Tages

Tages were a Swedish beat group that released three albums and numerous singles on Platina circa 1965/66, followed by two 1967 albums and assorted shortplayers on Parlophone up through 1968.

Members: Tommy Blom (vocals, harmonica), Göran Lagerberg (vocals, bass), Danne Larsson (guitar, organ, piano, vocals), Anders Töpel (guitar, vocals), Freddie Skantze (drums, 1963-66), Tommy Tausis (drums, vocals, 1966-67), Lasse Svensson (drums, 1967-68)


Background

Tages originated as Alberts Skifflegrupp, a skiffle combo formed in mid-1963 by guitarist Anders Töpel and singer–harpist Tommy Albert Blom. Topel summoned keyboardist Danne Tage Larsson, who invited bassist Göran Lagerberg. They renamed their act after Larsson’s middle name and compoted in the talent show Oktobersmällen (“The October Bang”) at Kungälv Folkpark, where Tages Skifflegrupp placed last.

In early 1964, they shortened their name to Tages. As Beatlemania swept Sweden, they purchased electric instruments and abandoned skiffle for beat music. Drummer reddie Skantze completed the five-piece lineup.

In August, they competed in “Västkustens Beatles,” a contest held by the Göteborgs-Postento (Gothenburg Post) to find the Swedish Beatles. The contest had two recquirements: no band recorded history and a lineup of four members. Tages competed while Blom vacationed in London to practice English. Tages garnered 600 out of 1300 votes. When Blom returned, Tages signed with Platina Records and cut their first single.


First Three Singles

On October 16, 1964, Tages debuted with “Sleep Little Girl,” a Blom original. Sessions took place at Nylöse Ungdomsgård, a makeshift cellar studio.

A. “Sleep Little Girl”
B. “Tell Me You’re Mine” Göran Lagerberg, Anders Töpel

“Sleep Little Girl” reached No. 3 on Kvällstoppen No. 1 for eleven weeks on Tio i Topp.

15 Feb 1965 both sides co-written by Göran Lagerberg and Dan Larsson. (Tio I Topp No. 2; Kvällstoppen No. 2)
A. “I Should Be Glad”
B. “I Cry”

14 May 1965
A. “Don’t Turn Your Back”
B. “Hound Dog”

“Don’t Turn Your Back” reached No. 2 on both Swedish charts. Both sides appear on the June 1965 extended-play Tages, which also contains the Tommy Blom exclusive “Forget Him” and a cover of “Donna” by Ritchie Valens.


Tages

Tages released their self-titled debut album on November 3, 1965, on Platina. It features two originals: Larsson’s “The One For You” and a re-recorded “Sleep Little Girl.”

The rest of Tages consists of covers, including songs by James Brown (“I’ll Go Crazy”), Muddy Waters (“I Got My Mojo Working”), John Lee Hooker (“Dimples”), The Drifters (“Stand By Me”), Everly Brothers (“Cathy’s Clown”), and Willie Dixon (“Seventh Son”). 

A1. “Bloodhound” originated as a 1961 Tide Records a-side by Virginia rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Larry Bright; first covered in 1964 by Downliners Sect.
A2. “Everybody Loves a Lover” is a 1958 song by NY writers Richard Adler and Robert Allen; first performed by Doris Day and since covered by The Shirelles.
A3. “Dimples”
A4. “I Got My Mojo Working”
A5. “Naggin’” originated as a 1962 Excello a-side by Mississippi bluesman Jimmy Anderson.
A6. “Sleep Little Girl”
B1. “The One For You”
B2. “Seventh Son”
B3. “I’ll Go Crazy”
B4. “Cathy’s Clown”
B5. “Doctor Feel-Good” originated as a 1962 Okeh a-side by Dr. Feelgood & The Interns; written by guitarist Curtis Smith.
B6. “Stand By Me”

Tages was their first of four nonconsecutive albums recorded with producer Anders Henriksson, who also worked on 1965 Swedish beat titles by The Shakers, The Shames, Annaabee-Nox, and The Original Beachers.

