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Mikael Rickfors in Vaxholm 2011.
|Born||4 December 1948|
Mikael Rickfors (born 4 December 1948) is a Swedish singer and bassist. From 1968, he was the lead singer and bass guitarist in popular Swedish band Bamboo. The band released two singles before breaking up in 1970. Rickfors would later perform with the British rock group The Hollies for about two years. His performing style during this period was with a wide range and powerful chest voice. In later decades, he took on a deliberate, slightly raspy tone.
In early 1972, Rickfors joined popular British rock group The Hollies replacing the lead singer Allan Clarke, who had left to pursue a solo career. Rickfors's richer lower-register voice contrasted to Clarke's distinctive, piercing tenor. One of their hits that both performed was "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". Rickfors performed this ballad with more dramatic tone and a slight vibrato, such as that performed on The Midnight Special in 1973. His first single with the group "The Baby" reached no. 26 in the UK as well as charting in various other territories.
The band followed up by releasing the album Romany, with one song, "Touch," written by Rickfors. Mikael also sang the band's hit "Magic Woman Touch" and the European 45 "Don't Leave The Child Alone" which he also wrote. The group received an unexpected boost as a single extracted from the group's previous album (with Clarke's vocals) shot up the American charts. The Hollies undertook their first major US tour without their signature vocalist. The tour was not a commercial success. The band then recorded a second album, Out on the Road which featured a major songwriting contribution from Rickfors. On both albums and on stage Rickfors also sang, played guitar, bass, congas and keyboard. Out on the Road was released only in Germany and Spain. In July 1973, Clarke rejoined the Hollies and Rickfors departed the group.
In 1975 Rickfors released the first of eleven solo albums. 1988 saw the release of his hugely successful Vingar album. In 1990, he embarked on his first collaboration as part of the Swedish supergroup Grymlings (named after Rickfors' farm).
Among the artists who have recorded songs Mikael has written, in addition to The Hollies, are: Carlos Santana ("Daughter of the Night"), Cyndi Lauper ("Yeah Yeah" on her multi-million selling debut album), Percy Sledge ("Blue Night", "Misty Morning", "Shining Through the Rain", "Road of No Return"), Richie Havens, Jim Capaldi, Carla Olson, and Paul Jones (on his 2009 solo album Starting All Over Again). The title track of Chubby Tavares's first solo album, 17 July 2012, is the Rickfors song "Jealousy."