Gunnar Madsen | MCMGM

The Bobs feat. Gunnar

In 1981 Gunnar co-founded the international acapella sensation The Bobs.  He and bass-singer extraordinaire Richard Greene together wrote and arranged all the songs for the group until Gunnar left in 1991 to explore new projects.  The orbit of The Bobs was strong, and in the ensuing years Gunnar would rejoin them onstage or in the studio when the planets aligned just so.


The first album by The Bobs garnered  a Grammy® nomination for Gunnar and co-arranger Richard Greene’s  version of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” .  A national concert tour resulted in radio airplay, television appearances, and concerts and festivals across the U.S. and Europe. The Los Angeles Daily News was moved to comment, “The Bobs prove that the best instrument in creating music is the human brain. They are nothing less than sensational.”

The 2nd release by The Bobs features “My, I’m Large”, “Helmet”, and “Please Let Me Be Your Third World Country”.  They began their collaboration with the dance troupe Momix (later named ISO), and toured the U.S. and Europe with their show over the next years.

Johnny Carson waggled this album cover at the camera while he introduced The Bobs to Tonight Show viewers.  This album includes the “Laundry Cycle” (written for the ODC Dance Company) and selections from songs commissioned for NPR’s “Morning Edition”

While Gunnar and Richard Bob wrote original material, The Bobs always enjoyed covering favorite songs.  An Italian promoter convinced them to record an all-cover album to cater to non-english speaking European audiences.  It became very popular, both across the pond and in America.

Gunnar retired from The Bobs in 1991, yet he still ended up on a few tracks from their next album (which also featured his songwriting on 4 of the cuts).

Gunnar and Richard Bob got together to pen another inimitable original for this recording based on the philosophical question “If a tree falls…”:  It starts: “A man is not a tree / A tree is not a man / A man can move around / A tree can only stand / Perhaps if man could learn to stand a tree could move around / Perhaps if man would just shut up a tree could make a sound”


20 years of acapella is celebrated in this collection.  Gunnar sings a new song penned by Amy Bob, while many rare, unreleased recordings, many again featuring Gunnar, fill out this unique disc.

Richard Bob and Gunnar took an old song idea that had never been finished, and finished if off for good in the Funk Shui Massacre.  Gunnar sings lead as a guy who has somehow conflated Funk music with home decoration.

Gunnar’s final appearance on a Bobs CD, another all-cover album, featuring unreleased recordings of yore and some newer ones too.