15 Aug 1965 (Tio I Topp No. 2; Kvällstoppen No. 6)
A. “The One For You”
B. “I Got My Mojo Working”

19 Nov 1965 (Tio I Topp No. 6; Kvällstoppen No. 3)
A. “Bloodhound”
B. “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” originated as the debut single by the Small Faces; co-written by Brian Potter and ontime musician Ian Samwell (Cliff Richard‘s first guitarist in his pre-Shadows backing band The Drifters).


1966 Singles

11 Feb 1966 (Tio I Topp No. 5; Kvällstoppen No. 4)
A. “So Many Girls” Lagerberg
B. “I’m Mad” Jacobs

18 May 1966 (Tio No. 10; Kväll No. 7)
A. “I’ll Be Doggone” Robinson, Moore, Tarplin
B. “Hitch Hike” Gaye, Stevenson, Paul


2

Tages released their second album, 2, on August 4, 1966, on Platina. It features six group-written originals: “I Still Remember,” “Guess Who,” “Dirty Mind,” “Those Rumours,” “Go,”and the pre-released single “In My Dreams,” a No. 1 Swedish hit.

2 also features covers of Martha & The Vandellas (“Dancing In the Street”), James Brown (“I Got You (I Feel Good)”), Lee Dorsey (“Get Out of My Life Woman”), and Johnny Kidd & The Pirates (“Jealous Girl”).

Midway through the sessions, Freddie Skantze cleared out for drummer Tommy “TT” Tausis, who plays on four songs.

A1. “Dancing In the Street” (2:35) Gaye, Stevenson
A2. “I Still Remember” (2:20)
A3. “Guess Who” (3:00)
A4. “Get Out of My Life Woman” (2:40) is a song by Allen Toussaint; first released as a December 1965 s-side by New Orleans R&B singer Lee Dorsey and covered in 1966 by The Mad Lads, he Leaves, The Scorpions, Q ’65, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
A5. “Jealous Girl” (3:00)
A6. “In My Dreams” (2:00)
B1. “Crazy ‘Bout My Baby” (3:05) originated as an April 1963 Capitol a-side by Robert Mosley; since covered by the Swinging Blue Jeans.
B2. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (2:45)
B3. “Dirty Mind” (2:35)
B4. “Those Rumours” (2:10)
B5. “Leaving Here” (2:00) originated as a December 1963 Motown a-side by Eddie Holland, credited to the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting partnership.
B6. “Go” (2:00)

Tages self-produced 2 in the spring of 1966. 2 sold 10,000 copies, nearly double its initial pressing.


Extra Extra

Tages released their third album, Extra Extra, on November 28, 1966, on Platina. It features two songs by bassist Göran Lagerberg (“Gone Too Far,” “True Fine Woman”) and one track (“Secret Room”) by Tommy Blom, who co-wrote “One Red, One Yellow, One Blue” with guitarist Anders Töpe. Keyboardist Danne Larsson co-wrote “Extra” with Anders Henriksson, who (under the psyeudonym F. Akon) co-wrote “Get Up An’ Get Goin'” with folk singer Thorstein Bergman.

Extra Extra also features covers of The Easybeats (“Friday On My Mind”), Mack Rice (“Mustang Sally”), Charlie Rich (“Mohair Sam”), and Tages second covers of Lee Dorsey (“Ride Your Pony”), Willie Dixon (“Howlin’ For My Baby”), and the Small Faces (“Understanding”).

A1. “Mohair Sam” Dallas Frazier
A2. “Secret Room”
A3. “Gone Too Far”
A4. “Get Up An’ Get Goin'”
A5. “Mustang Sally”
A6. “Howlin’ For My Baby”
B1. “Friday On My Mind”
B2. “True Fine Woman”
B3. “Ride Your Pony” Naomi Neville
B4. “One Red, One Yellow, One Blue”
B5. “Understanding”
B6. “Extra”

Tages recorded Extra Extra with their original producer, Anders Henriksson. The sessions also produced “Miss Mac Baren,” released simultaneously as a non-album single (“Get Up An’ Get Goin”’). “Miss Mac Baren” reached No. 1 on Kvällstoppen. The album itself spawned four singles.

