Finnish rock followed the common trends during the 50s and...more»
Finnish rock followed the common trends during the 50s and 60s. Usually Finnish rock bands performed covers or hit songs translated into Finnish. Eero Raittinen and his brother Jussi Raittinen are one of the earliest rockers of the 1960s, alongside with groups such as Jormas, Topmost and Ernos. The British band Renegades found their biggest success in the 1960s Finland. Helsinki was the centre of Finnish rock and pop music during this period. Love Records was one of the first domestic record labels dedicated to Finnish rock, even though the label's roster also included jazz and political songs. Suomen Talvisota 1939-1940 represented Finnish underground, and their only album Underground-Rock (1970) is cited as a big influence among many current Finnish music-makers. Other Finnish underground/psychedelic bands of this era were The Sperm, Apollo and the ground-breaking Blues Section, which spawned Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti after its split.
At the beginning of 1970s new artists emerged. Singer-songwriters such as Hector and Juice Leskinen started writing songs in Finnish, combining shades of irony, poetry and introspection with rock sound. Later in the seventies the new wave and punk brought more artists such as Pelle Miljoona, Eppu Normaali and Hassisen kone. Finnish rock had by now become independent. Names such as Dave Lindholm, Tuomari Nurmio and Ismo Alanko continued with their own styles. Tampere became at the turn of 1970s and 80s the most vibrant town in rock culture, spawning "Manserock" as rock music by the town's artists was called.
Hurriganes, fronted by Remu Aaltonen, was one of the most well-known groups in Finland. This 1970s group played hard-hitting, boogie-based simple rock, and their song "Get on" is almost anthemic in Finland. Other seminal groups were Dingo, a pop-rock group idolized by teenagers, and Yö, whose "Joutsenlaulu" remains to the day one of the most played songs in radio and karaoke. Kingston Wall was a cult band of the early 90s, combining psychedelic influences with hard rock, played by power trio and fronted by Petri Walli. J. Karjalainen has also remained popular since the early 1980s.
The earliest Finnish rock bands to gain any notoriety were progressive rock bands like Tasavallan Presidentti and Wigwam. Though for a time they seemed poised to break through in Europe, international fame eluded them. 1980s bands were similarly unable to find an international following, such as Gringos Locos and Havana Black, one exception to this was Hanoi Rocks, a popular glam rock band. They are still the most respected Finnish group abroad. Though the band collapsed on the verge of final international breakthrough, they were the source of inspiration for glam rock bands of 1980s including Guns N' Roses.
Some modern bands who have achieved some mainstream rock success abroad include Leningrad Cowboys, known for performing with the Red Army, Male Choir Shouters, who specialize in national anthems and surf band Laika & the Cosmonauts. Darude scored a hit with "Sandstorm", making his addition to a small number of Finnish electronica artist to hit it big abroad. Jimi Tenor and Pan sonic are also Finnish electronica artists with a loyal cult following.
22-Pistepirkko has had a cult status in Europe, notably in Holland and Germany. The trio's indie-rock incorporates blues and melancholy melodies, with a touch of Tom Waits.
Like much of Scandinavia, Finland's main contribution to modern popular music may be heavy metal and related fields. This style of hard-hitting metal includes bands like Apocalyptica, Impaled Nazarene, Nightwish, The 69 Eyes, Stratovarius, Sentenced, Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom, Amorphis, Ensiferum and Waltari.
The most popular Finnish band abroad is probably HIM,, fronted by Ville Valo. HIM's music has been labeled often as "love metal". HIM and The Rasmus topped album charts in several European countries with their most successful albums. HIM got also a gold record in the USA in 2006. The international success of The Rasmus and HIM during the current decade is wider than any Finnish group has gotten before.
Finland were also the winners of the 2006 Eurovision song contest, with the first heavy metal band to enter the competition, Lordi.
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