Thor's Hammer (band)

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Thor's Hammer, or Hljómar, was an Icelandic rock band primarily active in the 1960s. Outside of Iceland, they are known among music collectors for their rare releases on Parlophone, sung in English and recorded in London for export. The most famous of these is the 1966 EP Umbarumbamba, regarded as one of the rarest released records in the world[ citation needed ] and known to fetch prices into the thousands of dollars when a copy surfaces. Their style can be described as garage rock, fuzz rock, and freakbeat, with noticeable influences from both The Who and The Beatles.

Iceland island republic in Northern Europe

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Musical ensemble group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Contents

History

Formed in Keflavik in 1963 under the name Hljómar (literally "Chords"), they soon became popular in Iceland at a time when local rock music was a rarity. By the mid-1960s they were recording in London on Parlophone Records for the international market, including the legendary EP Umbarumbamba, now a valuable collector's item. This record was recorded as a tie-in with a movie starring the band also entitled Umbarumbamba, but the film was not a success. [1] From these sessions also came the singles "Once" and "If You Knew". The band even attempted a single entitled "Stay" in the United States on Columbia Records, which was produced by John Simon, known for his work with The Band and Big Brother and the Holding Company's album Cheap Thrills with Janis Joplin.

Columbia Records American record label; currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.

John Simon is an American music producer, composer, writer and performer. Recognized as one of the top record producers in the United States during the late 1960s and the 1970s, Simon produced numerous classic albums that continue to sell more than 50 years later, including The Band’s Music from Big Pink, The Band, and The Last Waltz, Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen, and Child Is Father to the Man by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The Band rock band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, North America, America, Earth

The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group including Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, and Levon Helm. The members of the Band first came together as rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's Toronto, Ontario-based backing group, The Hawks, which they joined one by one between 1958 and 1963.

In 1969 a number of Thor's Hammer members went on to form the prog-flavored band Trúbrot, which recorded four albums until itself splitting in 1973.

Trúbrot were an Icelandic psychedelic/progressive rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Continual interest in the band among collectors of 1960s rock music lead to the 2001 Ace Records compilation album From Keflavik With Love, which collects all of the band's English-language output, including the tracks from Umbarumbamba, "Once", "If You Knew", and "Stay", as well as a number of their Icelandic tracks.

Rúnar Júlíusson died on 5 December 2008 at the age of 63 after going into cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest sudden stop in effective blood flow due to the failure of the heart to contract effectively

Cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of blood flow resulting from the failure of the heart to effectively pump. Symptoms include loss of consciousness and abnormal or absent breathing. Some individuals may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea before cardiac arrest. If not treated within minutes, it typically leads to death.

Thor's Hammer should not be confused with the American metal band Thorr's Hammer, or the Polish NSBM band also named Thor's Hammer. None of the three are related. The group's collected work is featured on the anthology, From Keflavík, With Love, released in 2001 on Big Beat Records.

Thorrs Hammer

Thorr's Hammer was an American-Norwegian death-doom band.

National Socialist black metal, is a political philosophy within black metal music that promotes Nazism or similar ideologies. NSBM artists typically combine neo-Nazi ideology with ethnic European paganism and opposition to "foreign" religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. However, some artists are Satanists or occultists, rather than pagans. NSBM is not seen as a distinct genre, but as a neo-völkisch movement within black metal. According to Mattias Gardell, NSBM musicians see this ideology as "a logical extension of the political and spiritual dissidence inherent in black metal".

<i>From Keflavík, With Love</i> 2001 album

From Keflavík, With Love is a retrospective anthology issued in 2001 by Big Beat Records consisting of twenty songs by Thor's Hammer (Hljómar), a 1960s garage rock and beat group from Iceland who were one of the best-known Icelandic groups during the era. Though they worked with different producers on various labels, Thor's Hammer sound is best-typified by the tough, aggressive fuzz-drenched rockers they recorded in London for Parlophone Records in 1966, such as "I Don't Care," "My Life," "Better Days," and "The Big Beat Country Dance", and "If You Knew". While the lyrics to most of their songs were sung in English, several tracks were recorded in their native Icelandic, such as "Fyrsti Kossinn", "Ef Hún Er Nálægt Mér", and "Ertu Med", which was covered by the Savages on their Live 'n Wild album. Some of the tracks from Thor's Hammer's final period in the late 1960s, such as "Stay", show the group stretching their sound stylistically, augmenting certain arrangements with keyboards and horns. At his time, Thor's Hammer moved into a more eclectic direction, but they broke up in 1969, with several of their members going on to join the progressive rock group, Trubrot.

Band members

Discography

Studio albums
Compilation albums
Singles and EPs

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