Official Polar Music biography 1976:
AGNETHA FALTSKOG - ANNA
Agnetha Faltskog was born in Jonkoping, a town in the middle of Sweden on April 5 1950. Her father ran local amateur revues so Agnetha learned to get up on a stage early in life. At the same time she began to write songs which she sang in revues herself. The earliest was from 1958 and is about two small "trolls."
In 1965 she began to sing with a dance orchestra and continued with this for about two years. She sent a tape into a record company, CBS-Cupol, in the autumn of 1967 with the result that her first record was released at the beginning of 1968. It was one of her own compositions I WAS SO IN LOVE and it was a real breakthrough for Anna. I WAS SO IN LOVE was at the top of the best selling lists within a couple of weeks. After that she took part in many TV-programs and went on tour in the Swedish "folk parks." She had offers from Germany too, and at one time she was spending as much time there as in Sweden.
In 1971 she was given the chance to play Mary Magdalene in the Swedish version of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. The critics thought she showed acting ability as well as musical talent.
In 1968 Anna met Bjorn Ulvaeus and they married a few years later. Then in 1971 they began to work with Benny Andersson and Frida Lyngstad in ABBA.
Full name: Agnetha Ase Faltskog-Ulvaeus
European & Australian Tour 1977 Souvenir Programme biography:
Shes blond, ethereal looking-but also temperamental and decidedly self-assured.
She was Mary Magdalene in the 1971 Swedish production of Jesus Christ Superstar. And a household name in Scandinavia long before anyone ever thought of the unlikely group name ABBA.
Agnetha, writes her own songs too.
And not just easily forgotten little tunes; only recently Agnetha had an album of her own, all self-penned material, high on the Swedish pop charts. A hit album that came at the tail end of an earlier recording contract, it was at the time successfully competing with the "Fernando" single from the ABBA hit factory...
But then, Agnetha has been composing songs since she was 8.
Her father used to be involved in local amateur revues, taking early advantage of his daughters musical abilities. The first song Agnetha ever wrote supposedly dealt with two fairy tale "trolls:
The world wide success of ABBA has somewhat changed life for Agnetha the composer, though.There is just not enough time to keep two careers going simultaneously.
There is also daughter Linda, born in 1973, demanding lots of attention. Plus the inevitable travelling, so much more hectic than when she married Björn in 1971, at a time when ABBA wasnt even a dream in their managers mind.
– I dont mind concentrating on our group effort, she says. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to reach outside our limited Scandinavian language zone. Its definitely not a sacrifice on my part; on the contrary, we function astonishingly well together considering our different temperaments
That goes both for studio chores and private, day to day life.
– Still, were really two very different couples. Just an example: Björn and myself are what youd call "morning people". Were not much for hanging out nightly, way into the small hours. Whereas Benny and Frida love to sleep late, after partying half the night before ...
Also, nobody would call Björn and Agnetha "big spenders".
They own a lovely house in Lidingo, a Stockholm suburb (to which Benny and Frida soon will move, not coincidentally...).
The two couples share a gorgeous summer island in the Stockholm archipelago. But Frida and Benny also love to take extended holiday trips to exotic shores, while Björn and Agnetha spend off time around home base, with little Linda.
(According to the others, Agnetha is often busy running up Scandinavias most formidable telephone bill, always reporting to mrs. Fältskog on her granddaughters progress...).
"Choreography" and "clothes" are possibly the two most asked-about subjects for the girls to cover on press gatherings.
As for clothes, the group gets some ideas of their own, while the rest of their often fanciful outfits are designed by "two marvellous guys with this little boutique in Stockholm".
Ambitious, selfassured, multitalented-thats Agnetha, if you want to paint a larger-than-Iife picture of cardinal virtues.
And IF you do-you can bet your last "krona" that Agnetha Fältskog will beam her most deprecatingly wry smile your way and say its just been lots of sheer luck.
Then, dont belive her. Ever since one of the "biggie" record companys got hold of her first test tapes, back in 1967, she has known her directions.
Of course, in the beginning, it was more fun and games, whereas today, in 1977, shes more aware of the pressures of popularity; Agnetha inevitably avoids the word "stardom; proclaiming that shell never. be caught on a personal star "trip:
– Thats why I approach this tour with some trepidation, you know. Will we be able to live up to our loyal fans expectations? God knows weve been working hard in front, trying to cover all the little details that go into a good road show. Its going to be an exciting test-a First for us, since we never done a l-i-v-e tour this big before.
Both Agnetha and Frida may feel that those subjects not necessarily have to be "girl talk; but just for the record: yes, Agnetha and Frida do spend a lot of time on their stage choreography.
North American & European Tour 1979 Souvenir Programme biography:
AGNETHAShe can be deceptively ethereal looking – but don’t let it fool you. She’s also temperamental, self-assured, and the mature mother of two: Agnetha Fältskog.
She may be the youngest ABBA member. But she was Mary Magdalene in the 1971 Swedish production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. And a household name for Scandinavian record buyers long before ABBA was formed.Agnetha even wrote her own songs, and very strong ones they were.
