Story Of A Heart – we’ve heard it in full! (Updated)

Please use this thread only for reviews of the full song.

Update 25 May: If you missed the programme or want to hear it again and are able to take advantage of the BBC’s iPlayer, please see the link below, which will be active for, I believe it is, 7 days after broadcast.

Update 03 June:

Just listened to Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show and they played Story Of A Heart again (approx 11.10am for those who can listen again on the web). This will be their record of the week, next week (w/c 8th June), so it will be played every day at about 10.35am during Popmaster I think?

– icethesite commenter Heather

This should mean that it will be on the Radio 2 playlist, which will mean decent airplay. The playlist can be found at Radio 2 playlist.

Thanks Heather!

BBC iPlayer – The Ken Bruce show presented by Zoë Ball 25 May 2009 (starts at about 1 hour and 8 mins in – use slider to line up the song)


  • First my heart goes out to those having rough times…and how abba or a new b&b composition can lift their spirits …oh the power of music!!! I really like the song to, but I’ve mentioned this before…seems bit over produced …in terms of making out the lyrics even when I’ve seen them written out…and for me this song the lyrics seem important say unlike…hmmm"My humps my lady ..humps" (such a classic song that is by Black eyed peas…hA! Yeah unfortunately the lyrics are all too clear on THAT song!! I just wish I could say the same about this one…at one moment …fine ..and then not clear Am I the only one here …am I deaf..HA! I think about "shou;ld I laugh or cry "or "summmer night city ".also..which I like but sometimes unclear with the lyrics…Please someone let me know if you’ve had the same experience..cheers all! P.S. could that even affect the success of the song for the average (non fan listener???)

  • I agree, "Let you read the pages" does make more sense. And ‘penned-up emotions’, that would be another great line!

    As for clarity, it sounds good to me but I guess all we have at the moment is a youtube copy of a radio transmission. Personally, I expect the CD version to sound clearer? The previous BAO recordings have been crystal clear …

  • After two days of listening -and a true disciple of Mr Andersson this is- -I am very pleased! My first comment is that this is not really a BAO track; it’s more a Benny & Björn song (is that really the Band playing there?). I’m back to Josefin Nilsson and Gemini at their best; Björn has written a good set of lyrics -and Helen gives a stellar performance as always. But the comparison to an ABBA recording… …no- -most ABBA tracks also have that extra melody line: the epic piano intro or bridge (‘Money…’,’SOS’,’Mamma Mia’, ‘The Winner…’ etc) or arrangement as a wall of sound (‘Fernando’,’Super Trouper’,’That’s Me’) which is just as recognizable as the vocals (the ‘flute’ in ‘Gimme!…’). This song is only just there; apart from the flute which is mentioned, the backing track is quite plain; nice patterns of images, but no standout solo (the synth intro on ‘Lay All Your Love…’). BAO’s ‘Det Är Vi Endå’ three years ago has that whistling tune I’m talking about; ‘Mio My Mio’ has it, but not this one. But again: Björn delivers classic lyrics with again those images passing by: the protagonist watching ‘him’ from the back of a bus, remembering the boat trip on the lake etc. Josefin also took the bus, but always watched ‘him’ get off; Molokov saw a glimps of Natacha as the train left, Björn took the early train to another town, and Agnetha and Nina rode the train to work every morning,(Agnetha also took it to Korpilombolo, but that’s another story). I admire Björn for his ability to write images (Slipping Through my Fingers, Beatrice, Fernando, Cassandra, Soldiers, Our Last Summer, Vår Sista Dans, Fait Accompli, Have Mercy, Crackin’ Up, I Wonder, Cecilia, Du Frälste Mig I Sista Stund…) -and Benny for his music, painting those images in true chords of colors.
    I digress: looking forward to the swedish version, might have to travel to London, and hope for BAO to play at Skansen again this year! Take care, all!
    John in sunny Oslo!

