ABBA (The formative years 1969-72)

"The myth is that Frida and I were there as a front for Björn and Benny's music. But the truth of the matter is that we were the people that could bring over precisely what they couldn't do with their previous bands"-Agnetha Faltskog

* The days before ABBA


* Björn & Benny's singles (1970-1972)

*Singles released in Sweden by the early ABBA(1972-1974)


 The Days before ABBA -FESTFOLK

ABBA emerged from the Swedish music scene in the early 1970's.
ABBA were a "Supergroup'. In a "Supergroup" each of the group members has had a prior successful recording career. The group name, ABBA is an acronym of the first intials from each of the group members names (A-Agnetha,B-jorn, B-enny,A-nni-frid). That's why capital letters are used when spelling out ABBA.

Singer-guitarist Björn Ulvaeus and keyboardist Benny Andersson's
partnership as a recording duo, writing and production team began in late 1969.
As the duo, Björn and Benny, they released one album, LYCKA, and five Swedish singles. The romantic involvement between Björn & Agnetha and Benny & Frida was a key reason why the four would work together both as a group and a solo artists.

The first recording with all four eventual members of ABBA was called "Hej Gamle Man", it dates from Mid 1970 and was actually a credited to , Björn and Benny as a duo.

Although Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-frid Lyngstad would sing on many of the songs recorded by Björn and Benny , it wasn't till 1972 that the first single was released with all four of their names on it. That song was "People Need Love" which would be released on ABBA's RING RING album.

On stage, the story was slightly different. the four eventual ABBA members first played on stage together in November 1970 as the group FESTFOLK. It did not go well, but they tried performing together again in 1971 and worked together at other concerts between 1970-1972. They can be seen in this incarnation in 1970 doing "California Here I Come"on TV.This clip can be seen on the Super Troupers documentary. The clip is fascinating , but it perfectly illustrates what was wrong with the FESTFOLK approach,. Instead of doing cabaret style/variety show music they needed to be doing original fresh self-written pop songs that featured the girls singing.....this they soon discovered!...```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

The cross pollination between the future members of ABBA was a common thing in the years before ABBA. Björn produced some of Agnetha's early 1970's albums. Benny produced Frida between 1969-1972. During 1969-72 Frida would sing on some Agnetha's songs and Agnetha sang on some of Frida's singles. Many of these early efforts can be found on the PA SVENSKA compilation or on the various solo albums (See Frida and Agnetha links).

 Björn and Benny-Lycka Fall 1970 Available on Swedish CD Reissued on Cd 1991, 2006

In some ways this is the birth of ABBA.The title means Happiness!
This is a very interesting album. Björn and Benny wrote the music to all of the songs and some of the lyrics. The whole album is sung in Swedish . Björn doing most of the lead vocals, with Benny providing some backing vocals. The original album featured eleven songs.

This album features the first track to have all future members of ABBA on it and this
is the very first album to have all the music written by Björn and Benny.

Acoustic and Electric Guitar feature prominently here, The electric guitar in particular dominates on "Kalles Visa" .This album is a bit more serious in tone than some of the later B&B songs and early ABBA songs that would follow in the early
and mid-Seventies. None of the songs here (even in translation) have a bubble gum lyrics or sound.

"Hej Gamle Man" (Hello Old Man) was released as the single from this album and proved to be successful, though the album was not overly successful. "Hej Gamle Man" features Agnetha and Frida on backing vocals. It was the first song to feature all four members of Abba. "Kara Gamla Sol" is the only song on the album sung by Benny.

More impressive to me is the great acoustic
guitar workout "Liselotte " (it features lyrics by Agnetha and Björn); The anthemic "Ge Oss En Chans" has some soulful singing and some great organ. A nice little touch can be found at the beginning of "Lilla Du, Lilla Van' which has Benny's piano come in at a low volume. As a whole, this album features some of Björn's best work.

The stark brown cover is telling. It's clear that their is seriousness of purpose and intent in these two young man. Benny's soon-to-be trademark beard puts in it's first appearence on a album cover (Benny never had a beard on the Hep Stars album covers). Björn looks a little smug but the trademark smile is there. The Swedish flag on the Guitar seems to say ,"We represent Sweden to the world".

The later Lp pressings and the Cd versions of LYCKA include a 1971 A -side that wasn't on the original album. That A-side "Tank Om Jorden Vore Ung' features Agnetha and Frida on backing vocals and like a few of the B&B records has a ever-so slight country twinge to it.

The LYCKA album was recorded in the Summer of 1970. It was Produced by Björn and Benny with Bengt Bernhag and engineered by Michael B.Tretow.

There was supposed to be a followup album released by Björn and Benny but before
it was anywhere near completion , Agnetha and Frida had joined up with Björn and Benny to change the group from a duo to a quartet.

Björn and Benny continued to release singles through till 1972. These singles were rereleased as bonus tracks on the 20006 reissue of LYKCA.

The LYCKA album track lineup with songwriters listed (AU means Andersson-Ulvaeus)

 The original LYCKA album track lineup with songwriters listed (AU means Andersson-Ulvaeus) and 2006 bonus tracks


* Lycka (A-U-Anderson)

* Nanting Ar Pa Vag (A-U)

* Kara Gamla Sol (A-U-Anderson)

* Det ar MEd Karlek (A-U-Himmelstrand)

*Valkommen In I Ganget (A-U- Himmelstand)

* Lilla Du, Lila Van (A-U-Fugelstad)


Hej Gamle Man (A-U)

* Liselott (A-U-Faltskog)

* Kalles Visa (A-U-Himmelstrand)

* Ge Oss En Chans (A-U)

* Livet Gar Sing Gang (A-U)

bonus tracks on 2006 CD

12. She's My Kind Of Girl
13. Inga Theme *
14. Det kan ingen doktor hjälpa*
15. På bröllop *
16. Tänk om jorden vore ung
17. Träskofolket*
18. En karusell
19. Att finnas till
20. Hey, Musikant *
21. Was die Liebe sagt (German version of "Livet Gar sing Gang" track)*
22. Love Has Its Ways *
23. Rock'n Roll Band (original version)*
24. Merry-Go-Round
25. To Live With You (previously unreleased English version of "Lycka")*

* First time on CD .....

The 1971 Bjorn and Benny A-side "Tank Om Jorden Vore Ung" was included on later LP pressings and the first 1991 Cd..


 Björn and Benny's singles from 1969-1972 (and the CD's where they can be found...( @- indicates Anna & Frida sang on the record)

Björn and Benny released a number of
singles in Sweden, Japan and a few other
places. Although a couple of the singles were drawn from the LYCKA album,
many of the songs wouldn't appear on album at the time, and some of the
tracks have never made it onto an official album, until the 2006 CD resiisue of LYCKA

Agnetha and Frida sang on many of these songs which makes them prime ABBA collectibles. Agnetha and Frida sing on "Hej Gamle Man","Tank Om Jorden Vore Ung", "Pa Brollop", " Det Kan Ingen Docktor Hlapa" , "En Karusell " , "Merry Go Round". and "Ah Vilka tideR'


.En Karusell (the Swedish version of Merry Go Round"), " Att Finnas Till" and "Ah Vilka Tider" were reissued on
"Hej Gamle Man, Merry Go Round, She's My
Kind of Girl', and "Santa Rosa" made it onto
ABBA"s box set.

The rest of the tracks are oonly available on the LYCKA reissue. The hardest -these tracls are "Inga Theme', "Hey Musikant" (the German version of "Hej Gamle Man", "War Die Liebe Sagt "(the German version of "Livet Gar Sing Gang"), "Pa Brollop", " Traskofolket'", "Love Has It's Ways," and the original version
of "Rock N Roll Band".

"Pa Brollop" and "Traskofolket" are good pseudo- Swedish folks songs.

