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Livgardet is a single by Sabaton. It was released 26th February 2021. The English version of the song, titled "The Royal Guard" was released 9th April 2021.


Tracklist

1. Livgardet

12 inch vinyl:

1. The Royal Guard

2. Livgardet

Information

  • The 12" silver vinyl release including the English version of the song, "The Royal Guard" contains a real gun powder added to the vinyl pressing by the band themselves. It was available only in Sweden. (Bengans, Ginza, CDON shops) Only 500 copies were made.
  • Vinyl release of the single "The Royal Guard" (without the gun powder) was available on Nuclear Blast Shop: blue, yellow, yellow/blue, clear/black vinyl limited to 800 pieces. Black vinyl limited to 1000 pieces.
  • On 23rd December 2020, the single was teased on YouTube as "Sabaton New Music Teaser", the video was illustrated with the Royal Guardsman taken from the vinyl artwork.[1]
  • The single was supposed to be a surprise (like Bismarck) and released on the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Royal Guard - on the 14th January 2021, in the middle of the then planned Swedish leg of The Great Tour which didn't happen due to COVID-19 pandemic. Also, due to political pressure the release had to be postponed. See "controversy" for more information.[2]
  • On 5th February 2021, band members photos dressed in Carolean uniforms started to show in Canvas mode on Spotify on some of the band's songs: To Hell and Back - Joakim, Fields of Verdun/Bismarck - Hannes, Great War - Tommy, Primo Victoria - Chris, Ghost Division - Pär.[3]
  • On 10th February 2021, the band put up a puzzle on Instagram with the single cover.[4]
  • On 11th February 2021, the single was made availble for pre-save on streaming sites.[5]
  • On 11th February 2021, the band also announced that they resigned their contract with Nuclear Blast for the Livgardet single and future releases.[6]
  • On 14th February 2021, the band posted a video on their social media with Joakim Brodén inviting to pre-save the single.[7]
  • On 15th February 2021, the band posted a video on their social media stories with Pär Sundström dressed as Carolean, inviting to pre-save the single.
  • On 22nd February 2021, the band posted a video on their instagram stories with Joakim Brodén dressed as Carolean inviting to pre-save the single on Apple Music.
  • On 23rd February 2021, the band posted a video on their instagram stories with Joakim Brodén dressed as the Carolean inviting to pre-save the single on Deezer.
  • On 24th February 2021, the band posted a video on their social media with Pär Sundström wearing a Carolean hat, invinting to pre-save the single on streaming platforms.[8]
  • On 25th February 2021, the band posted a photo on their social media teasing merchandise with the single artwork.[9]
  • On 25th February 2021, the band posted still from the video on their social media with a wax seal, depicting the band's "S" logo.[10]

Controversy

Sabaton had planned a cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces for the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Royal Guard (the Guard even issued a official request to the band about the cooperation), but it was stopped due to political pressure put on the Swedish Guard and the Swedish Armed Forces. What was problematic for the politicians, was the fact that Sabaton played a concert on the Crimean Peninsula in 2015 which was organized by a motorcycle gang "Night Wolves" closely affiliated with the Russian president Vladimir Putin, according to a statement issued by the Swedish Armed Forces, "politics and music are connected when it comes to that type of gig".[11][12]

Pär: "(...) To work with Sabaton was considered to be too controversial."[13]

Joakim Brodén: "But as usual, it stopped at the political level. It is as if someone is thinking: "Sabaton, you have sung about Swedish history and have also played a lot in Russia, you are politically dangerous". It's so sad, the fear of Russians clearly lives on. We know that a stop was made from a higher place, but we do not know how high."[14]

Paula Levänen, communications manager for the Swedish Royal Guard: "Yes, it is true that there were plans for a possible collaboration between the Swedish Royal Guard and Sabaton, due to our 500th anniversary. Sabaton has produced a fantastic treasure of a song linked to military history, which we appreciate and you could see the Swedish Royal Guard's long history became a part of the song."[15]

Pär: "We find it provocative that some artists refuse to play for their fans due to decisions made by countries' politicians. Politicians do politics, hard rockers do hard rock."[16]

Joakim Brodén: "I do not think this was decided on a military level, it was rather on a political level. It's sensitive for them that Sabaton was singing about the Swedish Empire, that Sabaton played in Crimea and that Sabaton plays in Russia. There was no offense against the Royal Guards. They couldn't do things with us, but that doesn't mean that we cannot do the song."[17]

Pär also revealed, that the COVID-19 pandemic which slowed down the world and the broken cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Royal Guard are the reason why the song wasn't released on the exact 500th anniversary of the Swedish Royal Guard on the 14th January 2021 as it was planned.[18][19]

Background

Pär: "Since 2012 and Carolus Rex, we have been looking forward to writing more songs in Swedish, and we felt that we were not done with the history of our fatherland. Over the past years, we have been discussing around topics until something obvious came up. One of the oldest military regiments in the world, the Swedish Royal Guard (Livgardet), was formed in the Sabaton home region in Sweden, Dalecarlia, in 1521 by the legendary Swedish king Gustav Vasa. For the past 500 years, they have evolved with the times and served under various kings and queens around the world and are still active today. We felt that such an anniversary would be worth a song, and we aimed at writing a respectful tribute, an anthem for this Swedish regiment and its legacy. The rich 500 years of history is, needless to say, extremely hard to fit into one song, and that is why we mainly focused on the parts and battles that happened during the age of the Swedish Empire. We aimed to write a respectful tribute, a powerful anthem, for this Swedish regiment and its remarkable legacy."

Joakim: "Damn, it feels good to be singing in Swedish again!"[20]

Historic fact

The Swedish-language song honors the Swedish Royal Guards first established in the year 1521.[21]

Gallery

References

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