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“ALL the Music That Matters for the Generation That Created Rock 'n' Roll”

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The “Lost” ABBA Album

When ABBA stopped recoding in 1982 (they never officially broke up – they just stopped working together), it left many people hungry for any new ABBA material.

As the years have passed, much like the Beatles, the group has gone into the vaults and released a small smattering of previously unreleased material on “Deluxe Editions” and box sets of their classic power pop. But there is one ABBA-related item that may have flown under the radar.

When ABBA first came together in the early 1970s, they were close to being a “supergroup” of Swedish recording artists. Benny Andersson was the most famous of the quartet, having been a member of a very popular Swedish rock group known as the Hep Cats. Björn Ulvaeus had also found some success as a member of a Swedish folk group known as the Hootenanny Singers.

When the two decided to start composing and recording together, they let their girlfriends join the sessions as background singers. Both guys had fallen for women who also had recording careers, albeit not quite as successful as the men. Benny was dating Anni-Frid Lyngstad, while Björn’s main squeeze was Agnetha Fältskog.

Björn & Benny released one album as a duo, Lycka, in 1970. While all of the lyrics are in their native Swedish, you can hear the very beginnings of the sound that would become ABBA because the girls join the boys on most of the album’s tracks. One of the album’s tracks, "Hej, Gamle Man" (“Hello, Old Man”), even became a hit in Sweden.

Following this, the four began working together on more of their individual recording projects. Finally, in 1972, someone (Benny, Björn or their manager Stig Anderson) had the bright idea to let the girls take the spotlight and have the boys handle songwriting (with occasional help from Stig and Agnetha), production and backing vocals. And so, ABBA was born, going on to become one of the most successful recording acts in history with nearly 400 million records/CDs/downloads and counting.

If you’re a hard core fan, check out their beginnings on Lycka, still available on Amazon and other music sellers.

And keep the faith! Björn and Benny have confirmed that ABBA recorded two new tunes in 2018, “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down.” While the release date has been pushed back more than once, Andersson says the group is now aiming for fall of 2020. There are also rumors the group has been back in the studio this year and an entire new ABBA album may be forthcoming. Keep your fingers crossed.

The Album That Made the Rolling Stones the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band

At a casual glance, the Rolling Stones’ 7th or 9th studio album (depending on whether you live in the UK or US) seems to have performed like most of their previous albums – all of which charted in the top 5 on either country’s album charts.

But when you drill down into the actual musical content of those records, it becomes clear that “Beggar’s Banquet” was a turning point in the Stones’ career.

The band’s previous two LPs (“Between the Buttons” and “Their Satanic Majesties Request”) had seen the band attempt to follow the Beatles’ forays in psychedelia with decidedly uneven results, with both of those albums hitting the budget bins before the decade was over.

“Beggar’s Banquet” saw the Stones return to their raw, basic, R&B-flavored roots while simultaneously demonstrating they could infuse their music with new influences to produce an album that worked as an organic whole.

Tellingly, there were no hit singles from the album, but “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Street Fighting Man” quickly became heavily played favorites on the emerging FM rock stations around the US.

This was also the final full album that founding member Brian Jones contributed to. Yet, because of his increasing drug usage and decreasing mental stability, his contributions were slight. Instead, Keith Richards stepped up, providing virtually all of the guitar parts – rhythm and lead – for the album.

With Jones leaving the picture (most forget he was actually fired by the band shortly before his untimely death), Mick Jagger and Richards completed their takeover of the band’s creative process. This would begin a string of 4 albums that all stand as some of the greatest rock albums ever released: “Beggar’s Banquet,” “Let It Bleed,” “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main Street.”

As the Stones went on their creative hot streak, the Beatles were dissolving leaving no one to challenge the Stones for rock supremacy.

But that rise to the top of the rockpile really began with the release of “Beggar’s Banquet.”

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Story Behind the Song

A good many people just assume that one of the Beatles’ best-known songs from the Sgt. Pepper era, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is about drugs. I mean, the initials spell out L-S-D, amirite?

Not so fast. John Lennon has always claimed the inspiration for the song’s title came from a picture his young son, Julian, drew. Julian said the picture was of his young schoolmate, Lucy O'Donnell, and that he did, in fact, tell his dad that it was a picture of Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

That the song contained such trippy lyrics should surprise no one. Lots of pop songs of the period also contained such lyrics; and Lennon always said his inspiration for the song’s imagery came from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, a favorite of flower children everywhere.

Julian Lennon’s drawing still exists. It now belongs to Pink Floyd member, David Gilmour. Alas, there was no happy ending for Lucy. She married and became Lucy Vodden, but passed away from complications arising out of lupus at the very young age of 46 in 2009.

Are You Looking at Us w/a Chrome Browser? is primarily an online oldies radio station. For reasons beyond our control, our music stream of rock & roll’s greatest hits is not functioning properly when viewed through a Google Chrome browser.

However, the stream works just fine in all other browsers – including Microsoft Explorer Edge, Android, Apple Safari and others.

We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to create an entirely new player that will function with Chrome as well as the rest.

Thanks for your understanding – rock on!

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