Belaboris – Once Upon A Time LP
Belaboris was born in 1982 as the brainchild of Finnish producer Kimmo Miettinen. What Malcolm McLaren had been to The Sex Pistols, Miettinen was to Belaboris. He would put together an all-girl band that looked great in photographs but were backed by professional musicians. The first line-up was Vilma Vainikainen on main vocals, Sisko Vainikainen and Rita on back-up plus Jake and Mari who did not sing at all. The backing band behind Belaboris was a local New Wave group called Tyhjät Patterit ( which translates to Empty Batteries). The main songwriter was Esa Ijäs (guitar, synthesizer) along with his bandmates Ari Ijäs (bass) and Martti Jalonen (drums). Belaboris’ debut 12″ single “Kuolleet Peilit” was released in November 1982. It was followed by the “Odotus” 7″ single in February 1983. The B-side was a cover of the Serge Gainsbourg song “Baby Pop”. The band broke up and posthumously released a mini-LP called “Olipa Kerran” in 1984. WIthin a few months, an all new Belaboris line-up was put together. This version was a trio consisting of Saara Soisalo (lead vocals), Sallamaari Muhonen (backing vocals) and Minna Soisalo (“moral support”). They released a 7″ single “Rakkauden Jälkeen”, an atmospheric electronic version of 60’s Scandinavian pop hit by Carola. Shortly thereafter this line-up was quietly shelved and no further efforts were made.
“Once Upon A Time” collects songs from all three EP releases and the “Olipa Kerran” mini-LP as well as two unreleased demos never before on vinyl. In Finland the synthetic Futurist/New Romantic pop was simply called “Futu”. Belaboris were in their own peculiar, undefinable no-woman’s-land, in between the Finnish Futu and Gothic scenes. Between 1982 and 1984 Belaboris crafted catchy, melodic synthpop with the occasional guitar. Their lyrics were stylistically “kitchen sink melodramas” with occasional Gothic elements inspired by movies. The name Belaboris, is a combination of the horror actors Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a full color jacket and includes an insert with liner notes, lyrics and photos. Three decades on, Belaboris have grown a considerable posthumous cult reputation that has spread also outside their native country, even defying the language barrier. Maybe Miettinen’s idea worked, after all.