Rutger Gunnarsson

Bass player Rutger Gunnarsson was a member of various local rock bands in his home town of Linköping during the 1960s. He then went on to study at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm for a couple of years.

One of his mates at the college told him that the Hootenanny Singers (featuring both Björn and Benny at this time) needed a bass player for their 1972 summer tour. Rutger applied for the job and got it. In June of the same year he did his first ever studio session when he played on a little-known Swedish-language ABBA track: Åh, vilka tider. The song was subsequently issued as the B-side of the Swedish version of the Ring Ring single.

Not only did Rutger go on to appear on all ABBA albums, he also became their main string arranger from 1976 onwards, and also toured with them in 1977, 1979, and 1980. When the ABBA period came to an end, he continued working with Björn and Benny through the 1980s, appearing on the Chess concept album, the first Gemini album, and also on the 1993 Josefin Nilsson album, Shapes.

In the late 1990s, Rutger produced a recording of the unreleased ABBA song Just A Notion, made by the Swedish cover band Arrival. A snippet of ABBA’s original version can be found in the Undeleted medley on the box set Thank You For The Music.

In the 21st Century Rutger has continued his association with ABBA’s music as a member of the orchestra during the Swedish staging of the Mamma Mia! musical, and also through touring Sweden as part of The Original ABBA Orchestra In Concert, featuring ABBA’s original session and touring musicians.

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