Origin: Gothenburg (Sweden)
|Jimmy Wandroph - Ken Sandin - Toby Tarrach - Tony Borg - Jim Jidhed|
|Toby Tarrach - Jimmy Wandroph - Tony Borg - Jim Jidhed - Ken Sandin|
- ALIEN 1986-1989
Late 1986 Tony Borg decided on the lineup for a new melodic, classic rock band. We recorded two songs; “Headstrong” and “I’ll Survive” at Studio Bohus in Dec 1986. Virgin Scandinavia signed the band and released those two first singles. In the meantime, while touring Scandinavia, we wrote the album. Virgin believed in Alien to appeal to audiences in further territories, and hence rewrote our contract into a worldwide deal! Late 1987, at ABBA’s Polar Studio, we cut three songs with producer Mark Dearnley (AC/DC, Def Leppard). One being “Only One Woman“, which went on to top the charts and sell platinum.
The B-side, “Somewhere Out There“, also got to #1 in the charts, for instrumentals!
Relocated to the renowned Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, with producer Chris Minto (Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Kiss), to record the album. Two songs featured in the 1988 remake of the 50’s Sci-Fi movie “the Blob”; “Feel My Love“, plus “Brave New Love” in the end credits. Back from the US, with “Only One Woman” sky-rocketing the charts, we brought the album on tour, beating box office records, being all over Swedish media! While in London doing promo, we shot cover photos with Simon Fowler, and signed with Steve Barnett /Hard to Handle Management (Gary Moore, AC/DC).
For the international launch Virgin America made a new album cover and some remixes by Duane Baron and John Purdell. Songs were cut out to include the first single with new singer Pete Sandberg, “The Air That I Breathe“/”Now Love“. Pete replaced Jim in the fall of 1988, making his first appearance performing live on Swedish national TV.
New promo and cover photos were shot in LA as well as the video for “Tears Don’t Put Out The Fire“. Director Dough Freel was chosen mainly for his work on the Def Leppard (Hysteria album) videos.
Promotion, TV and a full summer of touring followed in 1989, bringing our biggest production to date on the road. “Tears Don’t Put Out The Fire” was chosen the international single release, although B-sides varied for different territories; “Dreamer” in Scandinavia, “Jaime Remember” in Japan, “Now Love” in Australia etc. A couple more songs written during pre-production for the album were later published on the 1997 ‘Best & Rare’ 2CD collection.
Tony and Pete recorded and released “Shiftin’ Gear” in 1990, ending the Virgin era. In 1992 Tony formed a Stockholm based Alien, lasting for two albums at Eagle Records. After the release of’ ‘Crash’ in 1994, having toured extensively, Tony called it quits. It was about time to put Alien on a long lasting hiatus.
In 2005 Tony and Jim got in touch and agreed to an offer by Frontiers Rec. for an Alien CD. Recording Dark Eyes was hard, though, living far apart, and after just a few shows Alien was put to rest again. Jim and Tony realized that it would take the original lineup to make it sound like Alien.
The original lineup eventually reunited, a handful of festivals were chosen – Sweden Rock (Cruise + Festival), Getaway Rock, Firefest a.o.
A new single, ‘Ready To Fly‘ (Manora Rec), was cut to promote the reunion. It went down great with the crowd and especially the response at the first Firefest performance (2011) made us really consider making this record.
In 2013 the No Remorse/EMI re-issue CD (ltd 1000 copies) of Alien (s/t Scandinavian) reached No.1 in the import album chart in Japan and sold out. EMI Music Sweden released the back catalog, remastered for digi/download. We provided unreleased demos as bonus. ‘Alien – 25th Anniversary‘ 2CD deluxe edition highlighted the celebration of our debut album, selling out as well.
“Shiftin’ Gear +4″ CD (AOR Heaven) bonus tracks shed some light on the fact that the original lineup wrote and pre-produced a sophomore album, before disbanding in late 1989.
