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ABBA GOES TO THE THEATRE

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  Abba the Albums presents ABBA GOES TO THE THEATRE

Musical theatre efforts of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog-and few other ABBA Related theatre events...Written by Montief (Updated September 2010)

 

Projects reviewed on this page...

Original Swedish Cast -Jesus Christ Superstar

The Girl With The Golden Hair From ABBA-THE ALBUM

"Happy New Year" from ABBA-Super Trouper 1981

Chess Demos

ABBACADABRA

CHESS ORIGINAL CONCEPT ALBUM

Chess London Cast

Chess Pieces

Chess Broadway

"The Conducator" from Benny Andersson's NOVEMBER 1989.

CHESS-OFF BROADWAY VERSION (no recording made)

AINBUSK -FRAN NAR TILL FJARRAn

Abba The True Story musical

Single from I FRU VENNERMANS FALL

Chess-In Concert 2CD

Swedish Style Turkish Musical

KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA

Agnetha Fältskog's -Elva Kvinnor i ett Hus- Theatre version

Original Malmo Cast-16 Favoriter Ur Kristina

Various Artists-Fran Waterloo to Duvemala

Original London Cast Album- Mamma Mia

ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST -MAMMA MIA -No cast album released as of yet. ..

CHESS -Danish Tour version

CHESS IN SWEDISH

Mamma Mia in German, Dutch, Swedish, and Spanish....

MAMMA MIA theater versions

Chess at Albert Hall

Kristina at Carnegie Hall

Original Swedish Cast -Jesus Christ Superstar 1972 Available on German Cd

Agnetha Faltskog-was Mary Magdelene in the Swedish language stage version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's classic musical. This was Aggie's first acting role though she apparently only stayed with the production for the first twenty or so performances that occured in Goteberg in February 1972. The part is important but not very big -two solos and a few other small bits. Agnetha retained the acting bug and would later star in a film.

Björn Ulvaeus produced Agnetha's versions of" Everything's All Right" and "I Dont Know How To Love Him".

We have here a rare chance to compare Agnetha and Frida's singing styles since Frida also did versions of these same two songs, on her 1971 debut album. Frida's
versions were produced by Benny. Interestingly, Frida's versions use a different translation than that used on the Agnetha version. Not surprisingly, Agnetha's versions of these songs are better than Frida's versions,partly because Björn comes up with a much better arrangment for Aggie than Benny did producing for Frida, but partly because these songs are more suited for Aggie.

This album was rereleased on Cd recently on Royal Records (the same people who are reissued Aggie's first 2 albums on CD).

 Disc 1- Ouvertyr, Ditt Folk Har Du Förlett, Vad Står På ?/ Hon Går På Gatan(Agnetha), Nu Ska Du Bli Stilla(Agnetha), Jesus Må Dö, Hosianna, Simon Ivraren/Ack Mitt Jerusalem, Pilatus Dröm, I Templet, Allting Är Allright(Agnetha), Vart Ska Min Kärlek Föra(Agnetha), Drömd För Alltid
 Disc 2- Nattvarden, I Getsemane, Jesus Fängslas, Petrus Förnekar Jesus(Agnetha), Inför Pilatus, Herodes Sång, Judas Död, Åter Inför Pilatus, Superstar, Korsfästelsen, Johannes Evangeliet kap. 19, vers 41

The Girl With The Golden Hair From ABBA-THE ALBUM 1977 Available worldwide on CD.

Bjorn and Benny always had it in the back of their mind to write a musical.

In late 1976/Early 1977 they out together a four song mini-musical for use in ABBA's 1977 concert tour. Three of the songs eventually saw release on ABBA-The Album.ABBA-THE ALBUM was the album tied in with ABBA-THE MOVIE, ABBA's only theatrical movie release. Many ,but not all of the songs on the album can be heard in some form in the movie.

An abbreviated three song version of the "mini-musical" closes THE ALBUM. "The Girl with The Golden Hair" was tried out live on the 1977 tour. When done live the mini-musical also included a narrator, incidental music, blonde wigs for the girls, and a fourth song appearing at the end called "Get on the Carousel". "Get on the Carousel" remained unreleased but it was no great loss not having it on THE ALBUM. Still, it would be cool to have an official release of the live version. B&B have shown little willingness to bring "Get On the Carousel" out of the vaults.

A lot of the mini -musical can be seen in ABBA-THE MOVIE. On the album,the songs are arranged in a more formal orchestral manner instead of the theatrical approach favored in the live performances.

"Thank You For the Music" has somehow become the ABBA signature song even though it was never much of a hit single.It probably doesn't deserve such stature, but it sums up the spirit of ABBA better than something like "Dancing Queen". The song has a great
keyboard riff at 1:53 into the song. The version in ABBA the Movie of "Thank Your For The Music" also seems to be slightly different mix.When the box set came out -another earlier version of the song was released which features Agnetha singing an impossibly bright Doris Day
style of the song.

"I Wonder' was one of ABBA's more serious
(some might say more boring) numbers.The arrangement for "I Wonder" is surprisingly orchestral (listen for the harp!).
A fairly good live version of "I Wonder" was released of this on the b-side of "The Name of The Game" the harmonies at the very end of the live version of "I Wonder" are perhaps the of the best five seconds in ABBA's live repertoire. For some reason, Michael Tretow hates the live recording of "I Wonder".

"I'm a Marionette' despite a less than perfect lyric
has a theme that suggests there is something wrong with seeking music stardom, kind of ironic considering that conquering the world often seemed to be the only thing that ABBA (well Bjorn) cared about.The opening bass riff and the two guitar solos add considerably to "Marionette's" impact. The ending of THE ALBUM borders on being c
hilling. I am getting a bit cold myself turn up the heat please....

In 2006 the THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN HAIR mini musical was restaged for

British  ITV1 programme  called ABBA:
Thank You For The Music.

It features ex-Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon. The director is Steve Cole; and the producer: Chris Hunt.
It airs December 27, 2006.

"Happy New Year" from ABBA-Super Trouper 1981

Bjorn and Benny approached British actor/writer John Cleese, about the possibility of helping writing a musical based on this song, but he turned them down..

Various Artists-(concept album)-ABBACADABRA- 1983 French Lp and later English singles

This was the first"musical" based on B&B music. B&B were not directly involved but they helped with two songs on the English version of this project. There were French and English versions of this
musical, the French version was recorded for an album . the British version was staged onthe West End,

The idea here was to borrow the melodies from ABBA songs and rewrite the lyrics so as be able to tell a story and also so as to be able to do it in French. (this was a French/Belgian coproduction). I am not sure but I believe some non-B&B music was used as well.

