San Michael's - Nattåg. 1972 Sweden

San Michael's - Nattåg. 2009 Transubstans; 2009 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP). Archival recording from 1972.

Honestly I wasn't too impressed with the sole LP from San Michael's (also reissued in 2009 by Transubstans). But this archival recording of their second album from 1972 shows considerable improvement. Here the arrangements are more sophisticated, the instruments (especially the Hammond organ, electric guitar, bass, flute, and horn section) are allowed more latitude, and the album is definitely geared towards the burgeoning progressive rock movement, rather than the bubblegum orientation of their California label album. Of course, it should come as no surprise to us, since San Michael's is the root system for none other than Kaipa - who themselves later spawned The Flower Kings (which begat Kaipa's own reunion, and is still active as I write this). And while San Michael's clearly hadn't shed its pop orientation, most of these short tracks are still quite complex in their own right.

The reason the album wasn't released in its day was due to the bankruptcy of the California label, and the unwillingness of any other label (major or minor) to sign them. They were about 2 years ahead of their time for Swedish audiences, but no doubt a band as majestic as Trettioariga Kriget would have lent an ear to this group while touring throughout the land.

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