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Label news: ABBA signs with Deutsche Grammophon

August 18, 2017 by norman lebrecht

16 comments.


press release:

 

 

STOCKHOLM, August 18, 2017 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announces a brand-new album of solo piano music from legendary Swedish composer and ABBA co-founder Benny Andersson. The album titled simply ‘Piano’ will be released on 29th September, 2017 through iconic classical music label Deutsche Grammophon.

 

‘Piano’ takes listeners on a 21-track journey through his acclaimed and celebrated career as songs from ABBA, his musicals and other solo-compositions are re-interpreted as you have never heard them before, performed unaccompanied by just Benny himself, on his trusted grand piano. The album was recorded with Linn Fijal, engineer and studio manager at his own RMV Studios, on the island of Skeppsholmen, in the heart of his hometown Stockholm.

You couldn’t possibly make it up.


Comments (16)

  1. Tommy says:

    Yes, well – much better than Josep Beaving or whatever his name is. The music is so much better. I may even buy it to support DGG.

    But only if they manage to strike a 5 or 10 disc deal with Dutoit, Blomstedt, Dohnanyi, Jansons or almost any other healthy senior conductor. Unfortunately I will be dead before that happens!

  2. Ungeheuer says:

    What the Fach

    1. Alexander says:

      you wanted to say ” what’s the flip?” 😉

  3. Slight supremacist says:

    I guess Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Trifanov, & Kissin aren’t bringing in enough cash to pay UMG’s rent & utility bills. Either that or some marketing idiot is stepping over the A&R dept, which is so often the case. At any rate, this a ditch effort to stay afloat, so credibility be damned.

  4. Pianofortissimo says:

    … just playing ‘Money, Money, Money’ on and on.

  5. Olassus says:

    This may be a decision by Stockholm UMG. It is hard to imagine the Berlin head office making such a choice, even without a boss.

  6. Dave says:

    I always liked Agnetha the best….

  7. Ernest Low says:

    … if Agnetha records for DG, it will pay for many opera recordings!

    1. Tommy says:

      The vocal excellence (pop-wise) of ABBA is no more. And so happens for many other star singers, who doesn’t perform or exercise their voice.

      Like this one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSvWSYgSM-g

      Bobby Kimball of Toto singing the song Africa. The recorded original LP/CD-version is vocally excellent (!), but here is an updated version of it all. It is really bad – and (tragically) also funny! I have e friend who have heard him live with this song in an even worse vocal condition.

      OK, off topic many times over. This post may be removed if found inappropriate.

  8. David Boxwell says:

    The classical music recording industry has finally met its Waterloo.

    1. John says:

      Oh, I don’t know, there have been worse. Bond, anybody?

    2. Sue says:

      Excellent!!! This could be Abba’s response:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n_1nOFTx5E

  9. Paul Mann says:

    Why should this not be on DG? Who or what does it harm? I’d rather have a nicely-done piano album from one of the greatest songwriters of all time in any genre than yet another superfluous release of standard repertoire.

    1. Purlpe Rose says:

      Indeed. Benny Andersson is one of those rare composers blessed with the gift of melody 🙂

  10. Yi Peng Li says:

    I might offer an original take on Andersson releasing a piano album on DG. Many pop stars have “worked classical” and published their works on classical labels. Most pop stars are affiliated with the big record labels. McCartney, who was on the EMI artist roster, worked classical in the 90s and EMI Classics published recordings of his works. Sony Classical also published a recording of Billy Joel’s classical pieces as he recorded for Columbia. So it is with Benny Andersson publishing a piano album on DG. ABBA recordings are Universal recordings, and so this album is published on an affiliate Universal label.

    A notable exception is Jon Lord’s recordings published on the Avie label.

    Looking closely at the copyright details on the iTunes album page, I see that DG is only the licensee, not the publisher. The actual production and copyright of this album is credited to Mond Music AB.

    I know that all classical labels, especially the majors, need this kind of crossover project in order to keep afloat and survive. However, I think it might have been better if another label had published this Benny Andersson album rather than DG. I see that Richard Carpenter of the Carpenters produced a solo piano album of his songs that was issued on his principal label A&M in 1998. By this token, I wondered why Benny Andersson couldn’t have issued this album on another label

    1. Paul Mann says:

      Yes but my question is what’s so sacred about DG? What I’ve heard of the album sounds perfectly lovely, and after all no-one’s going to confuse it with Krystian Zimerman’s late Schubert sonatas, issued by the same label in the same month. I don’t understand the need to keep the two worlds so resolutely separate. I don’t see the harm. (By the way, Jon Lord was always a notable exception in this regard, but in fact a couple of his classical works did also appear on EMI Classics, part of the label with which Deep Purple were associated.)


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