Week of February 13, 2005

Secret Oyster

Claus Bøhling - Guitar
Kenneth Knudsen - Keyboards
Karsten Vogel - Sax, Keyboards
Mads Vinding - Bass
Bo Thrige Andersen - Drums
Jess Stæhr - Bass
Ole Streenberg - Drums

Secret Oyster 1973 CBS 65769
CD: The Laser's Edge LE 1050, 2007
Sea Son 1974 CBS 80489 (released in the USA as "Furtive Pearl")
CD: The Laser's Edge LE 1045, 2006
Vidunderlige Kælling 1975 CBS 81044
CD: The Laser's Edge LE 1043, 2005
Straight To The Krankenhaus 1976 CBS 81434
CD: The Laser's Edge LE 1049, 2007

Secret Oyster was really a continuation of Burnin' Red Ivanhoe, who split (for the first time) in 1972 following several disputes over the future direction of the band between Karsten Vogel and the other members. With Secret Oyster's excellent musicians (including Bøhling from Hurdy Gurdy and Knudsen from Coronarias Dans), Vogel had a perfect vehicle to explore new directions in instrumental fusion, partly inspired by Weather Report, but also adding Bøhling's magnificent lead guitar!

Secret Oyster's first album became an artistic and commercial success in Denmark. It also sold well in the rest of Scandinavia and gained some recognition in Germany, Great Britain and the USA. In spite of this, Vinding and Andersen left the group. The appearance of Stæhr caused Burnin' Red Ivanhoe to rise again, now with the same line-up as Secret Oyster (but with a different musical style).

Sea Son” consolidated their popularity, but couldn't match the first album in terms of quality (it was still quite good jazz-rock, though). In 1975, Secret Oyster went on a European tour as support act to Captain Beefheart, but later the same year CBS International opted not to continue to invest in Secret Oyster.

"Vidunderlige Kælling" (1975) was the music to a ballet by Flemming Flint. The compositions (in contrast to those on the previous albums) were more concise and almost free of any improvisation. Secret Oyster handled this task quite well. However, their last album was an ill-fated attempt to make more easily accessible music.

Secret Oyster was one of the few Danish groups mentioned here that gained healthy record sales. Their first album remains an important album in the general history of Danish rock.

Taken from Scented Gardens of the Mind - A guide to the Golden Era of Progressive Rock (1968-1980) in more than 20 European Countries, by Dag Erik Asbjørnsen, Borderline Productions, ISBN 1-899855-12-2

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