Although the French version was not staged , a TV show and
a Concept album were produced and released in 1983. (Produced by Alain Boublil of MISS SAIGON fame). Frida was involved ,she played a Princess and sung a duet with Daniel Balavoine called "Belle.'

In December of 1983 , the concept was redone in English and premiered at London's Lyric Theater. This production was produced by Cameron Macintosh. The British version however, apparently did not result in another album , but at least two singles were released.
One of the singles included Frida's duet with B.A. Robertson on "Time" ,The b-side
of that single featured B.A Robertson doing "I am the Seeker" which was a B&B song that
ABBA considered but never recorded, The other single featured Elaine Paige doing a rewritten
version of "My Love , My Life called "Like an Image Passing Me By" . Oddly, the new lyrics
for this one cowritten by Björn.
Apparently, B&B never saw the play-which seems bizarre. Supposedly the French version of this was reissued on CD in 1994.

Sadly, I dont have this album, it 's not easily
available. I saw this album in Germany many years ago, but I didn't have the money for it-so I didn't bother getting it-("oh I'll see that again") and I haven't seen it since!

 

 Track listing side A

. QU'EST-CE QUE J'VAIS FAIRE PLUS TARD (When I Kissed The Teacher)
DÉLIVRÉS (The Visitors)
ABBACADABRA (Take A Chance On Me)
MON NEZ MON NEZ (Money, Money, Money)
.TÊTE D'ALLUMETTE (Super Trouper)
IMAGINE-MOI [I Wonder (Departure)]

 Track listing side b

CARABOSSE SUPER SHOW (Dancing Queen)
PAREILS ET MÊMES (I Let The Music Speak)
L'ENFANT DO (Fernando)
\LACHEZ MES CASSETTES (I`m A Marionette)
BELLE BELLE (Arrival)
ENVOYEZ LE GÉNÉRIQUE (Thank You For The Music)

FULL LIST OF TITLES OF SONGS PRESENTED IN THE BRITISH STAGING....

IT'S ANOTHER WORLD
BATTLE OF THE BROOMS
*I AM THE SEEKER
I CAN PULL SOME STRINGS
GOING GOING GOING
MAKING MAGIC
*WHEN DREAMERS CLOSE THEIR EYES
BELONGING

BACK HOME NOW
CARABOSSE SUPERSHOW
THINK OF SOMETHING FAST
*TIME
*LIKE aN IMAGE PASSING BY
THANK YOU FOR THE MAGIC

*songs released on singles....

Demos for CHESS - unreleased material...

By late 1981 , Bjorn and Benny were actively were considering writing a musical, when at the urging of Richard Voss, they met up with lyricist Tim Rice (formerly the lyricist for Andrew Lloyd Webber). The three eventually agreed to work on Tim Rice's idea for a musical about International chess champions. B&B wrote music which they then turned over to Tim so that he could write words to go with the music.

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

Two highly dfferent variations of the 1982 unreleased ABBA song "Just Like That" were recorded by Elaine Paige and Tommy Körberg. B&B attempted to find a use for the "Just Like That' melody in CHESS but made no progress in doing so. In 2002 they tried again, and came up with "Glöm miG om du kan " for the CHESS IN SWEDISH" project.The song is based on the "Just Like That" melody.

It is also interesting to note that 3 of the CHESS songs had their melodic roots in unreleased ABBA tracks." I Know Him So Well" has bits from"I Am a A", "Anthem"comes from "Nationalsang" Finally, part of "Someone Else's Story" comes from a song called "Lady Bird".

 

Andersson,Rice & Ulvaeus-CHESS Double album 1984 Available worldwide on CD

 

A work in progress...So said the composers in the liner notes in '84... CHESS is a melodic ,daring, witty , ambitious sung play.

THE MUSICAL WAS ORIGINALLY RECORDED AS A CONCEPT ALBUM, AND WAS WIDELY PROMOTED BEFORE IT WAS ACTUALLY BROUGHT TO It's STAGE premiere in London.

CHESS is A musical about two Chess champions, one Russian , one American and the people and politics that surround
them.

Benny and Björn wrote the music, Tim 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.
The musical is varied mishmash of rock, pop, orchestral music, opera, Rodgers & Hammerstein, disco, and so forth.
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.

The record"s three main leads all give
great performances. As the Russian, Tommy Körberg proves to be a major find vocally , Murray Head is cynically effective as The American ,but it is Elaine Paige's Florence Vassey who ultimately ties it all together. Which she somehow does even though she ,perhaps, fails to make her character as believable as the other leads.
Elaine is one of London's West End's biggest stars ( she had starred in EVITA and CATS ,Elaine was also lyricist Tim Rice's girlfriend around the time of CHESS. Paige, Körberg and Head were also the leads in the London stage version in 1986.

The other main cast members were Bjorn Skifs as the Aribiter, Barbara Dickson as Svetlana, and the late Dennis Quilley as Molokov.

 

CHESS was recorded in Stockholm (at Polar) and in London by Michael B. Tretow. ABBA's backing band plays on many of the tracks but They 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.

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. It is most certainly 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 . Well we say 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.

A one album condensed version was released in Europe called Chess Pieces. The songs were performed in concerts throughout Europe in 1984 and the play finally made it to London's West End in May 1986.

Chess arrived on Broadway in a highly altered version in APRIL 1988. There would not be an official STAGe recording per se from the London cast but there would be a Broadway cast album .
In 1994 a version of the the Concert
recordings came out in Sweden (SEE BELOW)

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 .

However, the use of Rock idioms on stage
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.

Despite the quality of It's score Chess would never be a total success on the stage.The book for the play remained a major if a somewhat, interesting problem in every future attempt to stage the play.

CHESS London Cast , The West End Staging 1986

Chess was finally premiered at London's Prince Edward Theatre on May 14th1986. The three principals on record -Körberg, Head and Paige all appeared when the musical premeired.. The musical only ran a couple of years. The quality of the score, and the built in audience of ABBA and Tim Rice fans, couldn't make up for the mixed quality of the actual musical.. No cast album recording was made of the London staging because most of the cast could found on the original concept album.

 

Andersson, Rice & Ulvaeus-CHESS PIECES 1986 Released on CD

Released in Europe but not in the USA, this is a one album abridgement of the original studio concept album. It has about 13 of the songs.The versions of "You and I",and Merano used here are edits. I am not sure if the the extended version of "The Arbiter" was used here or the original version. 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.

 

Original Broadway Cast-CHESS by Andersson,Rice & Ulvaeus 1988 Available on American CD.

B&B AND TIM called themselves "the Three Knights"- and that's about how long they lasted on Broadway..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.

 

There were problems with getting permission AND CLEARaNCES TO USE the original London cast, so none of those actors could
be used in the Broadway version
So an entirely new cast of American
actors was brought in.

