Gasolin' (& Kim Larsen) Bookmark and Share


Kim Larsen (October 23, 1945)

Inspired by The Beatles and rock and roll, Larsen began as a songwriter and guitarist. In 1969 he met Franz Beckerlee and Wili Jønsson, and the three founded Gasolin' which, later joined by drummer Søren Berlev. The band originated in Sofiegården in freetown Christianshavn in the slipstream of the Danish 68 protest movement.  In 1970 Gasolin' released their first single "Silky Sally." It was followed by "Child of Institution" and "Johnny The Jackpot." These three singles were sung in English and flopped. Their debut album and all subsequent albums had Danish lyrics and were a success. Although they would occasionally still sing in English, Danish proved to be the language where they could express themselves most eloquently and this was acknowledged by the Danish audience and critics. In 1972 Gasolin used their popularity to safe Sofiegården from getting closed down by the officials.

In 1973 producer Roy Thomas Baker joined the band creating their signature sound for Gasolin' 3, Gas 5 and Efter endnu en dag. Each album was a Danish chart success. The great Danish success led to Gasolin 'felt that their Danish fame had reached the top, and that there was therefore no basis to develop the band further within Denmark. It did Gasolin 'to get a contract with CBS to record an American version of GAS 5. It was released in the U.S. in August 1976. In October Gasolin travelled to the U.S. to promote the record. The trip was a failure that cost the band about 1.2 mil. Gas 5 only sold 20.000 copies. The disappointment over the U.S. fiasco and the internal fighting led to the band's dissolution. On 21 August 1978 played Gasolin’ for the last time in People's Park in Malmö . By this time, their popularity in Sweden and Norway reached the same heights as in Denmark. The band came together one more time in 1982/83 where Gasolin 'appeared as headlining the rock show Gorilla Gala , which toured in Denmark.

After the demise, Kim Larsen would go on to build his solo career that until was just a side project to Gasolin’. His album from 1983, Midt om Natten, became a best seller. Wili Jønsson and Søren Berlev would go on playing music as session musicians and in various bands. Franz Beckerlee works as an artist, but occasionally he played with Søren Berlev in Christianhavns Bluesband and in 1979 he released ‘No Kiddin’.
Kim Larsen released solo albums in the 1980s, topping in 1983 with the album Midt om natten (In the Middle of the Night), which became the best sold Danish music album in history, with more than 532,000 copies sold. The album Midt om natten more or less became a soundtrack for the movie by the same name based upon it.

In 1983, Larsen founded the band Kim Larsen & Bellami and released four albums until 1992, when after a couple of different line-ups, the band broke up. He then released another solo album, Hvem kan sige nej til en engel (Who Can Say No To An Angel). In 1995, Larsen moved to Odense, the main city of the island of Funen, and found new success with his new band, Kim Larsen & Kjukken and the Swedish producer Max Lorentz. For Gasolin’; In 1991, the CD compilation Rabalderstræde Forever became a hit as was the box set from 2003 The Black Box. In 2006, a movie called Gasolin' 4-ever directed by Anders Østergaard making a documentary hit. Despite this, Gasolin' have always refused to reunite.

On the web:

- Kim Larsen's website: http://www.kimlarsen.dk/

What do we think:

DB: All European Blues rock (as a variation to All American rock) is what Gasolin' makes. The influences from the Allman Brothers,Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band and Grateful Dead are more then obvious, Maybe that's the reason they never made it in the US, their sound was to similar to bands they already had in abundance over there. Still they sound European or to more exact Danish then you'd think. Kim Larsen found in Bob Dylan an example how he wants to write songs and so he did. With the freetown of Christianhavn he had the inspiration on his doorstep. Larsen als had a bit of a contrariness streak and loved kicking (subtly) against the establishment. His 1979 album title is his social security number and was a protest against the governement trying to control the danish people. Larsen is still a leading musical figure in Denmark,

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Puhdys (Germany)



- Gasolin' - 1971

♪♪♪ - Gasolin' 2 - 1972

♪♪♪♪ - Gasolin' 3 - 1973

♪♪♪ - Stakkels Jim - 1974

- Gas 5 - 1975

- Efter endnu en dag - 1976

♪♪♪♪ - Gør det noget - 1977

- Killin' Time - 1978

- Værsgo - 1973

- Kim Larsen og Yankee drengene - 1978

- Starfuckers: Vogt Dem for efterligninger - 1978

- 231045-0637 - 1979

- Jungle Dreams - 1981

- Sitting On A Time Bomb - 1982

- 5 Eiffel - 1982

- Midt om natten - 1983

- Hvem kan sige nej til en engel - 1994

- Mine damer og herrer - 2010

- Du glade verden - 2012

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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