Friday, February 28, 2014

The Mustangs - Rautalanka Collection

 Rock instrumental music faded from mainstream pop consciousness after its peak during the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, whilst the hits may have dried up, the impact of this dynamic musical style was so great that interest in the genre never completely died away and in these days it continues to flourish. Its influence on musicians was such that the occasional rock instrumental would pop up as an album track or B-side of a single throughout the rest of the 1960s and into the 1970s. A healthy collectors market had developed over this perioid and these occasional new releases were rare but welcome additions to the standard collection of records by The Shadows, Ventures, Spotnicks etc. The Shadows enjoyed a revival in the later part of the 1970s and this paved a way for a rock instrumental revival in Europe. Groups comprising just two guitars, bass and drums and playing instrumentals in the old style began to emerge, although the focus at this stage was very much on recreating the sounds, and recordings, of their heroes. The Mustangs came onto this scene like a breath of fresh air. Everything they did simply oozed with class. They were the star act on the Rautalanka Records label set up in Finland by two instrumental devotees, Olle Salo and Seppo Salminen , and released a series of very fine EPs over the period 1982-84. What struck home immediately was their sound and their playing. Totally at home with their instruments, the rhythm section of Jari Aaltonen (guitar), Markku Tuominen (bass) and Jarmo Tuominen (drums) provided the perfect foundation for Matti Luhtala..s fluent lead guitar playing which was sweet in tone and lusciously echoed. And they had no need to resort to copies of Apache or Dance on, for the group..s own instrumental interpretations of material from a range of different sources provided them with a richly original repertoire. Three EPs provided the backbone for their 1983 LP on Le Baron, but it was with those original Rautalanka Records EPs that they made a lasting impact on UK instrumental fans. Housed in a glossy colour card sleeves, the pressings were in high quality vinyl, a rarity in UK for anything except classical music, and were even protected by an inner polythene sleeve. These EPs were gems that found their place alongside the favourites of everyone..s original 1960s collection . Many releases have followed from The Mustangs, and many from the numerous other Finnish guitar bands .

The Mustangs Guitars: Matti Luhtala, Marko Rahikainen,
bass guitar: Markku Tuominen,
drums: Jarmo Tuominen.
Members on past line-ups: Guitar: Jari Aaltonen, Janne Orava, Sakari Korhonen (Voc.), bass guitar: Jari Vironen (Voc.), drums: Petri Suni, Timo Leinonen, Jarmo Peippo.

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