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BWO

Bodies Without Organs. Szczecin, 2007.
Background information
Also known as Bodies Without Organs
Origin Sweden
Genres Dance
Electronica
Pop
Years active 2004 – present
Labels Bonnier Music (Scandinavia and Eastern Europe)
Universal Music Domestic (Germany, Austria and Switzerland)
Magic Records (Poland)
Shell Records (UK).
Associated acts Army of Lovers, Vacuum, Alcazar, Page
Members
Martin Rolinski
Alexander Bard
Marina Schiptjenko

BWO is a Swedish electro pop group, formed in 2004. Prior to early 2006 they used the name Bodies Without Organs. In Sweden they have enjoyed considerable commercial success throughout their career, so far notching up 15 Top 40 singles, including a Number 1 with Temple of Love, and five Top 10 albums including a Number 1 with Halcyon Days, and have won several major Swedish music awards.

Since the mid 00s, BWO have had significant chart success in several Eastern European countries including Finland, Ukraine and Russia, and some moderate success in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Denmark and the United States.[1] 2009 saw a major breakthrough for the band in Japan, China and Taiwan with the compilation album Sunshine In The Rain, especially designed for the Asian market. This release was greatly supported by leading Asian star Jolin Tsai, whose international #1 hit cover version of a BWO song opened Asia to the Swedish band.

Contents

Origins

Alexander Bard, whose previous music projects had included Army of Lovers, Vacuum and Alcazar, started work on a new project during 2003, working with the record producer Anders Hansson who became the band's co-producer. They auditioned over 35 different vocalists before meeting former Popstars contestant Martin Rolinski who was duly chosen as lead singer. Marina Schiptjenko, an art-dealer and a one-time member of Vacuum, then came on board as the third member of what became Bodies Without Organs [2].

There was initially a suggestion that the band would be a four-piece including Jean-Pierre Barda from Army of Lovers, but this did not come to fruition, and Barda's explicit involvement extended as co-writing the songs "Living In A Fantasy" [2] (BWO's first single) and "European Psycho", both included on BWO's first album "Prototype" (It's odd that a picture of Barda turned up in the inner booklet of this album), and appearing on the videos "Conquering America", "Sixteen Tons of Hardware", "Open Door" and "The Bells of Freedom", in which Dominika Peczynski, also from Army of Lovers did make a cameo too.

The name of the band derives from the philosophical term body without organs, developed by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari in their 1972 book Anti-Œdipus. Bard, an author and lecturer of philosophy, has referred to the ideas of Deleuze in his books Netocracy - The New Power Elite And Life After Capitalism and The Global Empire, both co-written with Jan Söderqvist.

At no point has BWO been a full-time project for any of the band's members - Bard continues his other career, notable in its own right, as a philosopher, while Schiptjenko remains an art dealer in Stockholm and Rolinski has a Master of Science in Engineering and works in that field.

Style

Musically, BWO have come to represent the more commercial side of the Swedish electro scene, also featuring artists like Robyn, The Knife, Jenny Wilson and September. Alexander Bard has claimed that BWO's electronic pop music is the missing link between ABBA and Kraftwerk [3].

Visually, BWO have been working with most of the high-brow Scandinavian music video directors, including Fredrik Boklund, Kalle Haglund and the award-winning Kamisol team. Like most of the other Swedish electro acts, BWO have been featured in hundreds of fashion articles, working closely on their visual style with their in-house Irish stylist Sally O'Sullivan. This visual style has however often been unusual, particularly on the part of Alexander Bard, attracting comparisons with Army of Lovers; BWO's performances at Melodifestivalen 2008 in full Elizabethan-style costume were a prominent example of this. Many of their music videos have also contained unusual and eccentric themes or elements, such as stigmata, mild sado-masochism, animal costumes or the faces of band members being superimposed on live creatures; however these have generally steered clear of the controversy often attracted by Army of Lovers videos.

