ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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Postby zeus555 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:39 am

'ABBA Gold' sold about 2,270 copies to rise from No.76 to No.40
in the latest UK Album Chart - W/E 14th September 2017.

'ABBA Gold' rose, due to the 1st 'Mamma Mia!' Film, being shown on ITV1
& ITV1+1 last Saturday - 2nd September.

THE UK ARTIST ALBUMS WITH THE MOST TOP 40 WEEKS

1)... Bridge Over Troubled Water -- Simon & Garfunkel -- (1970) -- 279 Weeks
2)... Bat Out Of Hell - Meatloaf -- (1977) -- 249 Weeks
3)... ABBA Gold -- ABBA -- (1992) -- 226 Weeks
4)... Greatest Hits -- Simon & Garfunkel -- (1972) -- 221 Weeks
5)... The Dark Side Of The Moon -- Pink Floyd -- (1973) -- 216 Weeks

Two Film Soundtracks have had more Top 40 Weeks than any of the Artist Albums:

A... The Sound Of Music -- (1965) -- 351 Weeks
B... South Pacific -- (1958) -- 315 Weeks

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Postby thebigham » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:35 pm

9/23/17 Billboard's Top Album Sales
Total = Chain, Independent, Mass Merchants, Non Traditional

128. ABBA|BEST OF ABBA-MILLENNIUM C 1,743 = 144 1 1514 83

154. ABBA|GOLD-GREATEST HITS 1,577 = 102 108 662 703
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Postby zeus555 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:37 am

THE ALBUM -- 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Later in 2017 'ABBA The Album' will be released as 'Half-Speed' 40th Anniversary Edition.

(I'd have included the Image, but I don't know how to insert them!!!)

http://abbachat.com/thread/884/abba-alb ... y-releases

It only had 9 Tracks, as an original release, so they will be spread over 4 Vinyl Sides.

'The Album' was originally released in December 1977, in most of the World. The UK did not
get it until January 1978, due to its huge Advance Orders - 500,000. (ABBA beat that with
1980's 'Super Trouper' Album, which had 1,000,000 UK Advance Orders - the 1st Album
to have so many, in the UK. It was beaten by Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Welcome To
The Pleasuredome, in 1984, which had over 1,100,000 Advance Orders). ).

As with the 'Half Speed' 'Arrival', in 2016, the Singles that were released off 'The Album', will
also be released in a separate Box Set.

Many Countries had 3 Singles off it, but the UK, Ireland, USA & Canada only had 2 - no 'Eagle'.

The 3 Singles off it were:

The Name Of The Game//I Wonder (Departure)
Take A Chance On Me//I'm A Marionette
Eagle//Thank You For The Music

For some reason Epic Records chose not to release 'Eagle' in the UK, which is why ABBA
are forever stuck on 19 UK Top 10 Hits & not 20.

'Eagle' is ABBA's longest ever Track - 5.51. However, it was edited down to 4.25 for the
Single's release. Australia & France had an even bigger Single's edit - 3.33.

Some people say that 'Eagle' sounds like Pink Floyd could have recorded it.

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Postby Benny » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:28 am

US CATALOG ALBUMS WEEK 36

Rank - Estimated 2017 Sales - TITLE - Artist ( Estimated Total SoundScan Era Sales (m) )
51 - 57,000 - THE BEST OF-20TH CENTURY MASTERS… - Abba (1.63 )
89 - 44,000 - GOLD: GREATEST HITS - Abba (5.66)

Many thanks to oldbloke for that.
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Postby zeus555 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:55 pm

ABBA -- VIRTUAL REALITY TOUR -- 2019

Benny has confirmed that ABBA will return as a Virtual Reality Act in 2019.

There will be a Band on Stage - playing the instrumentation & there will be Digital Creations of
ABBA actually singing their Songs.

From 'The Local' - Tuesday 12th September 2017:

https://www.thelocal.se/20170912/abba-p ... union-tour

From BBC News:

https://goo.gl/f7ztv4

From 'Music Week' - The UK's Music Industry Magazine:

http://www.musicweek.com/live/read/abba ... our/069768

From the 'N.M.E.' ('New Musical Express') Site:

http://www.nme.com/news/music/a-virtual ... 19-2139797

We long gave up hope for a full Abba reunion concert, but plans for a virtual reality tour featuring all four members are still in the works, Sweden's music legend Benny Andersson has confirmed.

The Swedish quartet did perform on stage together last summer at a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of Andersson and his songwriting partner Björn Ulvaeus. But it was a private party so any Abba fan knows it does not count, no matter what the headlines say.

But a virtual reality reunion tour (plans for which have been reported in the past) is still in the pipeline, Andersson told Expressen in an interview ahead of the release of his new album 'Piano'.

“We see each other every now and then, we've done a few different things, and now we've got a project ahead of us,” said the Swede.

The idea, as it currently stands, is that Abba's songs will be performed by a live band and digital avatars of Andersson, Ulveaus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog will also be on stage.

Not a reunion in the flesh, but apparently as good as it gets.

The tour is planned to kick off in 2019, if it is good enough, according to Andersson.

“It will take a bit of time, it takes time to digitalize a face,” he told Expressen.

“It's fun that it's so technologically advanced. It will be interesting.”

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Postby Benny » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:44 pm

UK Albums Chart

32 (40) ABBA Gold (Week 802)
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Postby zeus555 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:52 am

'ABBA Gold' sold around 2,300 UK copies to rise from No.40 to No.32.

It is doing even better in the Scottish Album Chart - No.19, the
Sales Album Chart - No.24, & the Physical Album Chart - No.24.

It is doing not so well in the Download Album Chart - No.55 & the
Streaming Album Chart - not in the Top 100.

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Postby zeus555 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:18 pm

Here are more details about the ABBA 'Virtual Reality Tour'. So, the 'Tour' may well be a true one,
rather than the 'Holograms' performing at the same venue. If you think about it - they could make
several 'Virtual Reality' ABBA's, & they could 'Tour' several Countries at the same time! In fact, if
they made 6 'Virtual ABBA' they could be 'Touring' the 6 main Continents at once - Europe, Asia,
Africa, North America, South America & Australia. I guess, they need not bother with Antarctica,
as there are only a few thousand Scientists etc. there - about 4,000 in Summer & 1,000 in Winter.


From: 'The Irish Times' -- Saturday 16th September 2017:

ABBA-tars: Super Troupers return, and somewhere in the crowd there’s you

Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid are back – as you haven’t seen them since 1977

by Brian Boyd

Since splitting up in 1982, ABBA – one of the most successful and loved music groups of all time – has had almost daily offers to reform. Some 15 years ago the four members of the band sat in a room together and seriously discussed reforming for a series of live shows after they received a $1 billion offer.
“We were going to do the shows and build a hospital with the money,” Björn Ulvaeus told this reporter.
But that offer – like thousands of others – ultimately came to nothing. Hence the surprise this week when ABBA officially confirmed they were getting back together to tour in 2019. But only in virtual reality.
All four members of the best-selling band: Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid are being digitised using techniques that capture them as they were in their spandex prime.
Using audio from previous live ABBA concerts, a digital ABBA will be shining like the sun, smiling, having fun on stages once again. The band are all now in their late 60s or early 70s and have little appetite to schlep around the live circuit in person. But this virtual reality tour is no cheap gimmick. The giant Universal record label and Simon Fuller (the impresario behind the Spice Girls and The X Factor) are looking to
re-imagine the live entertainment economy with this virtual ABBA tour.

As Fuller said this week: “The creativity and ideas flowing from the members of ABBA over the past few months have filled me with great excitement. We are exploring a new technological world, with virtual reality and artificial intelligence at the forefront, that will allow us to create new forms of entertainment and content we couldn’t have previously imagined.”

