Today’s pop industry cheats songwriters | Björn Ulvaeus

Today’s pop industry cheats songwriters | Björn Ulvaeus

The Guardian

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It’s the song, not the album, that rules modern pop – but payment for writers is dysfunctional at best. We urgently need a new model

In 1973, Abba were invited to submit a song as Sweden’s entry to the Eurovision song contest. We had a perfect song: it was called Hasta Mañana. It was a ballad, it was catchy, it sounded like the kind of thing that did well in the Eurovision song contest. So we didn’t enter it. We chose Waterloo instead, which sounded like nothing we had ever heard at Eurovision before. That was the point: I thought we might come sixth or seventh, but people who saw the show – people outside Sweden, who had never heard of Abba – would remember us. It was a huge, calculated risk, and it paid off in a way we could never have imagined.

Related: Songwriters fight to be heard in streaming revenues debate

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