Saturday, February 7, 2015

Combination - 1977 - Relax By Combination

Relax By Combination

01. Grey Turns Green   
02. Meeting My Love
03. Eagle   
04. The Ring Of Days   
05. See The Little Girl   
06. You Don't Know   
07. Gorgeous Grace   
08. King Song   
09. Last Viking Man   
10. Laid Out, Carried Away & Brought Back

Johnny Gustafson: Vocals, Drums
Masi Mattson: Vocals
Hasse Ahlstrand: Vocals
Jukka Tolonen: Guitar
Ipe Murtijarvi: Guitar
Bert Karlsson: Guitar
Heikki Virtanen: Bass
Jakke Leivo: Bass
Eero Munter: Bass
Bill Carsons: Drums
Hessu Hietanen: Keyboards
Esa Nieminen: Keyboards
Kyosti Laihi: Keyboards

So I was wrong about the best Finnish album of 1977. Deeds and Talks by Kaamos is good, but another album by some of the same musicians, Relax by Combination, is even better. Especially the side A is amazing: how could something like this be as unknown as it remains? "Grey Turns Green" is a beautiful, well made opening track, "Meeting My Love" contains a reggae style accompaniment, though the song itself is anything but an authentic reggae song; but it sounds nice anyway. "Eagle" is slightly less exciting, while "The Ring of Days" goes more country rock in the style of America. At this point it is clear that the album is good but a really excellent track is still missing. It appears in the shape of "See the Little Girl." The five-minute epic shows that Combination could be a progressive pop/rock band as well. The style is close to Procol Harum, or not very far away from Barclay James Harvest.

The side B is not that brilliant, but still, it contains two more fine songs: "Gorgeous Grace" and the closing track "Laid Out, Carried Away & Brought Back." "Last Viking Man" has good sides to it but doesn't work like it possibly could. "You Don't Know" is the only track that sounds a little invalid. But with or without it, in my opinion Relax belongs to Top 10 of the 1970s in Finland. That says more than it might seem to someone who doesn't know the Finnish '70s scene.