Make your own free website on Tripod.com

,ABBA the ALBUMSand John Bernhardt present reviews and information on....

The musical CHESS by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice (updated as of 2012. In 2014 there was a 2CD/1 DVD remastered version of Chess with 3 bonus tracks and DVD of Chess material.)

Reviews of the various recordings including ORIGINAL Concept ALBUM, CHESS PIECES, BROADWAY CAST , IN CONCERT , THE COMPLETE DANISH TOUR 2001 , and Chess IN SWEDISH VERSIONS. Also included are The Royal Albert Hall Concert, various Chess videos, concert tours, and stage variations....

 

ANDERSSON, RICE & ULVAEUS-CHESS , Polar POLXYL2-600 OCTOBER 1984 Available on 2CD set worldwide (ALSO REFERRED TO AS LONDON CAST,ORIGINAL CAST ,OR CONCEPT album)

 

"Each game of Chess means there is one less variation left to be played"

-Tim Rice on "Chess"


 A work in progress
...So said the composers said ominously in the liner notes in '84....

 

CHESS is a musical about two chess champions, one Russian , one American and
the people and politics that surround them. CHESS is a melodic ,daring, witty , ambitious musical .CHESS was an opportunity for Bjorn and Benny to flex their musical muscles in new way. Unlike ABBA,-they could bring in any vocalist, any choir, any orchestra
they wanted to make the record. The musical is varied mishmash of
rock, pop, orchestral music, opera, Rodgers & Hammerstein, disco, and so
forth. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus wrote
the music, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics (with some minor help from Björn). The
idea for Chess came from Tim Rice but the lyrics and the music were melded
together in a joint effort, The music on occasion drives the storyline
through it's subtle repeated themes. Although some thought that Tim Rice's lyrical approach was overly clever, it certainly was refreshing to hear ABBAesque melodies coupled with clever sardonic lyricism. .CHESS is a great record that so far has turned out to be only a so-so stage musical...



ABOUT THE CAST
The record's three main leads all give great performances. As the Russian,
Swedish pop singer Tommy Körberg proves to be a major find vocally ,Briton
Murray Head is cynically effective as The American ,but it is British stage
singer Elaine Paige's who ultimately ties it all together. Elaine plays
Florence Vassey the character who links the two chess players together .
Elaine had starred in the London versions of EVITA and CATS ,Elaine was
also lyricist Tim Rice's girlfriend around the time of CHESS. Murray Head
was best known for his work as Judas in the original album-of Jesus CHRIST
SUPerstar.. Körberg had been recording artist in Sweden since the 1970's.
Paige, Körberg and Head were also the leads in the London stage version of
CHESS in 1986.The other main cast members were Bjorn Skifs as the Aribiter,
Barbara Dickson as Svetlana, and the late Dennis Quilley as Molokov.


ABOUT THE ALBUM
CHESS was recorded at Polar Studios in Stockholm (vocals and rock combo) and
in London(orchestra and choir) by Michael B. Tretow. Benny Andersson and
ABBA's backing band plays on many of the tracks but are supplemented by the
London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers (who are also British).
Anders Eljas arranged the orchestrations and conducted the LSO. CHESS was
released originally as a 2 album set in late 1984. More material was
recorded but didn't fit on the dominent vinyl record format of the
time...Most of the work on the songs was done in 1983 and the work on the recording in 1984.
This work is where it we start to recognize Benny's talent as a orchestral
and a dramatic composer. Benny's melodies come to the fore in a way that
they couldn't always do in ABBA songs. The melodies were always there of
course, but in the ABBA recordings other elements would compete for
attention.Chess, unlike B&B's later Kristina or for that matter most other musicals,
is fairly unique in the way that rock sensibilities are mixed seamlessly
with musical & opera forms .


Two songs from CHESS were hit singles. The duet between Elaine Paige &
Barbara Dickson called" I Know Him So Well" became B&B's tenth number one song in
Great Britain. The song was also widely covered ...Indeed, it became the only B&B
song to be covered by the likes of American divas like Barbra Streisand and
Whitney Houston.

 

 A work in progress...So said the composers said ominously in the liner notes in '84....

