The Day Before You Came takes it all

Well, what a great time I’ve had adding up the votes for songs for a hypothetical Benny Andersson instrumental album!

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Missed the original concept? Here’s the post that started it.

I would like to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who responded. I know many of you really dug deep and gave it some serious consideration.

There were over 125 different songs suggested!

One wasn’t even written by Benny! i.e. Gammal fäbodpsalm (1936, Oskar Lindberg) although that song was of course arranged and performed by Benny as an introduction to the 1979/1980 ABBA live concert appearances (so, you’re forgiven Rob!).

As I was totting up the votes, the song in the lead kept changing and some songs were popular later on that weren’t even in the running to start with…it was like the voting in the Eurovision Song Contest!

So, without further ado – drumroll please – here are the top 35 suggestions (the songs that secured 4 votes or more with the number of votes alongside), as voted for by you. Where songs recorded an equal amount of votes, they are listed alphabetically:

The Top 10 (35 into 10 does go!):

1.    The Day Before You Came 14
2.    I Let The Music Speak 12
3=   Just Like That 11
3=   The Winner Takes It All 11
4=   Chess 10
4=   When The Waves Roll Out To Sea 10
5.    When All Is Said And Done 9
6=   Efter regnet 8
6=   If It Wasn’t For The Nights 8
6=   Like An Angel Passing Through My Room 8
7=   Guldet blev till sand 7
7=   Hemma 7
7=   I Know Him So Well 7
7=   Move On 7
8=   Anthem 6
8=   Cassandra 6
8=   Chiquitita 6
8=   Thank You For The Music 6
8=   Where The Whales Have Ceased To Sing 6
9=   Dancing Queen 5
9=   Intermezzo #1 5
9=   My Love, My Life 5
9=   Saknadens rum 5
9=   Stockholm By Night 5
9=   Story Of A Heart 5
10= Andante Andante 4
10= Du måste finnas 4
10= Klinga mina klockor 4
10= Min astrakan 4
10= One Man, One Woman 4
10= Should I Laugh Or Cry 4
10= Slipping Through My Fingers 4
10= Someone Else’s Story 4
10= The Name Of The Game 4
10= The Way Old Friends Do 4

It’s great that we had a clear winner and that there were 35 songs with four votes or more and that they fitted conveniently into ten positions! You all are so good to me!!!

I find the results fascinating! What are your thoughts?

21 Comments on "The Day Before You Came takes it all"

  • I’m afraid The Day Before You Came wouldn’t have placed in my top ten (Although I do love what both Agnetha and Frida do with their voices in it). On the other hand, I am gratified that I Let The Music Speak placed second. It goes to show that ABBA fans know how to appreciate the depth and breadth of the later songs.

  • I find the results fascinating myself! Especially “The Day Before You Came” taking top spot. I found that an odd choice, as it’s a very repetitive (and not particularly wide-ranging) melody and a song that, I think, relies more on the words and “mood” than on the melody. Could it really stand up as an instrumental? I suppose an interesting arrangement could make it work.

  • As a song the TDBYC has always for me been nearly a great song but always a stunning tune. I love the idea of someone reflecting on their life before they find their partner and its a great base for lyrics and while it does nearly work I dont think it just captures the spirit of the idea in the same way winner did. I have to be honest my main reason for listing to it is after Agnethas singing theres that wonderful long instrumental haunting and rythmic, and then Fridas vocal before it fades which I could listen to for hours!

  • I agree with the first comment about ‘The day before you came’. It´s a great song of course, but it´s the lyrics that make it special. For me, ‘I let the music speak’ is always on first position in my ABBA-Top. It’s something amazing. It’s a song writen by a genius…guess who?
    I hope Benny choose some songs of these 35 and make our dream come true!

  • Stephen seems to, with respect, have missed entirely the relevance of Damien’s comment and the whole reason behind this topic. This is about The Day Before You Came coming top in a poll of songs written by Benny Andersson that would make good instrumentals.

    It is not about Agnetha’s vocal, or Frida’s vocal or the lyrics or the story and as such I totally agree with Damien. It’s an odd choice because of the way the melody repeats without much variation. However, as Damien also said, it would be a challenge but a great opportunity to re-arrange the song to work as a piano piece.


  • TDBYC is almost 50% instrumental already so no its not a surprise it came top in a instrumental poll its practically sold itself as such.. The melody does repeat but there are the small variations which build and fade through out the tune and the final instrumental fade after the sung through is as rich as any melodies in Chess. Its one of the few ABBA songs I could listen to a instrumental version of and enjoy without finding myself mentally inputting the words.

  • I knew this would happen. JLT came in at number 3. Imagine, a song B&B didn’t think was good enough to release and ended up giving it to Gemini for their rendition. Grrr, what were they thinking. That song was considered ABBA’s Holy Grail among life long fans. So sad. On an upnote, I’m glad to see TDBYC take honors. I had read somewhere that the producers asked Agnetha not to use her superstar voice, but to try and sound like an everyday person while singing. I also read that Agnetha wanted the lights turned off in the studio while recording TDBYC, possibly to set the mood. Any way to comfirm this, ICE? Thanks…


  • Reply to Robb. I too had heard about it being recorded in the dark, but unsure if story is true.

