Happy golden anniversary

On this day 50 years ago ABBA’s first album RING RING was released in Sweden.

During 1973 the album was released in only a handful of countries: the rest of Scandinavia, West Germany, Japan, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and Colombia. It was reissued in Australia in 1975. In most of the world it wasn’t released until 1992. 

Happy golden anniversary!

#RingRing50th #ABBA

Ring Ring 50th anniversary

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s first album Ring Ring. To celebrate, Universal Music are releasing the album on double half-speed mastered LP, a box set of 5 coloured vinyl singles, and 5 picture disc of singles from the album – People Need Love/Merry-Go-Round, He Is Your Brother/Santa Rosa, Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal)/Åh, vilka tider, Ring Ring [English version]/She’s My Kind Of Girl, and Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)/I Am Just A Girl.

An official announcement hasn’t been made yet, but the records have all appeared on Amazon UK and Amazon SE in the past few hours, with an expected release on 19 May. Official ABBA social media accounts have been hinting at something coming on the actual anniversary of the album’s release on 26 March (this coming Sunday). It’s happened before, where new releases have appeared on Amazon a day or so before the official announcement is made.

All the releases are shown on the new Ring Ring 50th anniversary feature page on the ABBA Omnibus site. Stay tuned for more news soon.

UPDATED 24 MARCH: all Ring Ring 50th anniversary items are now available for preorder. See the Ring Ring 50th anniversary feature page for details.


Groenalund #lovestorm

With their debut album #lovestorm, Cologne-based band Groenalund have created their own take on ABBA-esque pop for the twenty-first century.

All songs bar one were composed by multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Martin Gerke. Mezzo soprano Karolin Biewald, and sopranos Mabel Winkler, and Sarah Schumacher create beautiful sounds in three-part harmony.

Songs range from 80’s-style disco pop with ‘I’m Sorry, I Love You’ and ‘We Keep On Dancing’, guitar-driven ‘Just A Story’, the beautiful choral ‘The Curse’, pure pop with ‘I Want You Back’, ‘Painting Black’, and ‘Whatever We Do To Music’, and the piano and strings of the gorgeous ballad ‘Forgiven’.

If I had to pick a favourite song, that would probably be the epic opening track ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’, with its intricate intertwined, impassioned vocals.

Of particular interest to ABBA fans is a version of the legendary unreleased 1982 track ‘Just Like That’. Groenalund’s version sticks close to the original ABBA recording. Fans will also notice a couple of ABBA touches in the CD booklet.

Guitarist Janne Schaffer, who played on around 50 of ABBA’s original recordings from 1972 right through to the final recordings in 1982, guests on four tracks, using instruments that he played on those ABBA recordings. Two tracks feature Martin playing instruments recorded at Benny Andersson’s RMV studio in Stockholm, including Benny’s legendary Yamaha GX1 synthesizer and Fazioli piano.

If you’re a fan of well-produced pop music, I highly recommend you give #lovestorm a spin. It’s available 13 January 2023 at groenalund.com.

ABBA at 50 celebration continues on Instagram

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the first ABBA album. Each week for the next 50 weeks we’ll post one of 50 landmark ABBA albums at ABBA Omnibus on Instagram.

#abbaat50 #abba50 #abba

ABBA nominated for four Grammy awards

After receiving their first nomination for the Grammy Awards in 2021 for 2022 Record of the Year (‘I Still Have Faith In You’), ABBA have been nominated for four Grammy Awards for 2023:

Album of the Year: Voyage

Best Pop Vocal album: Voyage

Record of the Year: ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’

Though originally released in the 2022 qualifying period (1 October 2020-30 September 2021), ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ is eligible as it was released on the Voyage album during this year’s qualifying period.

The 2023 Grammy Awards will be presented on 5 February 2023 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

A Look At The Nominees For Album Of The Year At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

ABBA nominated for ARIA Most Popular International Artist

ABBA has been nominated for Most Popular International Artist in the Australian ARIA Awards 2022. 

Voting is open to residents in Australia (except in the category of Most Popular International Artist where eligible votes will be accepted via Twitter from all countries throughout the world). Use the hashtag #ARIASABBA

Voting commences on 12 October 2022 at 11:00am (AEDT) and concludes on 16 November 2022 at 11:59pm (AEDT).


Votes submitted via the ARIA Voting Page in the applicable categories are limited to one (1) vote per ARIA Awards category per IP address per day (i.e. the time period from 00:00 to 23:59) during the relevant Voting Period.

In relation to votes submitted via the ARIA Voting Page, you are able to change the vote/s that you have cast during the day, but if you do so it will override your previous vote and your last vote for the day will be considered.

Votes submitted by Twitter in the ARIA Award category of Most Popular International Artist are unlimited during the specified Voting Period. There is no daily limit to the number of times you may submit a vote via Twitter for this ARIA Awards category.

The following votes are invalid:

Votes submitted from outside of Australia (with the exception of eligible votes submitted via Twitter).

TL;DR Australian residents can vote once per day at https://www.aria.com.au/vote

Non-Australian residents (and also Australians) can vote on Twitter by posting #ARIASABBA (voting via Twitter is unlimited).

Voting closes 16 November 2022 at 11.59 pm AEST.

Get voting now!

