It is almost forty years since they were crowned Eurovision winners as part of Swedish pop supergroup Abba, so to celebrate their country’s hosting of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are reuniting…
The songwriting pairing – who together penned a string of pop anthems including Dancing Queen, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and 1974 Eurovision winner Waterloo – have teamed up once again to compose a theme tune for this year’s competition, entitled We Write the Story.
The duo have collaborated with Swedish DJ Avicii on the track which has been described as a “Eurovision anthem”, despite not being the country’s official entry. Following Lorraine’s win last year in Azerbaijan with her song Euphoria, 2013’s contest will hold its grand final in Malmö, Sweden on 18 May.
The event’s executive producer, Martin Österdahl, said in a statement released by this year’s organisers: “We are extremely delighted to announce that Benny, Björn and Avicii have accepted to compose a unique piece of music for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
“The idea of a ‘Eurovision Anthem’ for Malmö 2013 was there from the beginning of the planning of this year’s contest. From the start, Benny, Björn and Avicii were on the very top of the list of musicians that SVT [Sweden’s public broadcaster] wished to collaborate with.
In the same statement, Benny and Björn spoke of their agreement with the team’s “vision for the contest”, before adding, “This led us on to the assignment to collaborate with Avicii on a piece of mutual understanding and fellowship. It’s a lot of fun and very inspiring.”
While Abba went their separate ways in 1982, with female bandmates Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad choosing to keep largely out of the spotlight, Benny and Björn have continued to collaborate over the last thirty years.
The pair wrote Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige’s number one single I Know Him So Well, which was subsequently recorded by Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston, and are also responsible for West End and Broadway musicals Chess and Mamma Mia – the latter having been given the Hollywood treatment in a sun-soaked adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan. And while Abba have continued to play down any suggestions of a reunion, the four members did appear together on the red carpet for the film’s Greek premiere in 2008.
So while we contemplate what We Write the Story might have in store for faithful Abba fans on 18 May, let’s remind ourselves of some of Benny and Björn’s greatest hits…