CHESS is a musical about two chess champions, one Russian , one American and
the people and politics that surround them. CHESS is a melodic ,daring, witty , ambitious musical .CHESS was an opportunity for Bjorn and Benny to flex their musical muscles in new way. Unlike ABBA,-they could bring in any vocalist, any choir, any orchestra
they wanted to make the record. The musical is varied mishmash of
rock, pop, orchestral music, opera, Rodgers & Hammerstein, disco, and so
forth. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus wrote
the music, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics (with some minor help from Björn). The
idea for Chess came from Tim Rice but the lyrics and the music were melded
together in a joint effort, The music on occasion drives the storyline
through it's subtle repeated themes. Although some thought that Tim Rice's lyrical approach was overly clever, it certainly was refreshing to hear ABBAesque melodies coupled with clever sardonic lyricism. .CHESS is a great record that so far has turned out to be only a so-so stage musical...
ABOUT THE CAST
The record's three main leads all give great performances. As the Russian,
Swedish pop singer Tommy Körberg proves to be a major find vocally ,Briton
Murray Head is cynically effective as The American ,but it is British stage
singer Elaine Paige's who ultimately ties it all together. Elaine plays
Florence Vassey the character who links the two chess players together .
Elaine had starred in the London versions of EVITA and CATS ,Elaine was
also lyricist Tim Rice's girlfriend around the time of CHESS. Murray Head
was best known for his work as Judas in the original album-of Jesus CHRIST
Superstar. Körberg had been recording artist in Sweden since the 1970's.
Paige, Körberg and Head were also the leads in the London stage version of
CHESS in 1986.The other main cast members were Bjorn Skifs as the Aribiter,
Barbara Dickson as Svetlana, and the late Dennis Quilley as Molokov.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
CHESS was recorded at Polar Studios in Stockholm (vocals and rock combo) and
in London(orchestra and choir) by Michael B. Tretow. Benny Andersson and
ABBA's backing band plays on many of the tracks but are supplemented by the
London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers (who are also British).
Anders Eljas arranged the orchestrations and conducted the LSO. CHESS was
released originally as a two album set in late 1984. More material was
recorded but did not fit on the dominant vinyl record format of the
time...Most of the work on the songs was done in 1983 and the work on the recording in 1984.
This work is where it we start to recognize Benny's talent as an orchestral
and a dramatic composer. Benny's melodies come to the fore in a way that
they could not always do in ABBA songs. The melodies were always there of
course, but in the ABBA recordings other elements would compete for
attention.Chess, unlike B&B's later Kristina or for that matter most other musicals,
is fairly unique in the way that rock sensibilities are mixed seamlessly
with musical & opera forms .
Two songs from CHESS were hit singles. The duet among Elaine Paige &
Barbara Dickson called" I Know Him So Well" became way that Rock tenth number one song in
Great Britain. The song was also widely covered ...Indeed, it became the only B&B
song to be covered by the likes of American divas like Barbra Streisand and
Whitney Houston.
Murray Head 's "One Night in Bangkok" was a surprising top three hit in
America , and a big seller other places as well. The song features Murray
Head, but the record also stars Anders Glenmark on backing vocals
and Björn J:son Lindh on flute. An extended remix 12 inch version of
"Bangkok" was released in America.
Attempts to have hits with, "The Arbiter", "Nobody's Side and "Anthem" did
not succeed . "Nobody's Side and "Anthem" may have been the best tracks on
the album. "Nobody's Side" couples a typically acerbic Rice lyric with one of the most dramatic arrangements B&B ever unleashed on unsuspecting listeners. "Anthem" was an unused ABBA medley that become one of B&B's most powerful songs when performed by Tommy Korberg.
The remaining tracks are pretty much without exception all
listenable, intelligent songs.

 

Murray Head 's "One Night in Bangkok" was a surprising top three hit in
America , and a big seller other places as well.. The song features Murray
Head, but the record also stars Anders Glenmark on backing vocals
and Björn J:son Lindh on flute. A extended remix 12 inch version of
"Bangkok" was released in America.
Attempts to have hits with, "The Arbiter", "Nobody's Side and "Anthem" did
not succeed . "Nobody's Side and "Anthem" may have been the best tracks on
the album. "Nobody's Side" couples a typically acerbic Rice lyric with one of the most dramatic arrangements B&B ever unleashed on unsuspecting listeners. "Anthem" was a unused ABBA medley that become one of B&B's most powerful songs when performed by Tommy Korberg.
The remaining tracks are preety much without exception all
listenable,intelligent songs.


VARIOUS VERSIONS
A work in progress...So said the composers in the liner notes in
'84...Despite the quality of It's score Chess would never be a total success
on the stage.The flawed book for the play remained a major if rather
interesting problem in every future attempt to stage the play .The rock
music in the musical on stage also proved to be more problematic since
middle-aged critics & showgoers of the 1980's often found the rock elements
to be too harsh for their sensitive ears. So, CHESS Has been recycled and
retried many a time ...

Unlike most musicals which are staged first and then recorded , Chess was first 'RECORDED AS A CONCEPT ALBUM, AND WAS WIDELY PROMOTED BEFORE IT WAS ACTUALLY BROUGHT TO It's STAGE premiere in London..The songs were performed in concerts throughout Europe
in late 1984 and the play finally made it to London's West End in May 1986.
There would not be an official stage recording per se from the London cast
but there would be a Broadway cast album .A one album condensed version was
released in Europe called Chess Pieces. Chess arrived on Broadway in a
highly altered version in APRIL 1988. It was revived for a unsuccessful
Off-Broadway version in 1992.
In 1994 a version of the the Concert recordings came out in Sweden .
Finally it was brought to Sweden in all new Swedish language version in
2002. (SEE BELOW).

Chess track BY TRACK -original 2 lp set (with principal performers on each track)

Side 1
1.Merano-Ambrosian Choir, Head (7.00)

The opening track mostly features the chorus describing the setting for the first act. The "what a scene" middle section is Murray Head solo. The Merano chorus was totally removed for the Broadway version because Merano was no longer the setting. "Merano' is listenable but is seems almost illrelevant to the story.. According to Benny this was the song prepared for the musical ...


2.The Russian and Molokov-Korberg,Quilley /Where I want to be-Korberg (6.22)

The backing on this track counterpoints a very faint melodic synthesizer with a cool persussion track.

3.Opening ceremony-Skifs, Quilley, Ambrosion Choir, Backing Vocals-Glenmarks,Ohman (9.20)

Includes "The Aribiter" ,"US vs The USSR" and ""The Merchandisers" .The Aribiter is played by Swedish singer Bjorn Skifs (formerly lead singer of Blue Swede). The merchandisers section features two drum solos by Per Lindvall and a guitar solo by Lasse Wellander. This song goes from disco to marching band to rock and roll to a closing choir piece..Fricking amazing...amd were still on the first side...