Digital avatars

It’s now all too common, when a major-league live act announces a visit, the expensively priced tickets sell out in minutes, leaving many fans disappointed. The live tour economy is buoyant, and demand far outstrips supply.
Given that a major act can only get to certain places at certain times, the entertainment industry has been investing heavily for some time in the concept of the virtual reality substitute tour.
If the original ABBA fans find the idea of going to see digital avatars of a group preposterous, the next generation of gig-going age has grown up with hyper-realistic video games and see the world differently.
The music industry has already tried out the idea. In 2012 the rapper Tupac Shakur (who died in 1996) appeared as a hologram at that year’s Coachella music festival. In 2014 a moonwalking Michael Jackson hologram appeared at the Billboard music awards, five years after his death.
The Universal Music Group, Simon Fuller and ABBA are not going to get involved in a poorly thought out and cheaply executed technological publicity stunt.

"ABBA has a far bigger commercial reach, and could be a more effective test case for this new “live music” concept"

A lot of attention will be focused on a world tour by the heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio which kicks off this November. Dio died in 2010 but the Dio Returns tour features a hologram of the singer being backed by the musicians who used to play with him. Dio’s live vocals each night will be taken from previous performances in his career.
Dio Returns will play in venues across Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and the US. Live music promoters are not known for being generous with their money, so the fact that so many venues have already booked the Dio Returns show suggests there is a market for hologram/virtual reality tours.

New live entertainment format

ABBA, however, are a different proposition. They have a far bigger commercial reach, and could be a more effective test case for this new “live music” concept.
Such is the still massive appetite for ABBA’s pop music that the stage musical Mamma Mia (based on their songs) has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide since opening in 1999. The 2008 film adaptation of Mamma Mia became the highest-grossing musical film of all time. The band’s greatest hits collection, Gold – originally released in 1992 – is still selling healthily.
ABBA guard their legacy jealously (they wouldn’t let their name be used in the Mamma Mia musical), and they hardly need the money that a virtual tour might make them. A motivating force, however, may be to pioneer a new live entertainment format in which they’re (albeit digitally) front and centre.
The details of the technology being used to bring ABBA to digital life are a closely guarded secret. It’s unclear, too, what type of venues virtual ABBA will play in or how the overall product will be controlled and distributed.
What is known is that, following ABBA’s announcement, industry talk has already begun about virtual reality “de-ageing” tours, including the possibility of Fleetwood Mac performing their Rumours album looking and sounding as they did when it was released in 1977.
ABBA aren’t the only ones who don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

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Postby Benny » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:38 pm

Thank you Colin/ zeus555 for keeping us up-to-date with the virtual reality tour and all the other ABBA-related news!
I'm a bit sceptical about the virtual tour but let's see how it will go.
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Postby zeus555 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:52 pm

Australia's Channel 7 showed a new ABBA Documentary at 8 pm tonight.

It has caused the 2014 3 CD 'ABBA Gold' to re-enter the Australian iTunes Chart,
at No.4. The 1992 'ABBA Gold' has re-entered at No.5. 'Arrival' is in at No.32.

Here is the Documentary - in 5 Parts.

Link:

https://au.tv.yahoo.com/plus7/sunday-ni ... -revealed/

The UK's 'Daily Mail' has done an Article about the Virtual Reality ABBA Tour, as regards Australia.

Link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/ar ... l#comments

There are several Comments beneath it. Mine is under Colin333.

I think that people are going to have to face a new 'Reality'. Eventually, such Tours will be normal & many old
Acts will be seen Touring, that way. Not just ABBA, but The Beatles - all 4 of them again, the Rolling Stones, (as
they looked in 1965 etc.), Queen - complete with Freddie Mercury, Fleetwood Mac, as they were in 1977, and
many more.

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Postby Benny » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:12 pm

US Top 200 Albums
Region: Total U.S. Week Ending: 09/14/17

Total Chain Indep MassM Non T
(141) ABBA|BEST OF ABBA-MILLENNIUM C1499 87 28 1319 65 60249843229
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Postby zeus555 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:40 pm

'ABBA Gold' has fallen from No.32 to No.39 in the latest UK Album Chart - W/E 28th September 2017.

