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Alien PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stefan Edström   
Saturday, 01 February 1997

This Swedish act rose to stardom, in Sweden anyway, back in 1988 with their cover version of the Gibb-brothers "Only One Woman". The album "Alien" was also a bonafide moneymaker, but say what lasts forever... When they were about to hit the international market leadsinger Jim Jidhed left the band, and quite frankly Alien never recovered losing him.

Replacer Pete Sandberg did his best but it was not the same without Jim, some of the magic was obviously gone. Even though replacers Pete Sandberg and Daniel Zangger-Borch were good singers, Tony makes it clear that Jim was the Alien singer.
"It was hard for the others to reach the same level as Jim, and Jim was also a good arranger and songwriter so the collaboration with Jim gave a lot".
A remix of their debut were done for the international market, a big sound improvement makes that album their finest moment to date, even if some fine songs from the original version don't appear on the US-remix.
"They gave more time on that version because it was for the international market, so I feel it is our best album. It sounded good and the songs feel very strong. It's things like that you don't discover while you're in it. It's something I have realised later", Tony says.

After "Shifting Gear" Tony Borg decided it was time to move forward so he simply called it a day for Alien. He released an instrumental solo album in -92. A year later he regrouped Alien with a couple of new faces and recorded and released the third (4th if you count the US-remix) Alien album confusingly titled "Alien". Vocal duties this time handled by Daniel Zangger-Borch. The album followed the previous AOR-formula, not saying that it was a smasher because it was kind of pale compared to their earlier work. Then in -95 the last Alien album, "Crash" was out. That album.... not only the last, but also a step.... several steps away from AOR and more in a seventies Deep Purple direction.
We had contract for one more album, and we had done three-four albums in the same vein, so we decided to do more straight blues influenced album", Tony explains.

Playing with Jim, again
After releasing the album they did about 5-10 live performances before Tony and the boys found it the best to call it a day. The funny thing is that the same year Tony Borg and Jim Jidhed, together with some other musicians, went out on the road doing AOR and westcoast classics.
"We have stayed in touch the whole time. We talk to each other every now and then, and it was during the summer of '95, Alien were doing the last gigs in Gothenburg during the athletic championships, and Jim and a bunch of other friends from Gothenburg visited our gig. Afterwards me and Jim just sat out, took a couple of beers talking about everything and we thought we should do something the upcoming fall. So we went out playing our favourite songs from the eighties. It was material from artists such as Jay Graydon, Richard Marx, Survivor, Foreigner, Chicago, Bill Champlin...."

Another collaboration?
Now it is 1997 and the final (?) bookmark from Alien has arrived, in the format of a double CD. One disc with "Best Of" material, and one disc with some unreleased & rare material, a really interesting disc for the fans that liked their first venture.
There are several really nice tracks with Jim Jidhed on vocals, but Pete Sandberg also does some nice vocals on a couple of songs. The most interesting track with him singing, and maybe one of the better on the disc with unreleased material, is the Russ Ballard written "21st Century Man". How come a song like that couldn't make their "Shifting Gear" - album?
"Record companies sometimes have different opinions than yourself, but I really don't know why it didn't made the album 'cause I think it's a really good song", Tony says.
This compilation is probably the last we will get from this group, but what is happening with the collaboration between Tony and Jim?
"You never know. But Jim is right know busy with a solo comeback, he's performing a song in the Swedish qualification for the "Eurovision Song Contest", and I'm just not into that, but we have talked about doing something again, we tasted the idea, and it's possible we'll do something in the future. When we work together it goes very fast and often it feels right from the beginning, so a collaboration like that isn't bad at all".

Stefan Edström

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 April 2005 )
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