Chart and airplay success

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2004-2005: Prototype

BWO's debut single release was "Living in a Fantasy" in May 2004. This was only a moderate Number 44 hit in Sweden, and the style and production of the song differ somewhat from those of any BWO song released subsequently. Subsequent releases were more successful in Sweden, particularly third single "Sixteen Tons of Hardware" (Number 11) in February 2005. BWO's debut album Prototype, first released in Russia in December 2004, was released in Sweden in March 2005, reaching Number 2 in the album charts and attaining platinum status. Eventually no fewer than seven tracks from the album went on to be Swedish hit singles, with sixth single "Sunshine in the Rain" (Number 12) being another high point.

"Sixteen Tons of Hardware" and "Voodoo Magic" were both hit singles in Finland. Two singles off the album, "Living in a Fantasy" and "Sixteen Tons of Hardware" went Number 1 in the Europa Plus Airplay Chart in Russia, and the album soon crossed over to neighboring countries, generating no less than five Top 5 hit singles in Ukraine and two Top 5 hit singles in Hungary.[citation needed] The track "Gone" was a Number 1 hit in Lebanon.[citation needed]

2006: Halcyon Days

BWO's second album Halcyon Days, released in April 2006, entered the Swedish Album Chart at Number 1, shipping gold and generating four further hit singles, of which the first single "Temple of Love" was a Number 1 smash in Sweden and charted across Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Halcyon Days was followed by a remix collection called Halcyon Nights, released in December 2006.

2007-2008: Fabricator

A third studio album, Fabricator, was released in Sweden on September 19, 2007, entering the Swedish charts at Number 6. A pre-release single "Save My Pride", was released in May 2007, becoming BWO's fourth Top 20 single in Sweden. It also went Number 1 on major Turkish radio station Radio Mydonese's Top 40 Countdown in July 2007.[4] The singles "Let it Rain" and "Rhythm Drives Me Crazy" were released simultaneously in August 2007. "Rhythm Drives Me Crazy" was chosen as the theme for the Swedish team in the Women's Football World Cup in China in September 2007, and was a fourth Top 20 hit for BWO in Finland. A fourth single "The Destiny Of Love" was released in October 2007. A fifth, "Give Me the Night", was released at the end of December 2007, but became the only BWO single (as of August 2008) to fail to reach the Swedish singles chart.

2008: Pandemonium - The Singles Collection

A "greatest hits" album called Pandemonium - The Singles Collection was released on April 9, 2008. It contained most of their previous singles plus 3 new songs. "Lay Your Love On Me", their entry for Melodifestivalen 2008, was the first single release, reaching Number 2 in the Swedish singles chart, plus their first Number 1 in the influential Sveriges Radio P3 Tracks chart. "Barcelona" was a less successful second single, but third single "The Bells of Freedom" became a sixth Top 20 single after a tie-in with Europride 2008 in Stockholm.

A DVD by the same name, containing all video clips, was released in the fall of 2008.

2009: Big Science

Big Science is the fourth studio album of BWO and was released on April 1, 2009. It features 12 brand new songs, but the album has a total of 14 tracks (two remixes are included). The first single is "You're Not Alone", which was released as a ballad and as a disco version (like they did with Open Door). The ballad version also served as BWO's entry in the 2009 Melodifestivalen. "Right Here Right Now" is the second single and was released on May 27, 2009. A third single will be released in Scandinavia in the fall. Big Science is also expected to be released as BWO's fourth studio album in the UK, sometime after the release of "Right Here Right Now" in the UK, with a slight edit to suit the UK market.

In the United Kingdom

BWO performing at G-A-Y in London, July 2008

BWO are mainly well known and popular in the gay community (but not only) in the UK, due to the attention they receive via the gay media. Signed to small independent record label Shell Records in the UK, BWO have achieved moderate success with a few single releases. Initially two of their Swedish hit singles, "Sixteen Tons of Hardware" and "Chariots of Fire", reached the Top 10 of the British club charts.[citation needed] With a more concerted UK release including physical CD singles, the remixed 2005 single "Sunshine in the Rain" hit number 1 in the UK indie chart and reached Number 69 in the main UK singles chart in March 2008. "Lay Your Love On Me" was released in the UK in late July 2008, charted also at Number 69 in the main singles chart, and Number 2 in the UK indie charts. BWO's third physical single release in the UK was to be "Will My Arms Be Strong Enough", the single was released on the 22nd of September 2008, and failed to make the top 100.