4.Quartet (a model of decorum and tranquility), -Paige, Quilley, Skifs, Korberg (2.18)

Various paired duets done with .two singers singing different sets of lyrics at the same time..Fricking amazing...Granted, this sort of thing has been done before... But still fricking amazing ...

 

Side 2
1.The American and Florence-Head, Paige, Chorus/Nobody's side-Paige Backing Vocals-Glenmark-Ohman(5.02)

The first part of this track is a duet between Head and Paige ..."I see my present partner in the imperfect tense '.The rest of the song is Elaine Paige and backing vocalists...The song slowly builds up to a dramatic section that begins with the lyrics "how the cracks begin to show"...


2.Chess-instrumental feat. Benny Andersson ,LSO (5.45)

Cool instrumental -Benny on a very European sounding synth and the LSO....
3. Mountain duet -Paige, Korberg ,(4.43)

Slightly dreary ballad but well sung....


4.Florence quits-Paige, Head (2.54)

The first of at least three arguments on the record...This sort of sounds like a duet between Judas and a member of sixties girl group...


5.Embassy Lament-Ambrosion Choir featuring Byers,Midgey,Bambo, Fryson 1.30

Includes a musical typewriter. A slight song with a cynical lyric....

6.Anthem -Körberg (3.04)

This first act closer is ,probably the best song on the record and the best vocal performance-Körberg was quoted as saying that here he "sings like a bird ". Hard to believe a musical with a song like this could close anywhere.

 

Side 3
1.Bangkok instrumental featuring Lindh
/One night in Bangkok-Head,Chorus,Glenmark (5.02)

This track opens with Extended intrumental opening that oriental and features Bjorn J:son Lindh 's flute and drumming by Per Lindvall.

One of the two major hit singles on this album-this single sold over 3 million copies... The catchy chorus features backing vocalist Anders Glenmark which makes for a nice contrast from Murray Head's voice. Is this track Rap , or Disco or neither....


2.Heaven help my heart-Paige (3.30)

This is a Beautiful ballad one of B&B's best...Almost lost in the embarrassment of riches on this album...


3.Argument-Paige,Korberg (1.51)

Kind of a whiny argument, one of the reason critics thought Chess was a shouting match..


4 I know him so well-Paige, Dickson (4.15)

Actually a slightly cliche ballad -annoying cheesy electic keyboards on it ,but the lyrics are ok.. This was the last totally new song written by Andersson and Ulvaeus to top the British charts..


5.The deal (no deal)-Head,Korberg, Quilley, Paige (3.54)

Another argument in song with some cool percussive synths at the end... The word "shit' is used. This song like many on the record is preety much rock and roll. Yes, the ABBA band could rock...


6.Pity the child-Head (5.29)

Very dramatic character exposition .More great drumming and synthesizers. The end of the song provides the best Murray Head moments on the Chess album. The song closes with one of Lasse Wellenders' best guitar solos.

 

Side 4
1.Endgame-Chorus.Quilley, Head, Paige, Korberg,Dickson (10.50)

This runs the gamut and has a nice dramatic ending. It starts with a chorus reading off names of Chess champions, which soon becomes the melody from "the American and Florence" reappears as Murray Head starts singing with Dennis Quilley..Then a reprise of the Chess instrumental theme, then Körberg comes back with a dramatic section starting to detail his downfall which soons becomes a duet with Barbara Dickson.. Every word in the section in this section merits attention....What follows is another choral section featuring the Glenmarks then Dickson and Körberg return only to start screaming at each other- liar' ..never ...liar ...never never!


2. Epilogue: You and I-Paige, Korberg /The story of Chess-Chorus  (10.30)

"You and I" is a little cliche sounding and like much of the musical is depressing...The duet sections come in two parts one before and one after "The story of Chess . ' "The story of Chess" is a sung by the Ambrosian singers .The string intro to the Story of Chess-is worth the price of admission. This learned dissertation about the orgins of the game of Chess seems a little out of place up near the end of the record -and thus in the later Broadway version it was moved to the beginning.


*The chorus features The Ambrosian Singers as well as Anders Glenmark,Karin Glenmark and Liza Ohlman

1983 CHESS DEMOS AND OTHER STUFF

 

During 1983/84 B&B recorded numerous demos for the CHESS project. These
recordings remain unreleased and some of the demos may have been
destroyed. The most famous of the demos is "Every Good Man" which
features Agnetha Faltskog singing dummy lyrics to what would become the
melody of "Heaven Help Heart" proving, not surprisingly, that Aggie
would have had no problem playing the Florence role in Chess. "Every
Good Man" is sometimes mistaken as a ABBA demo .

