Archive for November, 2013

What Agnetha really said

12 November, 2013

Following the sensational worldwide headlines started by their story over the weekend, today Die Welt has published online their full Agnetha story. The question of a potential ABBA reunion and Agnetha’s response becomes clearer. But still she does not say that there are plans for an ABBA reunion in April next year.

Here is the translation, courtesy of Google Translate. It’s not perfect, but you get the gist.

Die Welt: Of all the members of Abba, you were the one who always expressed most vehemently against a reunion Fältskog: Yes.
Die Welt: You also said that you would have a unique appearance with your colleagues, perhaps for a good cause, not mutually exclusive. If one was offering you, at an event like, say, “Live Aid” act, because you would seriously consider?
Fältskog: Yes. If we could unite all four on the purpose for which we want to do that, if it were only a one-time event – then, yes, we would certainly consider it. At the same time trickles yes. We’re all getting older. I can not imagine that we would go with my crutches on stage. Who knows what happened yet.
Die Welt: There are examples of successful Reunions: Led Zeppelin had a concert in London teamed up again in 2007.
Fältskog: I know, yes.
Die Welt: 20 million people were looking to buy tickets, 20,000 were in the O2 Arena. Would tempt such a thing?
Fältskog: I do not trust myself, nor anything to say (laughs).
Die Welt: Too bad. It almost sounds like there is something to say on the subject.
Fältskog: Sure, we think about it. See: In April 2014 it will be 40 years ago that we won with “Waterloo” the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton. There are probably plans to make the occasion of this anniversary something. But I still do not know what comes of it. I also do not currently know it exactly.
Die Welt: Why not?
Fältskog: I’m a person who often makes too many thoughts. If such an event should take place, and I knew well in advance notice, I would break my head over it all the time. It eats too much life energy. It is similar to my fear of flying.
Die Welt: You suffer, since you had to make an emergency landing during their 1979 U.S. tour with your private jet, after you were caught in a storm.
Fältskog: Yes. If I have to fly today, I want not to know well in advance. That worries me too much. For me, it is better if such a request may reached me a week before, I care even on the same day.
Die Welt: It sounds like you would an Abba Reunion approach as a long-delayed but always made the leap ten meters tower: climb up fast, do not look down above, do not think, jump down.
Fältskog: That hits pretty well. Not only think – just do it.

Meanwhile, when asked for comment by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter Benny has responded “It’s probably best if you ask her. I think that I probably ought to know if it were up to date” (Google Translate again). In other words, he doesn’t know a thing about any reunion plans, but if there were such plans he would know.

“ABBA mulls possible reunion”

11 November, 2013

Thus screamed headlines around the world over the past couple of days.

Last week Agnetha was interviewed for German weekend newspaper Welt am Sonntag. Once published, the sensational claims of the story were soon translated to English by Sky News UK. That report was then picked up almost immediately by media outlets around the world, though they all reported the same story, almost word for word.

In the article Agnetha is quoted as saying “Of course it’s something we’re thinking about.” The question she is apparently answering is not published, but the article hints she is talking about an ABBA reunion for the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision Song Contest win in April next year. “There seem to be plans to do something to mark this anniversary in some way. But I can’t say at this point what will come of them.”

Agnetha only refers to “plans to do something to mark this anniversary”. This could mean almost anything. As we know there is The Official Photo Book published in April. There may be another Pop Talk at ABBA The Museum, like the recent event commemorating the Ring Ring Deluxe Edition. There could be a deluxe edition of the Waterloo album or some other musical re-releases. Aside from the book I don’t know of any other specific plans, but these are all are likely “plans to do something to mark this anniversary”. It does not necessarily mean that those plans will actively involve former ABBA members.

It’s also worth noting that the quotes have been translated from English to German, then back to English.

The Eurovision anniversary also marks the 15th anniversary of the premiere of the Mamma Mia! musical in London. No doubt there will be some form of celebration there.

With that, and now ABBA The Museum in Stockholm being an obvious base for celebrations, there is the potential to split ABBA members’ attendance.

The four former members of ABBA have avoided all possible reunion opportunities, from alleged multi-million dollar offers to record and perform, to Mamma Mia! openings and anniversaries, to the Eurovision 50th anniversary gala (which seemed designed solely to engineer an ABBA reunion appearance), to the opening of their very own museum. For the last decade we’ve rarely seen more than two together at any time.

For many years Björn has said at every opportunity that ABBA will not get together, stating “We are the only group of that status that has never been reunited. I think that is cool”. Benny has moved on, playing with BAO (though they do perform the occasional ABBA song), and composing music for films and events. His demeanour when he does attend ABBA events hints that he’d rather be somewhere else. Though Frida has said in the past that she would like to do something with the other three, she has consistently said that her musical life is behind her. At the museum opening she expressed surprise when told by a reporter that she had allegedly said that she would like to reunite ABBA. Agnetha herself said just a few months ago that it’s time to “let ABBA rest”.

In May Agnetha deliberately avoided the opening of ABBA The Museum, instead travelling to London to promote her new album, but conveniently latching on to the media interest about the museum. Though there were claims that her itinerary was planned before the museum opening was confirmed (unlikely, as the opening date would have been set many months ahead), there was nothing she did that couldn’t have been postponed a week or two, including the release of the CD itself.

And unfortunately for Agnetha, her message in this new interview that a deluxe edition of her album A is out in Germany on November 22nd, has been lost in the hysteria, though it was mentioned towards the end of the original German article.

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