Gold Can Turn To Sand played on BBC Radio 2


  • Very good recording, but wouldn’t have expected anything else from our Benny!

  • Nice to hear that it was played – but ‘whoops’ on Elaine’s error….no doubt she has already been deluged with corrections that she will read out next week (and will maybe play the track again as a form of compensation – well, we can hope!!).

  • The tempo in the song is slightly to fast for me.
    Kevin performs very well, but with a touch of
    an operatic voice I think.

  • the sound quality is fantastic cant wait for the cd

  • Oh how how very wonderful. I can’t help but think I’ll be sobbing in 2 weeks. Thanks so much Ice.

  • @Mark;

    me too. perhaps we could save a few pennies and go halves on a box of tissues?

    Roll on 14th April!

  • I’ve listened to it half a dozen times now and I’m sorry to say I’m not convinced. It doesn’t move me. It’s too fast, lacking in genuine feeling and I find some of the lyrics rather trite. Unless the rest of it is a lot better than this, I fear the English version will be to the Swedish as Mamma Mia is to Abba. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to write this as I have been looking forward and hoping for this for 12 years. I can’t understand why they didn’t record it in a studio, strange that a live recording should become the definitive version.

  • I agree totally with TonyG. It is too fast and rhythmically feels odd – kind of lilting which is totally inappropriate for the song. And it lacks the feeling the original Swedish version had. And "Gold can turn to sand" seems odd way to word…why not "Gold turns into sand". It’s less choppy sounding.

  • Let’s just wait and see … unbearable as it is becoming.

    I am going to be stern with myself – when I finally get a copy – not to look at the reviews here until several listens.

    Do you think I’ll manage it? 🙂


  • TonyG:

    My question to you is, "Were you at Carnegie Hall for the concert?"

    If not, your ambivalence is understood; if you were, your concerns are puzzling. The audience response was rapturous. I had a friend fly in from Las Vegas who has been involved in theater for years. She came in without any preconceptions and gave the English performance what for her was completely unforeseen: it was as good as the BEST thing she ever saw–which was the concert version of "South Pacific" at Carnegie Hall.

    NO recording will ever capture the energy and excitement of an audience and on those two nights the people in the seats were almost catapulted out of their chairs after Oderkirk sang "Gold" and, of course, when Helen belted out "You Must be There." The excitement during the curtain call was incredible. Benny and Bjorn had knocked the ball out of the park and they knew it. That’s why it’s being pared down to under three hours–to make a possible move to the West End or Broadway where production costs become prohibitive after 11:00p.m.

  • At first I thought it was a little to fast but I’m getting used to it now! I do agree that a studio version would have been great and I can’t understand why if it’s being released as a live concert version why a dvd isn’t being released as well like Chess? I have to admit I do prefer the original demo version of You have to be there with the piano and preferred some of the original lyrics but at the end of the day, it’s brilliant work by brilliant writers. Looking forward to the big release soon!

  • Hi Glenn, no I wasn’t lucky enough to be at the Carnegie concert. Thanks for taking the time to explain what it was like to actually be there on the night. I guess I am just so attached to the original recording, it will take time to get used to something different. Great to hear such positive feedback, I think we would all love to see B&B get the credit they so richly deserve & for the critics to finally be stunned into silence. @JanetB glad I’m not the only one :). @Lee Yeah, can’t wait for the big night!

  • holy crap who is this guy because his voice is FREAKING amazing

  • I find the structure curious. The singer raises his voice to describe the circumstances of the death. I’d really expect a softer slower passage.

    "From a well that was poisoned he drank water
    And he died where he fell
    A beast to slaughter."

    Perhaps I’m expecting sadness when the objective was to portray anguish.

    ..still the structure of those lyrics really sounds like a translation rather than natural English phrasing: "From a well that was poisoned he drank water".

    I’m not saying I don’t like it. I do.
    I’m wondering if the Swedish version sounds more in keeping with the intended emotions to a born Swedish speaker.

  • At first, I too wasn’t sure but after repeated listens
    with good quality headphones (not suggesting yours aren’t) and louder than I had listened before… I think it’s fantastic. And this is just 3.5 minutes of magic from over 2 hours to come!!! And the CDs are bound to sound better than the old ‘wireless’!

    That lingering ‘Saaaaannnd’ at the end is just magical.

