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ABBA – A POP-PHENOMENON OF THE XX CENTURY

Agneta Feltskog, Bjorn Ulveus, Benny Andersson, Annie-Fried (Frida) Lingstad. What are these names talking about? Often about nothing. But if you add the first letters of the names, you get … ABBA. This abbreviation says a lot and a lot. Yes, 4 Scandinavians turned the whole world with their songs. And this is not an exaggeration.

ABBA were the first representatives of continental Europe to win first place on the charts of all the leading English-speaking countries.

Benny and Bjorn
Benny Andersson was a keyboard player for the popular Swedish pop group Hep Stars in the second half of the 1960s. They performed remakes of international hits. The band’s strength was their live performances with spectacular shows. Fans of the team, or rather fans, were mostly girls. With full right the group was called the Swedish The Beatles. Benny Andersson played the synthesizer and gradually began to write original compositions, many of which became hits.

ABBABjorn Ulveus and Benny Andersson
Bjorn Ulveus was the lead singer of the popular folk band Hootenanny Singers. He and Andersson sometimes met and agreed on a joint recording. Stig Anderson, manager of Hootenanny Singers and founder of the record company Polar Music, saw great potential in the collaboration of Andersson and Ulveus and strongly supported any of their endeavors. He believed that someday they would become famous throughout the world. The duo eventually recorded the album Lycka (Happiness), in which they included their own compositions. On some songs, the female voices of their friends, Agneta and Frida, were clearly audible.

Agneta and Frida
Agneta Feltskog is the youngest member of the group. When she was 17, the song she performed became number 1 in Sweden. Many critics believed that she was a talented composer. Along with writing her own songs, she also recorded cover versions of foreign hits and performed them at Swedish amateur contests. As a result, she became the most popular pop singer of the time. In 1972, Agneta received the role of Mary Magdalene in the Swedish production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Criticism praised her work in this project.

ABBAAgnetta Feltskog and Annie-Frid Lyngstad
Agneta crossed paths with Frida on a TV show, a little later she met with Bjorn at a concert.

Annie-Fried Lyngstad from the age of 13 sang with different groups working in a dance style. Later she moved to a jazz band. In 1969, she won the national talent competition. Her professional career began with the signing of a contract with the Swedish branch of EMI in 1967. At the same time, singles with songs in her performance began to be released, however, a full-fledged long-playing album was born only in 1971.

She met Benny Andersson at a TV studio. A few weeks later, on a concert tour of southern Sweden, a second meeting took place. Benny recruits Frida and Agnet as backing vocalists to record Lycka.

2 + 2 = ABBA
In the early 1970s, Bjorn and Agneta were married, and Benny and Frida lived together. This did not stop them from making their own musical careers in Sweden. Stig Anderson wanted to break into the international music market. He is a feat of Benny and Bjorn to write a song for the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest. The song “Say It With a Song” took 3rd place, which confirmed the ABBA group Stig’s opinion that he is on the right track.

Benny and Bjorn experimented in writing songs with new sound and vocal arrangements. One of them was “People Need Love” with the voices of the girls, which gave a very good effect. Stig released it as a single, authored by Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. The song reached number 17 on the Swedish charts. This convinced everyone that they were moving in the right direction.

The following year, they attempted to break into Melodifestivalen with the song Ring Ring. Stig ordered a translation of the lyrics into English. They intend to win first place, but become only third. The promotional group is releasing the album “Ring Ring” under the same uncomfortable title of “Björn & Benny”, “Agnetha & Frida”. He sold out well, and the song “Ring Ring” became a hit in many countries of Europe, but Stig felt that a breakthrough could only happen if the song became a British or American hit.

What do you call a yacht, so it will sail
In the spring of 1973, Stig, tired of the uncomfortable name of the group, began to call her privately and publicly as ABBA. This ABBA group was a joke at first, as ABBA is the name of a well-known seafood processing company in Sweden. Agneta says: “When we decided to be called ABC, we had to get permission from this company. There they answered: “We agree, just look so that we are not ashamed of you.” I don’t think they should be ashamed of the group. ”

The team also organized a contest to choose a name in a local newspaper. Among the options were Alibaba and BABA. In Hebrew and Aramaic, the word “abba” means “pope.”

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