The original London production was also
thought to have been too expensive to stage
on Broadway, so changes were made....
Les Miserables director, Trevor Nunn who had directed the London
version was also called in to direct the Broadway version OF CHESS after Chorus Line director Michael Bennett
had to drop out to DUE TO illness. The dropping out of Bennett was a bad omen to say the least.

The musical that emerged was almost
unrecognizable, the plot had BEEN changed,
lyrics were changed, songs removed and
new songs put in their place.
Well, at least by this time, each of the characters
has a full name. 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.

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
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 characters.

CHESS, on Broadway was not well received
by most critics, notably Frank Rich of the New York Times.
But that didn't kill the musical .There was such a large advance booking that the musical continued PAST OPENING. There was such hostility to Chess that the play's music was not nominated for any Tony awards, only two American lead actors received nominations. 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.

The dislike of Chess was not a universal opinion- TIME magazine referred to 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 rock musicals staged on Broadway
and it was hard for middle aged theatre
criitics or audiences to relate to something
like Chess. However, the musical itself,
was not perfect or it would have been
more successful on London's West End,
where far more ideal circumstances,
prevailed. As it was, CHESS only lasted
a few years in London, barely making back
the huge money invested.

Prior to the musical's demise ,Benny and Björn, went to NYC to produce the Broadway cast album whilst the play was running.

The singing performances are fairly good,but usually not as interesting as the 1984 studio album. 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 SPENDING HIS TIME 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, it was actually cut from the play towards the end of it's short Broadway run.
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 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.

The music is performed by the actual Broadway stage orchestra.The orchestra was conducted by Paul Bogeav , Benny Andersson manages to sneak in a bit of work on keyboards. The album stayed in print in America for a long time despite the plays limited Broadway Run.

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).

Tim Rice brought CHESS to Off-Broadway in yet another version in the 1992 . IT was a simpler production but not as good as some of the simpler college productions that have been put on. IT WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. Recent reports indicate Tim Rice is trying yet again to have somebody stage it in NYC. (he's been panhandling on the street trying
to raise the money)!!

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 involvement to have been recorded entirely in the USA.

 

The Conducator' featured on Benny Andersson-November 1989 Available on Swedish Cd

Benny's second solo album features one song written with Bjorn called, "The Conducator' which had been written for a special concert. I have heard various conflicting details about the concert- One source says B&B did three songs- for a mini musical called "For Doina Cornea".Another source said the concert had other songs by other people.

The Conducator" features Tommy Korberg singing.The lyric sounds like a Chess lyric, it full's of cynicism! It seemingly describes some horrible bureaucrat.Apparently though, the song was from inspired by Romanian Doina Cornea's letters to her daughter during the Communist dictatorship . "The Conducator" is the only vocal track on the album. The rest of the album features instrumental songs by Benny.

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

The failure of CHESS on Broadway, Caused many to consider what could be done to make CHESS a succesful musical... This was the spirit in which this off -broadway version was concocted. The musical is now set in 1972. in this version-the Book (script) used for the Broadway version is dropped. This version is closer to the London version at least in it's brevity. Tim Rice was a major player in this version but Bjorn and Benny were not.... This version starred Mark McVe and Ray Walker. The OFF-Broadway version was not particularly successful-it closed later in 1992

AINBUSK -FRAN NAR TILL FJARRAN 1993 Available on Swedish CD. Produced by Benny andersson

 

Benny Andersson first saw Ainbusk ,a Swedish the singing/ theatrical quartet in the late 1980's. By 1992 Benny would produce this CD and cowrite three of the songs with Marie Nilson. Ainbusk's resident comedian and pianist. (Björn had no involvement!). The three songs Benny cowrote are "Drommarnas Golv", "Alska Mej " and "Lassie".
"Lassie" was a Swedish hit. And yes, "Lassie is a song about a dog!

All four of the ladies of Ainbusk members sing: most notably Josefin Nilsson, who would record her solo debut ,SHAPES, album under Benny's direction.Josefin shows off her vocal chops on "Lover Man", and "Alska Mej".

The other three members names are Birgitta Jakobsson, Marie Nilsson and Annelie Roswall.The Cd booklet has some interesting photos
of the ladies dressed up in strange costumes.
Josefin shows off her vocal chops on "Lover Man", and "Alska Mej".

This album was drawn primarlly from one of Ainbusk's highly theatrical Swedish stage shows .Apparently, some of the songs date from a couple years before. "Lassie' was released as a very successful single in October 1990, and "Alska Mej" was released as a single in April 1991.

Although most of the songs are in Swedish this is a very entertaining album, even the songs not written by Benny are worthwhile, largely due to Ainbusk's innate charm.
This album was released on Benny's Mono label. Björn and the ABBA band have no involvement on this album.

ABBA - The True Story (Show at the Berns Salonger venue in 1993) CD Single

This was a comic musical that played in Stockholm in 1993-1994 , which Benny liked and so he had Mono Records release a single featuring songs from the musical...
The Winner Takes It All ( duet witj Gladys del Pilar and Dave Nerge) c/w
Abba MedleyMAMMA MIA /, DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW /MY LOVE, MY LIFE /KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU and TIGER ( performed by Sussie Eriksson, Gladys del Pilar, Peter Gröning, Ia Gustavsson, Mats Hellgren, Annika Metsä, Dave Nerge, Anna Norberg).

The star of the musical Gladys del Pilar was actually born in Ecuador and was also a member of the Swedish singing group Afro-dite...Another star- Sussie Eriksson is a member of Alcazar.....

Single from I FRU VENNERMANS FALL. . 1994 Swedish single release.

FRU VENNERMANS SÅNG/DUO JAG Mono single release

These two songs (the first cowritten by Benny , the second written soley by Benny) were released as a single. The Aside was performed by Kent Andersson, Gösta Ekman, Dan Ekborg, Johannes Brost and Lakke Magnusson. The A-side was used in a comedic play by Marie-Louise Ekman and the b-side was used as an instrumental from a TV version of I FRU VENNERMANS FALL. This is one of the most obscure of Benny 's recordings.

Chess-In Concert 2CD set 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 held in Gothenberg,Sweden in 8-1994.
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 Wallender 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 song not available on record previously- called "The Soviet Machine".
I found Karin Glenmark a little dissapointing
as Florence . Some of the songs benefit from
slight embellishments in the arrangements. But the songs also suffer from having unfamiliar voices singing them.This album is worthwhile for the CHESS completest,BUT IS NOT ESSENTIAL.

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 premiered in February 2001 at the Cirkus Theatre in Stockholm.