Also, three variations of the "Just Like That" melody were recorded
alternately by Elaine Paige (When The Waves Roll Out to Sea), Tommy
Korborg ("If The Stars Are In The Sky ") and Benny Andersson alone who
did an instrumental version of "When The Waves Roll out to Sea". The
melody for "When The Waves Roll Out to Sea" was finally used for Chess
PA Svenska and released as part of the song "Glöm mig om du kan," sung
by Per Myberg.
Other interesting unreleased Chess demo
recordings exist. An early version of "One Night in Bangkok sung by Bjorn Skifs, A version of "I Know Him So Well sung entirely by Elaine Paige. A version of one of the argument songs sung by Bjorn called "Paternal Supervisor"
and instrumentals such as "The Wild Heart" and "Agadir till Bergshagen"
.
There were also a number of songs heard in the later stage productions or
recordings that were not heard on the 1984 concept album, these songs
were "Commie Newspapers", "Press Conference", "One More Opponent", "The
Soviet Machine ,"Talking Chess, "Anatoly and the Press" and "Der Kleine
Franz" -it's not clear whether all these songs were recorded for demos
in 1983/1984.
It is also interesting to note that three of the Chess songs had their
melodic roots in unreleased ABBA tracks. " I Know Him So Well" has bits
from" I Am a A". Secondly, Anthem" comes from "Nationalsang". Finally,
parts of "Someone Else's Story" comes from "Lady Bird". At least the
first two of these have widely bootlegged.
Some of the CHESS DEMOS have been bootleged, but it would be
fascinating if some of these recordings were released officially.

 

CHESS -THE EUROPEAN CONCERT SERIES.

In late October 1984/Early November 1984 a series of half a dozen "CHESS" concerts were given in European cities-London, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam , and Stockholm itself. The concerts largely featured the cast heard on the concept album except, Stockholm where Karin Glenmark pinch hits magically for Barbara Dickson at one point during the show when Barbara missed her cue....These concerts featured a full orchestra and choir and thus were expensive to produce...SVT made a TV film of the Swedish concert. This film may be the definitive live os the show.

Chess Moves (1985) Internationally released VHS video. Out of print..

Official videos of five key songs from the original Chess album.

It all runs only 25 minutes but the videos are good. Features Elaine Paige and Murray Head, but not Tommy Korberg. .The videos were directed by David G. Hillier and Ken Warwick

One Night In Bangkok/ Nobody's Side /The Arbiter/ I Know Him So well / Pity the child

Andersson, Rice and Ulvaeus-CHESS PIECES, Polar POLS4-14, 1986 released on CD European CD

Released in Europe, but not in the USA, this is a one album abridgement of the original studio concept album. It has 13 of the songs.The versions
of "You and I",and Merano used here are edits. A new alternate version of
"The Arbiter" was used here. The extended version of the "The Arbiter"
included new lyrics referring to the mid-eighties Chess match in which World
Champion Kasporov lost a match because of an arbiter's questionable
decisions.
This album has a white cover as opposed to the black of the original album.

 

Track listing for Chess PIECES

Merano/ The Arbiter/ Nobody's Side, Chess, Mountain Duet/ Embassy Lament/ Anthem/ One night in Bangkok/ Heaven help my heart/ I Know Him so well/ Pity the child/ You and I / The story of Chess

 

Original Broadway Cast Album-CHESS, RCA Victor 7700-2-RC Fall 1988 American CD Released Internationally

B&B AND TIM called themselves "the Three Knights"- and that's about how long
they lasted on Broadway..no, no ,that's not true. I am just teasing!!!!
This is the cast album from the heavily revamped Broadway version of CHESS
which ran at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway from April to June 1988.

THE BROADWAY STAGING

Nobody had been totally happy with the expensive, problem stricken London staging of Chess, so many changes were considered and implemented for the Broadway version. The major change was bringing of Richard Nelson to add a considerable amount of dialogue to the play's book. The story itself was changed and bizarrely , Elaine Paige was written out of being a possible Broadway Florence by the simple expediency of changing of the nationality of Florence Vassey from Hungarian born English citizen to a Hungarian born American citizen.


It was also expected that there would be problems with getting permission from the New York actors guild clearences to use any of the members of the rest of the original London cast, so an entirely new cast of American actors was brought in.
The original high-tech-London production was also thought to have been too expensive
to stage on Broadway, so the sets were scaled back . Les Miserables director, Trevor
Nunn who had directed the London version was also called in to direct the Broadway version OF CHESS.

The musical that emerged was almost unrecognizable, the plot had BEEN
changed, lyrics were changed, songs were moved around. Songs were removed and new songs were put in their place.


On the plus side , each of the characters
had a full name and fuller developed characters..

Judy Kuhn best known for her later work in the Disney
cartoon, POCAHANTUS, put in a emotionally genuine performance as Florence
Vassey. The late David Caroll brought incredible dignity to his portrayal of
the Russian chess player, Anatoly Sergievsky. though truth is that Carroll was not as good as singer as Tommy Körberg, but few people are....
An actual American actor, Phillip Casnoff, plays Freddie Trumper,the
American. (TRUMP-er, oh which famous American does that remind you of )
Philip Casnoff had appeared in the the TV miniseries NORTH AND SOUTH and
would later appear in the SINATRA mini series. The new comers ' acting was of a high quality for a musical,but the new material they had to
work with was questionable. The book for CHESS (it's script) was more
problematic,it lacked believability,but more importantly it was hard to care
about the screaming self-centered characters.
CHESS, on Broadway was not well received
by most critics, notably Frank Rich of the New York Times who butchered CHESS.

The dislike of the Broadway Chess was not a universal opinion- TIME magazine referred to the American version of CHESS as the greatest Rock n roll musical ever written. That Chess was partly a rock
musical was part of the problem, in 1988 there have not been that many
genuine rock musicals staged on Broadway and it was harder for middle aged theatre criitics or audiences of the time to relate to something like Chess.

