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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Roxan - 1983 Roxan
Roxan - 1983 Roxan

ARTIST: Roxan (Sweden)
ALBUM: Roxan
LABEL: Marianne Records
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: David 'Geordie' Garriock - vocals * Jim Custance - guitars * Roberto Johanson - keyboards * Chris Paulsen - bass * Paul Callaby - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wish * 02 You Don't Belong * 03 Maureen * 04 Don't Give Your Love Away * 05 Give It Up * 06 You * 07 Get Off My Back * 08 Answer Man * 09 Who's The Fool * 10 God Only Knows * 11 1945

Though the history of this Swedish based band is relatively short, it is the history prior to their formation that is intriguing. You see, the band are a league of nations of sorts. Part British, part Danish, with an eye for opportunity in Scandinavia. Singer David Garriock is the key to the puzzle. A founding member of the British sixties band Red Squares, David, nicknamed 'Geordie' (for obvious reasons, being from that part of the world) took the band from the UK, over to Denmark during the mid-late sixties, where they became household names. The band were booted out after a while, due to work permit problems. During the seventies, Geordie lived in Sweden, releasing an album 'They Call Me Geordie' plus four singles. He returned to Denmark, and formed the band Squares, and then at the turn of the decade, formed Roxan. At that point, the band contained Rob Seals on guitar, Jorgen Thorup on keyboards, along with Garriock, Paulsen and Callaby. Roxan also released the single '100 MPH' through the Sonet label ('God Only Knows' was the B side). It wasn't until 1983 that their first full-blown record was released, but two changes had occurred, Custance and Johanson replacing the two incumbents Seals and Thorup. The Roxan album is a damn fine slice of AOR, nothing compared to Garriocks earlier material. They do sound decidedly British in places, but the album is chock full of keyboards and mid-eighties pomp a la Charlie, German AOR/pomp band Lake, MPG and Thrills. In fact, some of you who have heard Slade's eighties melodic rock efforts might find some value here too, considering the distinctiveness of Garriock's 'pommie' vocals.

The Songs
The album starts off in a very laid back fashion. 'Wish' is so cruisy I thought we were heading into west coast territory. By track two, the band start picking up the pace with 'You Don't Belong', the strident beat and the wickedly good vocal harmonies on the chorus an absolute standout. Despite the title, 'Maureen' is an album highlight, the crisp drum sound, stabbing pianos and urgent musical delivery all equate to primo AOR. More restrained, but highlighting their pomp side is 'Don't Give Your Love Away', a cross between Charlie and Grand Prix, the vocal harmonies again to the fore. Roxan show their hard-rock tendencies on 'Give It Up', harking back to Def Leppard's 'High An Dry' era, but that all changes on 'You', this time throwing all the attention on the keyboard player, who provides an array of interesting sounds in the vein of Lake and Toto. 'Get Of My Back' is more powerful pomp rock in the vein of early Grand Prix while 'Answer Man' is back to the heavy handiwork on piano provided by Johanson. 'Whos The Fool' is a good example of their brand of undercover lover AOR. It is followed by a reissue of their previous B-side 'God Only Knows'. Ending the album is the war-theme song '1945'.. where Geordie proclaims 'the war was won..'. But was it?

In Summary
Roxan's fortunes did not last long, and for a while Garriock completely opted out of the music scene altogether following his divorce. However, all it took to get him back in the fray was a reunion of Red Squares. From all appearances it would seem that the band are still are going concern, amazing stuff after forty years of music. However, for pomp fans, a serious dig at trying to track down this Roxan gem is of more immediate concern!

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