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Korroosio, the pop wonder from Raisio that gave us Joel Hallikainen, was formed in August 1979. Before that they had a band called Red Labels. Korroosio was originally put together for a gig at Raisrock festival, but after the gig they decided to continue. The original lineup was Jarmo Hauhtonen ("L.Averell"): vocals, Hallikainen ("Jesus Caesar"): guitar, Wee Wee Riihelä: bass and Lasse Jalonen ("Ludwig von Keppelin"): drums. At the early stage their repertoire included songs like Saksalaiset pois Suomesta, Levyraati and Pogotaan. Before they got to make their recording debut, which happened quite soon, in spring 1980, the band expanded its ranks as keyboard player Jani Juusela joined the band. The first two Korroosio songs, TV:n uhri and Kuka myi kapinan, both composed by Hallikainen, were released on Asfalttidisco compilation on Kräk label. The Korroosio songs, or the other bands' (Teurastamo 5, SOS etc) songs for that matter, aren't that great, and it must be said that Hallikainen was in no way the leader of the band, it was probably more like a democratic thing. Also it was Hauhtonen who wrote the lyrics, as well as most of the music (of all the recorded songs, three are composed by Hallikainen). Another compilation called Risteys-rock, a tape introducing Raisio-based bands, was released the same year. Korroosio participated with two songs, Pogotaan and Positiivisia vibraatioita. I have been unable to locate a copy of the tape. After that more lineup changes followed: Riihelä left the band with Juha Vuorijärvi stepping into his place, and Kari Jalonen joined in on second guitar. Now the band was ready for greater deeds, and so in fall 1980 their best known song, the minor hit Hei hei hei (composed by Hallikainen) was released on Vaahtopäät compilation. Everybody knows the story of a punk rock singer who receives a love letter from a fan, but in the end the girl doesn't love the poor singer after all. Other bands on the compilation include SIG, Wrum and Popeda.

Korroosio's success brought them a recording deal with Johanna. First they were signed to the record company's sublabel California. In 1981 a new (worse) version of Hei hei hei was released as a single, with Hän on niin puhdas, a pretty generic pop song, on the B side. Then it was time to make an album. However, before that Hallikainen left the band, and was replaced by Timo Kilpinen from SIG. The band had started recording songs for the album in spring 1981 in Studio 55, Turku, but due to the band members' compulsory military services further recordings had to be postponed for a year, and in spring 1982 the recordings continued in Helsinki. In summer of the same year Kyllä tytöt ymmärtää LP was finally released, and two songs, the album's best track Se et ole sinä and Nuo kauniit sanat, another excellent tune, were released as a jukebox single. The playing is a little shaky, with mistakes especially in the keyboard parts, but I don't mind about that. The original version of Hei hei hei (from fall 1980) is included on the album, as well as Hän on niin puhdas. The album is full of beautiful love songs: Se et ole sinä (if you can call it a love song), Sano edes hyvästi (composed by Hallikainen), Luulin että ois helppo rakastaa, and so on. In my opinion the only weak link on the album is Siunaa ja varjele: not only it's a boring basic rock song, but it's also too different from the rest of the material (it originates from the band's early days). Unfortunately Korroosio disappeared after the good album, making their final appearance at Raisrock festival in 1983. The reason for the breakup was that part of the band got fed up with the other part's laziness.

The more active faction formed a new band called Nice Prize, which consisted of Hauhtonen on bass & vocals, Kari Jalonen on guitar, Juusela on keyboards and a new member Harri Katunpää on drums. The style was heavy pop (or so I have been told), and they were meaning to record a single, but that never happened. After that Hauhtonen was involved with a band called DoReMi, which was featured on Risteysrock 2 compilation tape in 1986, and posthumously on Rockia risteyksestä CD, a compilation that was released in 1996 by Raisio City to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pommari, a popular rehearsal place used by many local bands. DoReMi's song Rauhaa had been recorded in 1989. Korroosio was also featured on the compilation. In 1988 Korroosio attempted a comeback, they even recorded a demo, but apparenty only played a few gigs locally. Hallikainen's later activities are well known (including children's songs as Taikuri Telmus). Hauhtonen, Kilpinen and Vuorijärvi released a CDEP with SIG-drummer Mercy (Jukka Merisaari) under the name Rundi, which to me sounds like a light version of Korroosio. Rundi was also featured on (another) Risteysrock CD in 1998. To my knowledge the band is no longer active. Hauhtonen has also written lyrics for the ever-famous schlager duo Matti ja Teppo, and did guest vocals in Hei hei hei on Pojat's Punk it CD.

text by Vesa Vahtera, translation by Jarkko Kuivanen