Bad reviews alone were not enough to kill the musical
.There was such a large advance booking that the musical continued for many weeks PAST
OPENING. There was such hostility to Chess that the play's amazing music was not
nominated for any Tony awards, only the two American lead actors received
nominations. Not surprsingly, David Carroll and Judy Kuhn did not win! The poor showing at the Tony awards sealed the musical's fate.
It closed after two months, despite having a large advance booking that would taken the musical through the summer.The original cast reunified to perform the songs
live for benefit concert a short time after the closing. (the actor, David
Carroll who played the Russian ,reassembled the cast). The score in
particular is still revered by Broadway stagefolk...


THE CAST ALBUM
Prior to the musical's demise ,Benny and Björn, went to NYC to produce the
Broadway cast album whilst the play was running. It was recorded very quickly, the quickest that Bjorn and Benny had made an album.
The singing performances are fairly good,but usually not as good as the 1984
studio album. The musical arrangments are usually not as dense and interesting as the cast album version. This version has a very different lineup of songs and as I
stated before, many of the lyrics are different from the 1984 studio album.
In this version,for example, The American wins the Chess match instead of
standing around being a spectator in the second act as he was in the London
version.Many of the lyrics to the song had been
rewritten to help tell the new story.Although many of the changes seem to
have brought on with the cooperation of B&B and Tim
it's clear that some were not. The restaurant had too many cooks in the
kitchen.
Four totally new songs are featured in this version.THE BEST NEW SONG WAS
"Someone Else's Story " and it sounds more like an old fashioned great
Broadway song than anything else written for Chess. Strangely The song was
actually cut from the play towards the end of it's short Broadway run-because the musical was too long..
The other new songs were" Prologue", "Hungarian Folk Song" , and" Lullaby
(apukad eros Kezen)" . The latter two songs had some lyrics in Hungarian,
Yes,Tim or Björn or somebody spent a year in Budapest learning Hungarian to
write these two songs. (No I am just joking-I dont how the Hungarian lyrics came
about.)

The album doesn't include all the songs that were performed on the
Broadway stage but it has most of them ,one interesting omission is a Press
Conference sequence similar to the one Tim Rice had included in Jesus Christ
Superstar, which had also been left off the original concept album.
The music on the CD is performed by the actual Broadway stage orchestra.The orchestra
was conducted by Paul Bogeav , Benny Andersson manages to sneak in a little
bit of work on keyboards.

This album was released on a vinyl SINGLE Lp in a abbreviated version. The
original CD version of this was issued in a double CD box not because there were two
CD's but simply to accommodate the large booklet(with lyrics )
that was included with the CD. The album was engineered by Chuck Cavanaugh
and recorded at the Record Plant. THIS IS the only album with B&B's direct
involvement to have been recorded entirely outside of Sweden.The album
stayed in print in America for a long time despite the plays limited
Broadway Run.
Subsequent licensed US stagings at colleges, high schools or community theatres would be required to use the flawed Broadway version.

This version was some modest revisions was revived for US tour in 1990.

 

Chess Broadway Cast album track listing (and principal performers)

1.Prologue -Orchestra
2.The story of chess -Ben -Ari
3.Where I want to be-Carroll
4,,How many women -Kuhn, Casnoff
6.Quartet (a model of decorum and tranquility)
-Goz, kuhn, Harman, Carroll
7.You want to lose your only friend -Kuhn, Casnoff
8.Someone else's story-Kuhn
9.One night in Bangkok-Caroll, Chorus
10.Terrace duet-Kuhn, Carroll
11.Nobody's side-Kuhn
12.Anthem-Carroll
13.Hungarian folk song-Company
14.Heaven help my heart-Kuhn
15.No contest-Casnoff
16.You and I-Kuhn, Carroll, Mitzman
17.I know him so well-Kuhn, Mitzman
18.Pity the child-Casnoff
19..Lullaby (Apukád er s kezén)-Ben-Ari, Kuhn
20.Endgame-Carroll, Casnoff, Kuhn
21.You and I (reprise)-Carroll, Kuhn

CHESS-The Sydney Version 1991 (no recording released )

The failure of CHESS on Broadway, cause some to wonder what could possibly be done to CHESS to make it work. So changes were made yet again...

Richard Sharman directed the much-delayed Australian staging of Chess...It turned out to be yet another version . This is set in the post cold war world -and features a bigger part for Sveltvana (she is given "Someone Else's Story" to sing.)..This version starred Jodie Gillies as Florence, David McLeod as Freddie Trumper and Robbie Krupski as the Russian! I read somewhere that Barbara Dickson (the original Sveltvana) also sang the Florence part for one of the Austrailian stagings.......

CHESS-OFF BROADWAY VERSION (no recording made) Early 1992

Changes were also in the offing for this off Broadway version was concocted and performed by Artists' Perspective at the Masters Theatre... Tim Rice made changes in the book that now the The musical it in 1972. in this version-the Richard Nelson Book (script) used for the Broadway version is dropped. This version is closer to the London version at least in that is sung through.. This version starred Mark McVey, Kathleen Rowe McAllen and Ray Walker. The OFF-Broadway version was not particularly successful-it had limited run from February1st to February 23. For those who dont know Off-broadway is a term for shows that run in New York Cities theatres that are not actually one of the 30 or 40 so theatres located around Broadway. Often uncommercial works are performed off-Broadway...

 

Chess-In Concert 2CD set , MONO MMCD 010-2 , November 1994 Available on Swedish Cd.

Chess since it's release has often been performed as a concert piece.

