Monday, September 11, 2006

Popmusiikin vuosisata (1968)

Popmusiikin vuosisata ("The Century of Pop Music", Tammi 1968) by Pekka Gronow and Seppo Bruun was probably one the first books in Finnish seriously delving into popular music. In this book Gronow and Bruun chronicle popular musical styles in Finland from the early 20th century to their own days, also giving room to a brief history of Western (read: mostly American) pop music from jazz and blues to rock music. The book provides indispensable info on Finnish 1960s when tango still ruled supreme in domestic pop and any rock bands playing outside Helsinki risked being subjected to physical violence if they refused to play tango, foxtrot and other "old dance music" for the countryside audiences, and Finnish rock in general was only in its infancy; Blues Section (which had just split when the book came out) mentioned as one of the biggest domestic promises. M.A. Numminen and The Sperm are also there as some brief, passing examples of the new "underground music". Of the international bands of its own time The Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan, The Who, Yardbirds, Doors and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention are all briefly introduced or at least namechecked; Pink Floyd and The Velvet Underground being some notable omissions, both bands becoming household names only in the 70s. Alongside black and white photographs, the book also includes some original illustrations from Timo Aarniala, who also provided cover art for Suomen Talvisota 1939-1940's legendary album (not to talk about Aarniala's own underground comics of the time).

Ad for Simo Salminen's single Pornolaulu ("Porno Song"), 1968

Finnish rock fans in the 60s

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