Swedish Style by Written by Ayhan Sahin and Selcen Pamuk. Staged June 1996 Turkish Musical

This is an obscure Turkish production that details the last days of ABBA around the time of The Visitors album...The musical was performed in Ankara...The website implies the musical is in English.... Songs included are "The Island" "Introduction-swift", "Clear Nights", "Silent Feud","The Scoop" and "Immortal Tunes". Somebody allowed (or didn't stop) the producers of this musical to use one ABBA song -"I let the Music Speak".

KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA by Andersson-Ulvaeus 3CD set 1996 Available on Swedish CD.

This is the original cast recording to the Malmo production of the musical "KRISTINA från Duvemåla ". Benny and Björn wrote the music and lyrics for this musical version of Vilhem' Moberg's classic UTVANDRARPOS. The books are known in English as THE EMIGRANTS saga.

KRISTINA is the apex of Björn and Benny's songwriting careers. KRISTINA is their most ambitious work,a very brave effort to adapt a classic Swedish book into a musical .The whole process- writing,staging, and then making the record took over five years. The idea to adapt The Emigrants began gerrminating in Benny's mind in the Spring of 1989.

On this record ,the lengthly EMIGRANTS saga is distilled into 39 songs covering three CD's. The stage musical itself was almost four hours..It premiered on 7 October 1995 in Malmo. The cast album was released nearly a year after the first staging. The stage production moved to Stockholm in 1998, and closed in Stockholm in June 1999.
This run was shorter than a Broadway run because of the much smaller size of the Swedish markert and because B&B wanted to keep the musical fresh. A million ticketbuyers have seen KRISTINA.

 

Unlike B& B's 1984 rock musical CHESS ,KRISTINA is somewhat removed from ABBA and rock n roll. Most of the songs feature a full orchestra acompianment .KRISTINA does not generally attempt to meld rock with musical forms. Still, many of the songs have rock instrumentation. Nor does, KRISTINA exactly sound like a broadway musical. It's more like opera. Perhaps, it could best described as Swedish folk opera.

For the first time, officially, Benny and Björn's
roles have been spilt into distinct parts. On KRISTINA, Benny wrote all the music and Björn all the lyrics. Also, Benny was the sole producer of the recording. But, both Benny and Björn were involved in the production of the play itself.

This split in their roles had been evolving over time. When B&B began writing together in the 1960's both had a hand in the writing the lyrics & the music. But Benny, stopped writing lyrics in the mid -seventies, leaving all the lyrics to Björn (or Stig Anderson) Benny had always given more of the music in their songwriting partnership, but Björn's musical role seemed to begin to diminish significantly with ABBA's 8o's synthesizer dominated music.
In addition, by the late 1980's, Björn was no longer involved with producing the songs that he wrote with Benny.

The ABBA band and Björn do not play much of a role here musically since the music primarily is scored for an Orchestra ,not a rock band. Björn, Rutger Gunnarson, and Lasse Wallander do put in a minor appearence on the album, somewhat obscurely as The Three Boys.

Interestingly, Björn and Benny chose to write KRISTINA largely in Swedish, their first album length work together since LYCKA to be recorded in Swedish. This has meant that the musical has had a special resonance in Sweden, but this also meant that the musical is not widely known outside Sweden. Eventually, Björn is supposed to finish writing a English version of the musical so that it can be performed in America and elsewhere. But Björn has shown more interest in puttering around with Mamma Mia. Writing English lyrics to KRISTINA that are as good as the Swedish lyrics apparently is quite a daunting task.

The EMIGRANTS saga is actually four books written in the late 1940's and 1950's. The four parts are titled in English: THE EMIGRANTS, UNTO A GOOD LAND, THE SETTLERS, and LAST LETTER HOME. A famous film adaption of the books starring Liv Ullmann was made in the 1970's .

As a whole, the four books tell the story of band of emigrants who leave southern Sweden to move to Minnesota in about 1850. The town nearest to where the emigrants end up is called Taylor Falls. Taylor Falls ,Minnesota is an actual town on the Wisconsin Border near Minneapolis. The books spent a lot of time explaining why the Emigrants leave, a lot of time showing the hardship of the ship journey, and then the remainder of the time showing the fates that befall the former Swedes when they live in America. The lyrics in this musical version are surprisingly faithful to the original book- this isn't a " Hollywood" adaption. Only a few of the songs include things that did not occur in the books. The KRISTINA of the title is KRISTINA Nilson who was born in Duvemala. The role is played on the album by the highly likable (and previously unknown) Helen Sjöholm. It is Helen's comely face that graces the stamp on the album cover.

The book of the play includes lots of dialogue and unlike CHESS ,the dramatic parts of the play are usually just as interesting as the music. However musically, KRISTINA is not quite as a interesting
a work as CHESS. KRISTINA is more conventional .
CHESS came off as a daring and unique score. In a way it is sad that Bjorn and Benny did not get write a another
musical that would more fully reflect their roots in ABBA - but delays in the productions of CHESS and KRISTINA as well as the lack of good ideas meant the B&B have only written two original musicals in the 20 years since Abba.

 

As impressive as KRISTINA is , it is one of Bjorn and Benny's least accessible works (at least to the non-Swede) -the length and seriousness of the musical, foreign language, and sameness of the orchestration work against it as possible international stage success.


There is just a the incredible amount of music involved. The 39 songs presented here make this is one of the longest works ever written by popular songwriters. It took Bjorn and Benny the better part of five years of work to write.


The length of the play does make it hard
to appreciate each and every song-there is just too much music.

Some of KRISTINA's musical numbers stand out more than others. The opening overture and the first song sung by KRISTINA show off immediately the influence of Swedish folk music.

On the second CD notice the juxtapostion of the Americans with Emigrant Swedes in "A Sunday in Battery Park" . You actually get to hear the chorus singing in English and Swedish in counterpoint. (Three or four songs of the 39 have a smattering of English in them).
CD two closes with Helen Sjöholm singing "Min Astrakan" an incredibly powerful lament for a apple tree that closes the first act.

CD#3 has the two second act showstoppers; "Du Maste Finnas" (You must Exist"). "Du Maste..." is a song which KRISTINA questions GOD's existence (try to imagine ABBA doing a song like that) . Helen Sjöholm wrenches incredible emotion out of this song . "Du Maste Finnas" was the last song written for the musical. It is probably the best B&B song of the past fifteen years.

The other great song in the second act is
"Guldet Blev till Sand" ( Gold Turns To Sand) sung by young
Peter Jöback. Joback plays KRISTINA's head-strong/dreamer brother-in-law Robert. The song would proved to be a monster hit in Sweden where it set the record for the longest time on the Swedish singles chart-(nearly two years).

Anders Eljas conducted the orchestra as he
had on CHESS. Benny and Anders Eljas were the main arrangers on this album. Lars Rudolfson directed the play and cowrote the play's book with Jan Mark. The album was recorded in Malmo and in Stockholm by Bernard Lohr. Polar and Mono Studios were the primary recording studios used to record this album.