This 2cd set was released in Sweden by Benny's label MONO. This set was drawn from
concerts reorded live at Eriksbergshallen in Gothenberg,Sweden in 8-94.
This set features an all Swedish cast SINGING IN ENGLISH . Tommy Korberg ( ONCE AGAIN) STARS as the Russian. Anders Glenmark IS The American, Karin Glenmark IS Florence,and Lena Ericsson IS Sveltana.THE GLENMARKS are here PROMOTED FROM THEIR ROLE AS BACKGROUND SINGERS in orIginal 1984 album.

Benny produced the album and played Grand Piano and Accordian. ABBA band members Rutger Gunnarsson, Lasse Wellander and Per Lindvall (all of whom played on the original Chess album,), also play here and for the first time are actually pictured in the liner notes. Björn does not seem to be present here, but Tim Rice rather kindly wrote some introductory notes.

THE ABBA BAND IS JOINED HERE BY THE GOTHENBERG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS.

The track listing is basically similar to the
original studio album but includes "Someone
Else's Story" and "The Soviet Machine"
(a song not available on record previously).
I found Karin Glenmark a little dissapointiing
as Florence . Some of the songs benefit from
slight embellishments in the arrangements. BUT MANY OF THE SONGS SUFFER FROM SIMPLY HAVING UNFAMILIAR VOICES SINGING THEM.This album is for the CHESS completest,BUT IS NOT ESSENTIAL.

AN actual Swedish Language Version was PRoDuced for

the Stockholm stage in 2002 (See below)

A NEW SWEDISH LANGUAGE stage VERSION OF CHESS Has been PREPARED BY KRISTINA's DIRECTOR , . Lars Rudolfson , it Features Helen Sjoholm, josefin Nilsson, and Tommy Korberg singing new lyrics in SWEDISH TO TELL a new version of the everchanging CHESS STORY. Apparently a few new songs will be included. It premeired in February 2001

at the Cirkus Theatre in Stockholm.

TRACK LISTING FOR CHESS IN CONCERT

  CD ONE   CD TWO
1. Merano
2. Russian And Molokov/Where I Want To Be
3. Opening Ceremony
4. Quartet (A Model Of Decorum & Tranquility)
5. American And Florence/Nobody's Side
6. Chess
7. Mountain Duet
8. Florence Quits
9. Someone Else's Story
10. Embassy Lament
11. Anthem
 12. Bangkok/One Night In Bangkok
13. Soviet Machine
14. Heaven Help My Heart
15. Argument
16. I Know Him So Well
17. Deal (No Deal)
18. Pity The Child
19. Endgame
20. Epilogue: You And I/The Story of Chess

CHESS -(The Complete Cast Album for the Danish 2001/2002 Tour Of Chess)
November 2001 DANISH 2 CD set REISSUE IN 2003 with revised track listing....

This Danish stage project attempts to includes most, though not all , of the songs from the West End staging of CHESS. It was released by Scanbox entertainment , it stars Stig Rossen and Emma Kershaw. The album and Danish staging was produced by Nigel Wright (a producer of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals ), It is a a fairly good recording. It was only released in Denmark...This particular recording is a favorite of some fans.

This was the only time the songs -"Press Conference", "Commie Newspapers", "Talking Chess" and "Der Kleine Franz" have been released officially on a recording. These were tracks that had only been used in the West End version of the musical, that had never been heard on records. Also are included are "Someone's Else Story" first heard on the 1988 Broadway version of Chess) and "The Soviet Machine" (found on the 1994 CHESS in Concert 2CD set) .

This Is as close as we have ever got to a "CHESS COMPLETE" recording. Sadly , this is longer the case. In the fall of 2003 B&B or their representives finally gotten around to getting Scanbox to remove four songs "Press Conference", "Commie Newspapers", "Talking Chess" and "Der Kleine Franz" . These songs are not available elswehere.. B&B continue to show little concern for the desire of their fans to hear theIr music. If you want to hear all the songs in the Chess musical you have to go out and buy bootleg recordings of the actual London or Broadway stagings...

It would be exciting if a CHESS box set was released that included each and every song (and alternate Version) that included recorded for the original CAST , LIVE and Broadway albums (including the unreleased demos done for the project in 1983). That will probably never happen....

TRACK LISTING FOR CHESS -The Complete Cast Album for the Danish 2001/2002 Tour Of Chess) TRACKS removed and not to found on revised edition in bold type.

ACT ONE/DISC ONE
1. The Story of Chess
2. Merano
3. Commie Newspapers REMOVED
4. Press Conference REMOVED

5. Anatoly & Molokov/Where I Want To Be
6. Diplomats
7. Arbiter
8. Hymn To Chess
9. Merchandisers
10. Chess #1
11. Arbiter Reprise
12. Quartet A Model of Decorum and Tranquility
13. Florence & Molokov
14. 1956 Budapest Is Rising
15. Nobody,'s Side
16. Der Kleine Franz REMOVED
17. Mountain Duet
18. Chess #2
19. Florence Quits
20. Pity The Child
21. Embassy Lament
22. Heaven Help My Heart
23. Anatoly and the Press(REMOVED
24. Anthem

ACT TWO/DISC TWO
1. The Golden Bangkok/ One Night In Bangkok
2. One More Opponent (REMOVEDYou And I
3. The Soviet Machine
4. Interview
5. Someone Else's Story
6. The Deal
7. I Know Him So Well
8. Talking Chess (REMOVED)
9. End Game
10. You and I (Reprise)
11. Finale

bonus track-.One Night In Bangkok -remix

 

CHESS PA SVENSKA -CHESS IN SWEDISH Cast Album released October 2002 Scandinavian release only!