It sold about 2,000 copies to be at No.39.

It is its 228th Top 40 Week, 529th Top 75 Week & 803rd Top 100 Week.

It is at No.26 in the Sales Album Chart & the Scottish Album Chart. No.27 in the Physical Album Chart.

In the Download Album Chart it is only at No.56 & it is not in the Streaming Album Chart.

In the Irish Album Chart it rises from No.64 to No.29 - in its 453rd Top 100 Week.

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Postby innocenteyes » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:45 am

AUSTRALIA:

Top 100 Albums Chart:

27 (RE) ABBA Gold & More (Anniversary Edition) <P>
81 (RE) ABBA Gold <P>17 (thanks to Auspop) <P>17

Note that Digital sales of ABBA Gold are counted into the ABBA Gold & More Anniversary Edition for some reason

Top 50 Digital Albums:

8 (RE) ABBA Gold & More (Anniversary Edition)

Top 50 Catalogue Chart:

8 (RE) ABBA Gold & More (Anniversary Edition) <P>
28 (RE) ABBA Gold <P>17
35 (RE) 18 Hits <P>4

Top 40 DVD Chart:

5 (RE) The Definitive Collection <P>3
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Postby Benny » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:54 pm

US Top 200 Albums
Week Ending: 09/21/17

Total Chain Indep MassM Non T
(148) ABBA|BEST OF ABBA-MILLENNIUM C 1619 102 8 1427 85
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Postby zeus555 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:33 pm

Benny has now confirmed that 'Angel Eyes' & 'I Wonder' will be in 'Mamma Mia! 2'.

I think that 'I Wonder' is a very weak ABBA Song & I'd far rather that much stronger ABBA
Ballads had been used instead - such as 'One Man, One Woman' & 'My Love, My Life'.

I recall that more than one Review of 'The Album', in 1978, singled out 'I Wonder' as being
a very ordinary Song & production, by ABBA's usual standards. I've never felt that it has
very much going on in it - either in harmonies or instrumentation. ABBA would never have
been so huge had 'I Wonder' been typical of their sound & style. It is too weak & bland.

Benny & Bjorn have always had a far greater affection for 'I Wonder' than a lot of
ABBA's Fans. That is why it ended up on 'Greatest Hits Vol.2' in 1979, when it had
only been the 'B' Side of 'The Name Of The Game'.

Now Benny has covered it on his 'Piano' Album too. I guess that it was inevitable,
that he & Bjorn would think it strong enough to feature in the 2nd 'Mamma Mia!' Film.

NOTE -- Benny also says that only 1 full Song & 2 'half' Songs' will be used again for the
2nd Film. 'Dancing Queen' is the full Song that will be reused. One of the 'half Songs' is
sure to be 'Mamma Mia', as it is in the Title of Film 2. The other 'half Song' will be either
'Waterloo' or 'The Winner Takes It All' - at a guess. I could be wrong, & the 2nd 'half Song'
could be 'Super Trouper' or 'Money, Money, Money'. We will see.....

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Postby Benny » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:07 pm

I agree, 'I Wonder' is weak & bland, I have no idea why B & B like it so much! It was already on 'GH2' and 'More ABBA Gold' where it didn't belong at all!

zeus555 wrote:NOTE -- Benny also says that only 1 full Song & 2 'half' Songs' will be used again for the
2nd Film. 'Dancing Queen' is the full Song that will be reused. One of the 'half Songs' is
sure to be 'Mamma Mia', as it is in the Title of Film 2. The other 'half Song' will be either
'Waterloo' or 'The Winner Takes It All' - at a guess. I could be wrong, & the 2nd 'half Song'
could be 'Super Trouper' or 'Money, Money, Money'. We will see.....
Zeus555
Interesting, so the film will include more 'new' songs than I thought it would.
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Postby zeus555 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:39 pm

I've also heard a rumour that 'Why Did It Have To Be Me?' will be in 'Mamma Mia! 2'.