Extra Extra is the only Tages album with full participation by Tommy Tausis, who jumped ship to veteran Swedish instrumental rockers The Spotnicks, which just lost Jimmie Nicol (who deputized Ringo Starr on The Beatles’ summer 1964 Australian tour). Tages hired Hi-Balls drummer Lasse Svensson, the brother of actress Lill-Babs.


Contrast

Tages released their fourth album, Contrast, on April 28, 1967, on Parlophone. It features two songs (“Fuzzy Patterns,” “Short Song (Steps)”) by Tommy Blom, who co-wrote another two (“Prisoner 763,” “Why Do You Hide It”) with Danne Larsson, who co-wrote “One Day” by Göran Lagerberg, who co-wrote “Hear My Lamentation” with producer Anders Henriksson. Side B opens with the group-written hit “Every Raindrop Means a Lot.”

Contrast also includes four covers, including songs by Leslie Gore (“I’m Going Out”) and Rufus Thomas (“Sister’s Got a Boyfriend”). Side A closes with “You’re Too Incomprehensible,” the second collaboration between Henriksson (aka F. Akon) and Bergman.

Contrast marks Tages’ embrace of psychedelia with Henriksson’s use of studio tricks (backmasking, reverb) and sound effects (thunder, bicycle bells). Anders doubles as a sixth member on assorted instruments, including glockenspiel (“Wanting”), harpsichord (“Prisoner 763”), and accordion (“One Day”). He used the Lars Samuelson Orkester for brass (“Sister’s Got a Boyfriend,” “House of Soul Hill”) and strings (“Why Do You Hide It?”).

A1. “I’m Going Out” (2:15) priginated as a November 1966 Mercury b-side by Leslie Gore; co-written by Gary Knight and Four Seasons songwriter Bob Crewe.
A2. “Sister’s Got a Boyfriend” (2:40) originated as a September 1966 Stax a-side by Rufus Thomas; written by David Porter and Booker T. Jones. Lagerberg purportedly ate a crayon (at Henriksson’s insistence) to acheive the coarse vocal.
A3. “Hear My Lamentation” (1:35)
A4. “Fuzzy Patterns” (2:03) opens with laughter by actress Grynet Molvig and features a spoken-word middle.
A5. “One Day” (2:03)
A6. “You’re Too Incomprehensible” (2:34)
B1. “Every Raindrop Means a Lot” (2:14) features thunder sounds (created with sheet metal) and the signal generator heard on the Beach Boys‘ “Good Vibrations.”
B2. “Wanting” (2:00) originated as a December 1966 b-side by Queens singer–songwriter Peter Antell.
B3. “Prisoner 763” (1:48) concerns a man on death row.
B4. “Why Do You Hide It” (2:10)
B5. “House of Soul Hill” (1:58) originated as a November 1966 Imperial side by Baby Ray; also covered in 1967 by Australian beatsters The Escorts.
B6. “Short Song (Steps)” (1:10) features ‘walking’ sounds and takes inspiration from “The Way I Feel Inside,” a Zombies deep cut.

Sessions ran between January and March 1967 at Europafilm Studio in Bromma.

Artist Håkan Gustaf Carlström designed the Contrast cover, which shows Tages’ cutout heads on white stick figures against an orange–yellow painted backdrop. The back cover presents the song titles with corresponding doodles. Carlström’s artwork also appears on 1968–70 Odeon titles by Thorstein Bergman (Fragment) and Doris (Did You Give the World Some Love Today, Baby).

15 Feb 1967 (Tio I Topp No. 2; Kvällstoppen No. 4)
A. “Every Raindrop Means a Lot”
non-album
B. “Look What You Get” F. Thokon, F. Akon

14 Apr 1967 (Tio No. 2; Kväll No. 3)
A. “I’m Going Out”
B. “Fuzzy Patterns”

Jun 1967
A: She’s Having a Baby Now
B: Sister’s Got a Boyfriend

26 Sep 1967
A. “Treat Her Like a Lady” originated as “Treat Me Like a Lady,” a September 1966 Leslie Gore a-side; written by Crew–Knight.
B: Wanting


Studio

Tages released their fifth album, Studio, on December 4, 1967, on Parlophone. The title refers to the complex studio work behind each song.