The first Swedish language stage version of Chess was prepared by Kristina's director, Lars Rudolfson. This version stars Helen Sjoholm as Florence Vaszi. Josefin Nilsson as Svetlana Sergievskaja, Tommy Korberg as Anatolij Sergievskij, Anders Ekborg as Freddie Trumper and Per Myrberg as Alexander Molokov.
The cast sing new lyrics in SWEDISH ( written by Rudolfson, Jan Marks and Bjorn Ulvaeus) to tell a new version of the everchanging Chess story. A few new songs have been included (Chess continues to be a work in progress.) This version premeired in February 2002 at the Cirkus Theatre in Stockholm. The Stockholm staging has already closed-due to the small size of the Swedish markert, and the desire to maintain a high quality of cast and perfomance. An attempt to bring the musical to Malmo ran into venue problems. This new version has been praised by Swedish critics, though not as lavishly as Kristina Fran Duvemala.

Benny Andersson produced a cast album that was made during March and April 2002 that was finally released in October 2002. This cast album was recorded at Swedish Radio, Atlantis Studio and Polar Studios. Bernard Lohr engineered the album and helped Benny Andersson with the mixing. Benny's son Ludwig sings in the chorus on the album..

 

TRACK LISTING ( With English version title)

CD 1
Ouvertyr (Overture)
Historien om schack (The Story of Chess)
Där jag ville vara (Where I want to Be)
Merano
Anatolij och Molokov
Ungern '56 (Hungary 1956)

Lämna inga dörrar på glänt (Nobody's Side)
Jag vill se schack (The Arbiter)
Kvartett (Quartet ( A Model of Decorem and Tranquility))
Chess
Inte jag (Someone Else's Story)
Möte på en bro (Mountain Duet)
I mitt hjärtas land (Anthem)

CD 2

Florence lämnar Freddie( Argument)
Vem ser ett barn (Pity the child)
Ni dömer mig (Endgame)
Om han var här
Han är en man, han är ett barn
Vem kunde ana (The Deal)
Drömmar av glas (You and I)
Jag vill se schack
Jag vet vad han vill (I know Him So Well)
Glöm mig om du kan (includes melody from " Just Like That")
Capablanca
Drömmar av glas (You and I))

 

CHESS Pa Svenska (CHESS IN SWEDISH ) SACD edition...Fall 2003 Released on 2cd set in Scandanavia.

This is the superaudio CD version of CHESS IN SWEDISH. SACD provides the ability to hear 5 Speaker tracks instead of just the standard 2. This is the first ABBA Related record to be released iin this format . Frankly, It would be far more interesting to hear old ABBA Records (which are some the BEST and most densely arranged recordings of the 1970's and 1980's) in a SACD format-but that's not going Happen is it?!!.

Chess- The Actor's Fund of America benefit concert, held on 22 September 22 2003 (unreleased)

For at least the third time, Chess was peformed as a benefit concert in New York.

The concert was staged at the New Amsterdam theatre and directed by Peter Flynn.

This one is notable for featuring the then emerging singing star Josh Groban as Anatoly.(the Russian). The performances here can be usually found on Youtube, but this never was, nor will it ever be released officially., Groban of course, has the perfect voice to perform the role of Anatoly, but it appears that there is really nobody who can sing that role like Tommy Korborg...The other leads were Adam Pascal (of Rent fame) and Julia Murney.

CHESS Pa Svenska (CHESS IN SWEDISH ) DVD .NOVEMBER 2003 Released on 2cd set in Scandanavia.

Surprisingly ,CHESS Pa Svenska was actually taped in March 2003 for this DVD. Which is great of course, there is even a bonus DVD with a documentary about the musical actually hosted by Benny's lastest wife-Mona Norklit. This was shown on Swedish TV in 2004. The main drawback, and an unforgivable one at that , is that there are no subtitles for those people who don't speak Swedish. ..

 

Chess in Concert DVD June 16,2009.

A DVD version of the concert basically identical to the 2CD set. I would say buy the DVD rather than the CD if you have to choose. Most of the content on the DVD premiered on PBS TV during pledge week.

Chess-In Concert, International release DVD , June 16, 2009
Released in September 2009 in UK.


Recorded live at Royal Albert Hall, London, May 12-13, 2008
There is also a single CD Highlights version and DVD version which were released both in the United States and Europe. This concert version stars Josh Groban and was taped a full year before it's release. This is yet another reworking of the ever changing Andersson-Rice-Ulvaeus musical.


This time, Tim Rice took the lead on the redo duties. Bjorn and Benny did not get directly involved with this concert ,though perhaps they had a veto, if they did not like the project as a whole. This record is an attempt to issue a fairly complete version of the musical, based generally on the original London staging. Somewhat annoyingly, Tim Rice has once again changed a few lyrics. On the plus side, you get to hear a few of the songs that were written long ago, which had not been available on any recording of CHESS (other then a temporary release on the original version of the Danish Version of Chess) the songs are “Commie newspapers”,” Press conference”, “Global TV fanfare”, “Talking Chess” and “The Interview”. These are not great songs, but it’s still nice to have them. Most of the songs found only on the American Broadway staging did not make it on this recording, but otherwise this concert is really complete Chess score.

