The Heft Of Dough is the title of an LP recorded towards the end of the last century by Agnetha and Anna-Frid and Benny and Bjorn (alphabetical order). The Scandinavian foursome were joined on this occasion by virtuoso glockenspielist Dot Tint, who until then was better known as the accompanist of an oompah band devoted to masterpieces of the Baroque. Dot was introduced to Agnetha, Anna-Frid et al, by her brother Rex Tint, the mezzotintist, who had been commissioned by either Benny or Bjorn to create a mezzotint for the cover of an earlier LP by the quartet. Temperamental Rex completed the work but, in a characteristic fit of hysterics, destroyed it before it could be used, alleging that it failed to meet the exacting standards he set himself. This is unlikely to be true, and those in the know suggest it was simply yet another unreasonable tantrum by the talented but tiresome mezzotintist.
His sister possessed a more equable demeanour, and the recording sessions for The Heft Of Dough were notable for their almost uncanny calm. Granted, Benny went postal one afternoon when Anna-Frid sang her lines tapioca rather than, as the score required, marmalade, and he threatened to tear her throat out, but it was only that, a threat, and he was quickly persuaded to go and take a nap. It was Dot Tint who did the persuading, and it was upon Dot Tintâ€™s divan that he napped. Dot took her divan everywhere, for she was overfond of naps herself. Some said her calmness was closer to narcolepsy, and I suppose it is true that she only ever seemed fully awake when bashing beauty from her glockenspiel.
Press interest in the sessions was intense. Agnetha and Anna-Frid and Benny and Bjorn had recently had a hit single with the prize-winning, insanely catchy song Lepanto, the lyrics of which cleverly use the 1571 Battle of Lepanto between the Holy League and the
The Heft Of Dough is a concept album in which the fivesome use the heft of a ball of dough as a symbol for various historical attempts to measure the weight of the human soul. Perhaps the best-known of these are the experiments carried out in the early years of the twentieth century by Duncan MacDougall, attending physician at Grove Hall Consumptivesâ€™ Home in
The critics were not kind, however, The Heft Of Dough being almost unanimously dismissed as a work of pretentious twaddle. One of the most savage reviews of all was penned by Rex Tint, under an anagrammatic pseudonym. After it appeared, in the weekly magazine Mezzotintists Turn Their Hands To Writing Record Reviews, and she swiftly unravelled the anagram, Dot Tint refused to speak to her brother for a decade. Curiously, Bjorn, or it may have been Benny, was more forgiving, and he and Rex Tint renewed their friendship and thereafter spent many a tenebrous Scandinavian dusk sitting together on the rim of a fjord, swathed in coats of rabbit fur, drinking hooch and babbling into the night.