone who enjoyed playing spot-the-influences was likely to get a kick out of tracks like 'Good Life' and 'Unite' (hint - English band from Herefordshire with a lead singer with the initials I. H.).


"Memory Ride" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Lady Freak   (Christer Follin) - 6:56   rating: *** stars

Hum, imagine a Swedish version of prime time, early-'70s Rolling Stones.  With a heavy country influence, 'Lady Freak' actual didn't  sound all that far removed from 'Honky Tonk Woman'.  Mildly interesting and like the rest of the album, not particularly original.

2.) Mona Lisa  (Christer Follin) - 3:00   rating; **** stars

Powered by Follin's Jagger-esque voice, the rocker 'Mona Lisa' was another tune that bore more than a passing resemblance to mi-'70s guitar.  The big difference was Jan Olsson's guitar solo was more tuneful and pop-oriented than anything Keith Richards ever turned in.

3.) Life's At Hand   (Martin Hennel) - 5:06   rating; **** stars

Showcasing Martin Hennel's mandolin, 'Life's At Hand'  was a pretty, pastoral ballad.   The tune sported one of the album's prettiest melodies.

4.) Memory Ride   (Martin Hennel) - 2:50   rating: ** stars

Um, simply way too country for my tastes.   

5.) I Will See You Again   (Jan Olsson) - 4:15   rating: *** stars

Hasse Nordon's pedal steel meant 'I Will See You Again' was heavily country influenced, but Jan Olsson's lead guitar saved it from oblivion.


(side 2)

1.) Well All Right  (Christer Follin) - 3:50   rating: *** stars

Hum, I would not have expected a Swedish band to be able to handle a Southern boogie rocker with much elan, but 'Well All Right' proved me wrong.

2.) The Heart of Your Mind  (Christer Follin) -     rating: *** stars

Another country-tinged rocker, but 'The Heart of Your Mind' benefited from a strong melody and some ice harmony vocals.

3.) You and Me  (Christer Follin) - 4:14  rating; **** stars

With a breezy, top-40ish melody, 'You and Me' was probably the album's most commercial tune and would have made a nice single.

4.) Good Life  (Christer Follin) - 3:50  rating; **** stars

Another personal favorite, the ballad 'Good Life' showcased the band's strengths, including a killer melody, nice harmonies, and one of Follin's best vocals.   Should have seen exposure on FM radio.

5.) Unite  (Christer Follin) - 5:48  rating; **** stars

Straight ahead rock, 'Unite' sounded like the band had been overdosing on a mix of Stones and Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople.  In fact, Follin's growling delivery bore more than a passing resemblence to Hunter on this one.