Benny discusses ABBA, Mamma Mia! and Eurovision

Benny Andersson, member of the Swedish group Abba said today that he was unsure "that the musical Mamma Mia reflects the spirit of Abba". The singer will today attend the opening of the show in Barcelona, in which he has written the music and lyrics together with his Abba colleague, Björn Ulvaeus. ‘Mamma Mia!’ tells a story through the songs of Abba. The dramatist Catherine Johnson wrote the text, for which explains Andersson "the music of Abba goes with the spirit of the story".

In an interview with Europa Press, Andersson indicated that he took on this project because "I cannot stop working with our music" even though at first he was a little resilient to the idea "I wanted to protect it because initially it was something big, but I became involved in the production so that I could give my own opinion". "Abba has a life without ‘Mamma Mia!’ but perhaps it is present because of the musical. However, many Abba songs deal with everyday themes such as love", said Andersson.

The songs that will be present in the musical are loyal to the original lyrics, only a few parts of ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Super’ and the last sentence of ‘Mamma Mia!’, the song that gives the musical its title "due to the relevance in the history of it". In this sense, Andersson says "Before the music was more important, now its the lyrics".


The return of Abba to the stage is something that "is not going to happen", Andersson says confidently. The singer considers that "we are too old for pop music"

"Abba is something that I did more than 20 years ago" he said. Up to now, Andersson has published three solo albums in Swedish and his involvement in the musical has always been secondary to his music as opposed to Björn Ulvaeus.

He has also composed songs for theatre, cinema and even the Swedish National Anthem. In 2001 and 2002, the singer occupied the number 1 spot in the Swedish charts with "The Orchestra of Benny Andersson". Abba took part in the Eurovision Festival of 1973 with ‘Ring Ring’ which made it to third place. In 1974 they returned to Eurovision with ‘Waterloo’ which gave them the victory and international fame.

In this sense, Andersson with regards to the Eurovision Festival says that "It is too much. It is a fantastic format for television, but it is not good for music".


One Comment

  • My comment is about swedish national anthem. It was not Benny who composed national anthem. The text of the Swedish National Anthem, "Du gamla, Du fria," was written by folklorist and ballad writer Richard Dybeck (1811-77)

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