Thors Hammer

Thors Hammer was a Danish jazz-rock band that issued a self-titled album on Metronome in 1971.

Members: Peter Nielsen (vocals), Michael Bruun (guitar, piano), Jesper Neehammer (saxophone), Henrik Langkilde (organ, piano), Henrik Bødtcher (bass), Simon Koppel (drums)


Thors Hammer included saxophonist Jesper Nehammer, guitarist Michael Bruun, bassist Henrik Bødtcher, and drummer Simon Koppel, all prolific musicians on the Danish music scene. Koppel played on mid-’60s recordings by Don Cherry and Polish pianist Krzysztof Komeda. He was also in the beat group Exploding Mushroom with English roamer Mac MacLeod (Donovan, Mick Softley, Argent, Hurdy Gurdy). Most recently, Koppel played on the 1969 MPS release Afrodisiaca by John Tchicai and Cadentia Nova Danica.

Nehammer played on the 1970 jazz releases Peace by Tordenskjolds Soldater and C. M. Musictrain by Carsten Meinert, both on Spectator Records. Thors Hammer also featured keyboardist Henrik Langkilde and singer Peter Nielsen. They were the second Scandinavian act to use the name, derived from Norse mythology. (A namesake Iceland beat group issued four 1966/67 singles on Parlophone and Columbia.)

The Album

Thors Hammer signed to Metronome and released their singular album in 1971. It features five songs, starting with the Bødtcher/Bruun/Henriksen number “Mexico.” Also included are tracks by Bødtcher/Bruun (“Blind Gypsy Woman”), Langkilde (“Evasive Dreams Beyond”), and two group-written epics: “Not Worth Saying” (13:05) and “Believe In What You Want” (9:03).

Thors Hammer was recorded Jan-Feb 1971 at Metronome Studio, Copenhagen, and co-produced by Leif Pedersen and Freddy Hansson (Pan, Rainbow Band, Gasolin’, Blast Furnace) and engineered by Bent Hulsrøj (Aunt Mary, Ache). Koppel did the cover art, a surreal image depicting a bespectacled man with his arm around two bare-breasted women.

Later Activity

Concurrent with Thors Hammer, Koppel played on the 1971 Parlophone release Strømme by the Peter Strømbergs Kvartet. He then played on the 1972 Sonet release Walking Circles, the second album by Midnight Sun. With Bødtcher and Bruun, he played in pop-rockers Anaconda, which issued the 1973 Epic single “Baby, Turn Me Loose” (b/w “Daytime”). Minus Koppel, that band morphed into mid-70s comedy rockers Tyggegummibanden.

Bødtcher and Bruun played on the 1976 self-titled album by jazz-rockers Heavy Joker. That same year, Bødtcher played on albums by Latin jazz-rockers Buki-Yamaz (Segundo) and samba guitarist Christian Sievert (Entrada to Equator). He subsequently played on the second Heavy Joker release (Caesar’s Palace, 1978) and the debut album by jazz-funk flutist Aske Bentzon (Badminton, 1979), plus numerous Danish pop titles.

Bruun played on the 1975 EMI release What We Are by blues-rockers Sensory System and interacted with Bødtcher on later pop recordings (Kester, Reg & Bet). In 1977, he became co-owner of Werner Studio, where he recorded with the reggae-pop act Tøsedrengene.

Neehammer played on the 1973 debut album by a then-18-year-old Sanne Salomonsen, later dubbed Denmark’s “rock mama.” He also played on Heavy Joker, the first two albums by Bifrost, and the aforementioned Buki and Aske titles. In 1976, he interacted with Langkilde on the self-titled Hookfarm release by jazz-rockers Drops. Neehammer then joined the jazz-rock quintet Entrance (with Buki’s Kasper Winding) for two 1977/78 albums and a third in 1984.

Nielsen sang backing vocals on the 1976 Polydor release Tell Me I’ve Been Trying ‎by ex-Black Maria frontman Kim Meier.


Thors Hammer was first issued outside Denmark in 1994 by South Korean bootlegers Won-Sin Music. Since 1998, the title has been pressed on CD by Walhalla (Germany), Crystal Emporium Productions (Italy), and Second Life (Russia). In 2005, reputed archivists Garden of Delights established a sublabel in the band’s honor and reissued the title with a booklet (cat# THCD 001). Subsequent titles in the THCD series include Essen 1970 recordings by Fotheringay, May Blitz, and East of Eden. THLP 001 later got a vinyl pressing (2010).

To mark its 40th anniversary, Metronome gave Thors Hammer a vinyl reissue in 2011, complete with a reproduction of the original LP labels, modified only by the ‘Valhalla’ and ‘Northern Rock Productions’ logos.



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