At one time, a hit album of hers was strong competition for the “Fernando” single by ABBA; since then, Agnetha has cut down on her own song writing in order to concentrate more on her singing. Also, Agnetha wrote most of her tunes with only Scandinavian audiences in mind; her native language is, for obvious reasons, not especially suited for the international market.But the fact remains – Agnetha was composing perfectly sensible songs already at eight years of age.
Her father used to stage local amateur reviews in the town of Jonkoping, mid-Sweden, half way between Stockholm and Gothenburg. According to Agnetha’s proud parents, the first tune dealt with two fairy tale “trolls”.The ABBA story may also read somewhat like a fairy tale. But Agnetha will probably never be caught paying lip-service to so called virtues like “humility”, “bashfulness” etc.
To Agnetha the ABBA story started soon after she and Bjorn were married in -71. And it will continue indefinitely, even though the couple divorced last Fall.– I don’t even see anything so remarkable about that, she says. We’re still good friends. I don’t mind concentrating on our group effort. ABBA was, and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And even though we may have “conquered” most of the world, it remains for us to make it really big in the States…
Agnetha has been singing more or less professionally since she was 15, then starting gaining stage experience with home town dance bands.Two years later, in 1967, CBS of Sweden got hold of one of her test tapes and immediately signed her to a long term contract. That’s how she, in early ABBA days, could compete on the charts with Bjorn and Benny…
Rumours of Agnetha’s talents soon spread to Germany, where she spent lots of time in television studios by the end of the 60’s. By then she had already met Bjorn, singing back up vocals and fulfilling night club engagements with him.Now, those days seem very far away, she admits. Since then, things have happened with lightening speed.
– 8 or 9 years ago, almost everything was fun-and-games. Obviously, there are heavier demands on us now.– Also, when you get to be older, you tend to be more critical of yourself. There’s so much musical talent around. Of course, there is an element of luck – singing the right song at the right time, things like that.
– But to keep going, you must develop your talents. No artist is so super-important, so super talented that he or she can sit back and relax. And God knows we in ABBA have worked…Agnetha works with her voice, constantly. Singing lessons twice a week, but also keeping her body in good shape jogging around pastures close by hers and her two kids suburban home, outside Stockholm. A habit she picked up while married to Bjorn.
Success of the ABBA magnitude often breeds jealousy. In her native Sweden, Agnetha responds to an occasional critical remarks concerning ABBA's spectacular track record with very little bitterness.– We do not “speculate” with our music by trying to write and perform songs that will reach as many as possible, she says.
– You just can’t do things that way, it’s not even possible – and that’s that!One aspect of the music industry that really turns her off – and, consequently, turns her temperament on – is all the seemingly unnecessary preoccupation with non-musical details. Such as “looks”, “clothes”, “money”, “taxes”, “favourite this-and-that”.
Both Agnetha and Frida may feel that most of these subjects should be “off-limits”. But just for the record: yes, they do spend quite a lot of time and money on the groups stage image. And well – who’s surprised?– The US part of our tour this Fall will be an exciting First for us. It’ll also be the longest tour we’ve ever done. We just hope we can live up to all expectations!
Agnetha Fältskog's biography
Agnetha Åse Fältskog was born on April 5, 1950 in the town of Jönköping in Sweden. Music came to Agnetha early in life: at the age of six she wrote her first song, ’Två små troll’ (”Two Little Trolls”).
Agnetha was 16 when she started singing in a dance band called Bernt Enghardts. A song she wrote for the band, ’Jag var så kär’ (”I Was So In Love”), became her first single. This 1967 debut record became a number one hit on the Swedish charts. The following few years were followed by several singles, albums and even a number of German-language recordings released in West Germany.
In 1969 Agnetha became romantically involved with Björn Ulvaeus and they got engaged in April 1970. In November the pair staged a cabaret show together with Björn’s songwriter partner, Benny Andersson, and his fiancée, Anni-Frid Lyngstad. On July 6, 1971, Björn and Agnetha got married.
In early 1972, Agnetha auditioned for the part of Mary Magdalene in the Swedish stage version of the musical ’Jesus Christ Superstar’. She got the part, although two other girls alternated with her during the course of the show’s duration.
After that, and for a decade onwards, Agnetha was mainly occupied by her work with ABBA. During this period she also released her Swedish-language solo album Elva kvinnor i ett hus (”Eleven Women In One House”). All music had been written and produced by Agnetha herself (except her Swedish version of ABBA’s ’SOS’), with lyrics by Bosse Carlgren.
As ABBA began to slowly dissolve during 1982, Agnetha made her debut as actress in the Swedish movie Raskenstam. In January 1983 she started recording her first English language solo album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me, produced by Mike Chapman. Her second international solo album, Eyes Of A Woman, was released in 1985. The producer was Eric Stewart.
Agnetha’s third and final English-language solo album to date was the 1987 release I Stand Alone, produced by Peter Cetera. The album entered the Swedish charts at number one. After that, Agnetha withdrew from public life.
1996 saw the release of the compilation album ’My Love, My Life’, with tracks selected by Agnetha herself. At the same time her authorised biography ’As I Am’ was published.
In 2004 Agnetha makes a comeback as a recording artist with a brand new CD, My Colouring Book.
Written by Carl Magnus Palm for ABBA - The Site 2002.
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