  • Oh, and Helen also takes the train: all the way to the end station out there in the ‘förskingringen’ (only to meet a woman with a child in her arms, but that is another story, mamma mia!)
    Methinks in Björns Universe, trains are a methaphore for something… 🙂

  • I believe this recording should make us ABBA fans objective and remind us not to undermine the influence that A&A had on B&B musically when recording, as has been insinuated in several books, obviously something that Helen S. cannot do. This is most probably because Benny has reached such a status of recognition that his musical decisions and compositions today are undisputed, whereas in the past the 4 of them were in it. Had Song of a Heart been recorded for ABBA it would have been MUCH better, sure, due to slight contributions from the girls.Although Helen vocally has great power and lovely tones, I feel she transmits very little here, and the backing track doesn’t help at all. But the worst thing is most definitely the drum beat, that awful marching rhythm, which kills any pop song, makes it totally unswayable, undanceable. Of course, BAO, or BAB are no pop band, but they’re trying to dip into it here it seems, to get to the mass market, but not properly.
    Having said all that, the melody is great, catchy, and the lyrics are captivating are transmitting. Had it all been given a touch of the Rival song, Second Best to None, not too much, not too poppy, just a little, Story of s Heart would stand out.

  • So, as Kylie Minogue is an ABBA Fan – why
    not give HER the Song? I too think that Helen’s
    voice is too ‘theatrical/stage musical’ in style
    for the Song – but, Kylie’s isn’t. She CAN Sing
    Pop Songs…..In the UK, (for example), ‘Story
    Of A Heart’ may well struggle for Air Play. Radio
    One simply will not play music by vocalists who
    sound like Helen. No more than they would play
    Doris Day, Carpenters, or Barbra Streisand old
    hits…..Radio 2 WILL play ‘Story Of A Heart’,
    but, it will struggle to make much impact in
    the UK Air Play Charts. I can see many Radio
    Stations refusing to play it. If it had been
    ABBA’s ‘Come Back’ Single, it would have easily
    been a No.1, as the UK Media would have given
    it huge attention – and it would not matter at
    all. how many Radio Stations ignored it – it
    would sell itself, if it were by ABBA.

  • …regarding last comment…You maybe right I mean just because all us fans like it love it or whatever…and the resurgence of abba since mamma mia…doesn’t mean the general public …is going to lap it up…if at all! I would love it to make some sort of an impact …if only to reintroduce them back into the spotlight! I also hope everything I say is wrong..ha! ..ha! AND that it’s massive..ha! I guess my boring analytical side comes out to much sometimes..ha! Cheers all!!!

  • The purpose of Story Of A Heart must be to help promote The Benny Andersson Band’s album and live appearance in London. It is not to be some stratospheric chart-topper!

    Can you imagine the bandstand in Hampstead Heath with only 500 people there? It would look like the queue for ice creams!

    It’s a big ask to make that space look well attended – Benny knows this, which is, I’m sure why he even mentioned the concert at the end of the Mamma Mia! 10th Anniversary show (he probably also knew that part would wind up on YouTube).

    It’s also a marvelous opportunity to help get Helen’s voice/name known before the Kristina concerts.

    I think what must be remembered is that Story Of A Heart is not indicative of BAO’s stuff, nor is it indicative of Kristina but it is damn good promotion without setting too many false expectations.

  • @Kai – couldn’t have put it better myself. Benny and Björn have done the chart-topping thing – and more often than Kylie.

    It should be obvious that their aims now lay elsewhere.

    I loved your comment about the queue for ice creams…I’d never thought about that before but yeah, WE know BAO and WE know Helen and Tommy but there’s still a lot of space to fill around that bandstand!

  • Marco – no where in my Post did I suggest that
    the ‘General Public’ would not think that ‘Story
    Of a Heart’ is terrific. I think that people who
    long for ‘Pure Pop Music’ will love it – and
    there are many such people. I was, however,
    suggesting that many UK DJ’s, & Radio Station
    Managers, may refuse to play it – on the grounds
    that Helen’s voice is rather ‘Middle Of The
    Road’ – and that they no longer play ‘Pure Pop’.

    Kai – in 1984, ‘One Night In Bangkok’ was a
    Global No.1, & UK No.12 Hit. In 1985, ‘I Know Him
    So Well’ was No.1 for 4 Weeks, in the UK, & it
    outsold every ABBA Single here, except ‘Dancing
    Queen’. (Over 800,000 UK Sales)
    Both of those Songs got attention for 2 reasons
    – they had ABBA connections, (Benny & Bjorn), &
    the 2 Guys also went on TV & Radio, to actually
    promote ‘Chess’ etc.

