Thursday, 26 May 2016


Jimi Tenor was born in 1965 as Lassi O. T. Lehto in Lahti, Finland. The resemblance to the youngest member of The Osmonds, Little Jimmy Osmond, earned him his nickname of Jimi in the early '70s.

Just like his older brother Marko, Jimi had a passion for music. He studied for many years at a music institute and can play flute, piano and saxophone; his skills were further implemented by his work experience as the saxophone player for various bands.

At 16 he was the youngest member of Pallosalama (Thunderball), an orchestra which used to tour Finland with a sort of Saturday night dance shows for older people. This act was very popular then and also appeared on the Syksyn Sävel (Melody of Autumn), a song contest on Finnish Television.

Later on he was part of the Pop-Rock group Himo (Lust) as a saxophone and keyboards player. In 1986 the band gained some success in the Finnish Rock Championships and released a self-titled album along with a few singles on the Amulet and Cityboy labels. Tenor was also responsible for the music and lyrics of a couple of the band's songs.

Other groups in which Jimi was involved in the mid-80s include The Cherry Pickers, Iloinen Poika Milloin (Happy Boy When) - a band founded by his brother - and... Shaman!

Jimi Tenor and His Shamans were founded during 1986; this new project was an experimental evolution of the more ordinary Rock band Shaman. At the time, Tenor had recently discovered the Industrial sound of Einstürzende Neubauten and Test Dept., and - as a twist of fate - had accepted a new job in a mayonnaise factory.

The group consisted of Ilkka Mattila (guitar), Toni Kuusisto (bass) Niklas Häggblom (trumpet), and Enver Hoxha (real name Hannu Mäkelä, atonal alt bass), with Tero Kling playing drums as an added member. Jimi was the lead singer, played tenor saxophone and - just like all the other members of the band - banged on empty oil barrels, a trademark of their sound both in studio and live.

Matti Knaapi, a graphic designer and inventor, allowed the band to embrace a more experimental sound helping Jimi to create special equipment in the form of self-built musical instruments bearing names like Vera (an automatic trombone), Sirkka (a man-sized mechanical drum machine), Melukone (a noise machine) and The Liberace (a peculiar-looking stainless steel object which is hard to describe).

In late 1987, after a series of concerts in Finland, Jimi Tenor and His Shamans debuted with their first single. "X-Rays / Still In Love" was released by the band on their own JTS / Shamans label with catalogue number JTS 2001, probably a reference to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odissey" since the catalogue numbers of the other releases of their label hint at various science fiction movies and books . This release was the subject of a previous post here on Stereo Candies.

As the band's popularity grew, their second single "Closer / Some Fun" was published in early 1988 by Euros Records, which - according to the relevant Discogs entry - was a Finnish label specialised in Rock music active from 1983 until the early '90s. We also took care about this release some time ago...

In 1988 Euros also released "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres", the band's debut album and the subject of this post. Before delving into it, once again here comes my most imploring request to the Finnish readers of this blog: I need your...

Finnish magazine Rumba included a feature about the band and a review of the aforementioned debut single in its November 1987 issue: I previously dedicated a post about it and, since that is probably one of the earliest features dedicated to His Majesty Jimi Tenor, I would be glad to include an English translation here on these pages, so that a wider public can enjoy it.

An high resolution scan and a .txt transcription of the feature/review are available for download here, if you can translate from Finnish to English and are willing to help, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!!!

Jimi Tenor and His Shamans performing live, 1987

"Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" contains the following tracks:

01. Wonderful Nightmare (2:32)
02. Closer (3:36)
03. Some Fun (1:50)
04. X-Rays (2:57)
05. Darling (3:48)
06. Trumpets of Poland (4:23)
07. New Antichrist (3:05)
08. Cowboy (4:22)
09. Blues (3:26)
10. Still In Love (3:28)
11. Thank You (3:11)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in May 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

Before burning this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you must convert the original FLAC audio file to WAV format using an appropriate software. Please have a look here if you need some help.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

Entitled after the peculiar characteristic of the beloved empty barrels which most of the band members play on the album, "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" was released by Euro Records in early 1988 with catalogue number SIN-1041. On the front cover the group is aptly portrayed wearing their simple black stage outfits, carrying barrels across an industrial site.

