Hljómar (1967) by Hljómar
Hljómar (“Chords”, but they used the name Thor’s Hammer for the international market) was a band from Keflavík. Keflavík (“Driftwood Bay”) is a town in the Reykjanes region in southwest Iceland. In 1995 it merged with Njarðvík and Hafnir to form Reykjanesbær. A lot of great bands come and came from this area. Maybe because people were able to listen to the Rock ‘n Roll music of the US Navy Radio Station of the military base and airport just outside town. Hljómar are often called “the Beatles from Keflavík”.
The self-educated guitarist Gunnar Þórðarson, who played at first with some older guys in a band, engaged his friend Rúnar Júlíusson to play bass (for the first time) in a new band in October 1963. Hljómar started to play the latest Beatles songs with a lot of success. The Beatlemania reached Iceland in 1964, so the band (and others too) could perform and tour around the island. Band members came and went, but the only 2 always on stage were Gunnar and Rúnar.
Engilbert Jensen took the place of drummer Pétur Östlund in March 1967.
The Classic Icelandic Album “Hljómar” was released on 7. November 1967 on the SG-hljómplötur Label (SG-013).
This LP was recorded in Stereo at the Chappell Recording Studios at London with the kind support of Tony Russell.
Cover Art was made by Hilmar Helgason, although the photographs were taken by Kristján Magnússon.
About 5000 copies were sold. It was considered as the best album of 1967.
Album contains 12 songs:
7 covers (with Icelandic lyrics by Ómar Ragnarsson) and 5 original Hljómar songs. Of which 3 songs were by Gunnar Þórðarson with lyrics by Ólafur Gaukur or Þórsteinn Eggertsson; 1 by Rúnar Gunnarsson with the lyrics by Þórsteinn Eggertsson (“Peningar”), and 1 by Þórir Baldursson with the lyrics by Þórsteinn Eggertsson (“Miðsumarnótt”).
Band Members on the album were:
Gunnar Þórðarson on solo guitar, Rúnar Júlíusson on bass, vocals and backing vocals, Erlingur Björnsson on rhytm guitar and backing vocals, Engilbert Jensen on drums, vocals and backing vocals.
Hljómar disbanded in 1969 when Rúnar, Gunnar and Shady Owens formed super-group Trúbrot, which went on to produce more progressive music than Hljómar ever did.
1. Heyrðu Mig Góða
2. Sveitapiltsins Draumur (John & Michelle Phillips “California Dreamin'” (The Mamas & The Papas))
4. Hringdu (Tony Hatch “Call me”)
5. Þú og ég
6. Æsandi Fögur (Buddy Kaye, Beatrice Verdi, E. Ginn “Little by Little” (for Dusty Springfield))
2. Þú Ein (Felice & Boudleaux Bryant “Love hurts” (Everly Brothers)
3. Einn á Ferð (John Lennon & Paul McCartney “Nowhere Man”)
5. Um Hvað Hugsar Einmana Snót (John Sebastian “Rain on the Roof” (Lovin’ Spoonful))
6. Gef Mér Síðasta Dans (Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman “Save the last dance for me”)