ABBA superstar Björn Ulvaeus: Waterloo took us from rat race – I want that for different songwriters


ABBA superstar Björn Ulvaeus has stated the luck of Waterloo took the band from “a rat race” to with the ability to spend time honing their craft – a luxurious many songwriters these days merely can’t find the money for.

Launched in 1974, the track used to be the band’s first large hit, attaining the highest of the charts in the United Kingdom and profitable the Eurovision Music Contest for Sweden.

ABBA, in fact, went directly to grow to be international superstars and now sit down a few of the best-selling track artists of all time, with hits together with Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and Fernando, to call only some.

ABBA (L-R): Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus pose after winning the Swedish branch of the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. Pic: AP
ABBA (L-R): Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus pictured in 1974, their Eurovision-winning 12 months. Percent: AP

Ulvaeus highlighted Waterloo’s luck and what it supposed for the band in an interview with Sky Information, following the newsletter of a file he has labored on having a look into how the track financial system may also be rebalanced.

The problem of royalties from streaming has been delivered to the fore all the way through the COVID-19 pandemic, as artists were not able to generate income from traveling, however the file by way of MIDiA Analysis and Ulvaeus additionally addresses equity for songwriters, too.

“Sooner than we received the Eurovision Music Contest with Waterloo, (fellow ABBA superstar) Benny Andersson and I were in a rat race,” he stated. “We had been operating round generating folks’s information, writing songs for folks, even happening excursions in several constellations simply to pay the hire.

“However from Waterloo, when the royalties got here pouring in, from that point shall we find the money for to mention no to the whole lot else and simply be aware of the writing. That is whilst you recuperate at it. And that is the reason what I want for many songwriters these days.”

Artists together with Noel Gallagher, Robert Plant, Lily Allen and Rebecca Ferguson had been amongst a host of stars who signed an open letter to Boris Johnson in April, calling at the top minister to do so and replace the regulation on streaming rights.

It adopted a executive inquiry into how income from streaming is sent, and as many musicians are talking out about how little they receives a commission during the present device.

Ulvaeus says the trade wishes to switch and is proposing a “fan-centric” streaming fashion, which might see customers’ subscriptions going at once to the artists and folks concerned within the songs they’re being attentive to.

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus pictured in 2017. Pic: AP
Ulvaeus says the streaming fashion wishes to switch. Percent: AP

The core of the track trade “for me has all the time been the track”, he stated, however “someway the songwriters have all the time been considered one thing at the outer edge reasonably than the superstar of the entire thing”.

Ulvaeus persevered: “I believe that an increasing number of folks realise that the ecosystem is dysfunctional. It must be in order that no birthday party is gloomy. And as it’s at the moment, an increasing number of songwriters need to pressure Ubers on account of the imbalance.

“There are a number of elements on this. There may be the way in which that royalties are calculated from streaming products and services, which is… each and every month the cash is going into a large pot after which this is divided by way of the full collection of clicks that month, this means that that every click on will get very, little or no cash.

“Maximum clicks pass to the individuals who were the mega avid gamers and little or no cash is going to the folks beneath that absolute elite layer. And so what I suggest is one of those user-centric, fan-centric fashion in streaming, the place your subscription is going precisely to the folks that you just play.”

Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher is amongst dozens of stars who signed an open letter to Boris Johnson about streaming income

Would streaming platforms feel free to make a metamorphosis?

“Now not glad,” says Ulvaeus, however he thinks it’s inevitable, and that customers must be ready to pay extra for the track they’re being attentive to.

“It’s going to be one thing [streaming platforms] need to make, I believe, as it was that the elite songwriters may all the time make a dwelling out of songwriting, however there used to be a layer beneath as smartly.

“And so they may make a dwelling all the way through the bodily technology, and so they may arrange to push themselves as much as the higher stage via having the time and with the ability to find the money for to spend time on changing into higher songwriters. It is a ability, however additionally it is a craft. And you have got to hone your craft.”

With the ability to hone his craft is what ended in ABBA’s unbelievable again catalogue.

Talking in regards to the songs status the check of time, Ulvaeus stated: “I am continuously amazed at that and actually, I do not know the way it took place. We simply recorded the songs the most productive shall we and why it has stayed how it has, I do not know. It is more or less a miracle – and I do not thoughts it being a miracle.”


Leave a Comment