Trying to sound as if rock & roll had never existed, Bo Kaspers Orkester managed to become one of the best-selling Swedish bands of the '90s.
They were formed in 1991 and took parts of the name from front figure Bo Sundström. In 1993 they released Söndag i Sängen, which mixed of pop and jazz influences, with heavy lounge tendencies. Easy listening was soon to have a half-ironic revival, and though Bo Kaspers Orkester was associated to this trend, their music was more jazzy, not ironic, and the lyrics were far too narrative (and good) to be called easy listening. On the debut album, contributions (as well as samplings) from various jazz musicians can be heard. One of them, saxophone player Per Johansson, was to collaborate with the band at many instances in the future. Steady members were drummer Fredrik Dahl, bass player Michael Malmgren, keyboard player Mats Asplén, and guitarist Lars Halapi, also known for playing with and producing Sophie Zelmani. The band did not sound like any other bands at that time and also got a good push through radio and being the orchestra of a popular TV show. The first audience Bo Kaspers managed to get a foothold of was college and university students, but with gold-selling På Hotell, which was a bit less retro, they started to reach a wider audience. With Amerika, the band did include more elements of easy listening, but the lyrics were still witty and often provided an effective contrast to the music. A little ironic since the album was inspired by easy listening, the album is probably Bo Kaspers' least accessible. They were now well-known and drew big crowds when touring. But it was first with I Centrum that they had really big hit, now being a quartet since Halapi had quit. I Centrum was a more poppy record than the previous and won the band a Swedish Grammy award for Best Artist, after being nominated in four categories. And since Grammy awards are tightly connected with the commercial potential, not surprisingly, this album sold more than any of the group's other albums had done. ~ Lars Lovén, Rovi