New Mamma Mia! movie poster

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIEA new poster for MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE has been released.

It’s the same setting as the first international teaser poster that appeared in January, but features the four male leads as well as Meryl Streep (as Donna) and Amanda Seyfried (as Sophie).

See ABBA World‘s MAMMA MIA! section for a larger version plus all the latest news.

Drummer Ola Brunkert dead

Ola Brunkert, from ABBA's 1977 tour programmeABBA drummer Ola Brunkert has died after an accident at his home on Majorca.

For someone who was relatively unknown outside of Swedish musician and ABBA fan circles, it’s surprising how the news has spread. Hundreds of media outlets have reported the news – as I write this, a Google search finds 362+ articles.

Brunkert played drums on every ABBA studio album, from the first single ‘People Need Love’ in 1972 to the eighth and last album The Visitors in 1981, but not on any of ABBA’s final recordings in 1982. He also played on ABBA’s international tours in 1977, 1979 and 1980, and he was there for other key moments in ABBA’s career, from the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 to the last live television concert in 1981 and the final TV performances in 1982.

ABBA wrote of Brunkert in the Arrival album sleeve notes in 1976 “one day we’re gonna let you hear him sing”. We never did, though a bootleg recording circulating under the title ‘Ali ABBA’ lets us here him grunt as he drums on an early version of ‘Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’.

The Times obituary gives an excellent overview of his life and achievements, though it contains a few errors (Brunkert is not the drummer on some of the ABBA hits mentioned – Roger Palm played on ‘Dancing Queen’ and Per Lindvall on ‘Super Trouper’; ABBA played five nights at Wembley Arena, not six). ABBA – The Site also pays tribute.

Mamma Mia! full movie trailer

The full length trailer for MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE has now been released. The trailer show a lot more of the movie and all the lead stars, and features music from ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ and ‘Dancing Queen’.

Take a look at it at Yahoo! Movies Presents Just the Facts on MAMMA MIA!

ABBA World blog – the first year

One year ago today I started the ABBA World blog, as an extension of the ABBA World site.

Since then the blog has outgrown its origins, adding news, historical articles, critical reviews and much more. One of the highlights of the first year was seeing the ABBA World blog among the nominees for ABBA Plaza’s ABBA Site of the Year.

If this is your first visit to the blog, or if you’re a regular visitor, why not take a few minutes to revisit some of my favourite posts over the past twelve months. Or just take a browse through all the previous posts.

ABBA the Museum tickets now on sale

ABBA the MuseumTickets for ABBA the Museum have now gone on general sale.

People who ordered platinum, gold and silver packages last December have been able to book their tickets since last week. Surprisingly, the only sold-out time slots so far are on the first day (June 4th), 10.00-10.45 a.m, 11.00-11.45 a.m, and 7.00-7.45 p.m.

Apparently there were some early problems for buyers outside of Europe trying to book tickets, but this problem was quickly fixed.

ABBA the Museum opens June 3rd 2009 with an opening ceremony at 8 p.m. followed by five days of ABBA celebrations at the Museum and across Stockholm. See the Museum‘s website for more information and to order tickets.

Second Mamma Mia! movie poster

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIEA second poster for MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE has appeared this week. This poster appears to be for the US market, and is closer to the original musical poster concept.

I much prefer the first teaser poster that appeared in January. It was vibrant, slightly reminsicent of the musical poster, but featured both female leads. This new poster appears weak and pale by comparison, and aims the movie at people who might see a Lindsay Lohan or Olsen twins film.

See the two posters side-by-side and more at ABBA World‘s special MAMMA MIA! section. Click on the poster, then follow the link on the main page.

Thursday, March 3rd, 1977

Sydney Showground, around 6.30 pm.March 3rd marks a significant anniversary for me. In 1977 on this day, I saw ABBA live on stage at their legendary first Australian concert in Sydney.

I feel thrilled to have been at the most famous concert of ABBA’s career. It’s the one concert that the ABBA members have all said they remember.

Its inclusion in ABBA – The Movie ensured its place in history. Not just ABBA history, but also the history of Sydney. After this and other rained-out concerts, government enquiries were held and large-scale indoor venues were finally built in Sydney.

I have some great memories of that night. Waiting in the grandstand for the concert to start, getting wet regardless of the shelter. The guy who kept announcing “you’re gonna get your rocks off!”. The immense noise from the crowd as ABBA took to the stage. The strobe-like effect of thousands of camera flashes for the first ten minutes. The reaction from the audience singing along to ‘Fernando’, and Björn saying everyone sang so well that “we’d like you to come backstage after the show so we can shake your hands and sign you up”. The fire projected on the back wall of the stage during ‘Fernando’ and the silhouette of a palm tree during ‘Sitting In The Palmtree’. Selected parts of ‘I Am An A’ (Björn: “I don’t like to shave”, Agnetha: “you should live in a cave”). ‘So Long’ not being performed. Björn announcing a song for “you to get up and dance to”. The fireworks at the end spelling out “Thank You Sydney – ABBA”.

I missed Frida’s famous slip during ‘Waterloo’ due to a momentary distraction. And my memories of the mini-musical “The Girl With The Golden Hair” aren’t as clear as other parts of the concert, probably because the songs were unknown. It seemed to me that ‘I’m A Marionette’ went on for 15 minutes. Now I know that it was reprised near the end of ‘Get On The Carousel’.

Some memories have been diluted by repeated viewings of ABBA – The Movie and listening to bootleg concert tapes. But others remain as clear as they were 31 (!) years ago.

The photo above right was one that I took of the stage and arena from our vantage point in the grandstand. See here for an exclusive gallery of photos from that night. And visit my site The ABBA Phenomenon in Australia for everything about ABBA’s Australian tour of 1977.

See also: That’s me

Mamma Mia! The Movie world premiere date confirmed

The world premiere of MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE will be at the Odeon Leicester Square, London on Tuesday 1 July 2008. Premieres will also be held in Berlin on 2 July and Stockholm on 4 July.

For more MAMMA MIA! movie news, visit the special section at ABBA World.

Source: eBay.

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