    I don’t think any of us should be too hasty with critical comments until we have heard the whole thing (and a few times). I was dissapointed to hear that Sunday in Battery Park had been shortened but I need to give the recording a chance and wait and see.


  • Does anyone know where I can get tickets for the Concert at this late stage??

  • @AlanLucas At the bottom of the article is a link to the Royal Albert Hall.

  • I really am interested to read all these comments,obviously from all you very loyal ABBA fans. I am going to the "Kristina" concert at RAH and so far I have not heard a note of any of the songs so am totally open minded , but I know that I shall fall in love with it all !Some of our fans on our Russell Watson Forum managed to go to Carnegie and their reports were over the moon !!

  • Re: Oderkirk

    A few observations:

    First, Kevin Oderkirk looks much more like he could be Russell Watson’s kid brother than Peter looked like Anders were from the same family.

    Second, when Robert sings this song he is suffering from typhus and near delirious. He is extremely weak and disoriented. At least in the concert in Minnesota, Peter looked as if he had just walked out of a spa–very relaxed and almost beatific.

    As those who are going to Albert Hall will see, Kevin Oderkirk is a revelation and he is a very gifted actor. I came to Carnegie Hall regretting that Peter did not land the role but that regret was totally dispatched when Oderkirk sang his big song.

    Here’s an account of the moment from the New York Times:

    "As with ?Mamma Mia!? and ?Chess,? melody rules. And as evidenced by the pandemonium kicked up by ?Gold Can Turn to Sand? and ?You Have to Be There,? Kristina?s anguished plea to heaven after miscarrying, ?Kristina? has more than its share of showstoppers."

    So, relax everyone. It will be worth the wait and for those of you who have waited a long time, I do not think many of you will be at all disappointed.

    (I found the "entrance applause" especially exciting when Russell Watson and Helen first make their appearance and when you see Benny, Bjorn, and Herbert walk on stage during the curtain call, it will be something you never forget.

    P.S.: Keep an eye out for Benny before the show. Get in early. He likes to walk around and, I guess, keep an eye on audience response. Some of you will be surprised to look up and see him standing in the aisle next to your seat.)

  • I haven’t seen kevin odekirk live yet, but judging from the clips on youtube he made a stunning impression on me. I really like his voice and he has recently released his solo cd ‘unheard’ . I have the cd on my iphone for the last couple of days and it’s growing on me rapidly. He has an amazing voice and I think its one of the best cd’s I have bought last years.

  • Countdown to April 14 – 160 years ago today:

    APRIL 3, 1850
    Korpamoen, Ljuder Parish, Smaland, Sweden

    On the eve of the first day of their journey to America, Kristina and Karl Oskar spend their last night at home together. They pack the last items, including a tiny pair of shoes that belonged to their now dead daughter Anna, into the America chest and lock and tie it with the thickest ropes they could find. Then Kristina tells Karl Oskar that she is pregnant again.

  • I agree Odekirk’s version sounds strange, treating it almost like a classical oratorio piece, each reiteration of "Gold can turn to sand" treated without any differentiation, apart from the anguished cries at the end where the sudden portamento sounds out of place. But Kristina is of a piece (which is why I fear cutting it is a bad mistake), and it’s hard to tell in isolation.

    The English subtitles in the YouTube clips of Joback singing this in Minnesota make more sense to me than the translation here.

    Generally I have to say I have never been quite convinced by the vocal writing in Kristina. It seems to me to be relatively repetitive and uninspired, without real flow, falling well below the standards of the orchestral writing. For example, does the vocal melody in I Gott Bevar really live up to the profound string passage that precedes it?

    Maybe I miss the point and the vocal melodies are meant to be fairly plain, like a traditional folk melody might be? I think this does have implications for the kind of voices chosen. Benny has increasingly referred to Kristina as "operatic" of late, but I’m unsure if vocalists from standard Western operatic tradition would do its style justice. For now, the studio recording in Swedish seems much closer to definitive. On the other hand, for me Chess really would be worth a performance in an opera house with classically trained singers, with Freddie reserved for a rock singer to highlight the contrast.

  • Countdown to April 14 – 160 years ago today:

    April 4, 1850 – morning
    Korpamoen, Ljuder Parish, Smaland, Sweden

    Kristina, Karl Oskar, their three children, Robert (Karl Oskar’s brother), and ten other local people set off in horse-drawn carts from their Swedish homes, on the first leg of their long journey to America.

Please leave a comment...