Influenced by 1950s American rock & roll as well as 1970s British pub rock, the Refreshments are a Swedish rock band with a hard-working reputation and an impressive string of Top Ten albums in their homeland. Founded in 1989 in G+ñvle, Sweden, the band is comprised of Joakim Arnell (bass, vocals), Micke Finell (sax, vocals, guitar), Mats Forsberg (drums), Robin Olsson (guitar, vocals), and Johan Blohm (piano, vocals); former members include Tord Eriksson (guitar), Niklas Aspholm (drums), and pub rock legend Billy Bremner (guitar) of Rockpile fame. Impressed by what he'd heard from the then-unknown band from the modest-sized coastal city of G+ñvle, Bremner made arrangements to produce their full-length album debut, Both Rock 'n' Roll (1995), and also produced their follow-up, Trouble Boys (1997), on which he played guitar in the place of original guitarist Tord Eriksson. Bremner subsequently invited his former Rockpile colleague Dave Edmunds to join the Refreshments for a tour and also A Pile of Rock (1997), a live album from the tour; billed to "Dave Edmunds & the Refreshments," the album was recorded live at an intimate club show in G+ñvle. Bremner played guitar with the Refreshments one last time on the band's third album, Are You Ready (1999), which was their most successful to date; not only was it their first to break into the Swedish albums chart, but it also featured their first hit single, "Miss You Miss Belinda."
Robin Olsson took over as guitarist for the band's next album, Musical Fun for Everyone (2000), and pianist Johan Blohm also joined the band at this juncture. The follow-up album, Real Songs on Real Instruments (2001), marked a surge in popularity for the band, thanks in large part to the hit single "One Dance, One Rose, One Kiss," and a best-of compilation, Here We Are (2001), was commissioned for release in the wake of this popularity surge. The success continued for the Refreshments in the years that followed, beginning with On the Rocks (2003), their first album to break into the Top Ten of the albums chart, ultimately peaking at number five. The follow-up Christmas album Rock 'n' Roll X-Mas (2003) then went all the way to number one, capping off a remarkable year for the Refreshments. Subsequent albums -- namely Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down (2004), 24-7 (2006), It's Gotta Be Both Rock 'n' Roll (2006), Christmas Spirits (2007), and Jukebox (2008) -- all proved similarly popular, each charting within the Top Ten, if not the Top Five. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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