这是Bo Hansson继第一张专辑[The Lord Of The Rings 指环王]后的第二张专辑[Magician's Hat 魔术师的帽子]，在1973年9月发行，这个是2004年的再版。
Bo Hansson 是瑞典著名的电子键盘手，也是世界上最早用电子琴创作 New Age 音乐的先锋者之一。1976 年他与 Jan-Eric Persson 创立了唱片公司 Opus3 Records，生产公司名为 Firma Ljudinspelning ，并作为高保真音响硬件生产厂商 Rauna 的子公司，录制和发行了不少古典、爵士和新世纪等类型的唱片。
Label: Virgin – 7243 8 66134 2 4
Format: CD, Album, Remastered, Copy Protected
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Downtempo, Ambient
Hansson's second album is more jazz-tinged and less successful than his first, being more diffuse and lacking some of the energy of Lord of the Rings. Still, there is a compelling power to some of this music, as his organ, guitar, and synthesizer alternately move out in front — think of a space-rock version of Jimmy Smith or early Herbie Hancock. "Big City" (extended) is lively and engaging, which is a fairly notable accomplishment for an 11-minute opening track, and the rest is more manageable, though none of it seems overly inventive. "Divided Reality" opens up with a densely strummed acoustic guitar that threatens to turn into a remake of "Nights in White Satin" until the tempo changes, and instead we get a minute of fascinating progressive guitar noodling in the best Peter Banks/Steve Howe tradition, followed by an organ cadenza that Ray Manzarek or Tony Kaye might have approved. Fans of the second and third incarnations of King Crimson (Lizard, Islands, Earthbound) may enjoy this recording with its prominent saxophone and flute backing, not to mention Kenny Håkansson's heavily wah-wahed guitar.
Swedish keyboard player/composer Bo Hansson first emerged in the 1960s, as part of a duo that made a name for itself, first in Sweden and then on tour in Europe, and a series of three albums. Jimi Hendrix heard the group and recorded some jams with Hansson that are still unreleased. The guitarist recorded one of Hansson's songs ("Tax-Free"), the group later toured with the Experience.
During the early '70s, Hansson burst on the international scene with his concept album Lord of the Rings, an all-instrumental album inspired by the literary trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien, which had been a best-seller for years among college students. The album received Gold Record awards in England and Australia. Licenced by Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records label in England and America, the album was the subject of an extensive television advertising campaign that turned it into a hit in progressive rock circles. Two subsequent albums, Magician's Hat and Attic Thoughts, were also released throughout Europe and in America.
Hansson has been incapacitated by illness in recent years, and hasn't recorded since the 1980s.
1. Swedish instrumentalist Bo Hansson was probably more surprised than anyone when his 1972 masterwork, "Lord Of The Rings", became a runaway success. Yet despite - or perhaps because of -its lack of bombast, pomp and grandeur, this burnished collection of perfectly honed and haunting tunes (recorded on a four-track, folks!) perfectly encapsulates Professor Tolkien's epic. Bo had a difficult task on his hands to come up with a worthy follow-up; that he did so, with the mighty "Magician's Hat", is no less astonishing than its predecessor's success. Magician's Hat is more jazzy and dense, with a greater emphasis on the players where "Rings" had almost been a one-man band. Standout tracks are "The City", included here in original and extended versions, with its lonely saxophone beginning morphing into a swirl of time signatures and patterns, and "The Sun", where Hansson demonstrates his prowess on the electric piano without being in any sense show-offy. His musicians provide superb and sympathetic back-up - praise be, no progsters they - and it is a crying shame, even 30 years on, that this record failed to repeat the success of the Ring. The re-mastering is a treat, the sleeve notes generous, and there is a bonus track in the shape of the neat little coda, "Waltz At Dawn", slated for inclusion on the original album. Best of all, the packaging - and that magnificent front cover - have been beautifully preserved. A treat for the wee small hours.
2. This album has come as quite a surprise. For somebody who though they knew a great deal about 70s prog music I have been blown away. For a start the music is not really prog but a mix of Psychedelic / Prog / Fusion. Think Wishbone Ash / Hawkwind / Yes and you are in the same musical area as Bo Hannson, however Bo and his boys stand head over shoulders when it comes to pure musicianship. You will not find on this album hour long self absorbed solos or wailing backing vocals. All you will find is a kind of jazzy, psychedelic fusion which leaves most other groups of the time way behind. As I say I have been surprised and I feel you will be too.
01. Big City
02. Divided Reality
04. Before the Rain
06. Playing Downhill into the Downs
07. Findhorn's Song
08. The Awakening
09. Wandering Song
10. The Sun
11. Excursion with Complications
13. Waltz at Dawn