Posts Tagged ‘Hotel Rival’

Why does Benny restrict his audience?

10 May, 2009

benny_anderson_fFans trying to buy the legal download of the new Benny and Björn song ‘2nd Best To None’ from CDON or Bengans have been frustrated that it is only available to Swedish residents.

It’s happened before that obtaining new material from Benny has been difficult for non-Swedes, despite his obvious international following.

A couple of years ago Benny wrote a tune which was donated to the Red Cross and sold as a mobile phone ringtone. Like the ‘2nd Best To None’ download it was only available to Swedish customers.

When the Swedish production of CHESS was filmed and released on DVD in 2003 the DVD was available to a worldwide audience of ABBA and CHESS fans and musical lovers, but had no subtitles in any language, making it hard for non-Swedish speakers to understand, especially the documentary feature on the second disc.

Apprently ‘2nd Best To None’ will be made available on CD single. And the international CD ‘Story Of A Heart’, with English-language songs and previously released instrumental tracks will be released on 6 July. So it’s not all bad new for those of us outside Sweden.

New Benny and Björn song

6 May, 2009

2nd Best To NoneA brand new song written by Benny and Björn had its debut today on the newly updated website for Benny’s Hotel Rival in Stockholm.

‘2nd Best To None’ is sung by “The Rivals”, the staff of the Rival Hotel.

With music by Benny and lyrics by Björn the song sounds like a cousin of ABBA’s 1982 recordings ‘I Am The City’, ‘Under Attack’ and ‘You Owe Me One’ with the female choir sound of ‘Klinga mina klockor’ and even a hint of Benny’s infamous birdsong album Fågelsång i Sverige

I’m excited that in a little over three weeks I’ll be staying at the Rival and will hopefully be treated “2nd to none”!

See the clip now at Keep an eye out for Benny, in the grey jacket towards the back of the crowd on the stage.

‘2nd Best To None’ is available to download at CDON or Bengans (available only to some territories). Word has it that a CD single will be available soon.

More information:
ABBA The Official Site
Mono Music

ABBA reunites – sort of

5 July, 2008

from left: Benny Andersson, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Ruess, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd, Judy Craymer, Björn Ulvaeus and Dominic Cooper. Photo: Scanpix/Mats Andersson; Aftonbladet

Last night saw the long anticipated ABBA reunion – sort of.

There had been speculation for several weeks that “ABBA would reunite” for the Stockholm premiere of the MAMMA MIA! movie.

Many had predicted that all four would not turn up, or all would turn up but remain separated (myself included), as they did when the musical opened in Stockholm in February 2005.

Anni-Frid, Agnetha, Benny and Björn appeared on the balcony of the Hotel Rival, alongside the lead actors from the film and the director, producer and screenwriter. Though they still managed to remain separate – Benny and Björn to the far sides of the group, Agnetha and Frida together in the middle.

Meryl Streep, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid RuessMuch to the delight of ABBA fans everywhere (and the attending media) Frida and Agnetha together embraced star Meryl Streep on the red carpet, and then the three joined together in a circle dance. Video can be seen at Aftonbladet and probably all over YouTube.

As fabulous as it is to see Agnetha obviously enjoying herself with her former collegues, I do wish she would get herself a stylist when she goes out in public. She has worn this same outfit of white top – with a hint of black lace showing from underneath – and black pants for at least two or threee of her recent reported public outings, and it’s not particularly flattering. We all remember that black wrap-around mesh thing she wore to the stage musical’s opening in 2005. Women of a certain age should not go sleeveless. She’s still an attractive woman, she just seems to want to dress down her image.

This is the first time the four ABBA members have been seen together by the wider public since singing ‘Tivedshambo’ on video for a Stig Anderson television tribute in January 1986. Though it is not the first ABBA reunion since then – they have sung together several times for close friends’ birthdays, the most recent known occasion was Görel Hanser’s 50th birthday in June 1999.

See ABBA World’s MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE mini-site for the latest news on film premieres.

%d bloggers like this: