Just this week I picked up an original Swedish copy of this album (Sagan Om Ringen), in the original cover, (artwork by Peter Lindholm), recorded in 1969 and released in 1970 on the mother of independent Swedish labels, Silence. I have owned the Charisma records release since the seventies where it was released in 1972 with its slightly changed title and different artwork. Allegedly the estate of JRR Tolkien made Hansson call the album, Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings instead of just Lord Of The Rings as translated from the Swedish and wouldn’t let him use any vocalists on the record, insisting it must be solely instrumental.
But that may have helped this record become the gem that it is. Spooky analogue keyboards most reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, the record ages remarkably well when you consider it is now almost 45 years old. It isn’t just keyboards, Hansson also played bass and lead guitar. Hansson began his musical career as a guitarist in the sixties but changed to organ and formed the band Hansson And Karlsson with Janne Carlsson on drums, (misspelt with a K not a C),and they became a popular Swedish sixties duo. After the duo’s demise, Carlsson followed a career as a comedian and television presenter. Another Carlsson, celebrated jazz drummer, Rune Carlsson played drums on Sagan Om Ringen and the next two Hansson records, the Swedish titled, Ur Trollkarlens Hatt 1972 and the English version, The Magician’s Hat 1974 and Mellanväsen known in England as Attic Thoughts 1975.
This is the cover to the Charisma records release reaching the Top 40 in the UK. The album artwork is by Jane Furst.
The record was remixed and re released in a different cover in 1977 and since then has had various CD re releases with extra tracks from his following albums as well as a Silence re release with an unreleased track included here on Spotify.
This is the Charisma 1977 re issue with cover art by fantasy artist Rodney Matthews, known for his Magnum album covers as well as Thin Lizzy, Nazareth and Eloy to name but a few of the projects he has worked on.
Interestingly in the Sixties Hansson and Karlsson toured with various international luminaries including The Rolling Stones and even jammed with Hendrix. A posthumous Hendrix album War Heroes 1972 featured the Hansson and Karlsson song, Tax Free.