Bassist Göran Lagerberg and producer Anders Henriksson guided the album and co-wrote “It’s My Life,” “It’s In a Dream,” and “Have You Seen Your Brother Lately.” Keyboardist Danne Larsson helped them on “Like a Woman” and co-wrote two songs (“I Left My Shoes at Home,” “What’s the Time”) with Tommy Blom, who wrote “People Without Faces” and joint-wrote “The Old Man Wafwer” with Lagerberg and Henriksson.

Side B features the group-written numbers “Seeing With Love” and “She’s Having a Baby Now.” Studio contains two outside songs: “Created By You” (by Science Poption guitarist Claes Dieden) and “She Is a Man,” co-written by ‘F. Akon’ and ‘F Zome’ (aka Bengt Gustaf Palmers, a teenage soundman).

Musically, Studio combines psychedelic elements (backmasking, Leslied effects, ecclectic instrumentation) with Swedish folk strains indebted to the spelmanslag tradition. Henriksson supplements Tages on accordion (“It’s My Life,” “The Old Man Wafwer”), celesta (“Created by You”), and piano (“It’s In a Dream”).

A1. “Have You Seen Your Brother Lately” (2:15) Lagerberg conceived the subject by accident when he misread the title to the recent Rolling Stones single “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”
A2. “It’s My Life” (2:40)
A3. “Like a Woman” (2:25)
A4. “People Without Faces” (1:55)
A5. “I Left My Shoes at Home” (1:40)
A6. “She Is a Man” (2:33) concerns a transvestite.
B1. “Seeing With Love” (3:35)
B2. “Created By You” (2:45)
B3. “What’s the Time” (2:15)
B4. “It’s In a Dream” (2:45) The lyrics contrast war and peace through Robin Hood metaphors.
B5. “She’s Having a Baby Now” (2:08)
B6. “The Old Man Wafwer” (4:20) is a two-part instrumental, titled after a resident of Vaverön Isle in Siljan lake, Dalarna.

Apart from the April recording of “She’s Having a Baby Now,” Studio sessions took place in October–November 1967 at Europafilm Studio. Midway through, Tages embarked on a Parlophone-organized English tour and cut two songs (“Like a Woman” and “It’s in a Dream”) at London’s EMI Studios. The engineer, Björn Almstedt, also worked on 1967 titles by Christallen, The Hounds, The Jackpots, Slam Creepers’, and Ola & The Janglers.

Studio employs strings by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (“People Without Faces”) and brass by Lasse Samuelson’s Orkester (“I Left My Shoes at Home,” “What’s the Time,” “The Old Man Wafwer”). The Orkester’s Janne Kling plays cornett, crumhorn, and spilåpipa (a Swedish fipple flute) on “Seeing With Love.” 

Studio appeared in a gatefold sleeve with a red-tinted performance pic under bubble letters (front) and an inner-spread with liner notes and studio pics (embedded in Futura Black typeface, inspired by the debut Who album My Generation). Tages appear in a corresponding film, Dalamania, which aired on Sveriges Television.


Final Three Singles

8 Feb 1968
A. “There’s a Blind Man Playin’ Fiddle In the Street” Lagerberg
B. “Like a Woman” Lagerberg, Larsson, Henriksson

21 May 1968
A. “Fantasy Island” Lagerberg, Larsson, Henriksson
B. “To Be Free” Töpel, Lagerberg

Oct 1968
A. “I Read You Like An Open Book”
B. “Halcyon Days”

In light of Göran Lagerberg’s emergence as Tages’ creative force, the minimized Tommy Blom left in mid-1968 for a solo career. The remaining band morphed into Blond.


Discography:

  • Tages (1965)
  • 2 (1966)
  • Extra Extra (1966)
  • Contrast (1967)
  • Studio (1967)
  • “Fantasy Island” / “To Be Free” (1968)
  • “I Read You Like an Open Book” / “Halcyon Days” (1968)

Sources:

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