It is not one of my personal favourites off 'Arrival', but I guess they will use it as a
Male/Female duet, as it had prominent Male vocals in 1976. (That is if it is used in
the Film).

I guess that they can't use too many Songs from the 1st Film, as that would mean
trying to sell the same ABBA Songs on the 2nd Film's Soundtrack. As it is, the 1st
Soundtrack has sold around 5,600,000 to 5,800,000 Globally, with over 1,800,000
in the USA & over 1,500,000 in the UK. It would be harder to sell Millions of the 2nd
Film's Soundtrack if too many Songs on it had already been on the 1st one.....

I do hope that more of the ABBA Songs that I love will be included in the Film. I'm
rather disappointed with 'I Wonder' & 'Why Did It Have To Be Me?'. I hope that
there will be some fast ABBA Songs - with punch - that Agnetha & Frida sang
lead on. Such as 'As Good As New' & 'Kisses Of Fire' etc. I guess it would be hard
to fit 'Tiger' into the Film.

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Postby Benny » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:31 am

First 'I Wonder' and now 'Why Did It Have To Be Me' ?! :o :(
There are so many better ABBA songs!
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Postby zeus555 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:15 pm

I 're-visited' 'I Wonder' on YouTube last night & carefully listened to it with my eyes
closed. It was a lot better than I recall it. Of course Frida sings it very well indeed.
The instrumentation is more complex than I remember - more rich. It is not as 'weak'
as I remembered it. On reflection it will be a fitting 'new' ABBA Song in 'Mamma Mia! 2'.
I guess that those who heard 'Slipping Through My Fingers', for the 1st time, in Film 1
will be equally fond of 'I Wonder'.

In the meantime, Benny's 'Piano' Album is doing very well in the iTunes Charts of
several Countries. It may even reach the UK Top 10 next Friday - W/E 12th October
Chart. If it does, it will be the 1st time that he's placed 'new' Tracks in the UK Album
Top 10 since 'Chess' reached No.10 on W/E 2nd March 1985 - 32 Years & 7 Months ago.....

Regarding 'Why Did It Have To Be Me?' - I always find it harder to like ABBA
Songs with Male lead vocals, than those with Agnetha & Frida on lead. I'm not
the only one. That is why 'Does Your Mother Know' only reached No.4 in the UK
in 1979 & why it only got to No.10 in West Germany. It was seen as being rather
disappointing by a lot of ABBA Fans.....

If the Male 'Singers' in the 1st 'Mamma Mia!' Film are a guide, then any Songs
in Film 2, with Male lead vocals, will not sound terribly well sung. I felt that -
over-all - the Female vocals in Film 1 were stronger.....

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Postby zeus555 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:24 pm

'ABBA Gold' has fallen from No.39 to No.40 in the latest UK Album Chart - W/E 5th October 2017.

It sold about 2,250 copies to be at No.40 - which is about 250 more copies than when it was at No.39 last Week.

It is its 229th Top 40 Week, 530th Top 75 Week & 804th Top 100 Week.

It is only the 2nd Album to reach 530 Top 75 Weeks. The other is 'Legend' by Bob Marley & The Wailers,
which is on 548 Top 75 Weeks. Although that has a lot less Top 40 Weeks than 'ABBA Gold' - 172 Weeks.

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Postby oaknuys » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:08 am

I'm hugely enjoying benny's new album as its a truly personal and heartfelt record :) anxious to find out about its charting positions in Europe
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Postby Benny » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:11 am

oaknuys wrote:I'm hugely enjoying benny's new album as its a truly personal and heartfelt record :) anxious to find out about its charting positions in Europe
It's doing quite well on iTunes...