This is a challenging album to listen to and an expensive one to buy. KRISTINA is perhaps the most important of the ABBA solo records.

 Details for the Cast album for KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA

 

Album Produced by Benny Andersson

Engineered by Bernard Lohr

Recorded in Malmo & Stockholm Sweden, 1995 /1996

Released only in Scandanavia October 1996

 Track listing for Kristina från duvemåla

 CD1-
Prolog/ Duvemåla Hage/ Min Lust Till Dej, Ut Mot Ett Hav/

 Missväxt/ Nej/ Lilla Skara/ Aldrig/ Kom Till Mig Alla/ Vi Õppnar Alla Grindar

CD2-
Bönder På Havet/ Löss /Stanna/Begravning Till Sjöss/

 A Sunday In Battery Park/ Hemma/
Från New York Till Stillwater/
Tänk Att Män Som Han Kan Finnas/ Kamfer Och Lavendel/

Drömmen Om Guld/ Min Astrakan

CD3
Överheten/ Ljusa Kvällar Om Våren/ Präriens Drottning/ Vildgräs/

Jag Har Förlikat Mej Till Slut/ Guldet Blev Till Sand/ Wild Cat Money/

Ut Mot Ett Hav/ Vill Du Inte Gifta Dej Med Mej/
Ett Herrans Underverk/ Down To The Sacred Wave/ Missfall/

 Du Måste Finnas/ Skördefest/ Här Har Du Mej Igen/ Red Iron/

Hjälp Mej Trösta/ Var Hör Vi Hemma/ I Gott Bevar

Agnetha Fältskog's -Elva Kvinnor i ett Hus theatre version 1997

A play was adapted from Agnetha's solo album and performed in Stockholm, Sweden at the Improvision Teater ( Teater that's the Swedish spelling for Theatre) in 1997.

Elva Kvinnor i ett Hus regarded as Agnetha's best studio album. It's certainly the one that she put the most effort into. Aggie produced this album
( remember this was 1975 when woman did not generally produce their own records) and she wrote most of the music, Bosse Carlgren wrote most of the lyrics based on themes and dummy lyrics put together for the songs by Agnetha.

The album's title translates to "Eleven Woman in One House". An actual Stockholm
building was pictured on the back cover.
Each of the 11 songs tells the story of
one of the eleven woman living in the building pictured on the cover.

This album includes the Swedish versions of two Abba tracks-"SOS" and "Disillusion" which somehow becomes "Mina Ogon" here. Also included here is"Gulleput" a Swedish version of "Golliwog" . Golliwog was the B-side of 1974 non-album single "Here For Your Love' ." Here for you love" was the English version of "Tio Mil Kvar Till Korpilombolo" . "Tio Mil ..." was released as a non-album B-side in 1973. Yes it can all be very confusing.

Some of the more memorable tracks on ELVA are "Doktorn" which has a beat and you can dance to it: " Dar Hom Glut" and the lovely "Tacks for Underwear".OOPS! Actually ,the title of that last song is "Tack For En Underbar vanlig Dag"(Thanks fo ra Wonderful ordinary Day) The album closes interestingly with
"Visa i attonde manaden " (Song in the Eight Month).

 

Original Malmo Cast-16 Favoriter Ur Kristina 1999 Swedish CD

This single- CD highlights of KRISTINA Cd was
isssued in Sweden just a week or two before
the release of the MAMMIA MIA cast CD,
but three years after the original album.
The abridged version of KRISTINA includes sixteen tracks.
It has a darker cover than the original set.

 track listing  
 Prolog
Duvemåla Hage
Ut Mot Ett Hav
Lilla Skara
Aldrig
Vi
Öppnar Alla Grindar
Stanna
Hemma
 Tänk Att Män Som Han KanFinnas
Min Astrakan
Vildgräs
Guldet Blev Till Sand
Du Måste Finnas
Här Har Du Mej Igen
Var Hör Vi Hemma
I Gott Bevar

 

Various Artists-Fran Waterloo to Duvemala 1998 Available on Swedish Cd

A loving and elaborate tribute to the songs of
Björn and Benny and ABBA. This was staged
at Stockholm's Globus Arena with Benny's
involvement. He didn't play on the album,
but he did play in one of the shows.

Tommy Körberg, Anders & Karin Glenmark,
and Helen Sjoholm provide the lead singing here
and also make up a ersatz ABBA on occasion.
Instrumentation is provided by Orsa Spelman
and the Goteborg Symphony . The Goteborg
choir provides vocals. The original concert
was considerably longer than this album,
and it has been repeated many times at different locations most notably in Beijing, China.

This album is interest to fans of B&B theatre work because live versions are done of two songs from Kristina and one song from CHESS.

Tommy Korberg sings "Anthem " from Chess.
Helen Sjoholm does "Du Maste Finnas" ,from Kristina.

Tommy Korberg also gets to do "Guldet Blev til Sand"
from KRISTINA (It's great to see how Tommy would do this song.)

Original London Cast Album- Mamma Mia 1999 British CD

Mamma Mia is an original musical based on the songs of ABBA. This is the original cast album for the smash hit London West End version that premiered on April 6, 1999 at the Prince Edward Theatre - Edward is the same theater that the West End version of CHESS was performed at. It is Bjorn and Benny's third musical , CHESS was their first musical, and KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA was the their second musical.

In 2000 , the musical has traveled to North America and Australia. culiminating in a successful Broadway premiere in October 2001.

Catherine Johnson wrote the clever Book (script) and the musical is directed by Phyllida Lloyd.The songs obviously were by Björn Ulvaeus,Benny Andersson and Stig Anderson. MAMMA MIA uses about two dozen ABBA songs to help tell a totally non-ABBA storyline about a mother and a daughter.The mother ,Donna Sheridan is played by( London) Chess veteran, Siobhan McCarthy. Her daughter, Sophie Sheridan is played by Lisa Stokke and musical revolves around the mystery of who is Sophie's father. It is interesting to note that Mammia Mia is produced, directed , written by woman and that most of the lead characters are woman.

The actors sing often truncated versions
of ABBA songs sometimes timed for comedic effect. The songs used in the musical were mostly drawn from ABBA singles. Almost all of the songs on ABBA GOLD
were used in the musical. Indeed , Benny complained that "Waterloo" wasn't included so "Waterloo"was added in at the end as encore number. "Fernando" was the largest hit not presented fully-it is only sung in a quick 10 second snippet..

The musical concept didn't sound very promising but somehow audiences have been happy with the stage musical and critics have been no worse than lukewarm. The show's success appears to be due to the witty way the musical was written and staged combined with the already proven appeal of the songs. Unlike Chess or Kristina this is a decidedly peppy,cheerful musical. You will walk out of theatre happy or else, Björn will drag you back in the theatre for another encore of "Dancing Queen"

MAMMA MIA'S huge commercial success, is partly also due to to the undying loyalty of British and World ABBA fans who traveled to London to see the musical. Swedish fans in particular traveled by the thousands.

