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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » License - 1983 Inga Granser
License - 1983 Inga Granser

ARTIST: License
ALBUM: Inga Granser
LABEL: Leon Music
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Bjorn Strom - vocals * Jana Persson - guitars * Thomas Axelsson - bass * Per Nyberg - guitars * Claes Johansson - keyboards, piano * Par Gustafsson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ingen Som Du * 02 Du Och Jag * 03 Dina Ogon * 04 Lever For Fort * 05 Lurad * 06 Ingen Dans * 07 Inga Granser * 08 Oberkvam * 09 En Hogre Vision * 10 Gamla Tider * 11 Utan Sang

Here's a generally unheralded AOR classic that I've been meaning to review for a considerable period, but due to the dearth of information out there it's been generally impossible! Nevertheless a tad bit of detail recently showed up, giving an opportunity to highlight a spectacular piece of West Coast flavored melodic rock. License were a Swedish act who released a pair of albums in the early 80's and I'll be buggered if I can remember how I came to own this album, but needless to say it went unheard for years. Upon giving it a chance some months ago it immediately resonated with me on Greg Guidry like levels, AOR of the highest order and something that should be checked out without haste. This was their second and last album, their first being 1981's 'Hogt Spel'.

The Songs
The music is what matters and this is a feast from start to finish. If you're of the West Coast persuasion this should be compulsory listening. They take in a variety of styles along the way, with the vocals in Swedish which does nothing to detract from the experience. Every track is brilliant, starting with opening cut 'Ingen Som Du' which is a relatively lightweight piece of AOR, but all the elements are in place including the first of many top notch guitar solos. 'Du och Jag' gives the likes of Nielsen Pearson a run for their money with some highly dramatic melody lines which are top of the line. Every track does however and pushing excitement to the limit is 'Lever for Fort', which according to my playlist count has been listened to 36 times. Here License combine extreme funk and AOR, with some pulsating synths blaring in the background. It really needs to be heard, especially in the final minute when some almost metal riffs take hold, adding another layer to a classic track. This is as accomplished as anything by the U.S. AOR greats of 1983. 'Lurad' reminds me of a Bobby Caldwell track musically rather than vocally, the guitar work quite stunning. The title track borders on hard rock, just a stunning piece of songwriting overall where every melodic trick under the sun is thrown into the fray. Amazingly even better is the Airplay influenced 'Gamla tider' where the guitar solo puts even Jay Graydon into the shade for a few minutes. If you've never heard this you'll be wondering where it's been your whole life. It's West Coast from the heavens in my opinion. Ending the album is instrumental 'Utan sang' where the guitars and synths are on overload. This is the kind of track that bands like State Cows copy so well, only this is the real thing and it's a reminder of how great this type of music once was.

In Summary
This album might still be out there somewhere and really it should be obtained in any shape or form. I've always been a little skeptical of Scandinavian AOR, but this one is highly recommended and a necessity for the AOR purist. Offshoot bands of License upon disbanding were Fingerprints and West Of Sunset, both of whom I'm unfamiliar with. All that stands is to obtain the debut, which by the looks is destined to be a challenge..

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This article has been tagged
Tags: License 
#1 | gdazegod on September 29 2014 04:06:49
The debut 'Hogt Spel' (originally released in 1981 on Signatur Records) has been reissued in 2010 by Swedish label Zink Music. Should be easy to pick up now.
#2 | kim_hp on September 29 2014 08:11:26
Talk about osbcure. I'm Swedish, and even I haven't heard of this! Maybe I should keep an extra eye next time I flip through the LP's at one of those second hand stores...
#3 | kim_hp on September 29 2014 08:14:15
Here's the titles translated

1. No One Like You 2. You And Me 3. Your Eyes 4. Living Too Fast 5. Fooled 6. No Dance 7. No Boundaries 8. Uncomfortable 9. A Higher Vision 10. Old Times 11. Without Vocals
#4 | AOR Lee on October 12 2014 10:35:00
Good to see some more Euro AOR get some spotlight here at gdm. I'll be checking this out
#5 | kim_hp on February 11 2015 21:15:12
Finally heard this album now, and it's indeed a cracker.
I don't even mind the CCM based lyrics which are very lightweight compared to some of the US acts from the era. Great, great album indeed and a must hear for anyone into the acts mentioned above.
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