Questions & answers

July 2020

Can you tell us something about the history of the Rutger Gunnarsson Song 'SVEA, SVEA', with backing vocals by Frida & Agnetha.

Wolfgang Germany



The song was first recorded as 'Svea' in August 1971 with vocals by all four for Björn and Benny's proposed second album. Björn, Benny, and Agnetha had performed the song during their trio folkpark tour in Sweden during summer 1971. The recording was not released, and in 1974 bassist Rutger Gunnarsson recorded vocals for a one-off novelty single.

For more on ABBA's recordings I recommend you get Carl Magnus Palm's book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, from which this information was gathered.


Is it true that ABBA did covers to songs of The Beatles? (I'm a fan of both bands, but I like the Beatles a lot)

Yair, Israel 



ABBA never sang any Beatles songs (in public or on record anyway), but the individual members did at different times:
Benny's group The Hep Stars performed 'Get Back' (in English), and Swedish versions of 'Martha My Dear' (as 'Lotta min vän' [Lotta my friend]), and 'Act Naturally' on the band's 1969 farewell television special.
Björn's group Hootenanny Singers recorded a cover of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' titled 'Ring ring— här är Svensktoppsjuryn’ (‘Ring Ring—Here is the Swedish Top Ten Jury’) for a single in 1970.
Frida recorded 'En lång och ödslig väg' (The Long And Winding Road) for her 1971 self-titled album (produced by Benny), but it was not released on the album. When she co-hosted the variety show Lite grand i örat in 1981, she sang with several other artists in a medley of Beatles songs including 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Getting Better', 'Good Day Sunshine', 'Back In The U.S.S.R.', 'You Never Give Me Your Money', 'We Can Work It Out', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Day Tripper', and 'She Loves You'.

A YouTube video collects all those Beatles' covers.



I was wondering if you know if David Bowie may have heard/commented on Frida's dynamic recording of his 'Liv på Mars?' song?

Tony, Australia 



I've never heard that Mr Bowie had ever commented on Frida's version of 'Life On Mars?'.


Does a record exist of the jazzman Gunnar 'Siljabloo' Nilsson who plays 'Red Roses For a Blue Lady' with the four ABBA members as backing vocal? And could we consider it as the very first recording of the voices of the entire group? 

Serge from Italy 



Unfortunately not. 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady' was only performed on the television show Five Minute Saloon in October 1970. This song, and 'California, Here I Come' on the same programme were the first television perfomances by the quartet. Around the same time they also performed on radio, and on 1 November their cabaret show Festfolk opened, though no recordings are known to exist. So technically yes, 'California, Here I Come' and 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady' could be considered the first recordings, albeit on television.


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