    I don’t think that ‘Story Of A Heart’ has been
    created to merely promote the July Concert, or
    to tell people about Helen. Like everything that
    Benny & Bjorn put effort into – it is meant to
    be a HIT.
    And, it is actually very risky for that
    Song, to be used to try to get more people to
    know about, & attend the July Concert. As you
    said, it is not typical of the Benny Andersson
    Band – at all – and many people who buy their
    Compilation CD, & go to the Concert, will
    actually be expecting MOST of their stuff to
    be Pop Music. So, there is a very good chance
    that a lot of them will be unable to get into
    the usual style of that Act, & they will feel
    that the Single has mislead them.

    We will see. Personally, I can like many types
    of Music – Pop to Jazz to Folk to Country – so
    the fact that ‘Story Of A Heart’ is not typical
    of the Benny Andersson Band – CD or Concert –
    does not bother me, at all. But, it may well
    bother a lot of other people – who are expecting
    ABBA-like Pop, Sung by other Artists…..

    Martin – I’m aware that Benny & Bjorn have,
    ‘done the chart topping thing’. However, you
    don’t really think that it will NOT bother
    them if the Beny Andersson Band CD is only
    a minor Hit in the UK, (for example), or if
    ‘Kristina…’ suffers the same fate?

    Remember, such a rebutal to their NEW Works
    would be a huge blow – for these reasons:,

    1) ‘Mamma Mia!’ is THE biggest money making
    Film ever in the UK.

    2) ‘Gold’ has just become only the 3rd Album
    – ever – to reach 4,600,000 Sales in the UK.

    3) ABBA have spent more Weeks at No.1 in the UK
    Singles Chart, (31), & Album Chart, (57), than
    any Act since The Beatles. Indeed, their 88
    Weeks, over all, are the 3rd most ever in the UK
    – beaten only by The Beatles & Elvis Presley.

    4) That means that 1), 2), & 3), relied a lot
    on Benny & Bjorn’s Songs. Do, you really think that it would go down well with them, if nothing
    they write in 2009 etc., can even get Air Play
    in the UK, or other Countries? And, if such
    Works struggle for attention – because people
    cannot hear them on the Radio?

    Sorry, but I 100% believe that Benny & Bjorn
    write Songs to be successful – not for them to
    be snubbed by DJ’s etc., who cannot write a
    note of Music…..

    I also think that Universal plan to Advertise
    & Promote the New Benny & Bjorn Music – I hear
    that a TV Advert has been prepared for the
    Benny Andersson Band CD, & even for ‘Story Of
    A Heart’ – we will see…..I hardly think
    that Universal would throw money at such projects
    if they were not wanting/expecting them to sell.

    They have their goals far higher than seeing
    how many people turn up at the July Concert!!!

  • I can’t say until I have heard the full song, but I have to express some disappointment with the radio edit.

    * To me the song is between the stools of BAO and ABBA – it’s not like BAO stuff but neither is it so massively and intelligently produced as most ABBA songs – the thing that makes those many times better than they ever needed to be. I don’t think this is – the Chorus is done unvaryingly and appears too often – compare the subtle changes every time the Chorus appears in "Second best to none". OK larger resources there, but the percussion is over everything here so little chance for small-group instrumental subtleties that BAO songs often have.

    * I think the vocal style would have suited Josefin Nilsson much better – the song sounds more like something from "Shapes" to me than anything else. I think Josefin would have done better with the screamy vocals where Helen sings over the top of the Chorus theme in its later appearances.

    Very likely to be successful as a pop single I would imagine, but not IMO one of B’B’s finest on the basis of the Radio edit.

  • Hi all

    Quite a lot of positive and negative comments about the song. It’s great to hear what everyone thinks, comparing to ABBA etc. but let’s remember it’s not ABBA but a B&B composition sung by Helen. End of story.

    She has done a great job and I, for one, love it to bits. I love the pipes, I love the drum beat, I love it all. Not for a long time I have gone to bed singing a tune in my head and when I wake up in the morning it is still there. What does that mean?

    Let’s hope Story of a Heart gets a lot of airplay which propells it to the number 1 spot.

    Take care.


  • Hello again

    Just popped in after an hour sunbathing in this great weather :o)

    Anyone know if there will be an official video for the track?

    Take care


  • Does anyone know the release date for the Swedish single version of this, "Sommaren du fick"? I thought it was this week …

    More importantly, how can we download the song from the UK? It is not on Sweden iTunes yet …

  • Just listened to Ken Bruce Radio 2 show and played Story of A Heart again (approx 11.10am for those who can listen again).

