Benny Andersson's time with THE HEP STARS
Benny Andersson was born in Stockholm on
December 16, 1946. He began his recording
as a member of the Hep Stars in October 1964.
Although he did sing as a backing vocalist , Benny has always been first
and foremost a keyboardist.
What Benny did with the Hep Stars was play keyboards,write songs, and sing background vocals.
Benny played with Hep Stars till mid- 1969.
In late 1969 Benny started working regularly
with Björn Ulvaeus .(SEE Björn
The Hep Stars sang a majority of their songs
in English. Their early material was straight
rock and roll but their later work is more
middle of the road. Their lead singer ,the very
capable Svenne Hedlund was
at ballads and rock and roll numbers.
Most of Benny's work with THE HEP STARS
is preserved on Swedish
For some reason, serious ABBA fans tend
to ignore the music of the Hep Stars even
they were the most commercially successful
of the acts that were progenitors of ABBA,
|WHAT TO GET FIRST : THE HEP STARS BEST|
| Studio album-The Hep Stars (1966)|
| Complimation album- The Hep Stars 1964-1969|
The Hep Stars-WE AND OUR CADILLAC 1965 Available on Swedish Cd
Benny Andersson joined the Hep Stars in October 1964 .They had made just
one single (Kana Kapila) with their first organist , Hasse Ostlund. For this, their debut album , the Hep Stars would feature
Svenne Hedlund on Lead Vocals, Janne Frisk on Guitar and backing Vocals ,Benny on Keyboards, Christer Pettersson on drums
and Lelle Hegland on Bass. The group's early record are more group efforts - Benny and Svenne
do not dominate the group
as much as on the
The group hit it big in Sweden right after Benny joined. A raucus Who-like TV debut would help
the group top Sweden's charts with" Farmer John", "Cadillac",and "Bald Headed Woman" and hit the top five with "Tribute to
Buddy Holly". All of the these can be found on the CD version of this, the Hep Stars first album.
"Cadillac" is powerful and "Bald Headed Woman" shows what Benny can do with a Hammond Organ. Most
of the songs on this album are covers
of American and English songs. This album also features Benny's first composition;
a Kinks like rocker (with bad lyrics), called "No Response". "No Response" was supposedly the last song recorded for the album.
This album was released by EMI-Sweden's Olga label,
The Heps Stars -HEP STARS ON STAGE-1965 Available on Swedish CD
KRILLE! JANNE! LELLE! BENNY! SVENNE!-THE HEP STAARS! That's how this album starts.
A very Swedish
announcer pronounces all the
Hep Stars names with same ending syllable, (Krill-lee was the nickname of the Heps' drummer
-Christian Peterson. )
ON STAGE is a highly vigorous live album recorded on the Swedish folk park circuit in the summer
of 1965. The early Hep Stars were not known for restraint on stage. The fan screaming on here is not manufactured and it's
not totally without justification. The early Hep Stars were good showman . This album is more exciting
than ABBA's live
album, albeit, with far worse material and musicianship.
Most of the material played here are covers -a limitation which would drive Benny to write
for the group.
Benny mainly plays electric organ here.
At one point Svenne asks the Swedish audience to "Clap Your
Hands" but he does it in English,
as if saying such things in Swedish wouldn't be cool.
All the recent CD reissues of Hep
Stars albums include non album A and B sides
tracks. The bonus tracks here include
"So Mystifying" (the Kinks song), the single
version of "Cadillac" and" Should
(originally by Chad and Jeremy) ." Should I" blindsides with a blistering organ solo at 1:33.
Although this is a good live album, it is
of less interest to ABBA fans simply because
is only one song writen by Benny here.
The Hep Stars -The Hep Stars 1966 Available on Swedish CD.
An important album. The Hep stars have a slightly mellower sound here. This is probably the most
consistently good Hep Stars album.
This is where Benny emerges here for first time as a full fledged songwriter and his talent is
already blossoming. The CD version of this has seven songs written by Benny and or Björn. (Five of which were on the original
LP.) The first song Björn and Benny ever wrote together the exquisite "Isn't It Easy To Say" is here.