 1970 She's My kind of Girl ( RING RING/
Inga Theme LYKCA

These Two songs were recorded for the movie, Seduction of Inga,in late 1969. "She's My Kind of a Girl " is a pleasant bouncy track if a bit stupid lyrically. The "Inga Theme" features chanting and humming and some interesting if not very coherent bits of melody. "She's My kind of Girl" rather strangely became a big Japanese hit in 1972. "She's My Kind of Girl" also appears on some versions of the "RingRing" album even though it was recorded in 1969.

 1971@Det Kan Ingen doctor Hlapa /LYCKA
@Pa Brollop 1971 LYCKA bonus track

This is one of the most obscure of B&B's singles-since neither side has been released on Lp o. The b-side "Pa Brollop "(at the wedding) is probably the more enjoyable record.

"Pa Brollop " violins and all sounds like an Orsa Spelman record as covered by ABBA...

1970@Hej Gamle Man / LYCKA
Lycka 1970 LYCKA

Two tracks chosen from the Lycka album - "Hej Gamle Man" was a hit in Sweden.

 1971Tank Om Jorden Ung Vore Ung LYCKA/
Traskofolket LYCKA bonus track

The later Lp pressings and the Cd versions of LYCKA include a 1971 A -side that wasn't on the original album. That A-side "Tank Om Jorden Vore Ung'features Agnetha and Frida on backing vocals and like a few of the B&B records has a ever-so slight country twinge to it. "Traskofolket" is a folksky song complete wit7h accordion inspired by Vilhem Moberg's "The Emigrants" and a song about the Wooden clogged people of those books.

 1970 @Hey Musikant (German Hej Gamle)LYCKA bonus track
War Die Liebe Sagt (German version of Livet Gar sing Gang )LYKCA bonus track

German translations of two songs from the Lycka album.

 1972@En Karusell (swed-Merry Go Round) PA SVENSKA /
Att Finnas Till 1972 PA SVENKSA

The Swedish version of "Merry Go Round" was actually released as a single,the b-side was the country balladish sounding"Att Finnas Till".Neither song was released on album till the 1990's.For some reason even the English version of "Merry Go Round" was not compiled on the RING RING album until the recent 2001 remastering.



 Björn and Benny''s Japanese market only singles...

1972 She's My Kind of Girl RING RING/
Inga Theme NA

These two tracks were recorded by B&B for the Swedish /American soft porn movie called "The Seduction of Inga", Somehow, "She's My Kind of Girl" became a surprise breakout hit in Japan in 1972, selling at least a quarter of a million copies, The b-side is the semi-instrumental musical theme for the movie.


1972 Love Has It's Ways NA/
Rock And Roll band(early vers)NA

Oddly "Love Has It's Ways' was never released anywhere on vinyl but Japan."Love Has It's Ways"was a collaboration initiated by B&B's Japanese record company., as a follow up to "She's My Kind of Girl". It was not successful and the Japanses copmpany lost interest.

The music for "Love Has It's Ways " was
supposedly co written by a Japanese songwriter (K.Morita)
It is a bouncy song with good piano intro by B&B but is was the last English language track from their B&B days to be reissued on CD, Perhaps ,because B&B resented the input of the Japanese songwriter, or perhaps Polar never even owned the track.





The early ABBA singles credited to Björn & Benny with Agnetha & Frida

ABBA first six singles included a number of rare tracks, many of which were only released in Sweden.

(On right of chart see where to get the song on CD! A few of these songs have not been released internationally.


* People Need Love c/w 6-1972-Ring Ring

* Merry Go Round 6-1972-Box set

* He Is Your Brother c/w 11-1972 Ring Ring

* Santa Rosa 11-1972 Box Set

* Ring Ring (English vers.) c/w 2-1973 Ring Ring

* Merry Go Round 2-1973 Box Set

* Bara Du Slog En Signal (swed-Ring Ring)c/w 2-1973 PA SVENSKA

* Ah Vilka Tider 1973-Pa Svenska

Love Isn't It Easy c/w 6-1973 Ring Ring

* I am Just A Girl 6-1973-Ring Ring

 * Waterloo(Swed vers. )c/w 3-1974 Pa Svenska

* Honey Honey (Swedish vers.) 3-1974 Pa Svenska

  --and there was a promo 45 in Swedish called...

