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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 231 - 07/02/15

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
Melody Mountain LP

This is a celebration and revisit to Melody Mountain - an acclaimed and celebrated album holding ten great cover versions. The duo Susanna and the Magical Orchestra's second album, Melody Mountain was released in 2006 (by Rune Grammofon), but is now - finally - available on vinyl with a new cover design (by Magnus Voll Mathiassen).

I was so lucky I could attend the exclusive release concert (on June 19) at the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum - the spectacular and fantastic 'Tomba Emmanuelle'. Exclusive is a key word, as the mausoleum's got a seating capasity of 30! Well, the gis saw Susanna with Morten Qvenild (the other member of the Magical Orchestra) on keyboard, piano, organ, etc., plus producer, noise maker (and Susanna's husband) Helge Deathprod Sten on sparse guitar.

Melody Mountain is simply gorgeous, as Susanna interprets her very special versions of songs by Leonard Cohen, AC/DC, Matt Burt, Prince, Joy Division, KISS, Bob Dylan, Scott Walker, Depeche Mode, and Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention). Yes, she does "Hallelujah", but in a way that makes you swallow your possible questuion 'why, once more?'. It's quite amusing to hear here take on hard rockers AC/DC ("It's a Long Way To The Top") and Kiss ("Crazy Crazy Nights"), and her/their "Love Will Tear Us Apart" will take your breath away (possibly tear you apart....). Her takes on Depeche Mode ("Enjoy the Silence") and Prince ("Condition Of The Heart") makes something completely different, and her versions of Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), Walker ("It's Raining Today") and Denny (Fairport Convention's "Fotheringay")... well, they're just astonishing. Go get this album, just sit yourself down and listen to it. This is cure for pain.

PS! Susanna has been doing several other cover versions: Susanna and the Magical Orchestra's first album, List of Lights and Buoys (2004, Rune Grammofon) had a marvelous "Jolene" (yes, Dolly Parton's "Jolene"), and Susanna's Flower of Evil (2008, also Rune Grammofon) had songs by Lou Reed, Nico, Sandy Denny, Harry Nilsson, Roy Harper, Black Sabbath (!), Thin Lizzy (!!), ABBA ("Lay All Your Love on Me", which is one of their best!), Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Prince, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Agnetha Fältskog on it. Go check it out as well.

Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Susanna and the Magical Orchestra article/review: List of Lights and Buoys.

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