Janne Schaffer was a member of various pop bands in the 1960s, although the only band to have any kind of success were The Sleepstones. In 1968 he joined a band called Grapes of Wrath, where he met drummer Ola Brunkert. Together with bassist Björn Stolt they formed the band Opus III.
In 1970, Janne started working as a session musician. His first job was singer Björn Skifs’ version of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, and later the same year he played on Agnetha’s Som jag är album.
Being friendly with Björn and Benny for a couple of years, Janne was invited to play on sessions for Polar recording artist Ted Gärdestad’s first album in 1971, produced by Andersson/Ulvaeus. Janne played on People Need Love, and was ABBA’s most frequently used guitarist until he got too busy with his own career in the mid-1970s.
That said, with the exception of The Visitors, Janne contributed to all of ABBA’s studio albums. Some of the more famous songs to feature his work are Ring Ring, Waterloo, SOS, Eagle, I Have A Dream, Super Trouper and Under Attack.
Of all musicians to appear on ABBA’s records, Janne Schaffer is perhaps the one to have most success in his own right. His eponymous 1973 debut album spent six weeks at Number One on the Swedish charts, and he is one of Sweden’s most highly regarded musicians. Recent successes includes the Electric Banana Band, a novelty act for which Schaffer writes the music. The band’s 1998 album reached Number One on the Swedish charts.