Frank Robson Robson

LP

19  15 

incl. 24% VAT

Black vinyl, limited to 300 copies. Originally released on Blue Master in 1974, now officially reissued on vinyl for the first time.

As the short but winding road of Blues Section reached its terminus in the summer of 1968, the vocalist of the groundbreaking Finnish blues rock team relocated to his native UK where he had been born 22 years earlier in Bradford-on-Avon. However, Frank Robson was to return shortly as he was summoned to join guitarist Jukka Tolonen, saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, bass player Måns Groundstroem and drummer Vesa Aaltonen in the ranks of highly tipped new group Tasavallan Presidentti.

The year was 1969 and the band would release the single Time Alone with You/Obsolete Machine concurrently with debut album Tasavallan Presidentti I just in time for Christmas. Built mainly on compositions by Robson, Tolonen and Groundstroem, the jazz-tinged disc was received very favourably by the media where the quintet, consisting of well-travelled top Finnish musicians, was immediately hailed as something of a supergroup and a prime local representative of the exciting progressive rock scene emerging all over Europe.

”Coming up simultaneously with Wigwam worked well for both parties”, says Robson now, half a century after the fact. ”We were all friends but our amicable rivalry added a nice edge to the action. Somehow the bands also seemed to complement one another well. Wigwam’s beginnings were a tad more melodic and not so musician-oriented whereas we were straight up prog rock. We listened to albums by King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and others. On the whole Finland was surprisingly ready to take the leap and embrace prog. When we toured Sweden in the fall of 1970 I was hard-presed to find a similar scene there.”

Frank stayed with the ensemble through another two very influential albums (Pekka Streng’s Magneettimiehen kuolema, 1970 and Tasavallan Presidentti II, 1971) up until March 1972 when he was unceremoniously sacked right before Tasavallan Presidentti’s awaited spring tour of the British Isles. Apart from his recorded ”Pressa” legacy, the man left a lasting impression on music fans and critics alike with live performances where he fronted the band at e.g. the first two Ruisrock festivals in Turku.

Upon his exit from Tasavallan Presidentti, the singer, songwriter and pianist returned to his native shores. But Robson was to come back and try his hand at founding a band in Helsinki. In effect, after joining saxophonist Seppo ”Paroni” Paakkunainen and others in recording the single Mr. Madman/I Bring You Spring in 1973, this plan came to life as sessions for his bebut solo album started in April 1974. Consisting entirely of the man’s original material, Robson was released later in the year followed by a handful of live shows after which the line-up folded.

”I was pretty much allowed to make the album my own way without pressure from the label. And it must be highlighted that the one person mainly responsible for me being accepted by the Finnish scene in the first place played an important role in the proceedings. I am of course talking about Paroni. I love the punch of a tight horn section in soul music and without his know-how the album’s arrangements in that area wouldn’t have been as accomplished.”

A favourable review of the disc in Musa, the leading Finnish music magazine of the time, voiced something significant by wondering why Robson was still so underrrated and almost shunned upon. Eminent critic Waldemar Wallenius went on to commend the man for having such an identifiable style as a singer and songwriter. Another high point of the ”4 stars out of 5” appraisal was an astute parallel to Stevie Winwood.

”I remember that article and meeting with the writer sometime later somewhere. It always feels nice to get good reviews even though the bad ones usually have more impact: They challenge the artist to re-evaluate their expression. But it is always important to stay positive, whatever life throws at you. Even though I have faced my share – and then some – of hardships throughout the years I have tried to learn from my mistakes, keep an open mind, learn new things and always look for new sources of inspiration.

Sky Deep

What Did You Do About It

House Without A Name

Jenny

Fantasy Opens

I Bring You Spring

Ticket Train

After The Party

Frank Robson Robson

LP (clear)

20 

incl. 24% VAT

Clear vinyl, limited to 200 copies. Originally released on Blue Master in 1974, now officially reissued on vinyl for the first time.

As the short but winding road of Blues Section reached its terminus in the summer of 1968, the vocalist of the groundbreaking Finnish blues rock team relocated to his native UK where he had been born 22 years earlier in Bradford-on-Avon. However, Frank Robson was to return shortly as he was summoned to join guitarist Jukka Tolonen, saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, bass player Måns Groundstroem and drummer Vesa Aaltonen in the ranks of highly tipped new group Tasavallan Presidentti.

The year was 1969 and the band would release the single Time Alone with You/Obsolete Machine concurrently with debut album Tasavallan Presidentti I just in time for Christmas. Built mainly on compositions by Robson, Tolonen and Groundstroem, the jazz-tinged disc was received very favourably by the media where the quintet, consisting of well-travelled top Finnish musicians, was immediately hailed as something of a supergroup and a prime local representative of the exciting progressive rock scene emerging all over Europe.

”Coming up simultaneously with Wigwam worked well for both parties”, says Robson now, half a century after the fact. ”We were all friends but our amicable rivalry added a nice edge to the action. Somehow the bands also seemed to complement one another well. Wigwam’s beginnings were a tad more melodic and not so musician-oriented whereas we were straight up prog rock. We listened to albums by King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and others. On the whole Finland was surprisingly ready to take the leap and embrace prog. When we toured Sweden in the fall of 1970 I was hard-presed to find a similar scene there.”

Frank stayed with the ensemble through another two very influential albums (Pekka Streng’s Magneettimiehen kuolema, 1970 and Tasavallan Presidentti II, 1971) up until March 1972 when he was unceremoniously sacked right before Tasavallan Presidentti’s awaited spring tour of the British Isles. Apart from his recorded ”Pressa” legacy, the man left a lasting impression on music fans and critics alike with live performances where he fronted the band at e.g. the first two Ruisrock festivals in Turku.

Upon his exit from Tasavallan Presidentti, the singer, songwriter and pianist returned to his native shores. But Robson was to come back and try his hand at founding a band in Helsinki. In effect, after joining saxophonist Seppo ”Paroni” Paakkunainen and others in recording the single Mr. Madman/I Bring You Spring in 1973, this plan came to life as sessions for his bebut solo album started in April 1974. Consisting entirely of the man’s original material, Robson was released later in the year followed by a handful of live shows after which the line-up folded.

”I was pretty much allowed to make the album my own way without pressure from the label. And it must be highlighted that the one person mainly responsible for me being accepted by the Finnish scene in the first place played an important role in the proceedings. I am of course talking about Paroni. I love the punch of a tight horn section in soul music and without his know-how the album’s arrangements in that area wouldn’t have been as accomplished.”

A favourable review of the disc in Musa, the leading Finnish music magazine of the time, voiced something significant by wondering why Robson was still so underrrated and almost shunned upon. Eminent critic Waldemar Wallenius went on to commend the man for having such an identifiable style as a singer and songwriter. Another high point of the ”4 stars out of 5” appraisal was an astute parallel to Stevie Winwood.

”I remember that article and meeting with the writer sometime later somewhere. It always feels nice to get good reviews even though the bad ones usually have more impact: They challenge the artist to re-evaluate their expression. But it is always important to stay positive, whatever life throws at you. Even though I have faced my share – and then some – of hardships throughout the years I have tried to learn from my mistakes, keep an open mind, learn new things and always look for new sources of inspiration.

Sky Deep

What Did You Do About It

House Without A Name

Jenny

Fantasy Opens

I Bring You Spring

Ticket Train

After The Party