Various artists/‘Chess’/RCA 70500(2)
Together with lyric writer Tim Rice (among others Evita), ABBA’s Björn and Benny spent two and a half years working on their musical dream: the musical ‘Chess’. It’s plain to hear, because on the album (better than the live performance that I saw), everything comes across perfectly. However, the music on this album needs to grow. It’s a record that you really have to absorb a couple of times before you learn to appreciate it. After a few listens, you really get convinced that the gentlemen have done it again: melodies that will last, beautiful orchestrations and excellent performances, especially by singer Elaine Paige.
However, I have one side note: it’s a pity that Björn and Benny have sacrificed their own style to some extent to make this musical. Lyric writer Tim Rice definitely deserves a compliment. ‘Chess’ is the story of a political and romantic game of chess. An excellent subject for a musical. For the many ABBA-fans, this gigantic piece of work will definitely be hard to swallow, but you’d better grin and bear it, because ‘Chess’ contains exquisite pieces of music.
Elaine Paige/‘Nobody’s Side’/RCA PB-68241
Full of inspiration, the tiny Elaine Paige (provided with a big voice) sings this song from the musical Chess, backed by a ‘pop’ choir. This song, composed by ABBA’s Björn and Benny, is still fairly accessible and therefore it could very well become a hit.