    Bjorn himself has said that he and Benny asked Agnetha to sound like the character in the song, an ‘ordinary’ woman. Seemed to have back fired as a lot of critics at the time just thought it was Agnetha singing badly. TDBYC was and to an extent still is a very mis understood song. Quite often though it is the favourite Abba song of complete non Abba fans.

  • Some interesting choices. However ‘The day before you came’ and ‘The winner takes it all’, although stunning recorded tracks, they seem quite dull as piano based instrumental tracks. I think Benny’s later (post Abba) compositions work better. The Abba songs were all about ‘the Abba sound’, highly polished recordings with melodies and counter melodies galore, with overdub after overdub. Bennys later work is simpler without compromising on the glorious melodies. (hopefully you understand what I mean)!

  • I too think that I Let The Music Speak is my preferred choice. Perhaps I should have voted… 🙂 How many others didn’t? 🙂

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNY! Thank You For the Music!

  • Happy Birthday Benny!!! I love your music! Enjoy this day with your love ones.
    All the best for you 🙂

  • Happy to see the result of the poll, fantastic to see the beautiful choice of the fans! Maybe it will influence Benny to do such an album one day, we never know… I’m sure he will be happy to see that fans chose not only ABBA songs but also tracks from his other musicals.

    All the best

  • What an interesting outcome. I’ve always loved TDBYC – just playing it now.
    I too, agree with Damien. For me, the ‘goosebumps’ start with the line ‘ I must have lit..’ and all the swirling synth bits, but it really takes off for me with ‘ At five I must have left…’ and that BEATUIFUL 3 note thing that kicks in for that verse, and then, true ABBA style – there’s no going back. You’re hooked. Further ‘pay off’ comes with the return of this 3 note thing…’I must have gone to bed…’ Utter genius and beauty.

    It took quite some time to choose my list – I’ m not at all familiar with many of the tracks listed by other contributors – so now I’m on a mission!!

    Thanks once again, Ice, for coming up with this. If it ever comes off, it’s been something I’ve been longing for for ages.

    What could be really interesting, is if Benny, might like to join in the fun, and either choose his selection from the top 35 above, or indeed, even contribute his own top 10 tracks for a hypothetical (of course) solo, recording……

    Just a thought….

  • Big month for “The Day Before You Came”. Coming 1st on this poll and 3rd on the recent “Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song”. It’s always been my favourite. And it’s one of their longest songs.

    Personally I chose Endgame as one of my list because it was over 10 minutes long and if there was a chance this might be some market research for a real Benny piano album I wanted as much Benny as possible!

    StephenUK mentioned the song was about someone reflecting on their life before they find their partner – the assumption being the new partner is a positive thing in their life. Tha’s how I’ve always looked at.

    What if it’s about someone who’s been a negative thing in their life? Then the reflections would be on a somewhat monotonous existence but in fact preferable to what they’ve now found themselves in … something to think about. This scenario was implied in a newspaper article not that long ago and I hate him for putting that idea into my head. Now I’ve passed it onto you!

  • I’m definitely happy of the choice of 2 first songs, this two jewels have find their way through the years althought they pratically are unmentionned by the critics
    (the recent choice of TDBYC by people in The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song TV progamme confirmed that popularity of this magnificient melodiy).
    The third winner “Just like that” is also interesting, probably it would have been a great hit if B&B found the perfect arrangement at the right time

  • Its about the aftermath of a very negative user-ish relationship, thee is nothing happy about this song ,
    I think it would make a good symphonic orchestration.

  • Very interesting outcome. Very pleased that ‘When All Is Said and Done’ and ‘Andante Andante’ got a decent amount of votes – they are my favourites and never get enough credit 🙂

  • Sofie Von Otter’s TDayBeforeYouCame rendition, full of strings and with prominent cellos, sounds utterly brilliant to me.

    About Benny’s Piano Album(s). I would guess almost any melody he chooses will be alright, it’s his interpretation that will make the change.

    Personally, -for an intrumental project- I’d have prefered instead, loong entwined playing-recording sessions with Benny on piano and ie, Yo-Yo Ma on Cello, just improvising, composing, following each other’s leads or else.

    Or whatever duet/interplay Benny chooses, just let the sessions roll 🙂

  • Gathering together a load of music including my wifes ABBA collection, i slapped them in USB and committed the cardinal sin of choosing random on my cars system. Driving along the M4 toward London at about midnight in late November 2012′ The day before you came’ entered into my world. An awesome song. I thought i knew what it was about, but other interpretations caused me to reconsider. An atmospheric masterpiece!

  • Philip Pemberton said: I think that just as in the winner takes it all its about life and its the same with TDBC Abba have always reflected there lifes through there songs and that is why TDBC is the final part of Abba as we know them whats wrong with Abba letting you know how they are fealing we all know they have said they just didnt have fun no more Thank you for the music philip

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