ABBA – The Inner Circle Interviews is a new book by Marisa Garau and Frédéric Tonan, authors of ABBA On Speaking Terms (Netherlands, in Dutch, 2002) and ABBA – Ihre ganze Geschichte (Their Whole Story; Germany, in German, 2005).
The book is built around extensive interviews the pair conducted for their two earlier books, with 38 people who had worked with ABBA or the individual members since the mid-sixties discussing their personal memories and experiences. All the interviews were originally conducted in English, making this book their first untranslated publication.
Interviewees include musicians, producers, colleagues, friends and others who worked with ABBA during the height of their career, those who collaborated with the members in various projects after ABBA, even a few whose involvement pre-dates ABBA. As the majority of those interviewed worked only with individual ABBA members after 1982, the story of ABBA as a group ends at page 92, with the remainder of the 230 pages dedicated to the post-ABBA careers.
Because the book is based around the various interviews biographical and historical details are fairly light, dependant on what memories the interviewees shared. This also means that some periods of time are quickly skimmed over, while others are covered in great detail.
The interviews are each individual’s uncorroborated memories that are sometimes conflicting and contradictory with each other or even with themselves, or can be out of context with the ABBA story. Despite this they make for interesting reading, as those who were there at the time tell the stories as they remember them.
The final chapter features an exclusive interview with Björn Ulvaeus, made a year after the the publication of ABBA On Speaking Terms, in which he addresses a few of the comments raised in that book.
Despite the flaws of the concept ABBA – The Inner Circle Interviews is a worthwhile read for its unique perspective on an often-told story, if only for the small peak behind-the-scenes with ABBA.
For more information about the book, details on the many people interviewed, and ordering information see the website www.abbatheinnercircleinterviews.com.
Book provided by Marisa Garau.