Piano Album is by Benny Andersson, the Swedish musician, composer and member of the supergroup ABBA.
Piano was released on the 29th of September 2017 by record label Deutsche Grammophon in the formats of CD, LP and download. The German classical music label was founded in 1898 and is now part of Universal Music Group.
The twenty-one track instrumental album features Benny reinterpreting songs that span his lengthy career, including songs he co-wrote with Björn Ulvaeus from their time with ABBA, his folk compositions and his musicals like Chess.
The album was recorded with Linn Fijal, the engineer and studio manager at RMV ( Riksmixningsverket ) Studios. The studio situated on the island of Skeppsholmen, in the heart of Stockholm, has played host to a range of musicians, including Loreen, who recorded part of her 2012 Eurovision Song Contest winning song and hit single “Euphoria ” at the facility.
For the Piano album, Benny’s arrangements strip down each of the tracks to the bare minimum using the Fazioli Grand Piano, one of his favourite instruments.
In an interview for deutschegrammophon, Benny explained his approach to the recording ” In the process of recording this album, I have come to realise that the pieces I have chosen to play are an integral part of me. In endeavouring to reach for some core within them, I have found that the more I strip away the clothing, the closer I feel to the music, regardless of whether it was created last year or 40 years ago. In a strange way, I feel like I am playing my memoirs. ”
The lead track from the Piano album, ” Thank You For The Music “, was initially released on the 12th of December 1977 and featured on ABBA: The Album.
Although not released as a single in the United Kingdom and Ireland until the latter part of 1983, it reached numbers thirty-three and seventeen respectively. It was thought by many at the time to be a farewell song, thanking the fans.
The fact that Benny has chosen this as the lead from the album is a celebration of his career, again thanking the fans for following his music over the years.
The Piano album has become a successful release for Benny. In his native Sweden, it entered the album chart on the 6th of October 2017 at number two and climbed to Number One, where it spent four weeks. The album spent twenty-one weeks on the album chart in the country.
Other countries album chart positions are twenty-four in Switzerland, nine in Germany, twenty-five in Austria, fifteen in the Netherlands, thirty in Belgium ( Flanders ), 123 in Belgium ( Wallonia ), twelve in Norway, 100 in Spain and eighteen in Australia.
In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Albums Chart on the 12th of October 2017 and peaked at number twelve. To date, it has spent six weeks on the chart there.
On the iTunes Charts, Piano peaked at number Twelve on the UK version. Other iTunes chart positions are Germany five, France fifty-eight, Italy sixty-four, Spain eighteen, Australia thirteen and Brazil sixty-four.
About Benny Andersson
Göran Bror Benny Andersson was born on the 16th of December 1946 in Vällingby, a suburb to the west of Stockholm, Sweden.
At the age of six, he got an accordion which his father and grandfather taught him to play Swedish folk and traditional music.
At the age of ten, Benny got his first piano, teaching himself to play the instrument that would later help him compose some of the most popular and memorable music of the 70s.
In late 1964 Benny joined the Hep Stars playing keyboards for covers of international pop songs. He soon started writing his material, writing many of the band’s hits including ” No Response ” and ” Sunny Girl “.
Benny met Björn Ulvaeus in 1966, and the two began writing songs together. Benny is best known as the co-songwriter a member of 70s supergroup ABBA, along with Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
The group formed in 1972 in Stockholm and rose to fame after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, held at The Dome in Brighton, United Kingdom.
Today ABBA is the most successful of the winners of the competition. It is estimated that ABBA has sold over 500 million records, making the group one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
After ABBA disbanded in 1982, Benny continued writing with Björn Ulvaeus. The stage musical Chess, their first project, was written with the multi-award winning lyricist, Tim Rice.
The accompanying concept album, released in October 1984, featured vocals by Elaine Paige, Barbara Dickson and Murray Head. It went on to achieve sales of two million copies globally.
Today Benny is active with his band the Benny Anderssons orkester ( BAO ) and has written for TV and film.
To date, Benny Andersson’s Album releases are thirty-one which include contributions by Benny directly, eleven albums by association ( songwriter, producer etc.).
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Benny has won many awards, some of which are shared with Björn Ulvaeus including four Swedish Grammis ( a Grammis is a Swedish equivalent of the Grammy ) and one Ivor Novello.
Piano Track Listing:
1. I Let The Music Speak
2. You And I
4. Thank You For The Music
5. Stockholm By Night
7. The Day Before You Came
8. Someone Else’s Story
11. I Wonder (Departure)
12. Embassy Lament
14. My Love, My Life
15. Mountain Duet
16. Flickornas rum
17. Efter regnet
19. En skrift i snön
20. Happy New Year
21. I gott bevar