Agnetha: Abba and After, BBC One, review - Telegraph
ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote this after separating from wife and fellow band member, Agnetha Fältskog. It's about a divorce where one person doesn't. Why I loved singing about the pain of my divorce - by Abba's Agnetha. The Winner Takes it All is about her failed marriage to Bjorn Ulvaeus. Mamma Mia: Abba's Agnetha Faltskog in her musical heyday Thank you for the music: The original cast of Abba, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny . She complained to the police, but in they started a romantic relationship. 'It was.
Agnetha: Abba and After, BBC One, review
Given that he and Benny employ everyone in the building, it's worth noticing that Bjorn makes his own coffee. Along with the communal Plopp and an office dog named Bjork, all the signs suggest that the Stockholm headquarters of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson must be a nice place to work.
It's only after a few minutes that the nagging sense of something missing dawns. But for a poster proclaiming the premiere of Mamma Mia!
14 fascinating facts about ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog - Smooth
It can't just be modesty, either, because you can't move for posters and discs relating to Chess, the musical they wrote with the British lyricist Tim Rice - and who remembers that? Advertisement "Actually," says Bjorn, deploying that precise English in which Scandinavians seem to specialise, "there aren't as many ABBA awards as you might imagine.
For the main part of the group's lifespan, the critics despised us. They then arrived in London to pick up this year's Ivor Novello Special International Award, and treated the throng to an impromptu chorus of Fernando. The first goes back to the group's Eurovision Song Contest victory in In the preceding years, Bjorn and Benny, along with the group's manager, Stig Anderson, had become obsessed with the contest - reasoning that it would be the only chance the group had of getting recognition beyond their own country.
It's the feeling of having won that I remember more than anything else. Just sitting in a room the day after, discussing what we were going to do worldwide. Suddenly we had a sense of something beginning. Sporting a sparkling, skintight satin jumpsuit with what appeared to be knee-length Cuban-heeled wellington boots, he looked so bizarre that security guards refused to let him pick up his composer's award at the end of the show.
In truth, Bjorn had waited a long time to jump about on stage looking like that. To understand why ABBA were so brilliant in the '70s, we need to grasp just how bad it was for them in the '60s.
Bjorn spent the most exciting decade of the 20th century in the Hootenanny Singers, clean-cut, short-haired purveyors of indigenous wholesome campfire fare like Song of the Birch. Injust as the Singers scored their first Swedish hit, Bjorn heard the Beatles.
I would have much preferred to have been in a band like Benny's. He grew his hair long and joined Sweden's nearest equivalent to the Beatles, the Hep Stars. He shifts uncomfortably when recalling his first brush with fame. Benny was not a frequent fatherly presence. I chose to keep on working instead of being with my family which, as you can imagine, was a disaster for them. But I've been talking to the kids through the years and, for some reason, they feel that I made the right choice.
We figured it would be a good idea to try to write a song together. The Hep Stars had split, but the Hootenanny Singers hadn't. The details of what follow read more like the synopsis of an unmade early Woody Allen film than the genesis of a supergroup.
Agnetha Faltskog, who married Bjorn in and had already scored a string of self-composed hits in Sweden, had the most to lose from the arrangement. Bjorn convinced his new wife that a cabaret run might arrest his and Benny's sliding fortunes. With Benny now dating aspiring Norwegian jazz singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad known as Fridathe two couples decided to put together a comedy revue.
Hidden away in Bjorn and Benny's personal archive, there is a picture of them dressed as schoolboys with lollipops and little helicopter propellers on their hats. After a year of playing half-empty nightspots to Swedish businessmen, Bjorn and Benny wisely put their school uniforms away. It wasn't untila year later, that they had the idea of making a record as a quartet.
Given that the couples were near neighbours and spending all their time together, this seems incredible. And even then, People Need Love - an unsexy beer-hall clomp with yodelling! That came a year later when Stig Anderson ran a competition for Swedish radio listeners. With the best names on the shortlist Alibaba, Friends And Neighbours and Baba, Anderson took things into his own hands. The fact that ABBA was also the name of a Swedish brand of canned fish didn't seem to bother him; nor did Bjorn and Benny's initial lack of enthusiasm.
Time spent with Benny and Bjorn is like time spent with a married couple, as befits two people who have been working together for 36 years. Benny is the alpha male - taciturn and vaguely intimidating. He borders on truculent when asked about his private life.
Bjorn often seems to direct his answers at Benny, as if keen not to misrepresent him. In Bjorn's head, you suspect, Benny is still "the cool one". Lyngstad toured and performed regularly in the folkpark circuit and made appearances on radio and TV. Lyngstad linked up with her future bandmates in On 1 Marchshe participated in the Melodifestival, where she met Andersson for the first time.
A few weeks later they met again during a concert tour in southern Sweden and they soon became a couple.
Andersson would then produce Lyngstad's debut studio album, Fridawhich was released in March Lyngstad also played in several revues and cabaret shows in Stockholm between and After ABBA formed, she recorded another successful album inFrida ensamwhich included a Swedish rendition of " Fernando ", a hit on the Swedish radio charts before the English version was released.
What started as singing for fun on the beach ended up as an improvised live performance in front of the United Nations soldiers stationed on the island.
