Before the seeds of the Flower Kings were planted, Kings' guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt was working in the band Kaipa. The band was originally formed under the name Ura Kaipa by Hans Lundin (keys) and Tomas Eriksson (bass) in 1973. The duo had worked together previously in San Micheals and for this project recruited Thomas Sjoberg on drums. Illness forced Sjoberg to leave the group the following year, though. His replacement was Ingemar Bergman. Stolt joined the band in 1974 also, shortly after they had cut the "Ura" from the name of the band. Their self-titled debut release, with a cover adorned by a picture painted by Stolt, was released the following year. Their sophomore offering, Inget Nytt Under Solen, was recorded and released in 1976. Late in 1977, Eriksson left the band, but that was certainly not to be the last lineup change for the year. Indeed, the group chose to add a lead singer in the personage of Mats Lofgren. They also replaced Ericksson with Mats Lindberg before the year was over. Their next disc was 1978's Solo.
By this point, forces were working to pull the band apart, and in 1979 Stolt left the group. His replacement was Max Ahman. This lineup of the band recorded their next album, Hander, late in 1979 for a 1980 release. Throughout 1980, the group went through many problems, though. First they added Torkel Thyrell on bass, but the lineup suffered a serious blow when Lofgren left the group. His replacement came in the form of a female, Anne Chaaban. However, neither of the two new recruits was to remain with the group past November of that same year. In an unusual turn of events, the group recruited Mats Lindberg to replace Thyrell. However, this Lindberg only bore the same name as their previous bassist, but was not the same man. Before 1981 was through, Bergman would leave the group. So, Kaipa was looking for a new drummer. They found the replacement in Pelle Andersson. That grouping released the album Nattdjurstid late in 1982. It would prove to be the last for a long time. In fact, the band decided to take a break from all the hard work, but that break very nearly became a permanent one. They would not work together again until the year 2001 when they re-formed to record their Notes From the Past album. That disc (released in 2002) featured a lineup composed of Lundin, Stolt, Morgan Agren, Patrik Lundstr+¦m, and Jonas Reingold (who Stolt works with in the Flower Kings). ~ Gary Hill
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