If you were born more than 35 years ago you’d know Bo Hansson from his Lord of the Rings album, if you were born in the last 25 years you’d more likely know the sample the Beatminerz used for Black Moon. Bo was born in Goteborg, Sweden in 1946, and first emerged as a keyboard player/composer in the late sixties performing with drummer Janne Karlsson. The duo became quite popular around Europe and released three albums. They had a fullness of sound that duos don’t often achieve and their signature stylings caught the ear of none other than Jimi Hendrix. In 1967 Jimi and Bo recorded numerous songs that have never been released, as well, Jimi recorded one of Hansson’s compositions, 'Tax Free' (which can be found on Bo & Jan’s 'Monument' album). Also, Bo Hansson & Janne Karlsson toured with The Experience after these initial jams. It wasn’t until his first solo excursion, audio interpretations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, that Bo actually got international recognition. He achieved Gold staus in England and Austrailia. His success can partly be attributed to the popularity of Tolkien’s trilogoy at the time, especially with the college crowd. That popularity never stopped as evident by the current film trilogoy, not to mention Glass Hammer’s Lord of the Rings themed 'Journey of the Dunadan' (released 21 years after Bo's). Hansson’s sophomore, 'Magician’s Hat', bore much of the same Middle Earth influence (apparent by the cover alone) of its predecessor but was less sparce. His subsequent recordings held the feel but not the magic of the first two. Bo did not record during most of the '80s and all the '90s due to an incapacitating illness but in the last few years has been performing again with Janne.
Throughout his career Bo was being trashed by music critics who deemed him a step down from Soft Machine and a step left of Deep Purple. But the test of time is the real critic, and Hip-Hop’s power to resurrect wasn’t wasted on Soft Machine or Deep Purple.
Hansson & Karlsson Select Discography:
Swedish Underground - 1967, Polydor
Rex - 1968, Polydor
Man at the Moon - 1968, Polydor
Gold (Compilation) - 1969, Karussell
Monument - 1998, Polydor
Bo Hansson Discography:
Lord of the Rings - 1972, Charisma
Magician’s Hat - 1974, Charisma
Attic Thoughts - 1975, Charisma
Music Inspired by Watership Down - 1977, Charisma
El-Ahraihah - 1977, YTF
Mite I Livet - 1985, Silence
Lord of the Rings (Remixed Version) - 1986