SOLVEIG NYGAARD LANGVAD // UNDERTAKERS CIRKUS – RAGNAROCK
Fifty years after the record was first released, Thor Greni takes a look back at the legendary release.
In 1973, a young band from Lillestrøm released a prog rock record that would turn out to be one of the most legendary in the history of Norwegian rock. Nine songs in Norwegian with an enormously broad and reference-rich spectrum both thematically and musically – Norse mythology, prostitution, the Christianization of Norway, Rudolf Nilsen, the welfare state, capitalism and Norwegian foreign policy served with tight harmonies and a full brass line.
Ragnarock is also the record that sent Eigil Berg's Queen of the Night onto the airwaves, here in Thor Greni's Norwegian language costume, under the title Nettenes prinsesse. The song would find new life a quarter of a century later as Long Distance Man, one of Bigbang's (led by Greni's son Øystein) most enduring live songs and thus become a door opener for new generations of Undertaker's Circus fans.
Through conversations with songwriter and vocalist Thor Greni, the story of the record and the band is told from its release fifty years ago until today, where they still perform the repertoire live, while the fanbase gets both grayer and younger with each concert.
The book's author, Solveig Nygaard Langvad, is a gardener, linguist and journalist. She previously worked in Morgenbladet, and now works in the magazine Arkitektur, which will be launched in February.