Recordings of the new album started Aug 1st at Bohus Sound and continued throughout 2013, taking a break only to perform at the Firefest 10th Anniversary.
We decided to add a song, “I’m a fighter”, written back in the 80’s by our L.A. co-writers Pam Barlow and Janet Morrison Minto, as a homage to our co-work on the debut album. The regained contact with Pam and Janet led to them writing lyrics for this album as well.
Well, here you are, a brand new Alien album – by the original lineup. Hope You’ll like it! -
- Certainly placed within the upper echelons of Scandinavian melodic Rock, ALIEN left an enviable legacy but failed to maintain a stable career, despite chart success. However, the band's impact on the international AOR scene has been so great that the group often indulges in reformations, despite a revolving cast of players. ALIEN was formed in Gothenburg during fall 1986 by guitarist Tony Borg and with original vocalist Hans Gislasson and seem to have undertaken a revolving door policy when it comes to the subject of band membership. ALIEN's line-up for the debut album, self-titled and issued through Virgin in 1988, comprised Jim Jidhed, who replaced Gislasson, ex-DOLCE VITA, E.F. BAND and VIKI VAKI guitarist Tony Borg, bassist Ken Sandin, keyboard player Jimmy Wandroph and drummer Toby Tarrach.
The ALIEN single 'Only One Woman', a cover of a GRAHAM BONNET penned tune, spent six weeks as the Swedish number 1 in 1988. Jidhed departed for a solo career to be replaced by ex-MADISON and VON ROSEN frontman Peter Sandberg.
The band's line-up for 1990's 'Shiftin' Gear' was Borg, Sandberg, keyboard player Bert Andersson and ex-DON PATROL and SNOWSTORM drummer Imre Duan. However, following the album release Richard André was re-recruited on keyboards alongside new members drummer Stefan Ridderstrale and former MADISON, RIFF RAFF and BIG EASY bassist Conny Payne (a.k.a. Conny Sundqvist). Sandberg departed and in his stead came a temporary replacement in Tommy Persson, subsequently of RED FUN.
During 1991 the band was put on ice as Borg concentrated on a solo album, but re-emerged with the eponymous 1993 release. Sandberg became frontman for SNAKECHARMER and subsequently joined BEWARP in addition to pursuing a solo career that has given the man something of a cult following in AOR circles. ALIEN added ex-SHERE KAHN vocalist Daniel Zangger Borch in 1993. The resulting album, strangely another self-titled effort, lost the band some ground due to weak production. Zangger Borch also featured on 1995's heavier 'Crash' album (issued through Megarock Records) and this release saw former TALK OF THE TOWN man Staffan Scharrin playing drums. The band played a select number of shows in support of the record.
Jim Jidhead would later appear in a guest capacity on guitarist TOMMY DENANDER's mammoth RADIOACTIVE 2001 project album 'Ceremony Of Innocence'. 2001 would also witness the emergance of vintage live recordings dating from 1990 featuring Sandberg on the Japanese release 'Live In Stockholm 1990'. Former ALIEN frontman JIM JEDHED issued a 2002 solo album to be produced by TOMMY DENANDER.
ALIEN's fans received a welcome surprise in early 2004 when it was revealed that Tony Borg and JIM JIDHED had agreed on a full blown reunion. Joining the duo would be bass player Bernt Ek and drummer Jan Lundberg for a set of new tracks completed in June. Lyrical contributions came from such diverse sources as Tatiana Oscarsson, daughter of noted Swedish actor Per Oscarsson, and 'Canadian Idol' competitor Scotty Newlands. Jidhed also subsequently put in studio work with AOR project HEARTBREAK RADIO.
Early 2005 saw the unveiling of MINDSPLIT, a Progressive Metal alliance between Conny Payne, SCUDERIO frontman H.B. Anderson and guitarist Mathias Holm. The trio announced plans for an album billed 'Civil Art Of Time', wrapping up recording in late May.
June of 2005 saw ALIEN announcing an album title of 'Dark Eyes' and a signing to Italian label Frontiers Records. -