When hearing about Swedish music, the first band most people think of is ABBA, and the second is Roxette. Then, other successful bands may come to mind, like Army of Lovers, Bodies Without Organs, or Avicii. Sweden’s music scene has had a significant impact on pop music and attracted a massive fan base, but there are still many little-known facts about it that you may want to know. Here they are.
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ABBA’s first entry for Eurovision was rejected
Let’s start with ABBA, the first major Swedish sensation in the world of pop music. The band consists of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and has made huge waves with “Waterloo”, the song they won the 1974 Eurovision song contest with.
But few people know that it was not their first attempt. Actually, the band submitted a song called “Ring Ring” to be Sweden’s entry in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, which was rejected – instead, Sweden was represented by The Nova and The Dolls, performing the song “You’re Summer”, which finished 5th.
“Ring Ring” was later released on ABBA’s debut album in 1973, and did pretty well in the charts across Europe.
The “Dancing Queen” is not Queen Silvia
One of the most famous songs ABBA has ever released is “Dancing Queen”, which topped the chart in more than half of Europe in 1976, and sold more than 4 million copies. And it comes with a major misconception: many people think that it was written for (then soon-to-be-queen) Silvia.
Actually, the band wrote the song a year before its debut on the eve of Sweden’s royal wedding, and released it in the spring of 1976, months before it, in Germany and Japan. It was indeed first performed in Sweden at the all-star gala held at the Royal Swedish Opera a day before Carl XVI Gustav and Silvia Sommerlath got married.
Marie didn’t want to sing “It Must Have Been Love”
Roxette’s first major success was “The Look”, released in 1988 on the band’s second studio album “Look Sharp!”. It was originally meant to be a B-side for the single “Dressed for Success”, but it did well on Swedish radio, so the band decided to give it a go as a single. And it was a great decision, too: “The Look” became one of the band’s most successful singles, topping the charts in several countries.
But their best-known song is certainly “It Must Have Been Love” (the second version, created for the soundtrack of “Pretty Woman”). Originally, Marie didn’t want to sing the song, considering it “too sentimental” – it took quite a lot of convincing from Per for her to give in. The result: one of their most successful releases ever.
Alexander Bard is a philosopher and co-founded a religion
One of the most resounding successes of the 1990s was Army of Lovers, consisting of Alexander Bard, Jean-Pierre Barda, and Camilla Henemark. Bard was the brain behind the band, but Jean-Pierre was the lead vocalist on most of their most successful songs.
After Army of Lovers, Bard went on to write and produce for several other successful projects, like Alkazar, Bodies Without Organs, and most recently, Gravitonas.
Few people know, in turn, that the same Alexander Bard is a religious and political activist and philosopher, and was one of the co-founders of a religion called ‘Syntheism’. He has also written three books on the Internet revolution.
Avicii wanted to create his own game
Axwell, Ingrosso (and the Swedish House Maffia), Eric Prydz, Alesso, Robyn – these are all well-sounding names for those into EDM – and they are all Swedish. Swedish DJs are pretty much everywhere, from movie soundtracks to video games. One of the most alluring music slot machines, ELK Studios’ “DJ Wyld”, for example, has its soundtrack composed by a well-known (yet unnamed) Swedish DJ. You can check out nya-casinon.online to find an online casino where you can try the game for yourself.
The late Avicii – Tim Bergling – was one of the best-known figures of Swedish EDM – or EDM in general. Few people know, in turn, that he was also an avid gamer, and he even worked on creating his own game. Called “AVICII Invector”, the music-based rhythm game was ultimately released by the Swedish studio Hello There Games in 2019, the year after his unfortunate passing. The game originally featured 25 of his tracks, while its “Encore Edition” added 10 more.