Secret Service (band)
In 1979, Ola Håkansson, former vocalist of Ola & the Janglers and then a publishing manager at Sonet Records, teamed up with Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg as Ola+3 to write a few songs that they submitted to the 1979 Melodifestivalen, a popular contest which is the Swedish qualification to the Eurovision Song Contest. Ola+3 did not win but the members decided to continue working together and changed their band's name to Secret Service. Besides Ola Håkansson (vocals), Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg (keyboards), the original lineup also included Tony Lindberg (guitars), Leif Paulsen (bass) and Leif Johansson (drums).
Norell, who along with Björn Håkanson penned most songs of the band, did not however appear with them on stage or on the album covers. Secret Service's first single "Oh Susie" became a hit in Sweden and several other countries in Europe, in South America and Australia. Their album of the same title included another hit, "Ten O'Clock Postman", which went gold in Sweden. Other successes followed, with their synthpop number "Flash in the Night" in 1982 (their greatest success) hitting charts all over continental Europe. In the mid-'1980s, Norell and Håkansson started writing and producing songs for other artists. Ola Håkansson's duet with ex-ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog, "The Way You Are", became a gold single in Sweden.
In 1987, Håkansson, Norell and Wahlberg released Aux Deux Magots, their last album as Secret Service. The other members of the band had quit by then and were replaced by multi-instrumentalist Anders Hansson and bassist Mats A. Lindberg. Håkansson would become Norell's partner with Army of Lovers' Alexander Bard in what would be known as the Megatrio, a Swedish equivalent to Stock-Aitken-Waterman known as Norell Oson Bard. In 1992, Håkansson and his associates established Stockholm Records as a joint venture with PolyGram. They produced such artists as Army of Lovers and The Cardigans, among others.
- Tim Norell - composer
- Ola Håkansson - vocals
- Ulf Wahlberg - keyboards
- Tonny Lindberg - guitar
- Leif Paulsén - bass guitar
- Leif Johansson - drums
- 1979: Oh Susie
- 1980: Ye Si Ca
- 1982: Cutting Corners
- 1984: Jupiter Sign
- 1985: When the Night Closes In
- 1987: Aux deux Magots
- 2000: Top Secret - Greatest Hits
- 2012: The Lost Box
- "Oh Susie" (1979) (#1 Sweden, #1 Colombia, #4 Finland, #6 Norway, #9 Germany, #27 France)
- "Ten O'Clock Postman" (1980) (#3 Denmark, #4 Germany, #4 Japan, #8 Austria, #18 Sweden)
- "Ye-Si-Ca" (1981) (#1 Colombia, #5 Germany, #6 Sweden, #9 Denmark, #10 Norway, #11 Austria, #17 Switzerland)
- "Crossing river" (1981)
- "L.A. Goodbye" (1981)
- "Flash in the Night" (1982) (#1 Portugal, #5 France, #6 Norway, #9 Switzerland, #12 Italy, #12 Sweden, #23 Germany)
- "Cry Softly" (1982)
- "Dancing in Madness" (1982)
- "Jo-Anne, Jo-Anne" (1983)
- "Do It" (1984)
- "How I Want You" (1984)
- "Let Us Dance Just A Little Bit More" (1985)
- "When The Night Closes In" (1986)
- "Night City" (1986)
- "The Way You Are" (feat. Agnetha Fältskog) (1986)
- "Say, Say" (1987)
- "I'm So, I'm So, I'm So (I'm So In Love With You)" (1988)
- "Don't You Know, Don't You Know" (1988)
- Megamix (1990)
- "Different" (2009)
- "Satellites" (2010)
Covers by other artists
"Oh Susie" was covered in Czech as "Ó, Sůzi", performed by Petr Kotvald.
"10 o'clock postman" was covered in Germany as "Ganz oder gar nicht", performed by Wolfgang Petry.
- Billboard - Jul 25, 1981 Vol. 93, No. 29 "And the hottest Swedish act internationally, leaving aside Abba for the moment, is Sonet's band Secret Service. Its first single "Oh Susie" came out at the end of 1979, was an instant hit through Scandinavia and Europe, finally emerging in 30 ..."