UNITED KINGDOM – According to the UK documentary ‘Abba: Secrets Of Their Greatest Hits’ ‘Mamma Mia’ which spawned the Mamma Mia musical and two Hollywood films, topped the charts in 1976 and was originally offered to the band as the writers Benny, Bjorn and their Manager Stig didn’t see it as a hit.
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ABBA’s Björn, Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad performed ‘Ring Ring’ for Eurovision in 1973, and in 1974 the band won the competition with hit song ‘Waterloo’. Could the Eurovision legend give the UK much-needed tips to win in 2020 after one of the worst results in 2019? Speaking exclusively to Smooth Radio, Björn laughed: “Well… I think Eurovision has always been a bigger thing in Sweden than in the UK.” As it was joked to Björn that the UK “tries its best”, Björn laughed once more and noted: “I don’t think you do. I don’t think you attract the right songwriters. “Because in Sweden, at that time, in 1974, you have to realise that nobody outside of Sweden listened to anything coming from Sweden. It was totally dead.
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The ABBA star revealed the band were not always planning to perform the winning ‘Waterloo’ song, instead pushing forward ‘Hasta Mañana’. Björn revealed: “We had two songs to choose from back then in 1974. We had one song called ‘Hasta Mañana’ which would have been much more in the typical Eurovision-style at that time, and then ‘Waterloo’ which was definitely not a Eurovision song.
“And we chose that one – only because it was more fun to perform. So I couldn’t give you any advice. I’m the last one.”
While Björn couldn’t offer the UK any Eurovision advice, he did speak about how it made him feel to watch other performers singing his songs, such as in the new Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2. Björn told Smooth Radio: “Of course, I have seen other performers doing our songs for a long time, throughout the Mamma Mia! history. So I’m kind of used to that.
“During the auditions, we were very, very careful to get the right kind of people – people who sing pop well, and who can act at the same time. So it’s a joy to hear them sing.”
The show has already proved a huge success in Stockholm and after opening in London, it appears the ABBA singer has now set his sights further abroad, looking ahead to opening in Las Vegas. Björn cheekily smiled: “That is true. I think what comes after London will be Las Vegas.”