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With many Swedish bands finding great success in Japan nowadays, Atomic Swing was one of the first bands to do so, and to become successful in their native country at the same time. Atomic Swing was founded in 1992, when singer/guitarist Niclas Frisk left Perssons Pack and decided to form his own band. He was joined by keyboardist Micke Lohse, drummer Henrik Berglund, and bassist Petter Dahlstrom, and in September 1992, the first single, "Stone Me into the Groove," was released. You can already hear the sound that Atomic Swing was to be associated with: guitar- and organ-based pop with heavy influences from '70s pop and the lighter side of psychedelic pop. "Stone Me into the Groove" was a big hit in Sweden, and when the album, A Car Crash in the Blue, was released in February 1993 the critics were overwhelmed. It sold 100,000 copies (which is a lot in Sweden), and also spawned the semi-hit singles "Smile," "In the Dust," and "Panicburgh City." As many other Swedish bands at this time, Atomic Swing also made it big in Asia, especially Japan, which lead to heavy touring in the eastern parts of the world. Actually, Atomic Swing was one of the first Swedish bands that was popular in Japan, and was soon to be followed by bands like Eggstone, the Cardigans, and This Perfect Day. In 1994, Atomic Swing won two Grammy Awards for A Car Crash in the Blue, and the rest of that year, they spent in the studio, recording its eagerly awaited follow-up. Bossanova Swap Meet was released in September 1994, and marked the comeback of Ronnie Spector. Frisk was a longtime fan of hers, and wrote to her and asked if she wanted to sing a duet with him. She agreed and he wrote the song "So in Need of a Change," which was also to become the second single to taken from the album. The album did not sell as well as its predecessor, and after the release, the band was less active for a period. Frisk began working on his own, writing the score for a motion picture and producing Popsicle's eponymous breakthrough album. Lohse moved to London and produced several debuting rock bands. Berglund, who also lives in London, did a lot of work with the London dance scene together with his wife. Also, bassist Dahlstrom decided to call it a day, so the band had to find a replacement. After a tough audition, they found Anders Graham-Paulsson, who has the same melodic way of bass playing that Petter had. In summer 1996, Atomic Swing went to Normandie in France to record the third album, Fluff, with producer Mike Hedges. The first taste from that recording session was the single, "Walking My Devil," released in January 1997. It was a radio hit, but never sold very well, and the same fate befell to the album, when it was released in March that same year. In fact, it sold so poorly that the band's planned tour was canceled. A couple of months later, Frisk decided to break the group up, and went on as a producer for acts like Space Age Baby Jane. In early 1998 he played some gigs with Cardigans' singer Nina Persson, in an as-yet untitled band. ~ Tommy Gunnarsson
1992 in Sweden