Abba piano to raise money, money, money

The piano that featured on many of Swedish pop legends Abba's greatest hits is going under the hammer next month in London, said auctioneers Sotheby's.

Abba piano to raise money, money, money
Actors perform on the Abba piano at Sotheby's Auction House. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The piano is estimated to fetch between £600,000 and £800,000 ($950,000-$1.24 million) when it goes on sale on September 29th.

Swedish pop foursome Abba dominated the 1970s disco scene with their catchy, finely-crafted songs.

“The opening piano glissando from 'Dancing Queen' is one of the most distinctive sounds of the 1970s and we are delighted to offer the actual instrument used by the legendary Abba in their major recordings,” said Sotheby's expert Philip W Errington on Thursday.

“The piano itself is an instrument of real importance and with the added Abba provenance we expect it will have worldwide appeal,” he said.

READ ALSO: Mamma Mia! Sweden to open Abba restaurant

It was built by the inventive Swedish musical instrument designer Georg Bolin for the US jazz pianist Bill Evans. The New York Times described it in 1964 as a “space-age piano”.

Bought by Stockholm's Metronome Studios in 1967, it appeared on nearly all of Abba's recordings between 1973 and 1977.

It featured on hits including 'Dancing Queen', 'Waterloo', 'SOS', 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', 'Mamma Mia', and 'Ring Ring'.

“The Bolin Grant, one of a kind and a great source of inspiration while working in the studio during the Abba sessions,” said the group's pianist Benny Andersson.

The foursome – Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog – went their separate ways in 1983 and have never performed together since.

The piano is being sold by Atalntis Grammofon, formerly the Metronome Studios.

Famous pianos have earned huge sums at previous auctions. In 2000, John Lennon's Steinway upright piano, on which he composed 'Imagine', was bought for £1.67 million by the singer George Michael.

The upright piano which featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 film 'Casablanca' was sold in 2014 for $3.4 million.


ABBA’s first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts

ABBA's first studio album in nearly 40 years has made it to the top of the UK charts, becoming the fastest seller of the year so far, the Official Charts Company said on Friday.

ABBA's first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts
ABBA's new album, 'Voyage' for sale in Stockholm at the start of this month. Photo: Jonatan Nackstrand/AFP

“Voyage” by the Swedish quartet of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid racked up 204,000 chart sales in the seven days since it was launched last Friday.

Sales gave the supergroup the biggest opening week on the UK album chart in four years since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”, and fastest-selling album by a group in eight years.

The last fastest-seller was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” in November 2013.

READ ALSO: Abba’s new album has arrived – tell us, what do you think?

ABBA, propelled to global fame by their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo”, split in 1982, a year after their last album, “The Visitors”.

“Voyage” is their 10th number one album in the UK: only seven other acts — The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie — have had more.

The group said in a statement: “We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again.”

The 204,000 sales comprise 90 percent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it the fastest-selling vinyl release of the 21st century.

The previous record holder was the Arctic Monkeys’ “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.