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Gunnarsson, Rutger (12th February 1946-30th April 2015)

He is a bassist, arranger and producer born in Linkoping, Sweden, who studied classical guitar at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

In 1972 he was told by a classmate that The Hootenanny Singers were looking for a bassist and singer and after being immediately catching their attention he was signed up at the audition.  Two of his co-members were the singer-songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson

After leaving The Hootenanny Singers within a couple of years he worked with Bjorn Ulvaeus on the new Swedish group known as ABBA.  He remained with them throughout their successful years, performing on most of their hit singles and all eight of their albums and being with them throughout their worldwide tours and in their film ABBA: The Movie.  At the same time he is credited as being the writer of the scores they used for horns and strings.

After the break-up of ABBA in 1982 he began to be sought after as an arranger and producer but continued to appear in ABBA related projects.  This included recording the concert-version of Chess and going on a Scandinavian tour of the production.  He also toured in a concert of Bjorn & Benny’s compositions, was an arranger for the musical Mamma Mia! and was the producer for the tribute band Arrival on “Just a Notion” which was a previously unrecorded song for ABBA.

He worked on other musical productions such as Les Miserables and Diggiloo and with artists and groups such as Adam Ant, Kiki Danielsson, Celine Dion, Lotta Engberg, Elton John, Lena Philippson and Westlife.

Some of the many albums he has worked on include all of the ABBA ones as well as Strip by Adam Ant,  New Day Has Come by Celine Dion, Wrap Your Arms Around Me by Agnetha Faltskog, Shine by Frida, Way I Am by Ana Johnsson, Ripp Rapp by Ulf Lundell and the soundtrack of Spider-Man 2 among many others.

He died suddenly at his home in Stockholm, Sweden, April 2015 when he was 69 years old.

ABBA recordings
Elaine (Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus)
Atlantic 3776 ST-A-39221-SP (US 45)

Here he is playing the bass lines on “Dancing Queen” by ABBA….