Andersson and Ulvaeus were at this time recording their first album together, Lycka, which was to be released in September They also performed solo numbers from respective albums, but the lukewarm reception convinced the foursome to shelve plans for working together for the time being, and each soon concentrated on individual projects again.
It was during that the four artists began working together more, adding vocals to the others' recordings. Frequent recording sessions brought the foursome closer together during the summer. Stig Andersonfounder and owner of Polar Musicwas determined to break into the mainstream international market with music by Andersson and Ulvaeus.
The song came in third place, encouraging Stig Anderson, and became a hit in Sweden. The song peaked at number 17 in the Swedish combined single and album charts, enough to convince them they were on to something. However, according to Stig Anderson, "People Need Love" could have been a much bigger American hit, but a small label like Playboy Records did not have the distribution resources to meet the demand for the single from retailers and radio programmers.
The women shared lead vocals on "Nina, Pretty Ballerina" a top ten hit in Austria that day, and their voices in harmony for the first time gave the foursome an idea of the quality of their combined talents.
Tretowwho experimented with a " wall of sound " production technique that became the wholly new sound. Stig Anderson arranged an English translation of the lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody and they thought this would be a surefire winner. However, on 10 Februarythe song came third in Melodifestivalen; thus it never reached the Eurovision Song Contest itself.
Nevertheless, the group released their debut studio album, also called Ring Ring. The album did well and the "Ring Ring" single was a hit in many parts of Europe and also in South Africa.
Official naming[ edit ] InStig Anderson, tired of unwieldy names, started to refer to the group privately and publicly as ABBA a palindrome. At first, this was a play on words, as Abba is also the name of a well-known fish-canning company in Sweden, and itself an acronym. However, since the fish-canners were unknown outside Sweden, Anderson came to believe the name would work in international markets. A competition to find a suitable name for the group was held in a Gothenburg newspaper and it was officially announced in the summer that the group were to be known as "ABBA.
The logo first appeared on the French compilation album, Golden Double Album, released in May by Disques Vogueand would henceforth be used for all official releases. After the pictures were made, Heilemann found out that Benny Andersson reversed his letter "B"; this prompted discussions about the mirrored "B", and the members of ABBA agreed on the mirrored letter. From onwards, the first "B" in the logo version of the name was "mirror-image" reversed on the band's promotional material, thus becoming the group's registered trademark.
Following their acquisition of the group's catalogue, PolyGram began using variations of the ABBA logo, using a different font and adding a crown emblem to it in for the first release of the ABBA Gold: Since then, the original logo has been reinstated on all official products.
Ulvaeus, Andersson and Stig Anderson believed in the possibilities of using the Eurovision Song Contest as a way to make the music business aware of them as songwriters, as well as the band itself.
Abba quiz: match the lyric to the song - Telegraph
In latethey were invited by Swedish television to contribute a song for the Melodifestivalen and from a number of new songs, the upbeat song " Waterloo " was chosen; the group was now inspired by the growing glam rock scene in England. ABBA won their national heats on Swedish television on 9 Februaryand with this third attempt were far more experienced and better prepared for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Winning the Contest on 6 April and singing Waterloo in English instead of their native tongue gave ABBA the chance to tour Europe and perform on major television shows; thus the band saw the "Waterloo" single chart in many European countries. In the United States, the song peaked at number-six on the Billboard Hot chart, paving the way for their first album and their first trip as a group there.
Albeit a short promotional visit, it included their first performance on American television, The Mike Douglas Show. The album Waterloo only peaked at number on the Billboard chart, but received unanimous high praise from the US critics: Los Angeles Times called it "a compelling and fascinating debut album that captures the spirit of mainstream pop quite effectively Both records debuted on the UK chart within one week of each other.
It was not as successful as the band had hoped, since most of the venues did not sell out. Due to a lack of demand, they were even forced to cancel a few shows, including a sole concert scheduled in Switzerland.
The second leg of the tour, which took them through Scandinavia in Januarywas very different. They played to full houses everywhere and finally got the reception they had aimed for. Live performances continued in the middle of when ABBA embarked on a fourteen open-air date tour of Sweden and Finland. Later that year, the release of their self-titled third studio album ABBA and single " SOS " brought back their chart presence in the UK, where the single hit number six and the album peaked at number The success of the group in the United States had until that time been limited to single releases.
By earlythe group already had four Top 30 singles on the US charts, but the album market proved to be tough to crack. The eponymous ABBA album generated three American hits, but it only peaked at number on the Cashbox album chart and number on the Billboard chart. Nevertheless, the group enjoyed warm reviews from the American press.
Linda is a singer-songwriter, screen and stage actress. She also provided backing vocals to her mother's comeback track 'When You Walk in the Room'.
Who is Agnetha Faltskog's son? How many albums has Agnetha Faltskog released? After nearly two decades away, she released 'My Colouring Book' infollowed by her most recent 'A' in She became a recluse after ABBA Following the release of her album 'I Stand Alone', Agnetha went on a year hiatus from the music industry, during which she made few public appearances.
She secretly married a second time InAgnetha married Swedish surgeon Tomas Sonnenfeld, but they divorced in She had a stalker in the s Inshe started a relationship with a Dutch forklift driver, Gert van der Graaf, who had been stalking her home and was said to be obsessed with her since his childhood.
After she stopped the relationship two years later, he stalked her at her mansion, leading to a court issuing Van der Graaf with a restraining order, and deporting him to the Netherlands in