Norway - Full Moon 101 - 12/26/04
The Aller Værste!
Disniland i de tusen hjem
I must be getting old. All right, it might be 25 years since the release of London
Calling by the Clash (or Pink Floyd's The Wall for that matter), but it's even harder
to admit the passing of time since the original vinyl edition of Disniland I De Tusen
Hjem hit the streets. It was one day in May 1981, after my final exam that term. A day
and a half later, I was heading for the south of Europe and the Mediterranean for the
very first time. But first one was obliged to invest in a couple of indispensable albums.
The Aller Værste! (often shortened TAV! - meaning 'the very worst', with a twist) was
established a year and a half earlier. They released one 7" single, one 7" EP and
an LP during 1980 while gaining quite a reputation as a great live band. They were
among the very first in Norway to pick up the threads from British punk, new wave
and ska and to make it work in a Norwegian context. The debut album Materialtretthet
was the first independent rock album to - eventually - gain recognition beyond a smaller
alternative congregation. And it stands firm even today.
Disniland I De Tusen Hjem was the difficult second album. In fact it's only half an album.
Side one included eight new songs, much in the same vein as the former LP: short songs to
the point. The shortest only lasts 1:05. The inspiration from Elvis Costello, The Specials
and even The Clash is still there. But the lyrics are in Norwegian, written by sincere and
radical young men. They work better here than earlier. Luckily they are not always dead
serious, a little twinkle in the eye here and there. The title of the album, meaning
'Disniland in the thousand homes', probably has to do with American culture overwhelming
Norwegian society. And we didn't even have any MacDonald's outlets at the time! The title
is more up to date now than ever. There's quite a bit of youthful anxiety involved too.
And the hippie generation is criticised for being soft and not fulfilling their revolutionary
ideas. But still the band has to admit the fascination for big strong ladies and ladies
in the solarium. Side two is a live in the studio recording where friends and fans had
been invited along. It includes some live favourites, most notably a rendition of Fleetwood
Mac's "Albatross" in ska disguise and "Spisse Sko", about a fella who's very proud of his
TAV! went on a legendary tour of Poland in the summer 1981 along with the two other all
time greatest Norwegian new wave bands. The climax of the tour was a chaotic gig at a
Solidarnosc gathering at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk. I only saw them one last time
in the early autumn of 1981 with a new drummer. At one point their band bus wrecked.
They released one final single, and that was about it.
Materialtretthet will always be a cornerstone in Norwegian independent rock history.
It was finally released on CD early in 2004. In my opinion - in retrospect
- Disniland I De Tusen Hjem ought to be even higher valued. It includes some
great songs, better lyrics and is not as politically correct as the debut album.
The only disappointment with the new CD reissue is the bonus tracks. They're taken
from TAV!'s first two 7" records. Five of the six songs have been issued on CD earlier.
The hidden live version of ABBA's "SOS", only available on the second edition of the
debut single, is not included, neither is the rare last single "Hakk". And there should
be plenty other live recordings in the vaults.
Anyways, for those who have worn out the vinyl album or never owned a copy, this CD is
as indispensable as the original LP was to me in May 1981.
Copyright © 2004 JP