Ten years ago I started writing the ABBA on the Web column for the Official International ABBA Fan Club Magazine (then known as the Agnetha, Benny, Björn, Frida Fan Club). The first column appeared in the Fan Club Magazine # 65 in December 2000. This article appears in Magazine #105 December 2010 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of that first column. We are going to take a look at ten ABBA sites that I visit regularly for news, information, history, connecting with other fans or just for fun.
ABBA Omnibus My own website, described in Elisabeth Vincentelli’s new book ABBA Treasures as “comprehensive” and on Carl Magnus Palm.com as “one of the best ABBA sites around”. ABBA Omnibus makes a good starting point as the Links section includes every single known ABBA and related site on the internet, categorised and ranked for easy access. It also includes an extensive discography, videography and bibliography, and a Songs section which includes every known ABBA song or working title, so you can follow the development of a song’s history from start to finish. Until recently it was known as ABBA World, but the name has been changed so that it is not confused with the touring exhibition.
Worth regular visits for: links to every other ABBA site, and “everything ABBA”.
The Official International ABBA Fan Club The fan club’s website is frequently updated with the latest and exclusive ABBA news and pictures. Of course it also includes lots of news and information about the fan club, its history, the fan club’s services, biographies of the ABBA members and other related projects. It also includes all the information you need about the annual ABBA Day, and wonderful reports and photos about previous years’ ABBA Days, so you can see how much fun we fans have every year.
Worth regular visits for: ABBA and fan club news updates.
abba4ever forum calls itself “The World-Spanning ABBA Fan Online Community”. It is a very active and friendly forum with members from all over the world discussing all aspects of our favourite group. abba4ever was started up after the forum on the official ABBA site was closed down a few years ago, but has since forged its own identity.
Worth regular visits for: contact with other fans
icethesite is the unofficial “Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus news site”. It is primarily dedicated to Benny and Bjorn’s careers including their musicals Chess and Kristina från Duvemåla, and of course Benny Anderssons Orkester, but will also include news about ABBA, Mamma Mia!, Agnetha or Frida. icethesite is often the source for breaking news and also includes exclusive content including occasional interviews with people involved in the boys’ projects.
Worth regular visits for: Benny, Björn and news, news, news.
ABBA for the record calls itself “the ABBA collectors web reference”. The site includes ABBA albums, singles, CDs, cassettes, videos, DVDs and other collectibles from Argentina to Zimbabwe, showing covers, inner sleeves, labels, booklets and other details. ABBA for the record contains over 2,600 items with more items added weekly, thanks to many fans who supply scans. Here you will find images of many rare ABBA records that you have probably only read about. The site also includes occasional special features on particular formats, records or years.
Worth regular visits for: weekly updates with new ABBA records.
ABBA on TV contains every (known) appearance by ABBA or the members on television, film and video. It is regularly updated with contributions from fans as more information becomes available. The site is a labour of love for webmaster Sara Russell, who professes her love for watching ABBA on television. Sara is also the author of the book The ABBA Guide to Stockholm.
Worth regular visits for: checking out ABBA television appearances.
ABBA Plaza is one of the longest running and most comprehensive fan sites on the internet, with detailed information about ABBA’s career and also personal touches from webmaster Robert, including his personal collection of rare ABBA items, and his encounters with ABBA members over the years. ABBA Plaza is worth visiting regularly for its “Fun” section, with many ABBA games including several different quizzes with various skill levels, a “weakest link” elimination game, a photo puzzle and much more. It also includes an International ABBA News section with links to various news sources.
Worth regular visits for: regularly updated polls, games and quizzes.
Mikory’s ABBA Blog is updated daily with historical newspaper and magazine articles and images including the “ABBA Pic of the day”, and also includes all the latest ABBA news direct from Sweden, often with the first English translations of articles from the Swedish newspapers.
Worth regular visits for: news and historical articles from Sweden
Carl Magnus Palm.com is the website of the author of many acclaimed ABBA books including ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions and Bright Lights Dark Shadows – The Real Story of ABBA, among others. Carl Magnus has also worked a consultant for Universal Music Sweden for most ABBA projects for the past decade. His website includes fascinating additional information about those many ABBA projects, plus other book and CD projects he has worked on.
Worth regular visits for: behind the scenes on latest releases.
ABBAsite.com is, of course, the official ABBA website. It includes biographies on ABBA and the individual members, plus many of their artistic collaborators. It also includes a discography of available CDs and DVDs and a store to buy those CDs, DVDs, downloads, and other exclusive merchandise including t-shirts, caps and more. ABBAsite is also the first source for news on the latest official ABBA releases from Universal Music. You can sign up for a newsletter to receive the news as soon as it is announced.
Worth regular visits for: official ABBA news and latest releases.
Do you agree or disagree with any of these choices? Are there other ABBA sites that you would recommend to other fans? Let’s discuss here.