When he performed the duet Johnny Johnny with Cia Berg in a TV show, Ola Håkansson on Sonet was looking. Ola became very angry when the song did not turn out to be a hit. So he tried to track down Barbie, though he did not know whether it was a man in drag or a, very ugly - but smart, girl. He settled for girl...
Almost from the start he got help from the people later involved in Army Of Lovers, Camilla Thulin for styling and Farouk (= Jean-Pierre Barda) for hair and make-up. Later on Farouk started appearing on the sleeves together with the girls Yazmina Chantal and Katanga. The latter was model Camilla Henemark later to be known as La Camilla. After the fist Barbie album, Bard started working with Ola Håkansson and Tim Norell of Secret Service. At first he helped them with song lyrics, later on also music. They became Sweden's Stock Aitken Waterman with songs written by Norell /Oson(= Ola Håkansson)/Bard and produced by Ola Håkansson/Tim Norell/Anders Hansson. This started in 1986, so when it in 1987 was time for a follow up album, Alexander went to Sonet Grammofon. The first single out was Wham Bam, produced by Tim Norell and Anders Hansson. Next came Barbie Goes Around The World produced by Håkansson/Norell/Hansson.
The other members of Army Of Lovers had been doing various things. Jean-Pierre Bard, born in Sweden 1952 by French Algerian parents, left his home when he was 15. Later became a hair dresser and also made make-up on TV. Camilla Henemark, born in Sweden by a Swedish mother a Nigerian father. Started as model, later got her own agency, here a certain Michaela de la Cour was signed later on...
Enter the Army
Then they did a lot of remix and some re-recording of Barbie Goes Around The World, it then became My Army Of Lovers, and now they was serious about it. They did the kind of extravagant video clip that they later on always did, and got a grammy award for best video clip for the effort. Now they got a small hit. They also released their first album Disco Extravaganza. Ride The Bullet was the break through in Sweden. Crucified gave them a big hit, and Obsession was a mega hit. With Crucified they also got their first international hit. An interesting fact for the die hard record collectors is that the UK single mix of Obsession is a bit shorter then others.
In 1990 Bard together with Ola Håkansson, Anders Wollbeck and a few others started a sub label to Sonet, it was called Sunrise. Here Bard, Wollbeck and Per Adebratt (the two latter is also known as Nuzak) wrote and produced records with new artists. The most successful is Midi, Maxi & Efti. In 1991 PolyGram bought Sonet. Ola Håkansson then started Stockholm Records together with the people of Sunrise plus some others. Sunrise ceased to exist and all artists was transferred to Sonet or Stockholm Records.
The Army's first album on Stockholm was a re-issue of Massive Luxury Overdose. It is the same edition that was released by Giant Records in USA, so it is sometimes known as 'US Edition'. It includes four brand new songs, and lacks Supernatural and My Army Of Lovers. All the new track features Michaela. The second album also has a different cover. One of the new tracks, Judgement Day, was the first single out on Stockholm.
After the successful production of Midi Maxi & Efti's album Bard/Wollbeck/Adebratt has produced the album I, Myself & Me with Pernilla which was released on Stockholm Records in October 1992. Four singles has been taken from it Fallen Angel and C'est Demon both features four mixes of the tittle track. All Of Me features two standard album tracks. The last single Are You Ready, is one of the two tracks which Bard has not been producing, but he is co-composer. Army Of Lovers later recorded C'est Demon for themselves. AOL is also performing Hasta Manana on ABBA The Tribute album, this song also appears on the promo only compilation CD The Stockholm Party.
In October 1992 Army Of Lover, or rather their clip directors, received a prize for their videos. This took place at the first music video gala in Moscow. In the jury were all the old Russian film elite. AOL's clips are now of course very famous, and their style has been copied a lot, their directors is also working for others. Appolon Film was the biggest producer of videos on MTV in '94.
Classic line up
Dominika Peczynski's first album apperance was on the single Israelism. This preceded the album The Gods Of Earth And Heaven in 1993. Two more singles was released from the album, La Plage De Saint Tropez and I Am. Then they released a compilation of most of their video clips called Videovaganza. This year also saw La Camilla releasing a duet with MTV's Steve Blame, Give Me Your Love (Je T'Aime).
In the autumn of 1994 they released a single that was a collaboration with Swedish duo Big Money. Being called Lit De Parade. Being a lot more synthish, it was also a change in the sound. It was produced by Anders Hansson and Vacuum. This would mark the first apperance of the name Vacuum. Alexander also spoke about Vacuum in interviews as a group of people that was in ti more majestic synth pop music. The album Glory Glamour and Gold was out shortly afterwards. The over all impression was that of lack of interest, the feeling is that they did the album more out of habit then out of joy.
Michaela de la Cour left the group, apperently this had been clear for everyone involved since Christmas 1994. At the same time talks began with La Camilla about her eventual return to the group. Michaela started an "acting" career.
Finally La Camilla came back to the band. The return was marked by the single Give My Life that was out in October 1995. It became the Army's biggest hit in Sweden for a long time. The song was the first one out from Les Greatest Hits which followed in November. The collection contained two other new songs, and some remixes. One of the 'new' songs is Everytime You Lie which was a solo singel by La Camilla.
In January 1996 the second single, the more techno sounding Venus And Mars was out, it was backed by a Megamix. Apperently it was meant to be a double a-sided release. That was strangely followed, only three weeks later, by King Midas, which despite claiming so on the cover is not taken from Les Greatest Hits. It is a collaboration, in both composing and production, with Jonas 'Joker' Berggren of Ace of Base.
About a year after the first hit compilation it was time for the second one. This one was part of PolyGram's midprice compilation series Master Series. The only good thing about it was the inclusion of When The Night Is Cold which makes it's debut on a major CD release. The only real drawback is the lack of King Midas.
After the Army?
After AOL things has not gone so well for the various members. La Camilla released a few singles that flopped. The first single out came in June 1996, The Witch In Me. An album was also made, and gone so far as to be released to the press for reviewing before being totally cancelled. Apperently she having some court case to get the right to release it on her own. She has also done some acting and generall TV apperances, also a bit in to politics.
Jean-Pierre has also done various things that has gone un-noticed. For the last year he has been on the TV show Silicon and remaked ordinary people.
Dominika is the one that has done best. She has hosted a number of TV shows in both the UK and Sweden.
Mikaela has done some 'acting'. She has also done some single. Apperently she has a new album deal in the works.
Many fans has asked me why they call their publishing company Esrange Music. Esrange is a space centre in northern Sweden, near Kiruna. Here satellites are built, sent up and controlled. Sort of Europe's 'Houston' and 'Kennedy Space Centre'.
THE ARMY OF LOVERS DISCOGRAPHY
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