The Distance Between Us – Fra Lippo Lippi

Fra Lippo Lippi - Per Oystein Sorensen and Rune Kristoffersen

Year: 1986
Artists: Fra Lippo Lippi
Albums: Songs
Other Hits: Angel, Every time I See You, Light and Shade, Stitches and Burns


This band was huge when I was growing up, not internationally though, they didn’t top US or UK charts but from where I came from their concert was a definite sold out. I happened to catch them performed live in the early 00 and it was one of the memorable concerts I have ever attended. The crowd was up and bopping, the atmosphere was so alive. FYI! Norway’s gift to music was not just A-ha they also have Fra Lippo Lippi – joined together in 1980 by bassist Rune Kristoffersen. The band’s name derived from an 1855 dramatic monologue written by the Victorian poet Robert Browning. Throughout this poem, Browning depicts a 15th century real-life painter, Filippo Lippi.

In the early years of FLL, they were obsessed with the humming beats and glum lyrics of Joy Division the same band that influenced U2 and The Cure. Their album during these times did not give positive reviews until Per Øystein Sørensen came on board in 1982 and released the album Songs that the band was signed to Virgin Records where most of their work  re-recorded and remixed for the international market in 1986.

One of my favorite song from this band is the song The Distance Between Us, the single has a sombre expression that you can actually categorized it as a love song but still differs from the usual love song of the 80’s because it’s from a new wave band. So it wouldn’t just blurt out ‘Didn’t we almost have it all….’ somehow it didn’t sound so lame and emotional, you can only feel the sense and the passion thru its lyrics never in the sound. FLL produce a lot of this records, this is the band’s forte – synth pop with a slow tempo and poetic lyrics. I think for some of us, if 80’s has a sound it will be the  sweet tooth of Sørensen, if 80’s has words, it will the stanzas of their songs.

Fra Lippo Lippi ceased recording in the early ’90s, both artists returned to Norway, Kristoffersen -to teach primary school children, before embarking on a career as a label owner of Rune Grammofon and   Sørensen is doing his solo recording.