ABBA Gold at 30

Thirty years ago this week, on 21 September 1992, ABBA Gold – Greatest Hits was released. It led to a reappraisal of ABBA’s music ten years after the group had come to an end, and spurred a great revival of interest in ABBA that continues to grow to this day.

The revival had been building up underground for quite a while. The Agnetha Benny Björn Frida Fan Club, now the Official International ABBA Fan Club, was founded in the Netherlands in 1986, and started holding annual fan gatherings (gatherings continue to this day, with the next International ABBA Day on 1 October). Fans in Australia celebrated the tenth anniversary of ABBA’s Australian concert tour in March 1987, which led to venues (primarily gay ones) hosting ABBA nights, which continued semi-regularly into the mid-90s. The tribute act Björn Again started playing in venues across Melbourne in 1988, expanding to the rest of Australia and the world over the next few years. And in June 1992 British synth duo Erasure released their EP Abba-esque, featuring four ABBA classics done Erasure style, which topped the charts.

It was the release of ABBA Gold, and its teaser single ‘Dancing Queen’, that saw the underground ABBA revival go overground, as the single and album raced up the charts around the world, with Gold topping the album charts in 11 countries.

ABBA Gold had been researched by Polydor in London, looking to capitalise on their new acquisition (parent company PolyGram having purchased Stig Anderson’s Sweden Music publishing and Polar Music record companies in 1990). They came up with a single CD featuring 19 of ABBA’s most popular hits, in a simple dignified sleeve featuring just the group name and album title, though until 2002 it had a bastardised version of the ABBA logo.

The album included most of ABBA’s most popular songs: ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘SOS’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Take A Chance On Me’, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’, ‘The Winner Takes It All’ etc, closing with the Eurovision Song Contest winner ‘Waterloo’. Though the tracklist did favour British hits, missing a few major international hits such as ‘Ring Ring’, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, and ‘Summer Night City’ (all of which appeared on the sequel CD More ABBA Gold the following year), and included ‘Thank You For The Music’, which had never been a major hit single, but was popular and seen as one of ABBA’s signature songs.

After Gold was released the ABBA revival was further spurred along in 1994 by the two Australian films that prominently featured ABBA music, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Five years later the stage musical Mamma Mia! opened in London, featuring 22 ABBA songs propelling the story, and by then ABBA was back and here to stay. The musical was turned into a Hollywood movie in 2008, with a sequel in 2018, and also inspired the immersive dinner experience Mamma Mia! The Party. And of course, the new ABBA album Voyage was released in November 2021, with the ABBA Voyage concert featuring digital ABBA avatars opening in London in May 2022.

ABBA Gold itself has been rereleased on many occasions, often coinciding with significant anniversaries: in 1999 and 2014 for the 25th, 30th, and 40th anniversaries of ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest, and the 10th and 25th anniversaries of the album’s release, plus other versions packing the album with additional discs or DVDs featuring the music videos of the album’s 19 songs. It has appeared on multiple formats: CD, vinyl, cassette, DCC, VHS, Laserdisc, Video CD, and DVD, as well as streaming and download services. This week the 30th anniversary of Gold‘s release is celebrated with new vinyl, CD, and cassette versions plus a range of merchandise.

I initially ignored Gold‘s charms. To me it seemed another in the long line of cheap compilation CDs that had been issued over the previous ten years. I don’t remember exactly when I purchased the original copy – somewhere between the Australian release date of 12 October and Christmas 1992. Now of course I have multiple copies on CD, DVD, vinyl, CD/DVD packs, and soon to have it on cassette as well.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Celebrating the 30th anniversary of ABBA’s Gold

This morning I appeared on The Morning Show on the 7 network in Australia, talking about all things ABBA, my book ABBA: Song By Song, and of course the 30th anniversary of ABBA Gold.

Two new ABBA box sets

Two new ABBA CD box sets have recently appeared in Europe, separate from the CD box set released internationally in May through Universal Music. Both collect ABBA’s nine studio albums, plus the Live at Wembley Arena double CD and the DVD The Essential Collection.

Unusually, these are not available in music stores, but through newsagents. Each individual album is released one per week.

Each disc is packaged in a bi-fold cardboard sleeve. The eight original studio albums copy the 2001 remasters, with the same bonus tracks and booklets. However the cover artwork replicates the original albums.

The first set is available in Spain through the newspaper El País. The first disc, Ring Ring, was available on 12 June, along with the box to contain the full set. The studio albums were released chronologically, followed by the live album and the DVD. The final disc was released on 21 August. All discs are available individually online, as is the full box set. However, one must be a residen of Spain to purchase.

The second set is available in Italy through direct marketers Mondadori per te. The first disc, ABBA, is available from 26 August, and comes with the box. Each disc comes with the original 2001 booklet plus a new booklet in Italian. Like the Spanish set, one disc is released per week, but in a different order: ABBA, Arrival, Voulez-Vous, Voyage, Waterloo, Super Trouper, ABBA – The Album, Ring Ring, Live at Wembley Arena, The Visitors, and The Definitive Collection. Each is also available online, a week after release. Also like the Spanish set, this is only available to residents of Italy. Unlike the Spanish set, it appears the full box set isn’t available online, only the individual discs.

So, if you don’t live in Spain or Italy and are wanting to get these sets, you’ll have to contact friends in those countries.

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