All three single releases by BWO have been playlisted by BBC Radio 2 "The UK's most popular radio station" and a few music TV channels. They have attracted more attention in gay media, and have twice appeared in the prestigious Saturday night slot at the G-A-Y nightclub in London. Both "Sunshine in the Rain" & "Lay Your Love On Me" can still be heard being played in New Look and H&M, two of the UK's most popular high street clothing retailers, throughout 2008 & 2009

With the rise in popularity in 2009 of Synth-pop, and Swedish music acts, such as Basshunter, Agnes Carlsson, September (singer), Robyn & Velvet (singer) in the UK, BWO will once again try to break into the UK market, with perhaps an even bigger push than their last attempt. They plan to release their latest single "Right Here Right Now". The track has been edited to become more suited to the UK market, and now includes vocals from "Velvet" another Swedish artist, who already has a big presence in the club scene in the UK, and also remixes of "Right Here Right Now" by Cahill (band), who's current remixes of other artists tracks i.e. Little Boots, Agnes Carlsson & Alesha Dixon, have gone down extremely well with the UK Media. A new music video is rumoured to be in the works, and the song is already gaining airplay on Gaydar Radio. The single is due to be released on August 31, with BWO's fourth studio album "Big Science" to follow up the release.

As of the 30th of July, "Right Here Right Now", has so far peaked at #19 in the UK Commercial Pop Charts Top40. Some music channels, as of early August are now playlisting the music video for "Right Here, Right Now", the music video being the same as the original, with the addition to Velvet's vocals on the track.

In the United States

BWO made their way to the USA with their singles "Lay Your Love On Me," "Chariots of Fire", "Temple of Love" and "The Destiny of Love" being played in the popular clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch during summer 2008, the holiday season in 2008 and into early 2009. In February 2009, "Sunshine In The Rain" was also featured on the Abercrombie and Fitch playlist. They were also on the Abercrombie and Fitch spring preview playlist for 2009/2010 with "Burning Down the House".

Melodifestivalen participation

BWO competed in the Swedish Melodifestivalen 2005 with the song "Gone", written by the band's co-producer Anders Hansson, but failed to qualify for the final, finishing fifth out of eight in one of the four semi-finals.

In 2006, they competed once again in Melodifestivalen with the song Temple Of Love, this time qualifying for the final at the Stockholm Globe Arena, where they finished second behind Carola. Temple Of Love went on to reach Number 1 in the Swedish singles chart, and has been assessed as the most internationally successful Melodifestivalen song from the 2006 competition.[5]

During 2007 BWO stated in interviews that they had no intention of returning to Melodifestivalen, but might consider instead seeking to enter Eurovision for Martin Rolinski's homeland of Poland.[6] However, there was a change of heart, and BWO entered Melodifestivalen for a third time in 2008 with a song called "Lay Your Love on Me". This was co-written by Bard and Hansson together with Bobby Ljunggren and Henrik Wikström, ironically the two composers who wrote Carola's winning song which beat BWO in 2006. Going into their semi-final as heavy bookmakers' favourites to qualify,[7] the song duly progressed directly to the final, held at the Stockholm Globe Arena on 15 March 2008, where the song finished in third place behind winner Charlotte Perrelli and second-placed Sanna Nielsen.

In 2008, it was also rumoured that BWO were approached by the BBC to appear in Eurovision: Your Decision, the UK's version of Melodifestivalen, however BWO turned them down in favour of participating once again at Melodifestivalen.

BWO entered Melodifestivalen once again in 2009 with the song You're Not Alone, which was co-written by Bard and Hansson with Fredrik Kempe.[8] The song didn't qualify directly for Globen and was send to 'Andra Chansen'. They didn't go through in that round either.