Björn came out of a long period of retrenchment to coproduce the musical with Judy Craymer and Richard East . Björn was said to be to have been most heavily involved in insuring the accuracy of the musical presentation. Benny, ( perhaps, because no new music was needed) was
brought in only for just a short time only for about a week or two prior to the premiere. (Benny is also said to have helped with
the all important job of cashing royalty checks.)

Björn and Benny had little
to do with coming up with idea for the musical or
with writing the book, which after all were
the only new things about the "musical".B&B simply approved this particular idea.

There certainly seems some irony to the fact this the least important of B&B's musicals, the one with the least creative input from them is likely to be their most successful musical.

This cast album was recorded at Angel Studios in Britain and was released on Polydor in November 1999. The album is attractively packaged with lyrics and photos from the musical. All 24 tracks are crammed unto one CD.

B & B were only executive producers of the album. The cast album was produced by Martin Koch and Nicholas Gilpin. (Martin also worked on the arrangements.) It is logical that B& B were not directly involved with the recording since their is little point in them attempting to recreat what the have done already.

It is said that Benny wasn't entirely happy with some of the orchestrations done for Mamma Mia though the songs are presented preety faithfully . Listen ,for example, to "Chiquitita" and you will find that many of the original recordings' subtle vocal effects and keyboard bits are still there.

Neither Björn( no surprise) nor Benny play on the album.( This is one of the few times Benny has avoided playing at least some keyboards on one of his projects).

Musically there isn't much new on this album, with the exception of the act overtures which are simply creative instrumental rearrangments of ABBA music. Some of the dialogue that is interspersed with the songs is included.

The general consensus seems to be that this is one B&B musical that works much better onstage than on record.

 Track listing for MAMMA MIA cd  
 Overture/prologue
Honey Honey,
Money money money
Thank you for the music
Mamma mia,
Chiquitita
Dancing Queen,
Lay all your love on me
Super trouper,
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!,
The name of the game
Voulez-Vous
Entr'acte
 Under attack
One of us
SOS
Does your mother know
Knowing me knowing you
Our last summer
Slipping through my fingers
The winner takes it all
Take a chance on me
I do X 5
I have a dream

 

 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST -MAMMA MIA -No cast album released as of yet. ..

 Mamma Mia made a successful Broadway premiere in October 2001 at the Winter Garden theatre. The musical was largely unchanged from the London version. None of the London cast was brought over to play in the Broadway version. . Louis Pitre was chosen to play the lead role of Donna Sheridan. Unlike Chess ,which foolishly was sent straight to Broadway, a number of advance tryout runs were staged in Los Angeles, Toronto , Boston and elsewhere to help work out the bugs and promote the musical. The buzz generated helped increase the advance sales so much so that MAMMA MIA had the second highest advance gross in Broadway history. It soon became obvious that there were lot of closet ABBA fans out there in the American public, In one small way, ABBA had finally conquered America.

Drama critics reviews for the Broadway version of Mamma Mia were mixed , but knowledgable fans said the Broadway version improved on the London version. The musical was solid enough to become the Broadway hit of 2001-02.

However, Bjorn and Benny's bad luck with Tony awards voters continued. Mamma Mia won no Tony awards when the winners were announced in June 2002. However, unlike Chess , Mamma Mia at least had been nominated in the Best Musical category and four other categories.

It appears to have been decided that an actual Broadway cast album will not be released--since a Broadway recording would preety much be a carbon copy of the London version-albeit with different singers. The play's owners didn't think it worth the additional the expense of recording the Broadway cast. Why lower the profitability of the London Cast album by stealing sales from it? Oh why indeed?

CHESS -(The Complete Cast Album for the Danish 2001/2002 Tour Of Chess)
November 2001 DANISH 2 CD set

This Danish project attempts to includes most, perhaps all , Of the songs from the London staging of CHESS, as well as "Someone Else's Story" a song introduced first in the Broadway version of Chess.

The album is based on a 2001/2002 Danish staging of Chess. The album was released by Scanbox entertainmen. This version of CHESS stars Stig Rossen and Emma Kershaw. Reports are that this is a fairly good recording. so far this has only been released in Denmark. The album was produced by Nigel Wright (Wright has produced for Andrew Lloyd Webber )

This is the first time The songs -"Press Conference", "Commie Newspapers", "Talking Chess" and "Der Kleine Franz" had ever Been released officially. These songs had appeared in the original London staging of Chess, but not on any of the albums released. This is close as we ever got to a "CHESS COMPLETE" recording.

Sadly , This is no longer the case. In the fall of 2003 B&B or their representives asked Scanbox to remove these Previously Unreleased songs from the album. B&B continue to show little concern for the desire of fans to hear theIr harder to find music. It is strange that it took more than a year for the tracks to be removed.

In a weak attempt to make up for lost tracks there is now a bonus track of a remix of One Night in Bangkok" found at the end of the album/....

It would be exciting if a CHESS box set was released that included each and every song (as well as alternate versions) that B&B recorded for the original CAST and Broadway albums (including the unreleased demos done for the project in 1983). Of course, that will never happen!

 

 

TRACK LISTING FOR CHESS -The Complete Cast Album for the Danish 2001/2002 Tour Of Chess) TRACKS REMOVED from 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 Scandanavian release only!

 

A NEW SWEDISH LANGUAGE stage version of Chess which Has been prepeared by KRISTINA's DIRECTOR , . Lars Rudolfson. This version stars Helen Sjoholm, Josefin Nilsson, and Tommy Korber.g They sing new lyrics in SWEDISH ( written by Rudolfson, Jan Marks and Bjorn) 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, A recent attempt to bring the musical to Malmo ran into venue problems This new version has been praised by swedish critics.Benny produced a cast album during 2002 that was finally released in October 2002.Benny produced a cast album during 2002 that was finally released in October 2002.

TRACK LISTING (With former English title of song-where applicable)
 CD 1   CD 2
 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( A QUARTET (A MODEL OF DECORUM AND TRANQUILTy)
Chess
Inte jag(SOMEONE's ELSE STory)
Möte på en bro(MOUNTAIN DUET)
I mitt hjärtas land(ANTHEM)

 

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(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 superaudio CD version of CHESS IN SWEDISH. SACD provides the ability to hear 5 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 of the BEST arranged recordings of the 1970's and !980's) in SACD format-but that's not going Happen is it?!!.

 

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

surprisingly ,CHess In SwedisH was actually taped for this DVD. Which is great of course, there is even a bonus DVD with a documentary about the musical. The Main drawback is that there are no subtitles for those people who dont speak SWEDish...