Album: Piano

iTunes:
#1 Sweden
#3 Norway
#5 Finland
#5 Netherlands
#6 Denmark
#8 Argentina
#10 Czech Republic
#10 Germany
#12 Australia
#12 Poland
#12 Portugal
#12 Switzerland
#14 United Kingdom
#14 Israel
#16 Ireland
#23 India
#25 Luxembourg
#30 Belgium
#31 Spain
#39 Russia
#41 Austria
#44 Cyprus
#50 Mexico
#59 New Zealand
#65 Italy
#65 Turkey
#70 South Africa
#84 France
#186 United States
#195 Canada
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Postby oaknuys » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:13 pm

Thank god! That's great to hear :)

Btw, guess its safe to suspect the physical sales are stronger than the digital ones due to the nature of this particular artist, :)
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Postby zeus555 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:18 pm

Benny's Album is currently No.12 on Global iTunes & No.7 on European iTunes. On
UK Amazon it is the No.2 Best Selling CD & the No.12 Best Selling Digital Album.

Here is an interesting Benny Interview from 'The Herald' - which is a Scottish Newspaper. So, there may be a 2nd 'Piano'
Album, as Benny would like to include 'The Winner Takes It All' & 'Like An Angel Passing Through My Room' - as well as
several other ABBA Songs that would suit only a piano instrumentation. (In some Articles, the 'Journalists' think that the
'You And I' Track, from 'Chess', is 'Me And I' - off 'Super Trouper'!)

Piano is a 21-track solo album of ABBA hits by Benny Andersson

by Lorraine Wilson

Saturday 30th September 2017

IT’S A rare day that Benny Andersson doesn’t play piano. He takes a seat and simply waits to see what happens. On some days there is new music for projects such as Benny Andersson's orkester; on others when he thinks “I don’t want to write music today” he plays anyway.

Those days spent revisiting previous compositions were the genesis of Piano, a 21-track solo piano album, released yesterday on classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

“Invariably I would play Mountain Duet or You and I from Chess, because both are so good for piano. There were so many songs that worked well that the idea began to form,” he says.

“Those were the first two on a list of 50 songs. I removed everything that needs guitar, drums, and bass – so that meant leaving out Dancing Queen, Take A Chance on Me, Waterloo – I couldn’t do any of those justice – but there were still more than 40 songs to choose from.”

The tracks are taken from across ABBA’s catalogue, from musicals such as Chess and Kristina fran Duvemala, and from his solo work, including BAO.

Following similar promotional jaunts in Berlin and Stockholm, he’s now in a rather lovely London hotel for several days of talking, and without false modesty seems equally bewildered and delighted that so many people are interested in his work.

The 70-year-old is keen to have a discussion about why I feel ABBA’s music has endured. The last recorded output was released when he was just 35, but there is building excitement about a live tour in 2019 that involves all four members – even if they will only be virtual participants.

The planning of this live tour and recording music for the next Mamma Mia! film has taken up his summer alongside Piano, but the interest in the album seems to be giving him the greatest satisfaction for the moment. Despite the fact that the compositions range from 1973 to 2016, the album feels like a whole. Anyone new to Andersson’s work might believe all were composed for this album.

“I thought that the first time I listened, once we put the songs in order. I thought OK, we’ll try to release this, at least in Sweden so that my grandkid can listen to their grandpa play piano when I’m gone!’

“It was also surprising to hear just me. No lyrics, no women singing… just the music. I recognised myself in it. Although I’m not a melancholic guy, I’m really not. I enjoy life. It’s been good to me.”

The 35 years since ABBA last released a record has been a period of rightful reappraisal for the songwriting of Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, as well their skill as producers. Musicians have always known that their work was superlative, and adding those two female voices that managed to excel individually but also blend as one was a gift from the musical gods.

As producers they were keen to use the latest technology and even on Piano, he was tempted to bring out the Synclavier for string embellishments. “But no, I managed to stop myself,” he laughs. “I had to stay true to the original idea.”

The album’s opening track, I Let The Music Speak from The Visitors, ABBA’s final and arguably finest album, is “The song that told me – or us really – that ‘we’re on our way to the theatre here’. You can stage that song with choirs but it sounds equally valid just with piano.”

