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.