  MAMMA MIA translations in German, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish

MAMMA MIA in German 2004

MAMMA MIA! Original version des deutschen musicals German release June 2004 Yup a German langauge version! First staged in Stuttgart, and then also in Hamburg -. Frida and Bjorn appeared on stage for one of the openings... Germans did bring up Frida and Bjorn on stage for yet another curtain call....

TRACK LISTING !!!!!
1. Mich trägt mein Traum Prolog
2. Honey, Honey
3. Money, Money, Money
4. Danke für die Lieder
5. Mamma Mia
6. Chiquitita
7. Dancing Queen
8. Leg dein Herz an eine Leine
9. Souper Trouper
10. Gib mir, Gib mir, Gib mir!
11. Was ist das für ein Spiel?
12. Voulez-Vous
13. Entr'Acte
14. Unter Beschuss
15. Einer von uns
16. S.O.S.
17. Wenn das Mami wüsst
18. Ich bin Ich, Du bist Du
19. Unser Sommer
20. Durch meine Finger rinnt die Zeit
21. Der Sieger hat die Wahl
22. Komm un wag's mit mir
23. Ich will, Ich will, Ich will, Ich will, Ich will
24. Mich trägt mein Traum

 

MAMMMMMMA MIA in Dutch

MAMMA MIA Dutch Cast album Netherlands CD Released Summer 2004

Yes/ now the Dutch also have their very own version of Mamma Mia in their own language...The Dutch are loyal ABBA fans and deserve such an honor... Tracks included -Overture/prologue/ Honey Honey/ Money Money Money/ Dank Je Voor De Liedjes/Mamma Mia/ Chiquitita/ Dancing Queen/

Spaar Al Je Liefs Voor Mij/ Super Trouper/ Geef Me Geef Me Geef Me!/ Als 'K Maar Weet Hoe Het Heet/ Voulez-Vous/ Entr'acte/ Een Offensief/

Een Van Ons/ SOS/ Weet Je Moeder Dat/ Zo Ben Ik Zo Ben Jij/ Onze Zomer/ 'T Glipt Me Door Mijn Vingers/ De Winnaar Krijgt De Macht/ Pak Je Kans/ Ik Wil Ik Wil Ik Wil Ik Wil Ik Wil/ I Heb Een Droom

 

MAMMA MIa IN SWEDISH

Original Cast Album-MAMMA MIA Swedish production June 2005 Swedish CD

Remarkably, or not Mamma Mia had yet to be staged in Sweden-so here it comes, in a Swedish language version ... ABBA only translated a hand full of their songs into Swedish-so this will be the first time many of the songs (especially the later ones) have been presented in the Swedish language...The Swedish version of the song lyrics will be written by Niklas Strömstedt along with Bjorn . It is odd that Bjorn needed help to write Swedish lyrics,but The excuse was given that Bjorn wanted someone to take a fresh look at the lyrics ,since Bjorn himself wrote most of the lyrics when when he was in his 20's and early 30's. Peter Dalle is translating the spoken parts in "Mamma Mia" into Swedish. The musical premiered at Stockholm's Cirkus in Stockholm in February 2005. Supposedly even Benny had some involvement with this production.

 


1. Overture
2. Jag har en dröm (I have a dream)
3. Honey, Honey
4. Money, Money, Money
5. Tack för alla sånger (Thank you for the music)
6. Mamma Mia
7. Chiquitita
8. Dancing Queen
9. I tryggt förvar hos mig (Lay all your love on me)
10. Super Trouper
11. Säg OK eller nej (The name of the game)
12. Voulez-Vous
13. Entracte/Under attack
14. En av oss (One of us)
15. S.O.S.
16. Väntar inte mamma på dig (Does your mother know)
17. Jag är jag, du är du (Knowing me, knowing you)
18. Sista sommarn (Our last summer)
19. Kan man ha en solkatt i en bur (Slipping through my fingers)
20. Vinnaren tar allt (The winner takes it all)
21. Tänk, det känns som vi (Take a chanCE on me)
22. Jag vill, jag vill, jag vill (I do, I do, I do, I do, I do)
23. Jag har en dröm (I have a dream)
24. Waterloo

MAMMA MIA IN SPANISH..

This was staged Spain in November 1994 Oh my god!!!!!AY CARUMBA!!!!!! The translations used here are not based on the original Spanish versions.,but are new translations...

MAMMA MIA en Espanol 2005 Spanish CD

Track listing Obertura/Prologo, Honey Honey, Money Money Money, Gracias Por Dejarme Cantar Canciones (Thank You For The Music), Mamma Mia, Chiquitita, Dancing Queen, Fija Tu Amor En Mi (Lay All Your Love On Me), Super Trouper, Dame! Dame! Dame! (Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!), Como Puedo Jugar (The Name Of The Game), Voulez-Vous, Entreacto, No Habra Cuartel (Under Attack), Quien A Veces Llora (One Of Us), No Lo Ves (SOS), Sabe Tu Mama Donde Estas? (Does Your Mother Know), Para Mi Para Ti (Knowing Me Knowing You), Un Verano (Our Last Summer), Siento Que Se Aleja (Slipping Through My Finders), Va Todo Al Ganador (The Winner Takes It All), Te Has Fijado En Mi (Take A Chance On Me), Que Si Que Si (I Do I Do), Ayer Sone (I Have A Dream)

BORN TO LIVE- DUTCH PLAY Premiered May 20, 2006
A  musical theatre piece called  ‘Born To Live’, loosely inspired  by the life story of Abba singer Frida Lyngstad... The play is  written by Bas Beerendonk , there is no ABBA music in it . All songs were written by Robert van Tol.  The play stars  Anette Hildebrand. It's clear whether Frida approved this or not..

Original Soundtrack Recording, Mamma Mia-Decca label 177 418-4 ,  International CD -July 2008
 
The movie soundtrack album  was  released in the summer, slightly before  the release of the movie, . The  CD  was  released in Sweden and the UK  on July 7, 2008 (and in the US on  July 8, 2008 ). This album actually went to #1 in the USA, and in many other places.The movie soundtrack was actually  more successful than the musical's original cast album, which has tended to sell at a slower pace in most of the markets it had been released.
 
The music was recorded before the movie was filmed with the vocals sung  by the original actors in the movie. The musical backing tracks were newly recorded in February 2007  by Benny Andersson with the help of  three veterans of the original  ABBA band ( Rutger Gunnarsson on bass, Lasse Wellander on guitar, Per Lindvall on drums. An orchestra was used for parts of the backing track, and the chorus parts for the vocal tracks were recorded by the Stockholm ensemble cast of Mamma Mia. Two songs that were in the original musical are not sung in the movie- "Under Attack" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" . "Knowing Me, Knowing You " has been replaced by "When All is Said And Done' . For reasons not clear yet, the following songs are not included in the soundtrack album track listing -Overture / Prologue, Chiquitita,Entr'Act, One Of Us, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, and Waterloo.
 
