Björn and Benny's first co-production assignment

Published August 12, 2016

Although by the late 1960s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson had some experience as producers, without receiving much credit as such, in September 1969 they got their first official assignment as co-producers. Contrary to what you'd expect, however, that first job was not for Stig Anderson's Polar Music label. Here's the entry about this particular session from the forthcoming revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions.

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12 September 1969

Metronome Studio. Recording ‘Det var en gång’; ‘Så kom den där våren’.

Björn and Benny’s first official co-producer assignment was this recording of two songs for release on a single by the immensely popular singer Anna-Lena Löfgren. ‘Det var en gång’ (“Once Upon A Time”) was a Swedish version of the Bee Gees hit ‘First Of May’, while the B-side ‘Så kom den där våren’ (“Then The Spring Came”) was in fact the tune of Björn’s composition for the Hootenanny Singers, ‘Fåfängans marknad’ (“Vanity Fair”), with new “heartbreak” lyrics more suitable to the wistful, melancholy style of Anna-Lena Löfgren. Since Björn and Benny used to record at Metronome Studio from time to time, they often ran into Metronome record label boss Anders Burman, a legend in the Swedish music business and regarded as one of the nation’s finest producers. He asked them if they would like to produce a single for Löfgren, who was contracted to his label. They agreed, and chose these two songs.

Anders Burman later recalled that he was “very pleased” with the result and at one point even tried to woo the two budding producers away from Stig Anderson and Polar Music. According to Burman they were interested in working for Metronome, but since they had already established a working relationship with Stig, nothing came out of his proposition.

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I don't know how many of you readers out there have actually heard these recordings. They don't sound at all like ABBA, of course, nevertheless they're interesting as milestone moments in their recording history. The late Anna-Lena Löfgren was very popular in her day, but, like so many other Swedish schlager singers, has been ill-served in the CD age. I believe only two fairly identical greatest hits compilations were ever released, none of which included either of the B&B-produced tracks.

Fortunately, though, this single has been made available digitally, as I just recently discovered, so if you want to own the songs in pristine quality, you can buy them from iTunes (I'm not sure if they're available for purchase worldwide, but fingers crossed). Just click here.

If you live in the UK or Germany you can also buy the mp3 files from Amazon. See links in the menu to the right.

And when you're done ordering those tracks, please pre-order your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com

 

 

 

The 1969 single Det var en gång / Så kom den där våren by Anna-Lena Löfgren was produced by Björn and Benny.

BUY THE MP3 FILES

Det var en gång

 

Så kom den där våren