* En Halsing Till Vara Parkarrangorer (Greetings toFolk Park Promoters)

Polar Music issued this promo 45 as greetings to promoters on ABBA's 1973 Swedish concert tour.


Stikkan Anderson Valjer Polars Parlor -Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-frid-Pa Svenska April 1994 Available Swedish Cd

This is as close as is there is to an ABBA Swedish language album. This 18 song compilation features songs by Agnetha,Björn and Benny, Frida and ABBA. All of the songs date from 1970 to 1976. This is essential album to the ABBA collector, though probably not recommended for people who prefer to listen to all their music in English

Although PA SVENSKA was not released till 1994 it is really the only multiple artist compilation of pre -ABBA solo work. Polar never tried to do anything like this in the 1970's.

There are 6 ABBA songs here- (two of which were released as solo recordings). Included are the Swedish versions of "Waterloo", Ring Ring" and "Honey Honey' . Also, there are Frida's solo Swedish version of "Fernando' and Agnetha's solo version of "SOS". ABBA didn't do Swedish versions of any of their post 1976 hits. Many of ABBA's other songs were recorded in Swedish by other artists.

A sixth song (recorded only in Swedish), "Ah Vilka Tider' is also credited to Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-frid. This song like Björn and Benny's "Att Finnas till",and "En Karusell" (a Swedish version of "Merry Go Round " ) are only available on this Cd.

There are four pre-ABBA Agnetha songs here, all of which are available elsewhere on CD. These songs all seem to have at least one of the other Abba members on them-notice Frida, and Björn on the the chorus to "Drom Ar Drom och Saga Saga".

Two of Frida's solo songs are available on CD only here. These would be both sides of Frida's 1972 Polar single "Man Vill Leva lite Dessmellan /"Ska Man Skratta Eller Grata" . These two songs were written by Italians but translated by Stig into Swedish. Italian Songs sung in Swedish lose their Italian-ity!

This album is subtitled- Stikkan Anderson picks Polars Pearls. So in theory ,Stig made the track selections. Frida's 1975 solo album FRIDA ENSAM is represented by three tracks -"Fernando", "Som en Sparv" and "Vill Du lana en man" ("The Most Beautiful Girl In the World" ) . Why did Stig pick the worst song (The Most Beautiful Girl...)from the FRIDA ENSAM and put it on this CD -the only reason I can think of is that Stig wrote the lyrics and was after the publishing royalities.

The other seventeen songs however, do belong on this Cd. The only problem
with this project is it leaves many of the pre- ABBA Björn and Benny tracks uncompiled ,and it really doesn't do
justice to the full depth of the pre-ABBA solo work -you would really need two
or three CD's to do that. The only place currently to get most of the B&B/early ABBA rarities in one place is a bootleg called -TO ALL ABBA FANS.

Still this is good album for those who want just a want a small taste of A,B,B and F's work in Swedish.

Tracks listing for PA SVENSKA:

1, ABBA-Waterloo
2,Björn & Benny- Att Finnas Till
3.Agnetha- En Sang Och En Saga
4.ABBA- Honey Honey
Frida-Ska Man Skratta Eller Grata
6.Björn & Benny-Tank Om Jorden Vore Ung
8.Frida- Fernando
9.ABBA-Ah, Vilka Tider
10Frida-Som En Sparv
Agnetha- En Sang Om Sorg Och Gladje
Björn & Benny- En Karusell
Agnetha- Drom At Drom, Och Saga Saga
Frida-Man Vill Ju Leva Lite Dessemellan
15,Björn & Benny-Hej Gamle Man
16.ABBA-Ring Ring
17.Agnetha-Sa Glad Som Dina Ogon
Frida-Vill Du Lana En Man

To go to ABBA's first album click below

* 1973 RING RING





  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, Group& Solo -100 Great Records



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