He was playing in a band in 1964 when he chanced to be heard by Svenne Hedlund, a member of the Hep Stars, who had been formed in 1963 and already recorded one single, but had also just lost their organist, Hasse Ostlund. Anderson joined the band in October of 1964 -- the lineup also featured Janne Frisk on guitar and vocals, Hedlund on lead vocals, Lelle Hegland on bass, and Christer Pettersson on drums. Soon after Andersson joined, the Hep Stars recorded four songs: Geoff Goddard's "Tribute to Buddy Holly," which had been a hit in England for Mike Berry in the early '60s; the Premiers' then-current hit "Farmer John," and "Cadillac" (not the Bo Diddley song), that helped transform their careers.
By the middle of 1965, after getting a break on Swedish television, "Tribute to Buddy Holly," "Farmer John," and "Cadillac" had each topped the Swedish radio charts. "Cadillac," "Farmer John," and a cover of Shel Talmy's "Bald Headed Woman" also reached number one on the sales charts, while "Tribute to Buddy Holly" got to number five, all in less than a year.
"Cadillac" was a good representative of the group's sound during this period, a piece of lusty, bluesy garage rock. dominated by an agonized lead vocal, somewhere between Gene Vincent at his most quiet and menacing and David Aguilar of the Chocolate Watchband doing his best anguished teen emoting, and some very prominent organ riffs by Andersson. The group sounded sort of like a Swedish Paul Revere & the Raiders with a little more lyricism than that comparison implies.
The group kept working, oblivious to the hole they'd put themselves in until they were hit with a bill for back taxes that drove them into bankruptcy. They soldiered on, the members working off their debts, and in the summer of 1968, there was a lineup change when Svenne Hedlund's fiancee Charlotte "Lotta" Walker joined as lead singer. The hits kept coming, though from 1968 onward the Hep Stars were no longer recording much rock music, preferring a softer MOR and folk-based style.
It was this change that led to the group's split. Andersson and Svenne and Lotta Hedlund wanted to keep moving in an MOR direction, while the rest of the band preferred going back into the rock 'n roll music with which they'd started out. Andersson, Hedlund, and Walker exited the line-up following the band's 1969 summer tour. The seeds that would spawn ABBA were already planted by that time -- Andersson met Anni-Frid Lyngstad during the Hep Stars' final weeks of performing, and their engagement, and his involvement with her music as producer of her new single (co-written by Andersson and Ulvaeus), followed soon after the Hep Stars split.
In more recent years, the Hep Stars have appeared as a reunited band (sans Andersson), and have made a serious effort at recording as well as performing in Sweden, where their music is still remembered by older audiences from the '60s. ABBA's success has seen to their reissue on CD, as well as to the international availability of their music.
Nothing more to say. Nice pop songs here and naturally fab four inspired.
SB1 Flac p1 & Flac p2 - mp3@320