What was the ABBA event of 2009

What do you think was the ABBA event of the past year? Agnetha and Frida accepting ABBA’s lifetime acheivement at the Rockbjörnen awards? Benny and Björn’s new “pop songs”? ABBA in Japan released on DVD? Or something else? Vote now for the ABBA event of 2009. Up to three choices are allowed. If you chose “Other” please leave a comment.

Vote now for ABBA Site of the Year 2009

I’m very happy to say that the ABBA World blog has again been nominated for ABBA Plaza’s ABBA Site of The Year. To vote pop over to ABBA Plaza right now and follow the links. The winner will be announced on 1 January 2010.

I’m slightly disappointed to see that three of the previous winners are in the final ten nominations. In the first few years previous winners were disqualified, giving more sites a chance. This is not a criticism of those sites – the previous winners are all among my favourite ABBA sites. There are over 1,000 ABBA websites out there (which, of course, you can find in the Links section of ABBA World), surely enough to fill ten nominations with fresh content every year.

ABBA and Christmas

ABBA never made a Christmas record. The four did sing a few impromptu Christmas songs, usually on radio broadcasts, and there were a few recorded spoken-word Christmas greetings released on giveaway flexidiscs.

Agnetha recorded a Christmas album with her daughter Linda, 1981’s Nu tändas tusen julejus (Now a thousand Christams candles are lit) . Benny’s pre-ABBA group The Hep Stars recorded an album Jul med Hep Stars (Christmas with Hep Stars) in 1967. Both Frida and Björn’s group Hootenanny Singers recorded songs for a Polar Music Christmas album, När juldagsmorgon glimmar (When Christmas morning shines), in 1972.

ABBA remained away from any songs that could be restricted to any seasonal event, with the one exception ‘Happy New Year’ (on Super Trouper, 1980), which is more a song of wistful reminiscence than a song to be played at midnight on New Year’s Eve (not that that stops many people from actually playing it then).

Personally I’m glad that ABBA never recorded a Christmas album. Most of them are too kitsch, too sugary, and most of them sound the same. Very few have anything to offer artistically. ABBA remained secular, without trying to appeal to a small niche market or disenfranchising any part of their audience.


ABBA Live TV is the name of a DVD recently released in Brazil. As the title indicates it includes ABBA appearances on television.

However it’s not as exciting as it sounds. Most of the clips seem to be sourced from German TV network ZDF’s Kultnacht programme, featuring most of ABBA’s German TV appearances, which has been screened several times in recent years.

Parts of some clips are zoomed in, an obvious attempt at removing on-screen graphics. As a result the picture is often blurred. Most songs are cut off at the start and end. The picture quality at best is the quality of a home recording.

Oddly two official promotional films are also included: ‘No Hay A Quien Culpar’ (the Spanish version of ‘When All Is Said And Done’) and ‘Mamma Mia’.

This is not an official Universal Music release. Judging by the artwork it appears to be a relative of several unauthorised documentary DVDs released in the UK over the last three  or so (some of which are discussed in the previous blog post DVD Overload). Brazil has a habit of releasing unauthorised DVDs. A few years before its official DVD release ABBA Gold, and also More ABBA Gold, appeared there.

Unless you’re a completist, or really, really want dubious quality clips of ABBA performing some of their biggest hits, don’t rush to get this DVD.

Continue reading “ABBA Live TV DVD”

Two new ABBA books

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the ABBAWORLD touring exhibition opening in London comes news of two new ABBA books to be published in January 2010.

First comes ABBA i Amerika or ABBA in America, “a pictorial travelogue” of ABBA’s final concert tour in 1979/1980. With photographs by Swedish royal court photographer Charles Hammarsten and text by journalist Leif Schulman, the book is published in both Swedish and English, with 148 pages illustrated in colour.

In addition to covering ABBA’s first and only concert tour of North America the book follows ABBA to the final concerts in Japan in 1980. The pair originally produced a smaller book Succé på världs-scenen: Agnetha, Björn, Benny & Annifrid (Success on the world stage) in 1979.

The second is an updated version of From ABBA to Mamma Mia! , featuring the photographs of Anders Hanser with text by Carl Magnus Palm. First published in 1999, it covers ABBA’s career on stage and in rare behind-the-scenes glimpses in images from circa 1978 up to the opening of Mamma Mia! in 1999, now updated to cover the last ten years.

P.S. It will not include any photos of the “ABBA reunion” in 1999 when Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny sang together for Görel Hanser’s 50th birthday party.

Both books are from Premium Publishing, renowned for their excellent music books in Swedish and English.

ABBAWORLD to premiere at Earls Court on 27th January 2010.

Touring Exhibitions
2009-11-30 09:00


Fully approved and supported by ABBA, ABBAWORLD will make its stunning, sequin spangled, world debut in London at Earls Court on 27 January 2010. The hugely interactive experience will take visitors on a mind-blowing journey through ABBAWORLDS 25 rooms, bursting with exclusive music, footage, images and never-before-displayed memorabilia from the personal collections of the worlds most cherished pop icons; Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida.
An engaging introductory movie by critically acclaimed film director, Jonas Åkerlund, will start the experience and a free audio guide will move visitors through the magical space at their own pace.
The phenomenon of ABBA will be brought to life with interactive highlights including Perform with ABBA which will allow fans to get up on stage with their idols, as part of a stunning 3D holographic illusion. Tretow MIX Challenge – a chance to mix things up and re-create the ABBA sound, the ABBA Quiz which will test fans knowledge. There is also the opportunity to Sing-A-Long and dance with ABBA, plus a chance for fans to see themselves as part of an ABBA video.
Better still, as part of the ticket, all interaction will be recorded  so people can choose to access it later online at www.abbaworld.com, allowing their experience to live on and on, just like the music. On entry to ABBAWORLD, guests will have their photograph taken, this will appear during a number of the interactive features; fans will see themselves as part of ABBA album covers, posters and other iconic pictures.  
London is the obvious choice for the world premiere of ABBAWORLD. The UK has a special place in the history of ABBA and it was here that global ABBA fever started with the glorious win of Waterloo at the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton in 1974. ABBA topped the charts in the UK more times than anywhere else in the world and through the smash hit musical Mamma Mia and its ten-year success in London together with the Mamma Mia movie being the highest grossing movie of all time at the UK box office, a new audience has taken ABBA to their hearts.  
The Swedish super group created a legendary sound that sold close to 400 million records and made the whole world take to the dance floor. ABBA once again create history through ABBAWORLD; the interactive and audiovisual experience of the worlds most loved pop icons.  This major world event is a close collaboration with all four members of ABBA, making ABBAWORLD the definitive experience of this groundbreaking group.  ABBAWORLD will bring fans closer to the music, the magic and the memories than ever before.
Frida said “On behalf of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and I, we are delighted to be part of ABBAWORLD and to have the opportunity to share our amazing experiences with our fans. The interactive elements mean this is the first time we can actually take them on the journey with us. London has a special place in all our hearts and we are looking forward to the world premiere of ABBAWORLD in January”
Tickets go onsale at 9am on Thursday 3rd December 2009 and are priced at £22.00 / £19.50 (subject to booking fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk
For more information about ABBAWORLD and the exhibition please log on to: www.abbaworld.com
%d bloggers like this: