Baltimoore’s formation came about in 1987, after vocalist Björn Lodin, then a member of the band “Ready Steady” (Tomas Broman/Electric Boys, Mikael Höglund/Thunder) had the plug pulled on an incomplete recording project by Electra, at the time Scandinavia’s largest record company. Electra offered Björn a contract as a solo artist. Björn says, "Calling the project "Baltimoore" instead of "Björn Lodin" was an idea born mostly out of fear" New songs were written with, among others, Thomas Larsson (Glenn Hughes) on guitar. The album was released in Spring of ´89, entitled "There''s No Danger On the Roof" (Electra) the album received rave reviews and to this is day is still considered a classic of the melodic rock genre featuring the hits “My Blue Moon” and “Ballerina”.
Concurrently, Björn was being approached by an assortment of bands, most notably Krokus, and discussions were held about membership. After reaching an initial agreement, Björn and Krokus started demoing, but the project faltered and skidded to a halt. Björn returned to Sweden and started writing for the next Baltimoore album. New in the camp, as guitarist and co-writer, was Stefan Bergström, (later in Skintrade). "Freak" was released in the spring of 1990 on new label VIP Records & Tapes. Once again, Björn was lauded for his efforts. Looking back Bjorn comments, "The problem was finding musicians who wanted to stay in the band, and if they did, had something to contribute. I felt that both “There’s No Danger On The Roof” and “Freak” were a bit over-produced and wanted a rawer approach."
Some Swedish tours followed with an unclear band roster made the future uncertain. But during a gig on Åland, Björn met Bulgarian-born guitarist Nikolo Kotzev, later to form Brazen Abbot. "He had desperation in his eyes that I just fell in love with." With this new-found hope, Björn began a new collaboration. "We decided to make a record in Nik''s cellar. It was a blast!" Nikolo was accorded full membership in the band, and "Double Density", released 1992, found success in Asia as well as Europe, and began climbing up the radio charts. "It was a total gas making that album. We fought for it, believed in it..." Self-production was by now the only thinkable method.
In 1994 the follow-up, "Thought For Food" was completed. The second self produced album with Ian Haughland (Europe) now behind the drums. Sadly the good collaborative spirit between Nikolo and Björn began to fray, and soon after the release of the album, ceased altogether.
The band then went hiatus for a few years until the new millennium heralded the return of the band with "Original Sin" in 2000. This fifth album saw the band return to its roots with guitarist Thomas Larsson once again in the band together with Björn playing guitar and bass on several tracks. “Original Sin” is by far the most varied album of the Baltimoore back catalogue, containing songs with jazz and folk music influences but still with a healthy dose of hard rockers. Even though a tough challenge for the fans and the critics, it still received some excellent reviews. Looking back at this period Bjorn comments, "I was recovering from alcohol abuse and divorce. My sidekick was Al Sjöholm who was a great help in sorting out the words and putting them into songs. I''m very proud of that album - today I wouldn''t dare experiment like that".
In 2001, with Ian Haugland re-joining it was time for a retrospect with the "Best of Baltimoore". 12 totally new recordings of the best material from the four first albums. Instead of just using the old recordings for this ‘best of’ it was decided that the songs needed the best possible treatment which meant doing it all again. On the new recordings Lodin states, "A lot of people might think why bother re-recording those old songs. But the new versions have a stronger sound and the arrangements are different, bringing the material a new edge that I felt was missing."
In the summer of 2001 Björn left Åland after 10 years and moved back to Sweden. "I got homesick. Once a year I''ve had the archipelago-anxiety..."
Early 2002, with no focus on new material, Björn and the band (Ian, Thomas and Weine Johansson - bass) recorded "Ultimate Tribute" released in 2003. As the title implies the album was cover versions of the members’ favourite songs - mainly from the seventies. Lodin states, "Great fun! Some critics couldn''t handle it though:-) ...amazing...I crank it in my car all the time, It''s like being in front of that mirror again, playing air guitar.. - 25 years later".
In 2004, with new original songs, Björn teamed up with guitarist Mankan Sedenberg and Swedish drum legend Hempo Hildén (Glenn Hughes, John Norum) and was later joined by Weine Johansson, bass and Stefan Bergström (from the Freak album) on lead guitar for what would became a seemingly incessant spate of activity over the next few years.
"Fanatical", the bands eighth album was ready in spring 2005. Produced by Björn and co-written by Mankan, "Fanatical" contains 10 straight forward hard rock songs and has set Baltimoore off on yet a new direction. “Fanatical” is hard hitting rock at its best and contained the bands then finest performances to date. On the album Björn comments, "Fanatical is straight forward hard rock. Loud guitars. No keyboards and an in-your-face yet melodic sound. It should be listened to loud!" The band shot a video for "Give Me What You''ve Got" in July 05 before heading back into the studio to commence work on what would become “Kaleidoscope” almost immediately. Lodin’s new found vision, drive and enthusiasm saw a further 3 albums scheduled at six month intervals.
In the gap between album ‘Fanatical’ and its successor Björn Lodin set up his own record label ‘BLP Music’ to have full control over his musical vision. Released in April 06, “Kaleidoscope” saw the “Fanatical” line up in place again for an album similar in style to its predecessor with a touch more melodic content. A promotional video for the track “Wellaway” was produced by leading Hollywood visual effects specialist Chad Dombrova (Ray, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Underworld) and re-cut by Björn Lodin. Again press reviews were excellent with the band now starting to gain renewed interest across Europe and Lodin looks back fondly on the release, “What a victory - same line-up on two albums... one of the best albums we''ve done!”. The bands intention was initially to tour on this release but instead the band decided to re-enter the studio due to a lack of touring budget.
Sadly Stefan Bergström had to give his notice due to other work commitments and to mark the bands tenth album, guitarist Thomas Larsson re-entered the line-up for “X” released in October 2006. Wanting to stick to his original vision Lodin in his own words, “Sat on my ass for 4 weeks to write 10 songs - and it worked.” Baltimoore became the prestigious first live act in many years to play Stockholm’s Hard Rock Café (launching a return of live music to the venue) which also tied in with the albums release on Oct 29th 2006. The gig at the HRC also kicked off an extensive tour of Sweden to promote the album which ran through November and December and has since been made available for free download on the bands official website. A live TV appearance of 2 songs from “X” (“Cumgum” and “Play On”) were aired on one of Sweden’s largest TV channels TV4 and the album written and produced by Lodin has picked up great reviews from media over Europe.
The band took a break between July 2007 and Decenmber 2008, when Björn formed the new band BALLS, together with Janne Stark (guitar), Mikael "Nord" Andersson (guitar), Robban Bäck (drums) & Björn Lundqvist (bass). The band released the album "Chameleon", on BLP Music, in October 2008. "Our goal was to make an album and play live... when the live playing wasn''t prioritised by everybody; I got out of there..."
In December 2008, Björn announced that the 11th Baltimoore album was in the making with a new Baltimoore line-up of “Best Of” organist Örjan Fernkvist returning to the band, BALLS cohorts Robban Bäck (drums) & Björn Lundqvist (bass) and new guitarist Emanuel Hedberg. Writing session quickly commenced with the bands new effort “Quick Fix” seeing release via BLP Music on May 15th 2009.
Quick Fix – 2009
X – 2006
Kaleidoscope - 2006
Fanatical – 2005
Ultimate Tribute - 2003
Best Of - 2001
Original Sin - 2000
Thought For Food - 1994
Double Density - 1992
Freak - 1990
There’s No Danger On The Roof – 1989
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