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.
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.
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.
Okay, you know nobody in the band was named Herman and that the lead singer, Peter Noone, is still active and performing today. But here are a few facts you may not know about those British Invasion fave raves:
It was Peter Noone’s resemblance to JFK that got them their first recording session – The group’s management had been trying unsuccessfully to get British super producer Mickey Most to record the boys. Finally, Mickey said, “Send me a picture” of the group. When the photo arrived, Most thought Noone looked like a young JFK and so decided to take a chance on the group.
A Hidden Treasure From Rock & Soul’s Golden Era
A series of posts about albums you may have missed back in the day when so much good music was coming out on nearly a daily basis. But now that the real “good stuff” is few and far between, you might want to backtrack and add these gems to your music collection.
It happens so often in rock music. Artists struggle for years with albums the critics love but record buyers ignore. Then they finally break through to a wider audience and go on to long, successful careers. Yet, those earlier albums remain, for the most part, ignored.
Such is the case with Boz Scagg’s “Slow Dancer” in 1974. It was his 6th album and his 6th commercial failure. Yet, many die hard Boz fans will tell you “Slow Dancer” is his best album. We don’t think they’re wrong.
It finally happened! After more than 30 years, the members of ABBA staged an impromptu reunion on stage in Stockholm.
The occasion was a private celebration to honor ABBA’s songwriting duo, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, held tin 2016 at Berns Salonger to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first meeting.
In attendance were their former spouses, the female side of ABBA, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstadon, Before anyone knew what was happening the quartet were on stage singing “Me and I.” The effort marked their first public performance as a quartet since January of 1986.
You can find the full story here.
The band has promised a tour with holograms in the next year or so and yes, it will feature a few new songs as well as the ABBA classics.
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