The band formed on Halloween in 1992 in Jönköping, Sweden and released their debut album, Emmerdale (1994) 18 months later. The album was named after the British television programme of the same name.
During this time, I was in year 4 at infant/junior school, aged 9. My dad had a collection of Punk and Heavy Metal music - Heavy Rock it was known back in the 70s – on vinyl that he’d seldom listen to when he was in the mood for it. Black Sabbath’s single ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,’ (1973) is featured on The Cardigans debut album, and is one of the two songs I remember hearing as a child. This was my entry into the music of the Swedish band.
The following year they released their second album, Life (1995), although the Swedish version is the only version that you can find, which features all new tracks. The UK version features eight new tracks and five tracks from their first album.
Their next album, First band on the Moon (1996), was released eight days before my 12th birthday and was the album that gave them international recognition and that I really sat up and paid attention to them. I can remember starting high school the month the album was released and watching Romeo + Juliet (1996) in English class.
Among many other songs by great bands, ‘Lovefool’ by The Cardigans featured on the soundtrack. Another Black Sabbath song, ‘Iron Man’ (1971), featured on First Band on the Moon and again peaked my interest, due to their fandom and my growing fandom of Black Sabbath.
Gran Turismo (1998) is the fourth album by The Cardigans and potentially named after the video game of the same name. Evidence of this can be attributed to their single, ‘My Favourite Game’ (1998). I loved playing Gran Turismo 2 (2000), because I loved hearing the soundtrack to the game.
The band entered a five year hiatus following the end of their tour for Gran Turismo and their next effort, came in the guise of a Country Pop sound titled, Long Gone Before Daylight (2003). This album became a favourite of mine very early on along with Gran Turismo and their last album, Super Extra Gravity (2005).
It was this album, however, that surprisingly got me through my latest dark period, between the summer of 2007 and the summer of 2009. I became very withdrawn and unable to trust anyone, whether they were friend, family or lover. I kept everything to myself and resorted to pushing everyone I cared about away, while I entered a two year period of alcohol and drug abuse, along with many failed suicide attempts. Don’t worry, this story gets better, it has to because you’re reading this now.
I didn’t want to kill myself in reality, but when I tried I thought that life for everyone else would be better off without me in it. It wasn’t until one fateful night during the summer of 2009, that I had one of my late night conversations with my friend Alex Porter, while subconsciously listening to Long Gone Before Daylight. Upon realisation, I listened to the album again and concluded that every song on the album, mirrored everything I had been going through, especially the song, ‘Please Sister,’ which was my reluctant cry for help.
I’m fine now, and try to use my experiences to help other people who may be going through the same things I did. This is also why I have an immense love for music. In my eyes, music is love, music is life… Join me next week where I’ll be leaving Sweden and jetting off to Australia. Who will I be writing about next time?