The Danish Legend, The Savage Rose,
alias Annisette & Thomas Koppel. Not only Bjork has mentioned The Savage Rose among her major influences; They are intensely loved throughout Europe and by their ten thousands of dedicated fans around the world.
Annisette’s name equals total integrity and honesty, absolutely unique stage performance and vocals, making her “one of ‘pop music’s most unique and powerful vocalists” (Archie Patterson, Eurock, USA).
Thomas Koppel’s name is synonymous with stone original composing and producing and enormous versatility: effortlessly moving from the mind-blowing songs of The Savage Rose to film music, symphonic works, musicals ballets and more.
As noted in Miller-Freeman’s US book ‘The Unknown Legends Of Rock’n'Roll, they are among the rare true ORIGINATORS of the music of today. However, as noted by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, The Savage Rose 2003 are far from nostalgia, they’re “not prisoners of history because they never stopped making it”. They are continuously at the very front edge of contemporary music, effortlessly combining elements of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Alternative, and World Music into a unique, highly spicy and sensual pop, embracing audiences of all ages, nationalities, and ethnicities.
Their 19 albums have been Gold, Platinum, Double Platinum, up to four times Platinum in Scandinavia. They have 2 Scandinavian Grammies, for BLACK ANGEL (1996) and TAMELESS (1999); innumerable Grammy nominations (including 3 for the 2002 album FOR YOUR LOVE); a Film Academy Award for best film score & song. Annisette and Thomas have both been nominated for the prestigious Great Music Award of the Nordic Council, and Thomas has been awarded the Lifetime Honorary Award of the Danish State.
They have released 20 original albums; toured most of the world including prestigious festivals like The Newport Jazz festival (now the JVC Jazz Festival), the Montreux festival, the Molde Festival, Ragnarock and the Roskilde Festival. Their ballet “Triumph Of Death” is the greatest success of The Royal Ballet ever, with hundreds of sold-out performances worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Thomas has created symphonies, ballets, film music, an opera, music dramas, and, with Annisette, the painfully beautiful and controversial musical ‘Bella Vita’ on homeless children.
After a roaring start with albums recorded at e. g. the Mick Jagger mansion in the UK and the famous Mirasound Studios in New York, the artist rejected their managers’ quest to go to Vietnam and have a picture taken shaking hands with President Johnson. They didn’t want their music utilized for support of the war, and in order to save their minds and their creativity, The Savage Rose went underground for years; exploring their own native language, Danish. They lived among the underprivileged of Copenhagen but became a creative musical powerhouse, performing for huge audiences in many countries. They created eight underground albums during this period, eventually becoming cult objects all over Europe. A large chapter of ‘The Unknown Legends Of Rock’n'Roll” by Ritchie Unterberger (USA 1998) is devoted to this era in the history of The Savage Rose.
In 1996 Annisette & Thomas K. created their first pop/rock/R&B album in English for many years,
‘Black Angel’, recorded at the Conway Studio in Hollywood, with friend George Duke as executive producer. Hits like ‘Black Angel’, ‘What Do You Do Now’ and the unique rendition of ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone’ took them to number one on the charts once again: In Denmark ‘Black Angel’ is close to triple platinum, in Norway Gold; and it won the Grammy for Best Rock Album.
The story continues with two more dazzling modern classics, ‘Tameless’ (1999) and ‘For Your Love’ (2001), awarded another Grammy ( Best Female Singer), sales close to Platinum - and reviews like
‘An out-of-this-world pop album….’
‘A gift for life…… ‘
‘Steamingly erotic, flamingly resentful, mellow, and bittersweet….’
‘The demons are whizzing by like wild missiles…’
‘Makes you wish the music will never stop….’
Their 17 concerts in Scandinavia in 2002 sold 150,000 tickets.
The enormous productivity of The Savage Rose can only be understood in the light of their uncompromising and never-ending dedication to social justice and human rights. They once and for all refused to split their life and their music in two; their political courage has taken them to war zones and areas of dangerous oppression, even to performing in prisons and refugee camps along with peaceful, huge summer festivals. They have never complained about the career that was rightfully theirs but was taken away from them because of their honesty, but instead they stress that this kept them close to their audience and mentally sane as compared to many artists bending to corporate pressure.
We have only mentioned a small part of their 20 original albums, their several large-scale music drama productions, symphonic music, and more. Thomas wrote the score for the independent Hollywood film ‘Everything Put Together’ by Marc Forster (MONSTERS’ BALL) and numerous other feature films, He was awarded a Danish Film Academy Award 1992 for Best Score and Song.
They are both multi-talented: Annisette, besides being among the most enigmatic vocalist legends for decades, and still evolving, is a world class lyricist, writer, poet, and a unique painter. Thomas, besides being a legendary composer of rare versatility, is a world-class producer, an awarded keyboardist, and a fine photographer.