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Compendium Records
– Norway`s first progressive record shop and label 1974-1977

Catalogue number: PSPCD719 / PSPLP719

Releasedate: October, 2010


Plastic Strip is proud to present the first retrospective documentation of Norway`s first alternative recordstore and progressive label – Compendium Records. Compendium started out in 1974 as a classic hippie enterprise: a lucky set of circumstances, practically no money and a complete disregard for any and all usual business practices. But the business idea was good. At the time, the price difference between Norway and England for records was quite substantial, and Compendium found out that they could sell the albums cheaper than the other stores by importing directly from England and still make money. After harassing parents and friends for startup capital, they managed to buy 6-7 boxes of the hottest items and put them up for sale in a dilapidated basement in an obscure part of town. 


The first crew of Compendium Records consisted of Frode Holm, Gunnar Skogen and Jomar Johansen; all a little bit ‘off center’ from the usual Oslo music scene (Grateful Dead etc.), in that they all liked to listen to jazz and pretty much any kind of  ‘out there’ music , like Frank Zappa and Soft Machine and the whole Cantebury movement. By 1975, Compendium was in full bloom, to the record companies’ great annoyance, and they had refurbished the basement to include not only a record store, but also a book store, a small coffee room, oriental goods, posters etc. 

After Frode Holm went to see the band Henry Cow perform at Kensington theatre in London and was completely blown away, he invited the band to Oslo to hold a concert at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. The sold out concert was taped and ended up as Compendiums first release Henry Cow Concerts.

Already during Soft Machines concert at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Oslo in 1971, Frode had met some of the Soft Machine members and in 1976 they met again to discuss recording plans. Compendium released Hugh Hoppers classic Hoppertunitybox album and Elton Dean/Keith Tippet/Hugh Hopper/Joe Gallivan classic british fusion album Cruel But Fair. Compendium was to release more british progressive jazz and rock releases such as the band  Mirage with Brian Gooding and Dave Stewart and different records by Joe Gallivan and Charles Austin.


But Compendium was also releasing allot of Norwegian jazz and rock, amongst others the album Hi-Fly with Karin Krog and Archie Shepp in 1977. They also released subliminal albums by Saluki, Vanessa and the classic Norwegian fusion group  Blow Out, consisting of the musicians Jon Eberson, Sveinung Hovensjø, Jon Eberson and Håkon Graf. 

That a small indie label from Norway at this time released bands such as Henry Cow, different Soft Machine members and Archie Shepp is nothing but amazing! 

In 1977 Compendium closed it doors due to economical problems. 

This release has compiled one track from each of the ten albums released by Compendium Records.


The release comes with linernotes written by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Frode Holm and Hans Voigt, and is complimented with several new photos and pressclippings.  

Tracklist CD version

1. Karin Krog & Archie Shepp – Steam

2. Vanessa – Street Talk

3. Dean/Hopper/Tippett/Gallivan – Seven Drones

4. Charles Austin & Joe Gallivan – Peace in the world

5. Saluki – Come Down 

6.. Hugh Hopper – Spanish Knee 

7. Intercontinental Express – Human Syndrome 

8. Mirage – Kings Head

9. Blow out – Watching Everybody Else

10. Henry Cow – Oslo

Tracklist LP version

Side A

Karin Krog & Archie Shepp – Steam

Vanessa – Street Talk

Dean/Hopper/Tippett/Gallivan – Seven Drones

Side B

Charles Austin & Joe Gallivan – Peace in the world

Saluki – Come Down 

Hugh Hopper – Spanish Knee

Side C

Intercontinental Express - Human Syndrome 

Mirage – Kings Head

Blow Out – Watching Everybody Else

Side D

Henry Cow – Oslo

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