Recognition

BWO won the prestigious Rockbjörnen award in both 2005 and 2006, voted Sweden's most popular band, all categories. In 2006 they received a Grammis Award for Sweden's most popular band of the year. BWO were nominated for four Grammis Awards in 2005 for the Prototype album and five Grammis Awards in 2006 for the Halcyon Days album. BWO were also nominated for dance act of the year in 2006 at the NRJ Scandinavian Awards in Helsinki and won the category for the most popular band.[9]

Discography

Bodies Without Organs discography
Releases
Studio albums 5
Compilation albums 1
Singles 23
Video albums 1
Music videos 18
Remix albums 1

Albums

Release Album Sweden Albums Japan Albums Sales/Certification Additional information
March 9, 2005 Prototype 2 - GLF: Platinum (January 2006) First studio album
April 19, 2006 Halcyon Days 1 - GLF: Gold (April 2006) Second studio album
December 27, 2006 Halcyon Nights - - - Remix album
September 19, 2007 Fabricator 6 - Third studio album
April 9, 2008 Pandemonium - The Singles Collection 3 - Gold (April 2008) First compilation album
April 1, 2009 Big Science 9 - Fourth studio album
April 15, 2009 Sunshine in the Rain - The Album - 45 First album in Japan

Singles

Year Release Song Sweden Singles Sweden Tracks[10] Finland Singles[11] Ukraine Singles[12] Russia Singles[12] UK Singles UK Indie Europe Official Top 100[12] Billboard Club Play (USA) Japan Singles Album
2004 May 7 "Living in a Fantasy" 44 20 - 1 2 - - 30 - - Prototype
September 24 "Conquering America" 27 15 - 2 16 - - 35 - -
2005 February 3 "Sixteen Tons of Hardware" 11 14 8 1 10 - - 28 - -
March 31 "Gone" 40 16 - - - - - - - -
May 12 "Open Door" 28 4 - 2 - - - 41 - -
September 15 "Sunshine in the Rain" 12 6 - - - 69 1 - - 26
December 10 "Voodoo Magic" 38 14 12 3 - - - - - -
2006 March 15 "Temple of Love" 1 2 - - - - - - - - Halcyon Days
May 24 "We Could Be Heroes" 18 10 - - - - - - - -
September 13 "Will My Arms Be Strong Enough" 39 16 - - - - - - - -
November 22 "Chariots of Fire" 45 14 - - - - - - 40 -
2007 May 7 "Save My Pride" 14 18 6 - - - - 62 - - Fabricator
August 22 "Let It Rain" 23 17 - - - - - - - -
August 22 "Rhythm Drives Me Crazy" 35 - 13 - - - - - - -
October 17 "The Destiny Of Love" 56 - 18 - - - - - - -
December "Give Me The Night" - - - - - - - - - -
2008 March 12 "Lay Your Love On Me" 2 1 - - - 69 2 91 - 44 Pandemonium - The Singles Collection
May 28 "Barcelona" 56 - - - - - - - - -
July 21 "The Bells Of Freedom" 15 - - - - - - - - -
October 8 "Gomenasai" - - - - - - - - - - Fabricator/Pandemonium
2009 March 1 "You're Not Alone" 11 - - - - - - 96 - - Big Science
May 27 "Right Here Right Now" 28 - - - - - - - - -
August 31 "Right Here Right Now" (UK Version) (feat. Velvet) - - - - - - - - - -
September 14 "Rise To The Occasion" - - - - - - - - - -
November 30 "Kings Of Tomorrow" - - - - - - - - - -
  • The UK chart placing of "Sunshine in the Rain" was attained in March 2008, and that of "Lay Your Love on Me" in August 2008.
  • The US Billboard chart placing of "Chariots of Fire" was attained in December 2008 after promotional re-issue of the single in US clubs.

Videography

Music videos

Year Video Director
2004 "Living in a Fantasy" Calle Stotz
"Conquering America" Fredrik Boklund
2005 "Sixteen Tons of Hardware"
"Open Door"
"Sunshine in the Rain"
2006 "Temple of Love"
"We Could Be Heroes"
"Will My Arms Be Strong Enough"
"Chariots of Fire" Kamisol
2007 "Save My Pride" Kalle Haglund
"Let It Rain" Kamisol
"The Destiny of Love" Kalle Haglund
"Give Me the Night" Fredrik Boklund
2008 "Lay Your Love On Me" Kamisol
"Barcelona" Mauricio Molnari
"The Bells of Freedom" Kamisol
2009 "You're Not Alone"
"Right Here Right Now"
"Rise to the Occasion"

DVD

Year Title Details Format
2008 Pandemonium - The Video Collection Compilation of music videos from 2004–2008 DVD

See also

References

External links


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