The Visitors Deluxe Edition

This week fans everywhere were excited at the news that a Deluxe Edition of ABBA’s final album, The Visitors, will be released on April 23rd.

The CD/DVD package includes the original 9-track album from 1981, the non-album b-side of the first single released from the album (‘Should I Laugh Or Cry’), five of the six tracks recorded the following year (both sides of the two 1982 singles, plus ‘I Am The City’, not released until it was featured on More ABBA Gold in 1993). The accompanying DVD includes two songs from the 1981 television special Dick Cavett Meets ABBA (one of ABBA’s few group TV appearances during 1981), the original promotional clip for ‘When All Is Said And Done’ (with an alternate version of the song), some of ABBA’s final TV appearances from late-1982, TV commercials and sleeve gallery.

Most exciting to fans is the news that it will also include previously unreleased ABBA music, the first time any “new” material has been allowed out of the so-called vaults since the Thank You For The Music box set in 1994.

The intrigingly-titled ‘From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel’, described as “a medley of demos”, hints at unheard versions of the albums closing track “Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’. It is known that there were several different attempts at recording the song (thanks to Carl Magnus Palm’s book ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions) before the final version was recorded just a few weeks before the album’s release. One of those early versions had the working title ‘Twinkle Twinkle’.

The world’s media has picked up on the “unreleased track” news, with the story spreading like wildfire to seemingly every news outlet in the world over the last few days. Perhaps unsurprisingly as the news spread it started to morph into stories of “a new song”, “a new single”, even hints of a group reformation.

Fans of course lament the non-inclusion of the sixth song recorded in 1982, the legendary ‘Just Like That’, the rest of the Dick Cavett TV special, ABBA’s appearance on Show Express in November 1982 (when they performed three of the four songs released that year), and other potential inclusions from the period. There are, no doubt, valid reasons that may become clearer later.

The Visitors is the sixth ABBA studio album to receive the deluxe treatment, after Waterloo 30th Anniversary Edition (2004), Arrival (2006), ABBA – The Album (2007), Voulez-Vous (2010) and Super Trouper (2011).

Read the announcement, including the full track list, at ABBA – The Official Site, and a little more information on Carl Magnus Palm’s site.

Agnetha, fashion legend

Much to everyone’s surprise Agnetha made a rare public appearance at ELLE Galan 2012 at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm on Friday night. Agnetha received a standing ovation when she took to the stage to receive ELLE’s Fashion Legend award.

In awarding Agnetha ELLE described her as “A shining superstar – a voice in a million. A fashion legend, just as stylish now as she was then. Thanks for all the glittering outfits. Thank you for the music. You are forever our dancing queen” Agnetha made a short speech, thanking the jury, the other prize-winners and everybody else in attendance. She hoped that everybody, despite it being Friday the 13th, was having a grand time, because she certainly was.

Part of Agnetha’s acceptance speech can be seen on YouTube. ELLE’s website has a tribute to Agnetha, including reports on the night (in Swedish).

UPDATE 17 January: see the whole ceremony here (Agnetha comes in at around 73 minutes), and an extract of Agnetha’s appearance only here (both only in Swedish).

Thanks to Carl Magnus Palm and Håcan Andersson on Facebook.

What is your favourite ABBA event of 2011?

There have been so many ABBA and related events during 2011. What have been your favourites? Chose up to five from the list below, or add anything else to the comments.

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