The early 1960's was the dawn of the Finnish guitar band.
Despite this notion of a pioneering era, the period can be regarded as
a golden age of Finnish pop music.
Many bands, both Finnish and foreign, toured frequently throughout the country. Of course, the Finnish music scene has developed tremendously since those times, but in the early 60's both artists and audience seemed to be more enthusiastic, and this enthusiasm has marked the music made at that time. The whole spirit was quite straightforward and pretty much Rock'n'Roll influenced. This is the reason why these albums are titled Finnrock. - Antti Einio, November 1st, 1970. (Presenting the Finnrock albums)
In 1970 there were two Finnrock albums released. Production was handled by Antti Einio and Harry Orvomaa. All studio work was done at the Scandia Studios, in the basement of the Kulttuuritalo ("Culture House") in Helsinki. Jouko Ahera was the engineer.
These Finnrock 1 and Finnrock 2 albums compiled some of the most important recordings of the 60's guitar music. This present double-album is a sort of reissue, compiling the contents of those two earlier Finnrock albums. However, there have been some changes made. Of the artists appearing on this double-album, Danny and Kirka are still very much part of the music business. Thus, each of their careers has lasted some fifteen years.
Danny & The Islanders were from Lauttasaari (a region of Helsinki). Their breakthrough came with the song "East Virginia." Although the Islanders' line-up has gone through several changes, which seems to be a common characteristic of Finnish bands, they still had a prominent influence on the Finnish music scene. Indeed, there is good reason for calling The Islanders the 'technical school' of many top Finnish musicians.
Nowadays both Johnny and Ann Christine are no longer involved with the music business. These two performers were among the most popular music stars in the 60's. They both have an impressive list of hit records to their credit. Ann Christine's musical backing was provided by such popular groups as the Islanders and the Renegades.
Johnny & The Sounds were one of the top guitar bands of the 60's. They gave many traditional songs a modern, youthful arrangement by the Sounds, guaranteeing good record sales. 'The Hounds' was a pseudonym used by The Sounds when they were in the middle of record company negotations. Their old contract was still valid, but their new record company wanted material too. The only solution was to use a pseudonym. Despite their long name, Jonny & Peter & The Sounds were none other than the basic, familiar Sounds line-up. Peter Ekman was their bass-player.
The Renegades were a hugely successful band from Birmingham, England. In Finland, they were seen as torchbearers for the whole Beatles era. Their blend of melodic Merseybeat and rock'n'roll was a winning combinatin with the Finnish kids, and later on the Germans and Italians too. The Renegades' best known hit is "Cadillac," but they are also remembered for such tunes as "Thirteen Women," "Matelot," "Seven Daffodils" and "Un Giorno Tu Mi Cercherai."
The Victors were a four-piece combo from Turku, and were discovered when they appeared on Nuorten Tanssihetki ("Youth's Dance Moment"), a popular TV program at the time. They recorded a couple of singles. Behind the moniker of Sam Coast & The Monsters hide some of the period's best-known studio musicians. Sam Coast himself is better known as Seppo Rannikko. The Needles were a band from Helsinki and their line-up featured such guitarists as Eero Lupari and Nono Soderberg. Their vocalist was Rolf Aschan.
Antti 'Andy' Einio has moved from on stage to backstage and nowadays he heads a successful booking agency. So he hasn't lost his touch with show business. Andy's career began at a pop concert held at the Kultturitalo in 1964 where, prompted by audience requests, he stormed through "Farmer John" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy". Andy's musical career consists of three singles and three summer tours.
Soulset was a band formed by seasoned professional musicians. Their popularity was at its hieght at the time when soul music, as practiced by Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and others, made its appearance in Finland in the late 1960's. Soulset's line-up featured such musicians as Harri Saksala, Paroni Paakkunainen, Edward Vesala, Juhani Aaltonen and Ilpo Saastamoinen.
Translate by Marko Niskapohja