Thursday, September 28, 2023




From 1970, four years before Abba's debut, here are Bjorn and Benny sans Agnetha and Anni-Frid and their single "She's My Kind Of Girl." This harmless piece of pop fluff manages to sound like the Bee Gees, The Hollies, the Pretty Things, and the Easybeats all at once. I was unaware of their pre-Abba career and after listening to most of their full length debut "Lycka," I feel grateful for being kept in the dark. It's not completely terrible. I happen to like Abba and agree with a number of my rock and roll heroes---Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Marshall Crenshaw and Nick Lowe---that Benny & Bjorn created some absolutely brilliant pop records. But "Lycka" sounded mostly like the Abba tracks I don't like, made worse by the absence of the ladies. "She's My Kind Of Girl" is second rate for sure, yet something about it made me play it a few more times. And then, I finally decided, I liked it.


Christine said...

Not a bad song, but then it's so strange what impresses me these days.

Yesterday, we had a brief conversation about different genres of music sort of going together before life had me cut you off. So, how is this for one: "alternative jangle pop rock". I came across an old band yesterday that I'm sure you've heard of - Guadalcanal Diary. Been listening to them since and "Watusi Rodeo" and "I See Moe" are two songs that make me smile. I need to smile more. Who doesn't?

Of course I have to credit you for this "find" because after listening to some Graham Parker, "Ghosts on the Road" started playing.

Anonymous said...

I like that one a lot and don't understand the trepidation.
C in California

Michael Giltz said...

Look up "open mind" in the dictionary and you find a link to Burning Wood. I happily found the comeback/finale album of ABBA to be very solid and its Christmas single is in my mix of classic holiday tunes. But is there any other ABBA album that needs to be played other than a compilation? I too think they have a killer collection of singles but haven't found an album of theirs from the heyday to be repeatable.

Sal Nunziato said...

@ C In California
My trepidation is really more like my own pre-empting of what I expected the reaction to be. I like the track...a lot. But it is just a weak version of what the bands I mentioned have done better.

@ Michael Giltz.
"Abba," "The Album" and "Arrival" all have deep cuts worth listening to. And I do really like about half of the most recent. The problem with Abba is that every album is sabotaged with schmaltz.

Anonymous said...

Bjorn and Benny, Huh? There's a new Stones song up with Gaga and Wonder. Official.


Sweet Sounds of Heaven

Sal Nunziato said...

You don't need me to tell the world about the new Stones single!
Who BUT me, is going to opt for 53 year old Bjorn & Benny single?

(I dig the new Stones track. The coda ruins the good thing. More tomorrow.)

Anonymous said...

I think the new gospel-tinged Stones track is pretty fuckin' epic. It surprised me. No complaints. So far, anyway. Mick sounds great and Gaga kept it in her pants. Keyboard driven with nice guitar subtleties. Don't know how it would come off live, but as a 2023 studio track, Mick and the Stones have a lot to be proud of. And they're fuckin' 80. Plus, I've warmed up a lot to "Angry" over the last couple of weeks. The pitch correction is what it is. Hard to avoid that shit in today's stuff.

I agree with your initial assessment of the Bjorn & Benny track. Second rate fluff. I like the flip side better.


Guy Incognito said...

Christine - I love Guadalcanal Diary! Being from Marietta GA and living in Athens from '84-'91 allowed me to see them at least a dozen times, and I went to a few reunion shows along the way. About 10 years ago I saw Murray Attaway open for Midge Ure in a very small venue (what a great night!). RIP Jeff Walls

Marc said...

Not completely terrible, but kind of basic -- definitely not as good as the Hollies or the Easybeats, and kind of out of step with the zeitgeist of 1970 (though maybe not in Sweden). It almost sounds like a demo - it would benefit from more production, which is NOT something I often say about records.

The first Guadalcanal Diary album is brilliant. I'm going to go play a few songs from that now!