Alexander Bard (born March 17 1961 in Motala) is a Swedish artist, music producer and philosopher.
Bard began his musical career in 1982 with the single "Life in a Goldfish Bowl" released under the name Baard, a synth-punk fusion project he had formed together with two female striptease dancers. He has since claimed that he spent the Baard years living as a male prostitute in Amsterdam. Bard later had some minor success as Barbie, which saw Bard in drag singing dance-oriented pop. After abandoning work on a second Barbie album, he formed Army Of Lovers with two of Barbie's entourage, Jean-Pierre Barda and La Camilla. Army Of Lovers had over 20 Pan-European hits, the biggest being "Crucified", "Obsession" and "Sexual Revolution", while their presence in the US and the UK was limited to repeated club chart successes. They released five studio albums, made over 20 high-camp music videos, and became phenomenally successful across Eastern Europe, before Bard disbanded the group in 1996. Army Of Lovers have later earned a widespread iconic status in the gay culture, often referred to as a perfect example of the postmodern take on the ideals of camp.
Following the demise of Army Of Lovers, Bard founded Vacuum, a symphonic synthpop project featuring Bard, Marina Schiptjenko (formerly of synthpop group Page), and newcomer Mattias Lindblom. Their debut single "I Breathe" was one of the fastest selling singles in Sweden in 1997 and also topped the singles chart in Italy. Further releases did not do as well, except in Russia and Ukraine, and Bard left after only two albums. He reformed Army Of Lovers briefly in 2000 for a handful of new tracks and a greatest hits collection, and later contributed to the first two Alcazar albums.
Since 2005, Bard has been working and performing with a new band, BWO (short for Bodies Without Organs), with Marina Schiptjenko and new vocalist Martin Rolinski. Their debut album "Prototype" generated seven top 20 hit singles in Scandinavia and across Eastern Europe and reached platinum status. A second album "Halcyon Days", released in April, 2006, shipped gold and has so far generated three further hit singles. Besides the groups mentioned above, Alexander Bard has also worked as a songwriter and producer for several Swedish artists, in the 1980s mainly with Ola Håkansson and Tim Norell, in the early 1990s with Anders Wollbeck and Per Adebratt - especially on the early 1990s Columbia Records-signed African cult act Midi Maxi & Efti - and more recently mainly with Anders Hansson. He was a co-founder of Stockholm Records and currently runs several internet and music-related businesses.
Following his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics between 1984-88, Bard took a strong interest in philosophy and social theory with the explicit aim of becoming a writer. He has given lectures since 1996, specializing on the social implications of the interactive revolution, and has since become one of the leading speakers on the European lecturing circuit. Bard has written two books with media theorist Jan Söderqvist, the first called Nätokraterna (published in English in 2003 as Netocracy: The New Power Elite & Life After Capitalism, as well as in other languages) and the second book titled Det globala imperiet (currently in translation to English as "The Global Empire") in which he presents his sociological theories on the interactive revolution. On several occasions, Bard has caused much controversy by appearing on national TV and radio, and writing articles, propagating the use of narcotic substances and a liberalisation of the stringent Swedish drug laws. He has also been a political activist for the rights of prostitutes and sexual minorities. A self-proclaimed bisexual libertine, Bard lived in a much-publicized relationship in the 1990s with Swedish anthropologist and writer Petra Östergren.
Further controversy surrounding Bard was caused in the spring of 2006, when Sweden's leading daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter exposed a closed internet-based network called Elit, a private forum for Swedish celebrities and journalists founded and administered by Bard. Though the network had been covered in media several times during the 15 years of its existence, extraordinary media attention was received when the newspaper publicized correspondence from the network where celebrities used harsh personal attacks against other celebrities and media personalities. Elit was criticized for encouraging the spreading of rumors and intimate gossip about popular celebrities, but has been defended by its participants, who have argued that the network is not a public forum, and that the few slanderous or insulting examples which were published in the press are not representative of the discourse of the network as a whole.
See also: List of Swedes in music
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