ABBA’s Dancing Queen piano, which will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Rock & Pop Auction in London on 29 September, is expected to make £800,000.
The ABBA Grand Piano has featured in many ABBA pop classics, like “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia”, “SOS”, Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Ting Ring” and “Money. Money, Money.”
“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 books and manuscript specialist Dr. Philip W Errington.
The piano was built by the Swedish musical instrument maker George Bolin for the American jazz pianist Bill Evans. In 1964 the New York Times described it as a “space-age piano” and wrote: “the new piano represents Mr. Bolin’s ultimate desire – to produce an instrument that gives the pianist the sensation of playing ‘directly on the strings’ as a guitarist would.”
Stockholm’s Metronome Studios bought the piano in 1967 and it appeared on nearly all of the group’s recordings between 1973 and 1977. The piano is now sold by Atlantis Grammofon, the former Metronome Studios.
The groups pianist Benny Andersson has described the piano as “One of a kind and a great source of inspiration during the ABBA sessions in the studio.” The instrument comes with a certificate of authentication from the ABBA pianist.
The Swedish band shot to fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and their hits dominated charts in both the UK and the US. Their music inspired a generation of artists and was immortalized in the film and musical production Mamma Mia!
ABBA is estimated to be one of the best-selling music artists of all time, second only to The Beatles. It is rare for any ABBA-related material to be sold and this is the first major ABBA piece to be offered at auction.
The four member pop group comprising Andersson, Bjoern Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faeltskog split up in 1983. They have never performed as a group since.
It is not the first time a famous piano has appeared at auction.
John Lennon’s Steinway upright piano, on which he composed Imagine, was sold for £1.67 million in 2000 to singer George Michael, while the piano which featured in the film Casablanca was sold for 3.4 million dollars (£2.2 million) last year.
Iconic ABBA Piano to be auctioned at Sotheby’s, written by Tor Kjolberg
Thank you for the music, ABBA