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Björn Skifs

The long recording career of Swedish singer/songwriter Björn Skifs spanned several decades, beginning in the 1960s and carrying on into the next century. His greatest success came in the mid- to late '70s when he scored a couple Swedish Top Five ("Firefly," 1976; "Lady," 1977) and Top Ten ("Härligt, Härligt Men Farligt, Farligt," 1978; "Det Blir Alltid Värre Framåt Natten," 1978) hits, not to mention his 1974 American chart-topper "Hooked on a Feeling," credited to the band Blue Swede (also known as Blåblus in Sweden). Born on April 20, 1947, in Vansbro, Sweden, Skifs began his recording career in the band Slam Creepers, which released a couple albums (Bubbles, 1967; Sweet Ruth, 1968) before he split for a solo career. The solo albums From Both Sides Now (1969), Every Bit of My Life (1970), and Opopoppa (1971) weren't particularly successful, though, and so Skifs formed the band Blåblus, named after his 1972 solo album of the same name. The band was showcased on the 1973 album Pinewood Rally, comprised largely of English-language standards such as Leon Russell's "A Song for You" and Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Always Something There to Remind Me." A cover of the 1969 B.J. Thomas song "Hooked on a Feeling" became a surprise number one hit in the United States in 1974, prompting the re-release of Pinewood Rally as Hooked on a Feeling under the English-language name Blue Swede rather than Blåblus. After an English-language follow-up album featuring Blåblus, Out of the Blue (1974), Skifs resumed his solo career and released a series of very popular Swedish albums, namely Schiffz (1975), Watch Out! (1977), Split Vision (1979), and If...Then... (1984), not to mention some relatively less popular releases. During his time period of peak success, Skifs competed twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1978 and 1981, on behalf of Sweden. In the late '80s Skifs resigned from the music scene for a decade and a half, during which time a number of greatest-hits compilations were issued. Back on Track (2001), a Top Ten hit album, signaled his return to the music marketplace. Among his follow-ups, Decennier (2005) was particularly successful, debuting at number one on the Swedish albums chart. The successive releases Andra Decennier (2006) and I2I (2007) also proved exceptionally popular, peaking respectively at number one and two on the albums chart.
© Jason Birchmeier /TiVo


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