Sunday, 27 December 2009

Popshop, 1977: ABBA-scandal on its way?

In ABBA’s heyday, some editors were clearly desperate to have any article about ABBA in their magazine. In 1977, Belgian magazine Joepie suggested that ‘Dancing Queen’ was plagiarism.
ABBA remains the centre of attention. Especially their private life is the subject of daily conversation; and of the written word. Except for the quarrels among the four of them, there’s very little startling news to report. But the rumour that’s been circulating since recently is exceptionally shocking. If it’s true, of course, because up till now it’s just been a rumour. ‘Dancing Queen’, ABBA’s biggest hit up till now was allegedly not written by Björn and Benny...

Most of the time, it’s difficult to verify where a rumour – sometimes the beginning of a scandal – has started circulating. Mostly in pubs or venues where people from the pop world can be found. Sometimes, someone lets something slip out, albeit while enjoying a good glass of beer. Many rumours don’t live very long, due to a lack of interest.
But when a group like ABBA is concerned, everyone pricks up their ears. Because ABBA is always news. These days, no one bats an eye anymore when it becomes known that there have been spats again among the members. Even when Anni-Frid pours out a glass of Campari over Benny’s successful head in public, photographers aren’t grasping for their cameras anymore. The ‘free marriage’ of the couple has been long accepted as well.

But from Germany, through different channels, a rumour started to seep through, that we wanted to know more about. Allegedly, ‘Dancing Queen’ hasn’t been written at all by the famous composing duo Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, but by Drafi Deutscher, a former idol in Germany.
Drafi Deutscher is not completely unknown in our own country either. His ‘Marmer, Stein Und Eisen’ was a top ten hit over here several years ago. In Germany, it is said that it’s not completely out of the question that Drafi – when his career started to go downhill – started to peddle with his own compositions and found a response at the ABBA-concern.
But once again, this is just a rumour that our editorial staff intercepted. We haven’t been able yet to check whether this rumour can be proven. But you know what they are saying: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And this isn’t a new phenomenon either. It has happened before that a composer sold his work and agreed that his name would not be mentioned.

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