26th of February (Europe, ex-Norway) is the date that everybody with an interest in rock music should make a note of, as this is the day when Stage Dolls – one of Norway's best bands through more than a quarter of a century – are releasing their seventh studio album. The title "Always" underlines that this is a band you always can trust. And simultaneously with the release, the band can mark the 25th anniversary of their debut album, "Soldier's Gun".
Their story begins when guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Torstein Flakne is out of work after The Kids' short – but hectic and successful – career is over in 1982. Two years later, Flakne has recruited bass player Terje Storli and drummer Erlend Antonsen, and Stage Dolls feature both on the TV show "Zikk Zakk" and as TNT's warm-up act. And all this happens before the band's first album has been released.
1985 is the year when Stage Dolls release "Soldier's Gun", get a hit with the title track and get a nomination for the music award Spellemannprisen. The trio also plays a lot live, and soon they are one of the country's hardest touring bands – a position Stage Dolls have occupied ever since.
The year after they follow up their debut is followed with "Commandos", which features Steinar Krokstad as the new drummer. Stage Dolls now get their first international contract, as the record also is released in the US. Third album "Stage Dolls" (1988) is also internationally launched, and with songs like "Wings Of Steel", "Still In Love" and "Love Cries", the record remains one of the true classics in melodic rock.
In the aftermath of their eponymous album, Stage Dolls tour a lot, both in Norway, the rest of Europe and in America (along with Warrant and Blue Murder). In Europe, they tour with Magnum and Fish. In 1989, "Love Cries" reaches number 46 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, which means that Stage Dolls is only the second Norwegian act (after a-ha) to chart in the US.
Fourth album "Stripped" (1991) gives the boys another hit, "Love Don't Bother Me", and again Stage Dolls tour a lot, including a European tour with Mr. Big. The band also continue playing all over Norway – there's hardly a stage here that the boys haven't stood on. In 1993, Stage Dolls sum up their career by releasing a compilation album, "Stories We Could Tell", and hire a new drummer, Morten Skogstad.
Stage Dolls didn't release much music during the nineties, but unlike many other bands, Stage Dolls have never disbanded, and as a live band the boys have been active all the time. Flakne also spent the nineties writing songs for other artists, among them Morten Harket. In 1997, Stage Dolls released their fifth album, "Dig".
Late in 2002, the compilation "Good Times - The Essential Stage Dolls" is released. It's Stage Dolls' comeback on the Norwegian Top 20, where the album spends 12 weeks in 2003 and reaches number 2. A very successful tour follows, where Stage Dolls mark their 20th anniversary, resulting in the live album "Get A Live". Soon the boys also return to the studio, to record "Get A Life", and their first studio album in seven years gets great reviews in 2004.
Life on the road has been almost endless for Stage Dolls, but between concerts the boys have found the time to visit Nidaros Studio – where they made their earlier records – and the result is their new album, "Always". Torstein Flakne co-produced it with Ronny Wikmark, who also mixed it with Stage Dolls' former producer, Bjørn Nessjø. The American back-up singers from their success album "Stage Dolls" are also featured, so everything suggests a classic Stage Dolls album.
Tracklist: 01.Always, 02.Raining On A Sunny Day, 03.Rollin', 04.Highway's Open, 05.Eye Of My Heart, 06.Better Off Pretty, 07.Taillights, 08.Saturday Night, 09.Where The Blacktop Ends, 10.My Strangest Friend
Torstein Flakne (guitar, vocals)
Terje Storli (bass)
Morten Skogstad (drums)
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