TITANIC TODAY

Roy Robinson and Jan Loseth being the creative force behind the band, felt they had a lot more to do, Roy making records in the U:S:A. including a very good version of ‘Eleanor Rigby' and Jan going on a Russian Tour, playing with the band ‘SPACE' appearing at The Moscow Olympic Stadium and Red Square. He found it ‘quite interesting' playing rock'n'roll behind ‘The Wall'.

They both moved down to the south of France, which turned out to be a good idea. Many experienced musicians there, found it impossible to stop playing, enjoyed the sunshine, hanging out, and jamming together. That's how Jan met English bass player Mick Walker and English-Australian sax player Phil Wilton.


They formed a rock blues band and performed in various places around Europe which brought them eventually to Geneva, where they met Swiss drummerDidier Blum.

They opted to modify their line up and called Roy with the idea of re-forming ‘TITANIC'.


TITANIC BEFORE


Norway stunned the rock world when it produced one of the hottest new bands of the early Seventies. After all, it was a time of huge competition on the already overcrowded scene. Most of the heavyweight groups of the era hailed from America and the UK.' Led Zeppelin', ‘Santana', ‘Sly & The family Stone', 'Yes', ‘Deep-Purple', the list was endless. Despite this overwhelming dominance, such was the desperate hunger for "live” music to satisfy local demand that many more countries began to nurture their own local artists. As musicianship improved, it wasn't long before there were excellent young rock groups playing throughout Europe.


One of the best was ‘TITANIC' from the Norwegian capital Oslo. They enjoyed an encouraging response when they first sailed over the horizon in 1971. Yet they'd had to fight hard to establish a reputation. This wasn't necessarily due to their coming from a small country. Admittedly, Norway so far failed to make much of an impression on the pop scene. But rock'n'roll fans were not bothered about national boundaries. If you were good, you were accepted, and it didn't matter where you came from. The problem was the age-old one of getting the right amount of exposure and promotion. ‘TITANIC' had to gain recognition beyond their own borders if they were to become an economic success. They needed to convince the rest of the world that they could compete, both in terms of their music and their image. Fortunately, they had some lucky breaks to help them on their way.

The five-piece was originally formed in 1969, and included Kjell Asperud (percussion, vocals). Jan Loseth (guitar, vocals), John Lorck (drums) and Kenny Aas (organ and bass guitar). They rehearsed hard, wrote some good tunes, and so ‘TITANIC' eventually became one of the first Norwegian bands to enjoy hit records in both England and Germany. They also recruited English lead singer, Roy Robinson, who helped give their music an international appeal. Roy wrote most of the lyrics which he sang in English, on a succession of fine albums and singles.

Critics and fans alike were impressed by such songs as ‘Underbird', ‘Confusion' and the dynamic group composition, ‘Sultana'. ‘TITANIC'were thrilled when ‘Sultana', played in the style of Santana, was a hit in England.


It shot to Number 5 in the UK singles chart in September 1971. It was also a hit back home in Norway, where their album, ‘Sea Wolf', got to Number 7 in the national charts.


‘TITANIC' now embarked on a busy schedule of gigs. Their big breakthrough came when they played at the Cannes Film Festival in France. They were invited to play before the gala screening of the 1969 "Woodstock” movie. The group also played at the Aix-en-Provence festival. Such was the wildly enthusiastic response at both these gigs that the band decided to settle down in the South of France. At the same time, ‘TITANIC's reputation spread to Germany, where they enjoyed a hit with ‘SantaFe' which got to Number 36 in the charts. The good news about ‘TITANIC' also spread across the oceans.


Fortunately, there were no icebergs on the way to halt their progress westwards.

It was a tribute to the band's musical credibility that they were signed to Columbia, then one of America's most prestigious record companies. It was at the time when the label was at the forefront of contemporary musical development, and they had an amazing roster of artists. 'TITANIC' were duly included on one of Columbia's big-selling "sampler” albums, which celebrated both the label's success and the power of rock music. This was a 3-LP set called, "The Music People”, featuring 40 great artists like ‘Santana', ‘BarryMann', ‘BobDylan', ‘JohnnyWinter', ‘TheByrdsandBlood, Sweat& Tears'. There were also several tracks by lesser-know bands to give the new "signings” a boost. TITANIC's contribution, ‘Underbird', from their ‘SeaWolf' album was given pride of place. It brought the sound of the band to a much wider audience. The track highlighted all of the group's best features and showed they were strong on percussion and had a powerful guitar and organ frontline.


Having made a great impression with the ‘Sea Wolf' material, the band went on to record at least two

more albums for CBS, including 1975's ‘Ballad Of A Rock'n'RollLoser'.

This had more fine songs co-written by Roy Robinson.

Even though the group did not score any more hit singles, they continued working steadily throughout

the Seventies. In their later years, they toured extensively throughout Africa,

where their funky polyrhythmic sound and punchy stage act was much appreciated.


As well as enjoying hits and winning over both fans and critics alike, the band's great achievement was showing how rock could break down

national barriers and become true " world music”. In the final analysis, ‘TITANIC'were rock'n'roll winners !

Chris Welch, London, England 2000

Taken from the CD reissue of ‘Ballad Of A Rock'n'Roll Loser', Repertoire Records, REP 4882

In 1984 ‘Titanic' performed two farewell concerts in Chile for the festival ‘Vina delMar', near Santiago. In front of 20'000 people, and with an estimated television audience of 400'000'000, it was a fantastic climax to the end of an era.