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Best of Baltimoore
Released: 2001, Lion Music
"Baltimoore is Bjorn Lodin... and musicians chosen by him". That is how the information on Baltimoore begins. Being familiar with Lodin's work with Lars Eric Mattsson I was interested to hear this CD. Over the years I had heard of Baltimoore but had never really heard more than a song or 2 from them and then only in passing. I couldn't even really say what they sounded like so it was with interest that I set out to review this CD. I think a bit of history is in order. Baltimoore was born in 1987 after Lodin's band Ready Steady was dropped from their label and Lodin was offered a solo contract. By his own admission he was more comfortable releasing his music under a band name instead of under his own and that is where Baltimoore comes in. Lodin joined forces with guitarist Thomas Larsson , who he had played with in Six Feet Under (not the death metal outfit) in the early 80s, and together they wrote what would become the album THERE'S NO DANGER ON THE ROOF. This was followed by FREAK in 1990. Lodin then met guitarist Nikolai Kotzov They joined forces and self produced the DOUBLE DENSITY disc which was released in 1992 followed by THOUGHT FOR FOOD in 1994. Lodin's and Kotzov's relationship soured and they parted ways after the release of DOUBLE DENSITY. In 2000 Lodin again teamed with Thomas Larsson to create the CD ORIGINAL SIN. That brings us up to the present. For BEST OF BALTIMOORE Lodin was not satisfied to release the old versions of the songs and re-recorded the best songs off of the bands first four discs.
What the original versions of these songs sounded like I really couldn’t tell you. Like I said I hadn’t really come across Baltimoore before and have only heard Bjorn Lodin with Mattsson so all can do is say what these versions sound like. Firstly, Baltimoore’s style is hard rock which fits Lodin’s bluesy, raspy voice to a T. Trying to pin down Lodin’s sound is hard and after listening to this CD many times, all I can say is that he sounds like a cross between David Coverdale and Jeff Keith of Tesla. There are some great ahead rocking tracks like FULL SPEED AHEAD, TAKE ME TO THE TOP and MY BLUE MOON. There are also some great ballads. Lodin’s voice is particularly suited to these tracks such as MEMORIES CALLING and TRY CHANGE TO BETTER.
For the re-recordings Lodin is joined by original Baltimoore guitarist Thomas Larsson, Ian Haugland (ex Europe): drums, Orjan Fernstrom: organ and Weinze Johansson on bass. One thing I have to say, the Cd artwork is boring and bland. It seems to be a picture just chosen at random. The music is anything but boring. The Cd could have done with a couple of more up tempo songs as it tends to be stuck in the middle gears but Lodin has delivered a package of high quality hard rock.
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