Agnetha album cover star

Published February 24, 2012

I'm not sure if this has been noticed in the ABBA fan community, but Agnetha is one of many faces on the Sgt. Pepper-style sleeve for the latest album by Swedish rock band Eldkvarn (they performed Hasta Mañana on that ABBA tribute thing on Swedish TV ten years ago). Other faces with an ABBA connection include Benny's one-time song writing partner and Frida's duet and touring partner Lasse Berghagen; Frida's duet partner Mauro Scocco (of Ratata); and Ulf Lundell, for whom Agnetha contributed a harmony vocal on a 1978 recording.

The album is entitled De berömdas aveny (The Avenue Of The Famous) and was released in November last year.

Click here for a large picture of the sleeve.

Children Of The World

Published February 09, 2012

A few weeks ago I blogged about an obscure recording of a Björn & Benny song by skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan. Continuing on this theme, here is a little information about a 1980 recording of Andersson/Ulvaeus' 'If We Only Had The Time'.

If we only had the what?, I hear you ask. Well, in 1971 Björn & Benny released a single entitled 'Tänk om jorden vore ung' ("What If The World Were Young"), featuring backing vocals by Agnetha and Frida (and also featuring a rare solo vocal part by Benny). Björn later wrote English lyrics for the song, entitled 'If We Only Had The Time' and it was released by Polar Music recording act Svenne & Lotta on their 1976 album Letters.

Fast forward another four years and the song has somehow found its way into the hands of the people behind an American charity album issued by children's choir Children Of The World. The album features a number of guest vocalists, among them actor Hervé Villechaize whose contribution 'Why' has to be heard to be believed (why?, indeed). It was even released as a single - I'm assuming it didn't do much business, thus somewhat defeating the purpose of what was essentially a charity project.

Anyway, Andy Williams provided the lead vocals on 'If We Only Had The Time'. Similar to my curiosity about Lonnie Donegan's 'I Lost My Heart On The 5.42', I've wondered for a long time how Williams' version of the song sounded - as you can probably tell I have a fascination for pre-ABBA Andersson/Ulvaeus songs being performed by international stars. I don't believe the Children Of The World album was ever released on CD, but a few days ago Ebay came to the rescue with a vinyl copy. So here it is, in case you share my fascination and want to hear it. Not quite as radical a make-over as the Donegan recording (not very radical at all, in fact - the Children Of The World arrangement is clearly modelled on Svenne & Lotta's version), but somewhat interesting - perhaps...