- The Cardigans: Nina Persson (vocals, snaps); Lasse Johansson (guitar, keyboards); Peter Svensson (guitar); Bengt Lagerberg (flute, drums); Magnus Sveningsson (bass).
- Additional personnel: Asa Hakansson, Inga Zeppezauer, Mattias Svensson, Maria Holm, Ronnie Weber, Gabriele Freese, Anna Bergstrom (violin); Ivan Bakran (cello, acoustic bass); Annette Helmers (cello); David Wilczewski (flute); Sven Andersson (saxophone); Peter Lindgard (trumpet); Patrik Bartosch (Clavinet); Lynette Koyana, Ulf Thuresson (background vocals).
- Recorded at Tambourine Studios #1 and #2, Malmo, Sweden.
- Personnel: Inga Zeppezauer, Asa Hakansson, Maria Holm, Anna Berstrom, Mattias Svensson , Ronnie James Weber (violin); Ivan Bakran (cello, double bass); Annette Helmers (cello); David Wilczewski (flute); Peter Lindgard (trumpet); Patrik Bartosch (Clavinet); Lynette Koyana (background vocals).
- Recording information: Tambourine Studios #1 And #2, Malm”, Sweden.
- Unknown Contributor Roles: Magnus Sveningsson; Peter Svensson; Bengt Lagerberg.
- Sweden's Cardigans are steeped in a tradition of lush European pop that loosely stretches from the Beatles, through Abba, to Stereolab. But while FIRST BAND ON THE MOON, the quintet's second American album, hints at these touchstones and others like them, the muscular guitars that emanate from behind the Cardigans' expansive arrangements easily distinguish them from their forebears. Great pop hooks are, after all, a dime-a-dozen in Sweden; but pop power-chords are another matter.
- This is where the Cardigans' Black Sabbath influence emerges. No, we're not kidding. FIRST BAND ON THE MOON is the second consecutive record on which singer Nina Persson reconstitutes a song by Ozzy and company (in this case, "Iron Man") within a Swedish bubblegum context. The result is a first-rate gimmick--imagine, if you will, a female voice coyly stating, "I am iron man." Sabbath's aura can also be found invading the crispy guitar hook of "Your New Cuckoo," the bass throb behind the vibraphones on "Losers" and most clearly on the metallic Beatles feel of the verses to "Choke." This is certainly more than one would expect of another blonde, Swedish pop band.
Rolling Stone (11/14/96, pp.112-114) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The music remains cotton-candy sweet, but vocalist Nina Persson and guitarist Peter Svensson temper the giddiness with strikingly downbeat songwriting..."
Entertainment Weekly (9/20/96, p.82) - "...Nina Persson's dream-whipped vocals tra-la-la through ditties about being hit, stepped on, or abandoned....Thankfully, the happy musical arrangements keep the themes as featherweight as an episode of LOVE BOAT." - Rating: B+
Q (10/96, p.158) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...the quintet cook up a highly appealing blend of instantly accessible indiepop, made less twee by Peter Svensson's roaring but controlled guitar and given more depth by Lasse Johansson's rumbling keyboards..."
Alternative Press (1/97, p.66) - 4 (out of 5) "...Just like this album."
Option (11-12/96, pp.96-97) - "...The arrangements again are lush yet crisp, with bouncy beats, charming hooks, Nina Persson's girlish voice, and crunchy guitar chords rubbing against flutes, strings and chimes....shifts tempos, accents and effects imaginatively..."
Melody Maker (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #30 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's `Albums Of The Year.'
Melody Maker (9/21/96, p.49) - Bloody Essential - "If people this cool, this clever and this outrageously gifted weren't also thoroughly misunderstood, it wouldn't be fair....FIRST BAND ON THE MOON is, on its own terms, one of the most accomplished and affecting pop records of the year....This is real music..."
NME (Magazine) (12/21-28/96, pp.66-67) - Ranked #43 in NME's 1996 critic's poll.
NME (Magazine) (9/28/96, p.57) - 8 (out of 10) - "...LIFE was actually a sweet'n'simple compilation of their first two Swedish albums, which rather sneakily left out all the weird'n'nasty bits. Here, however, are The Cardigans in all their Ozzy-worshipping, ex-boyfriend-abusing, ambient cocktail jazz-embracing glory....But they all sound like heavenly pop hits regardless..."