Dalton was one of Sweden's premier melodic hard rock bands during the mid to late 80´s and early 1990´s. The band's hard rock with hints of AOR here and there were perfect for the era and commercially viable. They were like a little brother to bands like Europe or Treat touring and making their mark on the 80´s hard rock scene in Europe. Often branded as Scandi-AOR along with fellow bands like Alien, Nasty Idols (first album), Bad Habit, Return, Stage Dolls and Treat they released two great albums in the 80´s; the debut album called The Race Is On in 1987 followed by Injection two years later in 1989.
|Press photo for debut album|
|Photo by Magnus Elgqvist|
Together they set out to achieve stardom. Dahlberg had built up a network in the industry during his years with Treat and very soon they were picked up by EMI Sweden. Through Stefan Edman at EMI they got two songs by external songwriters: ”You´re Not My Lover (But You Were Last Night)” penned by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and ”I
Think About You” by Michael Bolton and Martin Briley. Managing to get original songs from these masters of their craft was no small achievement at the time. The debut album, The Race Is On was released in 1987 and ”You´re Not My Lover (But You Were Last Night)” was released as the first single and became a hit in the Scandinavian countries. It is, still today, the band's most well-known song. This album is now a sought after gem (along with Injection) from the glory days when melodies and irresistible hook lines were just as important as the image. Dalton embraced both sentiments!
In 1989, the sophomore effort Injection was released and on this album, they leaned toward a harder edge without losing their skill for catchy melodies and big choruses. In my opinion, the strongest effort by the band so far. Some of the lyrics to the songs may seem a bit juvenile today but hey, this was the 80´s and sex was the thing to write about. The album is filled with catchy songs, huge choirs and choruses and stands out even today as a massive effort. Westfahl offers some great chops and every song is filled with memorable hooks and guitar licks. Lindmark provides some great and personal vocals making this a real gem in the genre. Listening back to this album – all you want to do, is go out and have a party with your best friends in the warm summer breeze!
The Band Go Their Separate Ways
Sadly the story ended in 1990 when Dalton did not agree with EMI on how to produce the third record. Mats ”Dalton” Dahlberg left the band to form Speedy Gonzales with ex-Talk Of The Town singer Thomas Vikström (later in heavier bands like Candlemass and Therion) and guitarist Tommy Denander. The band continued on with new drummer Adam Korsnäs and recorded a demo for a proposed third album. The option for a third album with EMI expired. Stefan Edman provided them with yet another song from Michael Bolton and a song from Jean Beavoir (Voodoo X, Crown Of Thorns). A deal was struck with Virgin but then EMI bought Virgin and canceled all contracts. At the same time, a great change in the music climate could be felt with grunge making their way in. Dalton did not want to adjust to the current trends and so just gave up but stayed friends. Mats ”Dalton” Dahlberg left the music business after a couple of years when Speedy Gonzales did not go anywhere. Anders and Bosse Lindmark formed RAW together with guitarist Michael Larson and Christian ”Kicken” Lundqvist (The Poodles). They released two albums in the mid 1990s; First (1995) and Now We´re Cooking (1997) before calling it a day.
Fast forward to 2012! Sonny Erlandsson from the film-production company Sto-Cph was looking for a band to film for a documentary on reuniting an old band. Being a hard rocker at heart, the
choice fell on Dalton and he approached Dahlberg with the idea. Dalton fired on all cylinders and started contacting all the other members who said yes. Lead vocalist Bosse Lindmark was the hardest one to persuade, being very busy with his current projects. He ultimately said yes and Erlandsson has been following and documenting the band from the first meeting, the first practice, first gig and so on. In a couple of years, the documentary will be released. The band got offered a spot on the huge Rockklassiker (radio station in Sweden) show in December 2012 headlined by The Scorpions. It was a great success playing to 7000 people and just then and there they decided to make a new album! At the same time, EMI released a Best Of album with three b-sides as bonus tracks, making them available for the first time on CD. Westfahl dug out the old demo tape from 1990 and the band made a new 3-song demo with Eric Mårtensson of W.E.T. and Eclipse fame. Frontiers Records soon offered the band a deal and the new album Pitstop was recorded and released in October 2014. Finally, the third album is here – it only took 24 years!
Pitstop – Track By Track Comments
|Dalton live at release party for Pitstop-Photo by Dalton|
|Dalton 2014. Photo courtesy of melodicrock.it|
I´m really looking forward to catching Dalton live at Väsby Väsby Rock Festival this summer. Let´s hope they keep it together and make another album! Go out, buy it and get Daltonized!
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Buy the new album here!