The Tor Guides

Beagle – not just a puppy love

In Scandinavian pop on 29 April, 2011 at 11:44

Every now and then, the big questions pops up: which one is the very best pop band we´ve had up here in the north? I believe my own humble answer to that question is based on my generation. I would therefore never put 60s rockers Shanes or Hep Stars on my list, no matter how good they may have been (though at heart I don´t think they should be on anybody´s list). Hives wouldn´t make either – I may be too old, per chance?

The 70s gave us ABBA and they´re in no way possible to overlook, in any way. Today I´m actually especially proud that I actually stood up for ABBA in the 70s and 80s, even though you weren´t supposed to do that – you were rather supposed to despise the Peter Framptons of the world as well as all Pink Floyds and their likes. Besides ABBA there have been some fabulous acts – JAPOP and Jakob Hellman, to name a few – that never bothered to seek attraction from the international public, singing in the Swedish language.

Two of my absolute favourites, that both should be on everybody´s lists are Beagle and Brainpool, both from the southern parts of Sweden.

Beagle begun its career in the student frat societies at the university of Lund in southern Sweden. At the time they were called Koks i Lasten, namned after a Hergé comic strip about Tintin´s adventures, Coke en stock, a codename used by the villainous antagonists of the story for African slaves (the English title was The Red Sea Sharks). My wife studied at the same university at the same times and she has told me that in those days they were a very popular act to see and follow.

In 1991 the band came in contact with record label Polar, home of ABBA, who released the first single A Different Sunday the same year. The following year the first album was released, Sound On Sound, and the band was nominated for s Swedish Grammy as “best new act”. The single The Things We Say was taken from the same album and I can still recall, with great amusement, how I and my wife again and again sang along to its chorus during a skiing trip right after the album was released. The song oozed with McCartney and XTC flavors. Oh, those were the days…

I saw the band live in my home town. At that time the band had never played any further north than Östersund. It was a great concert, though the band seemed a bit unfamiliar with the northern light up here.

During 1993 the band´s second album was released, Within, which is a bit more rough than its predecessor. The album didn´t do that well and after a dispute with Polar, the band changed label and name, to Favorita, but somehow the magic was lost. Favorita recorded an album but the album wasn´t released until a few years ago (you can now find it and the two Beagle albums at Spotify).

A curiosity – three of the band´s members now work for the same Swedish newspaper, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, one of the bigger newspapers in the country. Leader Magnus Börjesson has continued to make music through the years and has cooperated both with Per Gessle of Roxette fame as well as David Birde and Jens Jansson from Brainpool (an astounding band I will get back to in another post!) He did also revive Beagle for a gig in Los Angeles in 2001, at the power pop festival International Pop Overthrow.

Below you can also get a good taste of Favorita.

Finally, here you can find a good article on Beagle.


  1. Came across your site yesterday when I was surfing, but I’m not really into the blog scene

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