The Seventies & Eighties
Way back in the seventies, Tim Stahl and John Guldberg met in a band called
The Starbox Band and soon found out that there was a special chemistry between them. They were always the ones left that kept on jamming when band rehearsals ended. After a disaster of a support gig for The Kinks in Copenhagen, where people walked out on them, the band split up.
New technology came as a revolution to musicians in the mid-seventies:
multi-track tape recorders, rhythm boxes and synthesizers. In a backyard downtown Copenhagen, John had set up a small studio where they began jamming together and do tape recordings. They soon realized that they had created a new sound, a new way of making music.
The debut album “Laid Back” with their first #1 hit “Maybe I'm Crazy” was released in 1981. The next single, “Sunshine Reggae”, was the summer hit of 1982 in Denmark.
In 1983, it then went on to be a huge hit in Italy, and after several earlier attempts, that song began climbing up German charts and finally reached #1, selling more than 750,000 singles. Soon, “Sunshine Reggae” went #1 in 22 countries around the world and having so far sold more than 20 million units, compilations included.
In the USA, the focus was however on another song, “White Horse”, which became a
#1 Dance track and trendsetter for many other artists. When their US record company told them “don't come, people think you are black”, Tim and John saw it as the biggest acknowledgement a musician could ever get and stayed away.
Today, “White Horse” is known for being a benchmark cornerstone of the electronic music-making in the Eighties, having been sampled over and over again and becoming a true classic.
The Nineties & Noughties
In 1990, Laid Back had a comeback with the song "Bakerman", which became a big hit with it's unique and simple style. It is known for the skydiver video by the world-known Danish film director Lars von Trier.
In 2001, Laid Back composed the music score for the Danish movie “Flyvende Farmor”, for which they received a Robert (the Danish Oscar Award). That same year, they also showed a new artistic side when a successful Laid Back exhibition of paintings took place in Copenhagen.
In 2004, Laid Back performed at the hip festival on the Isle of Wight, UK, and in 2005 they played at the famous open air stage of the Copenhagen Tivoli Gardens and the equally prestigious Roskilde Festival.
The album “Happy Dreamer” came in 2005, propelling especially its single “Beautiful Day” to great feedback. This also due to a co-operation with noted DJ / Producer Trentemøller doing a remix of the track. Laid Back for the first time began to come up with art video clips to fit their music, along with a free rein in using own imaginative graphics and visuals all drawn by John Guldberg.
In 2010, "Cocaine Cool" was the first single to be released on Laid Back's own label, Brother Music. It was followed by the mini album “Cosyland” and the instrumental album “Cosmic Vibes” in 2012.
Since the very beginning, Laid Back has maintained their unique ability to sound exactly like themselves, while constantly navigating towards new sonic territories. If you ask Tim and John how a specific song was made, the answer almost always is: "We jammed our way into it".
That was also the case with the double album "Uptimistic Music", which they released in 2013. In this period, Laid Back also opened the door to more external input. Especially to younger creative forces, where sound engineer Bjørn Winnem, producer Andreas 'Maskinen' Sommer and singer Red Baron are important contributors.
In 2019, Laid Back received the prestigious Danish award "Pioneer of the Year"
(Årets Steppeulv) for their many years of contribution to the international music scene. This year, the famous Danish designer Mads Nørgaard also made a special collection with t-shirts and sweatshirts with some of the graphic hallmarks of Laid Back.
2019 is definitely a special year for Laid Back marking 40 years of making music in the same studio in Copenhagen, the studio where it all began.
Laid Back celebrates their anniversary by releasing their 12th studio album "Healing Feeling" and will play at some Danish festivals this summer.