The oft-told legend has it that "Isn't It Easy to Say" was written in the office of Björn's father's
papermill after Björn and Benny had met at a party in Vastervik that both the Hep Stars and the Hootenanny's attended.
A real standout track is one of Benny's solo compositions a #2 Swedish hit called "Consolation"
-"Consolation" is seemingly the lament of a dead (or metaphorically dead) lover . Benny's organ melds well with the band here.
song's chorus hook soars to the sky on the
strength of the band performance.
Benny also wrote the haunting classically
influenced "Sound of Eve" which features some lovely
piano and actual birdsong (A promo bio of Benny at the time indicates that Benny already had developed an interest in bird-watching).
The backing vocals on "Sound of Eve' are ambitious.
Two of the most famous Hep Stars
songs are here. The Hep Stars biggest
Girl"(written by Benny)
is found here as a bonus track.
The other famous song is "Wedding" a wedding march written by
Benny and Svenne that later was played by Benny at Björn and Agnetha's wedding in July 1971.
The Hep Stars version of the Hootenanny Singers
hit "No Time ' is done here at a less sleepy
pace than the Hootz's original. The best of the non-Benny compositions is the anti-war song "Last Night I had the Strangest
Dream" which like a lot of songs here has some solid three (or more) part harmony on which Svenne sings with Janne and Benny.The
Swedish version of the same song can also be found here. (The Hep Stars often did English and Swedish versions of the same
All in all ,this album stands up well against albums by British and American artists of the time.
is a must have for students of the songwriting of Björn and Benny.
HEP STARS CD track listing
birds in the sky/ Consolation/
Easy to fool/ Sound of eve/
Isn't it easy to Say / Lady, lady/
Last night I had the
Morning comes after night/
I've said it all before, Wedding
Tracks not on original LP but added to CD reissue- Sunny girl,/Hawaii/
When my blue moon turns to gold again/
I natt jag drömde/ Jag vet/ Don't/ Malaika,
It's nice te be back Again/
The Hep Stars -Jul Med Hep Stars 1967 Swedish Lp Issued on CD
Christmas with the Hep Stars. Festive,
Haven't seen this one,it's somewhat rare.
This is being reissued on CD for Christmas 2001.The album is reissued
with a new track listing that includes
a couple of previously unreleased tracks as well as the omision of some 3 of the lesser tracks .The CD opens with "Christmas On My Mind" a fairly good song that's also on the HEP STARS
1964-69 Cd. This album also includes "Nu ar det jul igen" , "Nu tandas tusen juleljus" and a humourous version of "Jingle
The Swedish Christmas standard "Nu Tandas tusen julejus" would be later done by Björn's Hootenanny
Singers and Agnetha & Linda Fältskog. It is the only song I believe to have been recorded by three different ABBA solo
1. Christmas On My Mind
2. Pojken Som Jultomten Glömde
4. Alla Sover Utom Jag
5. Jingle Bells
6. Christmas Today
7. Good King Wencelas (previously
8. The Boy That Old Santa Forgot
9. Det Strålar En Stjärna (previously unreleased)
10. Gläns Över
Sjö Och Strand
11. Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus
12. Stilla Natt
13. Dotter Sion
The Hep Stars-It's Been a Long Long Time 1968 Japanese Cd
I haven't actually held this album in my hands.
Supposedly it was reissued on CD by M&M
Records in Japan .EMI did most of the other Hep Stars reissues. This was the first of the Hep
Stars studio albums to
be reissued on Cd. But the CD is no longer easily available .
This album was recorded in late 1967 largely in London. 1967 had been a year in which the Hep stars
had searched for various ways to break out internationally.
Early in the year they worked on aborted film project- Habari Safari-( some of which was
filmed in Africa, but because their was no plot the footage filmed proved to be useless.
