Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus on modern hits written by great teams of songwriters: “Where’s the heart? “
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of all time, and as Abba’s legends return with Swedish pop titans for a long-awaited comeback album Voyage , they also envision a very different pop landscape than 40 years ago when the band was last active.
“Obviously, it’s a different kind of writing,” Ulvaeus, 76, told Music Week of the great writing teams who are now credited for many contemporary hits. “It can make great songs, but sometimes they can get impersonal [because] where is the heart? Who is responsible for this? Whose emotions are we going to go through when there are 15 [writers], so it’s easier when there are only two, for example. It’s a different kind of writing, that’s what it is. “
Ulvaeus added that this had an impact on the earnings of songwriters, noting that the music industry currently places “very little” value on songwriters. And therefore, if he started now as an 18-year-old songwriter, he didn’t even think he would pursue music professionally. “I would have become a civil engineer because I was going to go to university,” he admitted.
At the heart of the problem for Ulvaeus are the relatively low revenues from streaming royalties that songwriters receive; “If there are 15 and a stream pays some $ 000, they have to drive a cab.”
Voyage is released on November 5, 2021