Mamma mia! Abba take a chance on room service

Track performed by hotel staff is on first record released in over a decade by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

It is not quite the reunion dreamt of by fans of Sweden's most famous musical export. A track performed by hotel staff is on the first new material released in more than 15 years by one half of Abba.

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have two songs. Story of a Heart, on an album of the same name, is the Benny Andersson Band's first English-language release. "It's a nice prospect to be able to release music I've been doing for the last 10 years, which is folk-oriented," he told BBC News. Andersson plays accordion, something the former Abba keyboardist has done since aged six playing with his father and grandfather in Stockholm. Ulvaeus wrote the lyrics and translated them, while Helen Sjoholm is vocalist.

An amateur turn is taken on the other song, Second Best to None, a Swedish ­single inspired by a party last September to mark the 5th anniversary of Andersson's Hotel Rival. "I ­realised at least 20 [employees] sang in amateur choirs in Stockholm. I asked, 'Do you want me to write a song for you, and we can put it on our homepage?' They said yes, so ... I asked Björn if he'd write the ­lyrics, and we recorded it with the staff. It's just a lot of fun," Andersson said, before adding, "They can sing!"

Story of a Heart is released in the UK in July, when the band appears on London's Hampstead Heath.


Ben Quinn

The GuardianTramp

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