Side A begins with "Wonderful Nightmare, a perfect introduction to the band's Industrial madness, with lunatic tenor saxophone soloing and obstinate guitar/bass lines. The lyrics seems to be about a bad erotic dream.

"Closer" is quite intense and offers the usual band's trademark metal percussions coupled with an interesting horns arrangement; the refrain is infectious and somewhere in a parallel universe I'm quite sure this was a huge MTV hit!

The short "Some Fun" is a piercing noisy track which is almost autistic in its stride; alienating lyrics are sung above oppressive guitars and a steady beat, and the other elements are kept to a minimun, probably on purpose.

The aggressive "X-Rays" showcases assorted metal percussions, obsessive lyrics, funky guitar and horns, and a determined bassline. This piece aptly depicts the band's ability at combining Industrial paraphernalia with more accessible elements and was also issued as their first single the previous year.

"Darling" offers many Funky elements and musically is one of the most commercial tracks on the album, so to speak... The lyrics are about an aroused dancer afraid to disappoint his partner with too much... sexual libido!

While previous numbers were all written by Jimi Tenor, Side A ends with "Trumpets of Poland", a song co-written by Jimi and Hannu Mäkelä, whose object is not easy to decipher because of the distortion effect used on the voice... Oh, and I think I hear some keyboards here an there, even though nobody is credited for playing them in the liner notes.

Side B starts off with the straight beats of "New Antichrist", one of the most adrenaline-filled tracks on the album. Its simple and repetitive structure needs volume to be fully appreciated and I'm quite sure that for fans of the band this was a live favourite: I can imagine those mosh pits...

The calm but resolved "Cowboy" is for sure one of the best songs on the album. With its invoking New Wave atmosphere dictated by appropriate chord changes and instrumentation, it is a small masterpiece. I guess that the lyrics deal with insanity, but this could just be my interpretation... Nobody is credited for the beautiful piano lines, but I assume that the player is Jimi himself. Ilkka Mattila's guitar also deserves a special mention here.

Barrels percussion returns on "Blues" dominating the scene; while horns play their last cards and a guitar gets grated as usual in a simple and effective way, Jimi screams lyrics about submission...

With its walking bass, Jazzier feeling and overall more relaxed atmosphere, "Still In Love" wouldn't make a poor showing in one of the albums that Jimi Tenor released on Warp Records in the mid-90s, although something sinister is still floating around in the form of repeated background creakings. It was co-written with Ilkka Mattila... Cooool song!

The album ends with "Thank You", an instrumental track which was co-written by one Eero Lounela and, yes, I don't have a clue about him... Uhm...

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, enjoy "Darling", "Closer", "Cowboy", "X-Rays, "New Antichrist and "Still In Love"!

Here's the credits and personnel list of "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" as they appear on the inner sleeve of the album and on the centre labels:

Jimi Tenor (Lassi Lehto) - tenor sax, voice, barrels
Enver Hoxna (Hannu Mäkelä) - atonal alt bass, barrels
Niklas Häggblom - trumpet, barrels
Ilkka Mattila - guitar
Toni Kuusisto - bass
Tero Kling - drums, barrels

Recording engineer: Ari Vaahtera
Mixed and mastered at SC-Recording Studio by Ari Vaahtera and Jimi Tenor.

All tracks written by Jimi Tenor, except "Trumpets of Poland" by Hannu Mäkelä and Jimi Tenor, "Still In Love" by Ilkka Mattila and Jimi Tenor, and "Thank You" by Jimi Tenor and Eero Lounela.

Horn arrangements by Jimi Tenor, except "New Antichrist" and "Blues" by Markku Nikula and Jimi Tenor.

Photography: Jouko Lehtola
Cover: Jimi Tenor

Thank you: Eero Lounela
Special thanks to: Matti Knaapi, Pieni, Ari Vaahtera and Ingrid Disk


As a bonus and courtesy of YouTube, here's a rare clip of the band performing "Objects On the Table" live in Helsinki in 1988. As far as I know this track is not included in any of their official releases, enjoy!

More information about Jimi Tenor is available here:

If you have any other useful information about this post or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

1 comment:


    If you download this file please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know if the link is broken and I'll do my best to quickly fix it.


Be nice, keep it clean, stay on topic, no spam, thank you!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...