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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Rickfors, Mikael - 1976 The Wheel
Rickfors, Mikael - 1976 The Wheel

ARTIST: Rickfors, Mikael
ALBUM: The Wheel
SERIAL: 81631
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE:Year unknown, CBS, CBS 465296 2


LINEUP: Mikael Rickfors - lead & background vocals, guitar * Tom Patrick Salisbury - keyboards, background vocals * Rolf Alex - drums * Peter Sahlin - bass * Janne Schaffer, Lasse Wellander - guitars * Malando Gassma - percussion * Ted Sterling, Agneta Gilstig, Agneta Olsson - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Live Your Life * 02 Any Little Thing * 03 Jealousy * 04 Then There's A Change * 05 I've Got Your Number * 06 Hey, Lady Riches * 07 Ascension Day * 08 Girl, You're Leaving Me * 09 The Next Man * 10 Take A Message To My Baby * 11 The Wheel


In 1972 most people outside Sweden had never heard of singer Mikael Rickfors prior to replacing Allan Clarke in The Hollies and that didn't go as well as hoped. Rickfors recorded two superb albums with the band: 'Romany' and 'On the Road', but sales were slim and a U.S. tour that by all accounts was nothing short of disastrous. A year later Clarke returned to the fold and Rickfors was back in Stockholm working on a solo career that up to the present has spanned eleven albums including 1988's AOR friendly 'Vingar'.

The Songs
Very soulful and very Motown; 'The Wheel' was Rickfors second effort and released only in Sweden those unfamiliar with Mikael and his music can be easily be forgiven believing he's American. Non-accented English vocals with lush strings provided by The Symphony Orchestra of Radio Sweden; album opener 'Live Your Life' is enjoyable rock with a disco backbeat and a killer hook. This is great pop and 'Any Little Thing' and the smooth R&B groove of 'Jealousy' are musical gifts that keep on giving. If in doubt, name dropping Voudouris & Kahne and Australians Stylus might give you a clue to the goodies presented herein and his cover of Johnny Bristol's Motown classic 'I've Got Your Number' is the best version I've heard anywhere. 'Hey, Lady Riches' and the brooding 'Ascension Day' are only topped in quality by the Rufus meets early Commodores 'Girl, You're Leaving Me' and it's fun to wonder what someone like Quincy Jones might have done for Rickfors as the man had a promising and very un-Scandinavian groove on 'The Wheel'; a rare commodity indeed.

In Summary
Rickfors continues to record and tour up and down the frigid expanses of Sweden, still drawing significant crowds. According to his web site he's working on a new disc and though 'The Wheel' and his early albums were released on CD, they almost never turn up for sale anymore.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 17 2011 13:21:17
Not sure about the CD reissue details. Couldn't lock in on any specific CD reissue for this album, though Rickfors has had numerous compilation CD's out, presumably some of these songs will be included.
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