Benny Andersson: Andrew Lloyd Webber “brave” to enter a song for Eurovision

By Ian Youngs – Music reporter, BBC News:

Benny Andersson of Abba, Eurovision’s most famous winners, has said he has given up watching the song contest because it "means nothing" for music.

This is the 35th anniversary of Abba’s Eurovision victory with Waterloo, and the first semi-final of this year’s contest takes place in Moscow later.

"What it is now is possibly a great television event, but for music it means nothing," the songwriter said.

He said it was a good spectacle "if you can bear sitting for such a long time".

He told BBC News that the event went downhill after his group got their big break by winning the contest in 1974. "I don’t watch Eurovision. It’s become so huge," he said.

"It was a smaller scale then, than it is now. It might have been a little bit more meaningful in the ’50s and ’60s and when we entered but after that, I’m not sure if anything ever happened.

"Musically, it’s not what it should be. But as a television show it’s a good show."

He said he was interested to see how Andrew Lloyd Webber fared this year, co-writing and playing the piano for the UK’s entry Jade Ewen.

"It’s a brave thing to do," Andersson said.

The songwriter and musician also revealed that he had been asked to help with the Swedish entry in the years since Abba’s win. But he said: "I haven’t been interested in doing that."

He was speaking as he prepares to release the first English-language album with his current group, The Benny Andersson Band.

Eurovision turn off for ABBA star


  • "Brave" indeed!

  • Did he forget his own son did compete some years ago ? (with a good song )

  • As much as I’m a fan of his music, I’m finding that he’s rather conveniently looking back at the history of Eurovision through rose coloured spectacles. It was already naff in 1974 – that’s why they struggled to get another hit afterwards. I also find his assertion that the competition went downhill since 1974 very patronising.

  • With respect Finnesse, I don’t see it that Benny asserted that the competition had gone downhill since 1974.

    To paraphrase, he said that it *might* have become a little less meaningful since then but he’s not sure.

    That’s my take on it anyway.

  • I´ve heard the new song for Rival Hotel website from Björn and Benny and I think, that was a new song linke the songs from ABBA were do. I missed the voices of Frida and Agnetha in this song. They can give an extra kick at this song.
    The instrumental "story of my life" brought tears in my eyes.
    Thank you for the music.

    Claudia Helm

  • Hmm, I wonder if Benny changed his view if he watched the 2009 contest? Many are hailing it as the best ever.

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