    This will be their record of the week next week (w/c 8th June), so it will be played every day at about 10.35am during Popmaster I think?

    This should mean that it will be on the Radio 2 playlist which will mean some airplay The playlist can be found on this link

    Keep up the fantastic work Ice.

  • Great news. I think the whole album is one that will be ideal for Radio 2, eg Terry Wogan etc.

    By the way, is Story of a Heart being released as a *single* in the UK? Just wondered if we could get our hands on the full version before the album comes out!

  • The Radio 2 Playlist is decided upon by
    several people at Weekly meetings. So, even
    though Ken Bruce is having it as his ‘Record
    Of The Week’, it does not necessarily mean
    that it will end up on the Playlist.

    It depends how many others at the meetings
    think it deserves a place on the List.
    Some DJ’s, & Managers, may dislike the Track.
    We will see. Westlife have had 14 No.1
    Singles in the UK, & only a few of them did well
    in the UK Playlist Charts – many DJ’s refuse
    to play their Singles much.

    So, Playlists are not essential, for a Single
    to do well. I should imagine that both Benny
    & Bjorn would be shocked if the Song does not
    get on UK Playlists, though. In a way, it is a kind of a snub, to not be included. It is also
    disrespectful – after all their success as

    After all, Take That get huge UK Airplay
    – with everything. Even their Hits that don’t
    sell enough to reach the Top 10, are guaranteed a
    place in the Top 5 of the Airplay Chart. They
    get special treatment, whether their Singles
    are good or ordinary.

    You’d think that Benny & Bjorn’s first UK Pop
    Single since Josefin Nilsson, would be shown
    some respect by DJ’s etc…..

  • Colin – I shall bow to your knowledge on playlists! Let’s hope it gets the airplay it deserves.
    Record of the week played at 10.25 today so if you tune in from 10.20am onwards you should catch it!

  • Well, this song just goes round and round in my head. Just like the ABBA songs it has a very catchy chorus. My only sadnest is it isn’t an ABBA song. After hearing this all I could think of is the two girls doing the vocals. Why oh why wont they work together one more time? Anyway still enjoying this track (it’s on youtube to listen to in full).

  • Does anyone else think Helen sounds like Annie Lennox at times in the chorus on this recording?

  • 2008: Mamma Mia première … 4 ABBA members together for first time in over 2 decades.

    Early 2009: Frida & Agnetha hand in hand on stage at Award presentation.

    May 2009: 2 new popsongs by Benny & Björn: Story Of A Heart & 2nd Best To None.

    Are they preparing an ABBA reunion?

  • @Rudy


  • Yes I can hear Annie Lennox. I picked up on this last week. More noticeable on the last Chorus as the background harmonies seem a long stronger. Especially "swept away and lost in love, what was I to do".

    Al x

  • The song is great – but it begs for an interpretation by Agnetha.

  • The song has made the Radio 2 ‘A’ playlist for next week (starting Saturday), and is the only ‘new’ song added to list ‘A’ for next week:

    Yay! Fantastic

  • Great news & Radio 2 must like this as usually the songs work their way the playlist from C to A. It says we can look forward to it being played about 20 times next week……wonderful!

  • Fantastic news, but how do we go about getting local network radio to play it too? I have e-mailed and text in to a couple of the larger stations in my area but have had no response?

  • ‘Story of a Heart’ has all the wonderful qualities of Benny & Bjorn’s song writing. And even if it doesn’t strike a musical chord with everyone, I believe if it’s good enough for Benny & Bjorn to let me hear it, well that’s good enough for me. I’ll be enjoying every note & lyric.

  • I loved the song. Another beautiful tune from B&B. I’m an ABBA Fan since 1979 and this song remind me the style of ABBA songs and the beautiful compositions Benny and Bjorn made. Helen Sjoholm is a great singer. Thanks B&B and Helen and hope to hear more from them.

  • Wow… 124 comments seems to be the largest amount so far for this website! I hope BAO/BAB end up releasing more goodies overseas, now that ‘Story of a Heart’ is available in other countries. ‘Song From The Second Floor’/’Sånger från andra våningen’ was on one of Australia’s national radio stations (ABC Classic FM) the other morning, and it was magic to hear!

  • This song is phenomenal!!! Helen does a great job, but I agree, it screams for Agnetha and Frida to sing it. No other singers have the right timbre to sell a song like the ladies of ABBA.

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