Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mauno Paajanen

Mauno Paajanen
Psyko - Kaikki levytykset 1977-1980 (2-CD)
Rocket Records
24 Oct 2007

Poste Restante (Titan 1978)
01. Kasikympin lätkä
02. Yamaha ja Havanna
03. Siirry vähän James
04. Kadun väärällä puolella
05. He veivät lapset pois
06. Kaikki kulkee niin hiljaa
07. Poste restante
08. Aito suomalainen ranskatar
09. Patakuningatar
10. Bonnie & Clyde
11. Tyttö pieni (pelkäätkö mua?)
12. Haavelintu

Psyko (Silver Blue 1979)
01. Omena
02. Missä Liisa on?
03. Mrs. Brook
04. Yksin
05. Kundi meikkaa
06. Claudia Cardinale
07. Billyn lähtö
08. Nauruihminen
09. Puuttuva rengas
10. Alfa, Romeo
11. Anne
12. Vain tuskaako tein?
13. Omena
'Yläkerran psyko' 7" (JP-Musiikki 1980)
14. Yläkerran psyko
15. Hait tyttöjä syö
Unreleased tracks (1980)
16. Fahrenheit 451
17. Sähköinen soturi
18. Avoin ovi

Mauno Paajanen (b. 1960), also known as Twiggy Oliver, is a Finnish artist known as the writer of the song 'Kundi meikkaa' ("A guy makes up") that was later famously covered by the synthpop act Organ (who will have their comeback gig at Avanto 2007 Festival). Now Tampere's Rocket Records has released a 30-track retrospective 2-CD of Paajanen, called Psyko - Kaikki levytykset 1977-1980, which includes in their entirety Paajanen's LPs Poste Restante (1978) and Psyko (1979), also the single 'Yläkerran Psyko' ("Upstairs psycho") and some previously unreleased tracks from 1979-80. Furthermore, Rocket Records is going to release the CD I Can't Sleep In Hell (ROK-005, late '07) of Paajanen/Twiggy Oliver's other project provocatively named The Voice of Mengele, who finished this debut LP of theirs in summer 1987, though the album was eventually shelved except for one promo single from it. Alongside Paajanen, the band's line-up featured among all Antti Reini, Jesu Hämäläinen, Måns Kullman, Ilkka Rantamäki, Frej Stenfors and Vesa Häkli. Also a Twiggy Oliver solo album is promised by Rocket Records for 2008.

Finnish Wikipedia tells that Paajanen's recording career was started in 1976 when as a member of a band called Claudie three of their tracks were released on a various artists compilation Fireball. In 1977 Paajanen released his first solo single, '80 lätkä'/'Poste Restante', and his debut album Poste Restante was to follow on the Fonovox sublabel Titan in 1978. Paajanen's second album, the 1979 Psyko for Silver Blue label, gained a cult reputation, having 'Kundi meikkaa' as one of its tracks. 1980 saw the single 'Yläkerran psyko'/'Hait tyttöjä syö' ("Sharks eat girls") which received little attention, so it took years before Mauno Paajanen would record under his own name again. In 1986 Kaktus label released a compilation record Aito suomalainen ranskatar ("A genuine Finnish Frenchwoman") featuring tracks from his two albums and the 7" track 'Hait tyttöjä syö'. There were also some promo singles in 2003 and 2005, respectively called 'Musta kuu'("Black moon") and 'Sokea mies ruusun toi' ("A blind man brought a rose"). Paajanen has penned songs for such Finnish artists as Tulip, Maria Hänninen, Tarja Merivirta, Esa Saarinen (better known as a philosopher and celebrity), Frederik, Outi Popp and Tin Janine.

Mauno Paajanen's other incarnation as Twiggy Oliver represented Finnish new wave/New Romantic synth pop of the early 80s, releasing on Q label the singles 'Play With Fire' ('81) and 'Pick Up Girls' ('82), and being featured on the 1983 compilation The Art of Breeding (tracklist at pHinnWeb Early Years: Synthpop).

Update: I just purchased this 2-CD, and musically it's Suomirock-style guitar pop with some occasional electronic flavour (Moog synth) on Psyko; Poste Restante also features some well-known studio musicians and even occasional string arrangements. Paajanen's vocals and lyrical approach (with tragicomic, bittersweet and even morbid song subjects combining dark romance and everyday kitchen sink realism, often described with a certain charming naivistic style) make me think of such names as the late Gösta Sundqvist of Leevi and the Leevings, Kari Peitsamo (and Peitsamo's "son"/musical heir apparent, Risto) or even Kauko Röyhkä. David Bowie influences are apparent all the way through, though Paajanen clearly developed an original style, which came into fruition on Psyko. Perhaps Finnish audiences of the day weren't exactly ready for Paajanen's twisted vision, so here's hoping this release will find the artist vindicated.


  • Mauno Paajanen @ MySpace
  • 'Kundi meikkaa' & other Paajanen tracks @ Rocket Records MySpace site

    Links (in Finnish):

  • Mauno Paajanen thread @ Pop-lehti
  • The Voice of Mengele album info @ Rocket Records MySpace site
  • Mauno Paajanen @ YLE Äänilevystö
  • Mauno Paajanen @ Finnish Wikipedia
  • The Voice of Mengele @ Finnish Wikipedia

    Bonus Video:

    Bela Lugosi club @ YLE Elävä Arkisto
  • 1 comment:

    Juri said...

    Tulip! Suomen Madonna! Eikös hän ollut Euroviisu-karsinnoissa?

    Er... I was just reminiscing Tulip that pHinn mentioned - I seem to remember someone called her "the Finnish Madonna" and that she was in the Eurovision national precontest (or whatever that thing is called, the Eurovisions never being one of my strong points).