The album was recorded live, and as a result many of the performances sound a little shaky. Another problem for me with any re-recording or theatrical staging of Chess is losing out on getting Benny Andersson and the ABBA band play the music as it meant to be played. I would say that if you want the definitive CHESS album it would seem that it is still your best bet to go back to the original 1984 studio album.

Performers include Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, David Bedella, Kerry Ellis, Clarke Peters, Marti Pellow ; The City of London Philharmonic ; The West End Chorus ; arranged and orchestrated by Anders Eljas ; David Firman, conductor, musical supervisor. Liner notes by Tim Rice and synopsis in container.

Contents Disc one (Act one). Prologue -- The story of chess -- Merano/ What a scene! What a joy? -- Commie newspapers -- Press conference -- Molokov and Anatoly -- Where I want to be -- Difficult and dangerous times -- The arbiter -- Hymn to chess -- The merchandisers -- Global TV fanfare -- Chess game #1 -- The arbiter (reprise) -- Quartet (a model of decorum and tranquility) -- Florence and Molokov -- 1956 - Budapest is rising -- Nobody's side -- Mountain duet -- Chess game #2 -- Florence quits -- Pity the child # 1 -- Embassy lament -- Heaven help my heart -- Anatoly and the press -- Anthem –


Disc two (Act two). Golden Bangkok -- One night in Bangkok -- One more opponent -- You and I -- The Soviet machine -- The interview -- Someone else's story -- The deal (no deal) -- Pity the child #2 -- I know him so well -- Talking chess -- Endgame #1 -- Endgame #2 -- Endgame #3/ Chess game #3 -- You and I (reprise) -- Walter and Florence -- Anthem (reprise).



Various Artists-Highlights from Chess in Concert, Internationally released single CD, June 16, 2009

This CD is an abridged version of the Albert Hall Concert CD, a common practice for Tim Rice productions. In this case cutting the recording to one disc is totally pointless, since much of the reason for the concert was to have a new unabridged definitive version.

1. The Story Of Chess
2. Merano
3. Where I Want To Be
4. The Merchandisers
5. Chess Game #1
6. Quartet (A Model Of Decorum And Tranquility)
7. Nobody's Side
8. Mountain Duet
9. Embassy Lament
10. Heaven Help My Heart
11. Anthem
12. Golden Bangkok
13. One Night In Bangkok
14. You And I
15. Someone Else's Story
16. Pity The Child #2
17. I Know Him So Well
18. You And I (reprise)
19. Walter And Florence
20. Anthem (reprise)
This concert was seen on PBS during 2009 FONT>

 

 

To play at another venue, Iceland, the Phillipines or these places...

 

* Home- ABBA-THE ALBUMS

* Björn and BEnny,their work

together outside ABBA!

 

 

Montief's handy guide to ABBA the Albums

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 MONTIEF'S HANDY GUIDE TO ABBA THE ALBUMS!!!

  HOME-ABBA-THE ALBUMS  All ABBA Albums 1972-1982  All Abba Albums 1983-2006
 1970-1972 The Early Years (Lycka, Pa Svenska, Early singles)  1973 Ring Ring  1974-Waterloo
 1975-ABBA'S 1975 studio album   1975/1976 ABBA's first Greatest Hits album  1976/1977-Arrival
  1977/1978- The Album  1979 Voulez-Vous and Greatest Hits Volume 2   1980-Super Trouper
  1981-The Visitors   1982-The Singles-The First Ten Years and other 1982 sessions  1986-ABBA Live
  ABBA's Spanish &Non English recordings   ABBA Box sets  ABBA Rare and Unreleased
 1970's& 1980's ABBA Compilations and Reissues  1990's/2000's ABBA compilations   Index of all albums on the site

 

 ABBA THE ALBUMS -SITE INDEX -REVIEWS OF ALBUMS SORTED BY ARTIST
 HOME-ABBA-THE ALBUMS ABBA -Group Career

 

ABBA, Group& Solo -100 Great Records

  AGNETHA SOLO CAREER  FRIDA SOLO CAREER

 BJORN AND BENNY incl.

their musicals and productions

 Benny SOLO CAREER   TRIBUTE ALBUMS & COVER GROUPS   RELATED ARTISTS
  BJORN AND THE HOOTENANNY SINGERS

  BENNY &

THE HEP STARS

 Latest RELEASES
 ABBA GOES TO THE MOVIES  ABBA GOES TO THE Theatre  INDEX TO ALBUMS REVIEWED ON THIS SITE

 ABBA THE ALBUMS - GROUP & SOLO ALBUM REVIEWS LISTED IN ODER OF YEAR OF RELEASE
 HOME-ABBA-THE ALBUMS ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1960's  ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1970-1975
 ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1976-1979  ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1980-1984 ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1985-1989
  ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1990-1994 ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR 1995-1999 ALBUMS YEAR BY YEAR  2000's

Chart revised July 2006 by Montief OR SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE HIM...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#
#

#


------------------------------------------------------------------------


brought to you by derby hats

and powered byPowered by bababloo mandel and his gang of nigerian gypsy frankfurters the kind that achieve prominence in the ying and yang of herb albert o

 

 

 

Bjorn ,solo guy extroidinaire, jordnaire....

 

and that somewhere and someway and soonie and moonie and joonie petunia so sooner rather than later and alakazam and zipidedoo ha ha you yoy,,
------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

bye now!