The main drawback of the album is that so many of the performers are actors first not singers, and so most of the lead vocals are underwhelming. The vocal performances do have character though,.
Of course, even the best singers are not likely to improve on Frida or Agnetha' vocals, so instead the best approach appears to be try something slightly different and that's what is sometimes tried here. 
 
Originally  there was also supposed to be a special two-disc version of the soundtrack  . The two disc version was to have  included instrumental versions of songs that underscore the action in the movie, the end credits medley and god knows what else, but this idea never came to fruition, perhaps simply due to quality control concerns.
 
Track listing-

1. Honey, Honey (Amanda Seyfried, Ashley Lilley & Rachel McDowall) 2. Money, Money, Money (Meryl Streep, Julie Walters & Christine Baranski) 3. Mamma Mia (Meryl Streep) 4. Dancing Queen (Meryl Streep, Julie Walters & Christine Baranski) 5. Our Last Summer (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgǻrd, Amanda Seyfried  & Meryl Streep) 6. Lay All Your Love on Me (Dominic Cooper & Amanda Seyfried) 7. Super Trouper (Meryl Streep, Julie Walters & Christine Baranski) 8. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) (Amanda Seyfried, Ashley Lilley & Rachel McDowall) 9. The Name of the Game (Amanda Seyfried) 10. Voulez-Vous (Full cast, Philip Michael, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters & Stellan Skarsgǻrd) 11. SOS (Pierce Brosnan & Meryl Streep) 12. Does Your Mother Know (Christine Baranski & Philip Michael) 13. Slipping Through My Fingers (Meryl Streep & Amanda Seyfried) 14. The Winner Takes It All (Meryl Streep) 15. When All is Said and Done (Pierce Brosnan & Meryl Streep) 16. Take a Chance on Me (Julie Walters, Stellan Skarsgǻrd, Colin Firth, Philip Michael & Christine Baranski) 17. I Have a Dream18. Thank You For the music (hidden track) Amanda Seyfried)

Various Aristts-Highlights From Chess in Concert single CD

An abridged version of the Albert Hall Concert CD, a common practice in Tim Rice cast albums.  In this case 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)

 
Chess-Live in Albert Hall, Release date June 16, 2009
 
There is also to be a single CD Highlights , a 2CD  version and DVD version which are to be  released both in the United States and Europe. This concert version stars Josh Groban and was taped in 2008. This is yet another reworking of the everchangable Andersson- Rice-Ulvaeus musical. This time Tim Rice took another go it, Bjorn and Benny dont' appear to be involved, though they no doubt had a veto, if they did not like the project as a whole.  This record is also  an attempt to issue a fairly complete verson of the musical, based  generally on the original  London staging.  Here and there  Tim Rice has changed a few lyrics, and a few of the songs make their debut on record. The album was recorded live, and  and as a result  many of the performances sound a little shaky. If you want the definitive CHESS  it would seem that it is still your best bet to go back to the 1984 studio album.  
 
Track listing for 2CD version:
ACT 1/CD 1

1.       Prologue

2.       The Story Of Chess

3.       Merano/What a Scene! What a Joy!

4.       Commie Newspapers/Press Conference

5.       Molokov and Anatoly/Where I Want To Be

6.       Difficult and Dangerous Times

7.       The Arbiter

8.       Hymn To Chess

9.       The Merchandisers

10.   Chess Game #1

11.   The Arbiter (reprise)

12.   Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility)

13.   Florence and Molokov

14.   1956 - Budapest Is Rising

15.   Nobody's Side

16.   Mountain Duet

17.   Chess Game #2

18.   Florence Quits/Pity The Child #1

19.   Embassy Lament

20.   Heaven Help My Heart

21.   Anatoly and the Press

22.   Anthem

ACT 2 CD 2

 

23.   Golden Bangkok

24.   One Night In Bangkok

25.   One More Opponent

26.   You and I

27.   The Soviet Machine

28.   The Interview

29.   Someone Else’s Story

30.   The Deal (No Deal)

31.   Pity The Child #2

32.   I Know Him So Well

33.   Talking Chess

34.   Endgame

35.   You And I (Reprise)

36.   Walter and Florence

37.   Anthem (Reprise)

 

Various Artists -Kristina at Carnegie Hall- , Universal Decca label, 2CD set UK release April 5, 2010, May  4, 2010 in USA, Germany

This is the long awaited English language concert version of Kristina Fran Duvemala. The concert occurred on September 2009 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concert featured Helen Sjoholm and Russell Watson. It received some  good  reviews but most of the critics did not like the lyrics, and  thought it was boring. Some agreed that actual  music was good. The main reaction to the CD in particular  has been neglect and lack of interest.  So doing this musical in English may ultimately be a unrewarding venture.

 

Benny Andersson  produced the release of the CD version of this concert. The actual recording was made in a empty Carnegie Hall the day before the concerts. I found it fairly listenable, though it is no more intelligble hearing in this  Engligh truncated version  than it is to hearing it. in the full version in Swedish. The Carnegie Hall concert was  repeated in London on April 14, 2010. There are plans also to bring Kristina to Helsinki in 2012.


Track listing

Disc One
Overture
Path of Leaves and Needles
Where You Go I Go With You
Stone Kingdom
Down to the Sea
A Bad Harvest
No!
He's Our Pilot
Never
Golden Wheat Fields
All Who Are Grieving
We Open Up the Gateways
Peasants at Sea
Lice
In the Dead of Darkness
A Sunday in Battery Park
Home
American Man
Dreams of Gold
Summer Rose

Disc Two
Emperors and Kings
Twilight Images Calling
Queen of the Prairie
Wild Grass
Gold Can Turn To Sand
Wildcat Money
To the Sea
Miracle of God
Down to the Waterside
Miscarriage
You Have To Be There
Here I Am Again
With Child Again
Rising from the Myth and Legend
I'll Be Waiting There

 

 

Chess  2010 revivals

Apparently the Andersson-Rice- Ulvaeus musical Chess has two revivals on tap at the same time.  In England, Craig Revel Horwood has reinvented the original West End version, and given it well a lot more sexual energy, and  in most cases the actors play the music. The Horwood variation is actually a road show of the musical.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic at the Signarture Theatre  in Washington, Chess has been redone by Director Eric Schaeffer with a little help from  the original Broadway Chess book writer Richard Nelson.
Oddly enough both shows have gotten good reviews with the Horwood variation getting unusually good notices.
 
 
 

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