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Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson

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The Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson album Lycka, released in 1970, contained the very first song to feature all four ABBA members: Hej gamle man! (“Hey Old Man!”). As the original album is reissued on CD with 14 bonus tracks, we explore the fascinating era between Björn and Benny’s years as Sixties pop stars and the first ABBA recordings.

The year 1969 was a crucial turning-point in the ABBA saga. That was the year when Benny Andersson’s group, The Hep Stars, split, and it was the year when the Hootenanny Singers, Björn Ulvaeus’ band, decided to quit touring for the foreseeable future, confining their infrequent group activities to the recording studio. It was also the year when Björn became romantically involved with Agnetha Fältskog, and Benny was engaged to Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Björn and Benny strengthened their working partnership as songwriters and producers, and solidified their connection with Stig Anderson of the record company Polar Music; he also contributed lyrics to many of their songs. In hindsight, it seems the scene was set for ABBA to happen, whenever those involved felt so inclined. The reality at the time, however, was quite different.

In Sweden, the late Sixties and early Seventies were a difficult period for former pop stars such as Benny and Björn.

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