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Active for several decades, Agents are a Finnish rock & roll band with a deep back catalog and a devoted fan following. The band's style of music is indeed rock & roll, as in the rock sound of the 1950s and '60s, the beat sound in particular. Founded in 1979, Agents were originally comprised of Pekka Rytkönen (vocals), Esa Pulliainen (lead guitar), Hans Etholén (rhythm guitar), Kai Pulliainen (bass), Juha Takanen (drums), and Jukka Ollila (keyboards). While there would be numerous and extensive lineup changes over the years that followed, Esa and Kai Pulliainen remained at the band's core. Several of the band's lead vocalists, including Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki (1981-1985), Topi Sorsakoski (1985-1992), and Jorma Kääriäinen (1992-2006) embarked on solo careers after their time as Agents frontmen. The band began its recording career in association with the label Johanna, on which the albums Agents (1980), Ikkunaprinsessa (1982), and Tähdet, Tähdet (1983) were released; many years later, the highlights of this material were compiled for release on the double-disc compilation In the Beginning: Johanna Years 1979-1984 (2003). In 1986, after Topi Sorsakoski succeeded Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki as frontman, Agents made their major-label debut with In Beat on EMI. Subsequent EMI albums with Sorsakoski on lead vocals include Besame Mucho (1987), Pop (1988), and Half and Half (1990). Following the departure of Sorsakoski in 1992, a few years passed before Agents returned with new music. The band's debut album with new vocalist Jorma Kääriäinen, Agents Forever (1995), was followed by a series of others on EMI: Agents Is... Back! (1996), Agents Is... More! (1997), Agents Is... Best! (1998), Agents Is... Here! (2001), Agents Is... Rock!, Vol. 1 (2001), Agents Is... Tonight (2003), Pop Show (2004), Agents Is... Best, Vol. 2 (2004), and Agents Is... Allright (2006). This series of albums marked a commercial peak for Agents; from the late '90s to early 2000s, the band's releases regularly charted within the Finnish Top Ten, with Agents Is... Here! in particular going all the way to number one in 2001. Following the departure of Jorma Kääriäinen in 2006, the band reunited with former Agents frontman Topi Sorsakoski for the Top Five album Renegades (2007). Then the band released an instrumental album, Agents Is... Beat! (2008), which also charted within the Finnish Top Five. ~ Jason Birchmeier