Most of his interviews in recent years have been attached to the Mamma Mia! musical, but he has no problem in chatting without Ulvaeus, his friend and collaborator of 51 years alongside him.

“Nooooo, that’s good,” he laughs. “When it was four of us it was impossible, but even with just Bjorn and I, if we were doing anything, we had to do one at a time. With both of us, I would wait for him to answer, he would wait for me to answer…it became so awkward. And then they just mix up who is saying what!”

There will be no solo performances of Piano, however. His live work in Scotland has been confined to Glasgow with ABBA and a performance with BAO almost 20 years ago. He also visited the city around seven years ago for a concert version of Chess. “I’m not that educated a pianist,” he shakes his head. “In the studio we can correct my mistakes but I wouldn’t want to charge people money to hear those mistakes.”

He does play with the 16-piece Benny Anderssons orkester, which takes its own dancefloor to outdoor events and plays to 5000 people, who dance or sit back on the grass and listen. It’s a four-hour show where he switches between piano and the instrument that started it all for him – the accordion.

“I love my accordion. It’s a wonderful instrument to play. It’s physical. You have it on you and you have to work hard to get something out of it. For me it connects all the northern European countries in their folk music too. Scotland is much more like Sweden than England. We all have our own style in Sweden, Germany, Scotland, Ireland – but it’s all connected.”

There might well be another Piano album. “We could only do 21 songs but there are others that I would like to put out – The Winner Takes It All and Like An Angel Passing Through My Room. So even if no-one wants this one, I’ll probably do another! I did try

I tried Knowing Me Knowing You for this album. I bought a metronome and sat it on the piano but it didn’t work. I like that verse – it’s almost nothing – and that’s clever,” he smiles. “It’s a good sounding recording so I will leave it there.”

Before returning home to Stockholm there was a meeting with the set designer working on the virtual tour. “The band will be completely live – it will be everything you would expect from a live concert. The only thing that isn’t there will be the four of us – in person anyway. We’ll be there in digital shape, maybe holograms, maybe augmented reality and definitely on screens. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun because it hasn’t been done to this level.”

Of course the four will never perform live in person again. To ask the question is ridiculous. According to Andersson, the break-up was more a fade-out rather than any firm decision to put ABBA behind them. “After The Visitors, we took a break to do Chess. We thought this would take two, maybe three years, but it took five years before it made it to the West End. By that point going back didn’t feel like the right thing to do.

“In 1982 we thought OK, maybe some more ABBA royalties will trickle in for a couple of years and that will be it. That sort of happened for a few years and then Muriel’s Wedding arrived. And then Erasure. Then the ABBA Gold Greatest Hits took off because for once we were on one record label for the whole world. And then of course Mamma Mia! around 17 years ago. But I would like to think it all happened because there is some quality to the music.

“The fact that someone is still interested in what I’m doing. I enjoy that you like me!” he laughs. “People are so kind, they say ‘thank you for brightening up my life and thank you for this song’ It’s not the fame that’s been so important. It’s that communication.”

It’s more than tempting to say, “thank you for the music” as the allotted time comes to a close and the record company representatives arrive, but thankfully he stops that potential cringefest in its tracks by looking at the far wall with a puzzled expression, and asks them if a bed has been taken away. When they say it has, he looks over the top of his glasses with a twinkle: “Did they think people would get ideas?”.

Piano was released yesterday on Deutsche Grammophon.

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Zeus555
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Postby oaknuys » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:45 pm

God bless Benny for all the immaculate work that he's been doing, I almost shed a tear upon reading the original idea to leave this album for his family members to remember him as the way he is!

Oh btw... i cant wait for the pt.2 of the piano lol he deliberately saved The Winner Takes It All to boost the attention for that release lol haha... a cheeky guy's strategy lol

I've been playing the abba piano tracks all day and I'm enjoying them all hugely!
Been reading UkMix everyday for well more than a decade now, and Here I am posting :)
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