This month marks the 15th anniversary of my first ABBA website, The ABBA Phenomenon in Australia.
For as long as I’d been an ABBA fan I had been recording the details of ABBA’s career in Australia, collecting all the local pressings of ABBA records, as many articles and as much information as I could find.
In the early ’90s a local record collectors’ magazine published an article about ABBA’s Australian discography. It contained many errors, with record releases based on dates that records entered the top 40 singles chart (based on a book detailing the charts in the state of New South Wales only, not nationally). A few singles released in 1974 and 1975 entered the top 40 during 1976 after ABBA’s visit in March that year – the article gave the impression the singles were released then.
Slightly outraged at the many inaccuracies I wrote a letter to the magazine listing corrections, including a full Australian discography. This sparked the germ of an idea to write a book about ABBA’s Australian experience (an idea that sill sits in the back of my mind). I used the letter was the basis to write a longer history of ABBA in Australia, that then was filed away with my ABBA cuttings.
In 1996 we got our first home computer and connected to the internet. Seeing other fans create their own ABBA websites inspired me to create my own, and the ABBA in Australia idea seemed an obvious thing to do. A lot of fans had questions about that period of ABBA history, and many published biographies had a lot of incorrect information, mostly based on earlier inaccurate or incomplete information.
I got website creating software, got all my information together, and on 17 July 1997 The ABBA Phenomenon in Australia was born. It’s not the catchiest title, but obvious names like ABBAMANIA had already been used. The ABBA Phenomenon had been the local title of the 1977 book ABBA By ABBA (original Swedish title: Fenomenet ABBA), so that was an inspiration. To this day I try to keep it up-to-date with all the latest ABBA information.