In late 1986 Alien recorded two songs, ‘Headstrong‘ and ‘I’ll Survive‘ at Studio Bohus. Virgin Scandinavia signed the band and released those two singles. In the meantime, while touring Scandinavia, they wrote their debut album ‘Alien‘. Virgin believed in Alien to appeal to audiences in further territories, and hence rewrote their contract into a worldwide deal!
In late 1987, at ABBA’s Polar Studio, the Swedes cut three songs with producer Mark Dearnley (AC/DC, Def Leppard). One being ‘Only One Woman‘ went on to top the charts and achieved platinum status. The B-side, ‘Somewhere Out There‘, also got to #1 in the charts, for instrumentals!
After that, the group relocated to the renowned Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, with producer Chris Minto (Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Kiss), to record the record. Two songs were featured in the 1988 remake of the 50’s Sci-Fi movie ‘The Blob‘; ‘Feel My Love‘, plus ‘Brave New Love‘ in the end credits. Back from the US, with ‘Only One Woman‘ sky-rocketing the charts, Alien brought the album on tour, beating box office records, being all over Swedish media.
While in London doing promo, the group shot cover photos with Simon Fowler, and signed with Steve Barnett / Hard to Handle Management (Gary Moore, AC/DC). For the international launch, Virgin America made a new album cover and some remixes by Duane Baron and John Purdell. Songs were cut out to include the first single with new singer Pete Sandberg, ‘The Air That I Breathe‘/’Now Love‘. Pete replaced Jim Jidhed in the fall of 1988, making his first appearance performing live on Swedish national TV.
New promo and cover photos were shot in LA as well as the video for ‘Tears Don’t Put Out The Fire‘. Director Dough Freel was chosen mainly for his work on the Def Leppard ‘Hysteria’“ album videos. Promotion, TV and a full summer of touring followed in 1989, bringing Alien’s biggest production to date on the road. ‘Tears Don’t Put Out The Fire‘ was chosen as the international single release. A couple more songs written during pre-production for the album were later published on the 1997 ‘Best & Rare‘ 2-CD collection.
Between 1990 and 2005 Alien released four more albums, i.e. ‘Shiftin’ Gear‘ in 1990 (with Pete Sandberg). In 1992 Tony formed a Stockholm based Alien and made two albums at Eagle Records and in 2005, Tony Borg and Jim Jidhed got in touch and recorded ‘Dark Eyes‘ for Frontiers Records.
In 2010, the original line-up eventually reunited, a handful of festivals were chosen, e.g. Sweden Rock (Cruise + Festival), Getaway Rock, Firefest. A new single, ‘Ready To Fly‘ (Manora Rec), was cut to promote the reunion. It went down great with the crowd and especially the response at the first Firefest performance (2011) made the band really consider making a new record.
The No Remorse/EMI re-issue CD (ltd 1000 copies) of ‘Alien‘ (s/t Scandinavian) reached No.1 on the import album chart in Japan and sold out. EMI Music Sweden released the back catalogue, re-mastered for digital download with some unreleased demos as bonus. The ‘Alien – 25th Anniversary‘ 2-CD deluxe edition highlighted the celebration of Alien’s debut album, selling out as well. ‘Shiftin’ Gear +4‘ CD (AOR Heaven) with bonus tracks shed some light on the fact that the original line-up wrote and pre-produced a sophomore album, before disbanding in late 1989.
Recordings of the ‘Eternity‘ album started Aug 1st at Bohus Sound and continued throughout 2013, taking a break only to perform at the Firefest 10th Anniversary show. Alien decided to add a song, ‘I’m a Fighter‘, written back in the 80’s by their L.A. co-writers Pam Barlow and Janet Morrison Minto, as an homage to their co-work on the debut. The regained contact with Pam and Janet led to them writing lyrics for this record as well.
On November 27th, 2020 Alien will release the album ‘Into the Future‘. This record is taking the band from being merely an AOR band to more of a hard rock band with a heavier sound and more guitars.
Creating ‘Into The Future‘ was really a journey back to the days of being free in a musical way to experiment with arrangement, sounds, melodies and just having a blast while doing it. Once again to the band’s delight, Janet Morrison Minto has been a part of the lyrics writing and as always with great commitment. Alien is now Jim Jidhed, Tony Borg and Toby Tarrach (d). The album was recorded in various studios in Sweden incl. JM Studios in Gothenburg, Borg Music & Recording Studio in Stockholm, Music Family studio in Särö and Hope Studio in Gothenburg. The mix and mastering was handled by Erik Mårtensson (ECLIPSE) at Blowout Production in Sollerön.