. On this album session musicians
filled in for Janne, Christer and Lennart. (-a common practice in the 1960's)
. An American producer Steve Clark was brought in to produce the album. So, in a lot of ways this really isn't a Hep Stars
The original album featured a lot of songs mainly written by others supposedly in the
soft rock vein. Benny did write a couple of tunes on the album.The bonus tracks included many of the songs on Songs We Sang
68 CD-(if you have this Cd you could probably get by without Songs We Sang 68).
Enter the young/Hope/5 am/It's Time For A change/Changing Away From You/It's Been
a Long Long Time /Musty Dusty/Spinging,Spinging,Spinging/There Is love/ Would You Like To Go /It's now A Winters'
Day /Another Time/
Bonus tracks found on CD issue
Det Finns En Stad/ Sagan Om Lilla Sofi /Let It BE me/Groovy Summertime/Holiday For Clowns/A
Flower In My Garden/Save Your Heart For me/I Sagans Land/Bilden Av/Suddenly Tommorow Is Today/Warten Auf Den Tag/Songs We
Hep Stars -Songs We Sang '68 1968 Available on Swedish CD.
The Hep Stars continue down the middle of the
road a bridge too far . The group
Svenne's future wife, Charlotte
(Lotta) Walker a African-American singer from
an American pop-soul group called the
The Sherry's. Someone, Lotta found herself stuck
in Sweden in the arms of Svenne Hedlund.
In Lotta's honor, the album starts out with a medley of Soul cover numbers (mostly) recorded at
Swedish folkparks in 1968.Among the covers are "You Keep Me Hanging On", Let It be Me" and two versions of San Cooke's "Shake"
The second side of the album features original studio material. It's good but it lacks direction.
The second released Björn and Benny composition is here and it's called
"A Flower in My Garden". It's sung with a Carl
The title cut ("Songs We Sang")is sung by Lotta (possibly the first song written by Benny with
a lead vocal sung by a woman).
The bonus tracks include the Hep Stars last singles going into 1969. The bonus tracks include
the folksy B&B song, "Speleman" .Also included are The b-side to "Speleman" - B&B's , "Precis Som Alla Andra" ,and
two numbers written by Benny with Svenne called "Like You Used To Do" and "She Will She love You" .
The Hep Stars-Pa Svenska 1969 Swedish lp
The Hep Stars were having troubles staying
whole at this point. Their main problem was
they owed money to the Swedish taxing authorities , but also Benny, Svenne and Lotta
were itching to try something new.
So a new studio album wasn't in the offing for 1969 and instead a complimation of the Hep Stars Swedish tracks was put together.
This includes includes both old and new material. Svenne and Lotta 's Wedding Portrait is on the cover. This doesn't seem
to available on Cd.
This was the last Hep Stars album before the tax problems and career changes led Svenne, Lotta
and Benny to leave the band. The rest of the Hep Stars continued on for a bit Svenne and Lotta continued to work with Benny
Björn & Benny would also have some involvement with Svenne & Lotta's albums when Stig signed
to the Polar label. The Hep Stars would get
together for reunion album in the 1990's
(without Benny) called ACT II.
The Hep Stars-Hep Stars 1964-1969 Re. 1983 Available on Swedish Cd.
Released on lp in 1983 and on Cd in the early
1990's this is the best complimation of the Hep
Stars . It's 32 tracks make a persuasive case for the band importance as "the Swedish Beatles" . All the songs here except
for one include Benny on keyboards . The Hep Stars first hit (included on this CD) "Kana Kapila" had a different organist.
Most of the Hep Stars A&B sides are included on this Cd.
Some of the Lp liner notes seem to have written in Swedish by Roxette's Per Gessle (before there
was a Roxette!). The sleeve reminds me of one of those old
Beatles Parlophone LP sleeves of the 1960's.
was a companion of two
other collections showcasing 1960's Swedish
groups-The Tages and the Shanes.
The only flaw with this set is that it leaves out two of the four of the songs that B&B
wrote together for the Hep Stars.
Kana kapila / A tribute
to buddy holly /. Bird dog/
If you need me/ Farmer John/ Donna / Cadillac / Bald
headed woman / No response / So mystifying /Young and beautiful / Should I /. Sunny
girl / Wedding/ When my blue moon turns to gold again / I natt jag drömde / Consolation / Don't/No
/ Isn't it easy to say / Malaika / It's nice to be back / Christmas on my
mind / Mot okänt land / She will love you / Let it be me / Tända på varann / Holiday
for clowns /Speleman / Speedy gonzales /