Saturday, September 03, 2011

Retro Saturday: Anders Glenmark

Almost 4 years ago to the day, I wrote an appreciative post about Gemini, the duo comprised of Swedish brother and sister Anders and Karin Glenmark, who enjoyed success in the 1980s:

In that post I wrote "some day I'll do something on this blog about Anders, as he does indeed merit a blog post of his own." I never did get around to that post, so let's sort that. I've recently got into watching 80s Melodifestivalen clips which fill the gap nicely till 'on-season' starts again....anyway I recently came across "Det är mitt liv - det är jag" which he wrote and sang at Melodifestivalen 1981. The song placed 4th out of the 5 finalists that year: Of course the Melodifestivalen of 30 years ago was a long long way from the MF of today, but I still miss the orchestra and the backing singers etc etc.....

The Anders Glenmark of 1981 didn't have the distinctive vocal style we associate with him - but that was in evidence by 1984 when he returned to MF, this time alongside his sister Karin, and chalked up yet another 4th place with "Kall Som Is". They look like a couple of bank clerks who dropped by the SVT studio on their lunch break, but hey, it's the 80s!

Ask anyone outside Sweden who Anders Glenmark is, and outwith the Swedish pop lovers/Melodifestivalen fans/Abba fan community it would be fair to say that most people will not have heard of him. But listen to the chorus of that massive 80s hit "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head - that's Anders Glenmark singing!

Anders' biggest commercial success came in the late 80s and early 90s with hits like "Hon har blommor i sitt hår" and "Greyhound Bus" and even a further attempt at Melodifestivalen in 1989 with "Upp över mina öron" this time duetting with Orup. They came 2nd with what was in my opinion one of the best MF songs ever, and the duo went on to form a successful musical partnership along with Niklas Strömstedt, as Glenmark Eriksson Strömstedt (GES). The trio recorded the 1994 World Cup song for the Swedish football team. As World Cup anthems go, this is one of the best ever - maybe because it's not a boring old traditional football song, but it's a perfect musical snapshot of three Swedish musicians in their prime. Over the years Anders Glenmark had not just become an accomplished singer/songwriter but had also established a very specific production style which carried on through his own work and that of GES. I featured "När Vi Gräver Guld I USA" on the blog before, but it's always nice to revisit an old favourite:

I don't know what Anders is doing musically these days. The last we heard of him was 5 years ago, as co-writer (with Niklas Strömstedt) of Magnus Carlsson's Melodifestivalen entry, the distinctively Glenmark-styled "Lev Livet" I hope that one day, Anders Glenmark will come back and make music again.

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