The Cardigans: Wikis

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The Cardigans

The Cardigans performing in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2006
Background information
Origin Jönköping, Sweden
Genres Pop rock, alternative rock
Years active 1992–present
Labels MCA, Mercury, Minty Fresh, Stockholm, Universal
Associated acts A Camp, Righteous Boy, Paus
Website http://www.cardigans.com/
Members
Lars-Olof Johansson
Peter Svensson
Bengt Lagerberg
Nina Persson
Magnus Sveningsson

The Cardigans is a Swedish band formed in the town of Jönköping in 1992. The band's musical style has varied greatly from album to album and encompasses their early indie leanings passing through '60s-inspired pop and more band-based rock.

Their debut album Emmerdale (1994) gave them a solid base in their home country and enjoyed some success abroad, especially in Japan. It wasn't until their breakthrough second album Life (1995) that international audiences and critics responded. The band is perhaps best known outside of Sweden for their international hit singles "Erase/Rewind" and "My Favourite Game" from the album Gran Turismo (1998) and "Lovefool" from the album First Band on the Moon (1996). Its inclusion in the soundtrack of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet by director Baz Luhrmann secured their popularity. The Cardigans have sold 5 million albums worldwide.[citation needed]

Contents

History

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First years: 1992-1995

Peter Svensson and Magnus Sveningsson, both heavy metal musicians, formed the group on October 31, 1992[1] in Jönköping, Sweden, with drummer Bengt Lagerberg, keyboardist Lars-Olof Johansson and lead singer Nina Persson. Living together in a small apartment, The Cardigans recorded a demo tape with Persson providing lead vocals on only one of the songs towards the end of the tracklist. A&R man Ola Hermanson heard the demo and signed the band to his Trampolene imprint. In 1994 they released their debut album Emmerdale in Sweden and Japan (it was re-released internationally in 1997). The album includes the Swedish radio hit "Rise & Shine" and was later voted the best of 1994 in a poll in Slitz magazine.

The rest of 1994 was spent touring Europe and recording Life, which was released worldwide in 1995. Life became an international success, selling more than a million copies and achieving platinum status in Japan. In 1996 Life was released under the label Minty Fresh in the U.S., but this release was essentially a compilation of tracks from Emmerdale and Life. Life was perhaps a satirical riposte to the first album, and saw the band move in a more avant-garde direction in terms of arrangements and artwork.

Commercial success: 1996-2002

After their success with Life, The Cardigans signed to Mercury Records, under which they released First Band on the Moon worldwide in 1996. With this album, the band had developed into a more complex, darker animal, the songs included themes of heartbreak, infidelity and despair. "Lovefool" was a hit across the globe, especially in the United States and again in Japan, where the album reached platinum in only three weeks. However, it was unrepresentative of the album as a whole and, although it helped it achieve gold sales status in America, many critics branded them saccharine soft-pop on the basis of "Lovefool". The song was shown on MTV in the late 90s as a music video with clips from the 1996 hit film Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

In 1997, the band played themselves on the graduation episode of Beverly Hills 90210.

1998's Gran Turismo was darker and more moody (featuring extensive use of synths and even some hard rock leanings on several tracks), and was followed by a long hiatus during which the band members pursued solo side projects. The same year they also released a compilation of rare B-sides called The Other Side of the Moon as a Japan-only release which makes this album somewhat rare outside Japan. The video of the song "My Favourite Game" was censored by MTV for showing reckless driving. Despite this, it went on to become their second hit song around the globe. "My Favourite Game" was also featured on the soundtrack of the Playstation video game Gran Turismo 2 for the opening sequence of races. That year also saw their song "Deuce" appearing on The X-Files: The Album.

The Cardigans performing in June 2004.

Recent activity: 2003-present

The Cardigans returned in 2003 with Long Gone Before Daylight, a quieter, more ambient collection of songs mainly written by Nina Persson and Peter Svensson. Long Gone Before Daylight became one of the best selling albums in Sweden of 2003 with sales over 120,000 (2x Platinum).

In the summer of 2004, The Cardigans toured with Liz Phair, Katy Rose and Charlotte Martin on the Chicks With Attitude tour.

On 28 April 2005 the band's iTunes Originals album was released through iTunes.

On 19 October 2005 the band released their sixth album Super Extra Gravity to generally favorable reviews.[2] Super Extra Gravity went straight to the #1 spot on the Swedish album chart and has so far been certified Gold (sales over 40,000).

The band is having another break from recording and touring.[3] A Best of compilation album was released in January 2008.

Solo projects

During the break in 1999-2002, Nina Persson released an album as A Camp, and the Cardigans recorded a duet cover of Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" with Tom Jones for his album Reload. Peter Svensson and Bengt Lagerberg worked on the project Paus with help from Joakim Berg from Kent, and Magnus Sveningsson recorded as Righteous Boy.

In 2006, Sveningsson restarted their old label Trampolene and became an A&R for it. The first signing was the Swedish popband The Animal Five, which was a minor success in Sweden and Germany.

In November 2006 Persson featured on The Cake Sale, an album set up by Oxfam Ireland. It contains 9 tracks from some of Ireland's leading artists. Proceeds from the album go to the Fair Trade campaign.

Persson also appeared on the Manic Street Preachers' album Send Away the Tigers (May 2007), providing guest vocals on the UK Chart #2 single "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough".[4] She shared vocals with Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield, who also appeared on stage with the band at the Glastonbury Festival 2007, and who has rated Peter Svensson as his second favourite guitarist.[5]

In the band's break of 2007, Persson recorded the second A Camp album Colonia,[6] which has been released early 2009.

Most recently Nina Persson appeared on Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse's collaboration (Dark Night of the Soul) singing "Daddy's Gone" (with Mark Linkous).[citation needed]

Nina Persson in concert

Discography

References

See also

External links


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