Posts Tagged ‘Frida’

Mamma Mia! It’s ABBA 2016

21 January, 2016

abbamammamiatheparty

Much to everyone’s surprise, not only did Bjorn, Frida, Benny and Agnetha attend the opening of Mamma Mia! The Party at Gröna Lund in Stockholm on the evening of Wednesday 20 January 2016, but the four appeared together on stage, posing and waving (briefly, for about 20 seconds or so).

(Photo: @grönalund instagram)

There’s Something Going On

15 August, 2015

Something's Going On Deluxe EditionTo commemorate Frida’s 70th birthday in November, Polar Music is releasing a limited edition of her most successful international album, Something’s Going On, on 23 October.

The three-disc set contains the original 1982 album plus two bonus tracks (the same bonus tracks as the 2005 remaster); a DVD featuring the documentary Something Going On – The Making of a Record Album, the promotional video clips for four of the album’s songs, and two interviews; and a 7-inch vinyl single of the hit ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’.

The set also includes an art card of the album cover signed by Frida, and a booklet including liner notes written by Frida. It is limited to 2,000 copies.

From the images that have appeared so far on the official ABBA site, it looks like it will be a lovely, quality tribute for Frida’s birthday.

Something’s Going On was Frida’s declaration of independance from ABBA, just a few months before the band came to an end. The album sounded very different from anything she had done before, as a solo artist or in ABBA. Frida had been inspired by Phil Collins’ solo album Face Value, and hired him to produce. Though with such a distinctive style, at times it does sound like a Phil Collins album with Frida singing. Despite that, it’s my personal favourite of all the ABBA members’ solo albums.

Yes, there could have been more on the CD, but would the available suitable tracks add any value?  There is the single edit of ‘To Turn The Stone’, which takes a five and a half minute epic and hacks it down to 3.24; the alternate mix of ‘Here We’ll Stay’ that originally appeared on the Polar cassette version of the album, which would then put three versions of the same song on the CD; The outtake ‘Shot Down In Action’, which is included in the documentary, and is likely incomplete; the ABBA-cadabra songs ‘Belle’ and ‘Time’, which would sound out of place on this album, and may not be available from the rights holders. Frida herself has previously vetoed the issue of unreleased recordings.

Unfortunately distribution has been a bit of a mess due to third party providers. Amazon.co.uk has had it available for pre-order for many weeks, but with no details so customers did not know what they were ordering, and it’s now listed as “currently unavailable”. It appeared on ABBA The Museum’s webstore for about six hours (between midnight and 6 am CET, when its prime audience was asleep), the off and on for a few more hours until the allotted 100 copies were ordered. Since the official announcement it has appeared on a few more European webstores.

A limited item like this should have been available from a single official source, like ABBA The Museum or uDiscover. Hopefully distribution will be sorted out, so that all fans who want a copy get the chance to order it.

More information at ABBA | The official site.

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New music from Frida

25 January, 2015

1865Much to everyone’s surprise, in October 2014 Frida announced that she was working on a new musical project.

The new song, ‘1865’ is scheduled for release on 13 February. It’s a duet with Swiss entertainer Dan Daniell, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn, near Frida’s and Dan’s hometown of Zermatt.

Frida and Dan have previously collaborated in 2003 on the single ‘Lieber Gott’, which also featured a cover of ABBA’s ‘I Have A Dream’. Like that previous single, proceeds are donated to the charity Kinder in not (children in need).

Like all of Frida’s releases after 1996, she’s singing in support of a friend. Fans expecting “Frida’s next single” have expressed disappointment. But this is the Frida we have in the 21st century – an occasional song on another artist’s release. If not for these collaborations, we wouldn’t hear Frida’s voice at all.

‘1865’ will be available on CD from retailers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and from ABBA The Museum and the ABBA Fan Club Shop, and download from iTunes and Amazon (UK, Germany, France, Italy, SpainUSA).

Like an angel passing through my room

17 February, 2011

British actor, singer, writer, comedian Christopher Green has been, like many of us, an ABBA fan since he was a child in the mid-1970s.

In 2006, while performing at a function as his character country and western superstar Tina C, he was lucky enough to meet Frida, who happened to be a guest.

That happenstance meeting started Christopher on a journey, looking into the nature of relationships, of love and loss. It also led him to reevaluate his relationship with his long-time idol.

Later he would sit down for an intimate one-to-one conversation with Frida. The final result is a radio play broadcast this week on BBC Radio 4, Like an Angel Passing through My Room, named after the last track on ABBA’s final album, The Visitors.

In the play Christopher recounts, both as narrator and in reenactments by two actors, that initial meeting with Frida. In conversation Christopher and Frida talk about relationships, both as fan and idol, and a surprisingly frank and personal reflection from both as they discuss the loss of their beloved partners. The play is incredibly moving.

Like an Angel Passing through My Room can be heard for the next seven days on BBC iPlayer.

If you feel moved enough to make any comments, you can send General Comments, Pick Of The Week, or Feedback.

Frida photo for auction at ABBAWORLD.com

1 October, 2010

Coming soon to ABBAWORLD.com Frida is offering a special gift for auction, a special photograph that she has taken herself . 

In her life after ABBA and away from the public sphere Frida has taken up photography as a hobby and has taken many photographs on her travels around the world. Particularly in Africa, where many animals still run free in the wild. 

Now she is offering one of her personal photographs on auction through ABBAWORLD. The photo is of a pride of lions fighting, a unique oportunity for most professional photgraphers, let alone a hobby photographer.

Frida has offered ten prints of her photograph which will be available for auction at ABBAWORLD.com. Each photograph will be individually numbered and personally signed by Frida. The highest bidder will also rececive a special personal message from Frida.

All profits from the auction will be donated to Kinder in not, a foundation that Frida and her friend Dan Daniell founded to help children in need. The auction should open next week at ABBAWORLD.com. Check the website for details.

(thanks to Ingmarie Halling and Jason Tuazon-McCheyne)

FFS! Another reunion story

1 October, 2010

British fans were surprised to see the front cover of tabloid newspaper Daily Express declare “ABBA STARS TO SING AGAIN“, featuring a lovely photograph of Agnetha and Frida taken at the Mamma Mia! movie premiere in Stockholm in July 2008.

Inside the paper Frida is quoted “It would be great to do something with Agnetha,” … “If we did, it would be hard to avoid all the pressure because of Abba. It could never be low-key.”

That’s the basis of the entire story. The quote comes from an interview Frida gave to Swedish paper Dagens Nyether that was published on 20 September. (Read the original story here, English translations at Mikory’s ABBA Blog and icethesite)

In the interview Frida is asked ” if there is one singer with a quality she wished she’d had” she names Agnetha, and when asked “Have you ever spoken about singing together again?” she replies:

“We talk and laugh about it sometimes, but life is changing, we’re getting older and there are so many other things that may be more important and which take up our time. It is clear that it would be great to do something with Agnetha. It is difficult though. If we would do something it would be so hard to avoid all the incredibly pretentious context that it would bring and all the associated pressure. There is such a fascination and curiosity that we could never do something simple and low-key, just because of that I do not think it will come off.”

And on the basis of that, another British tabloid beat up is born. As the story has travelled around the world it has been twisted to say that Frida is “keen to head back to the studio with [Agnetha]”.

It hasn’t helped matters that ABBA fans everywhere had already been discussing the original interview with such comments as “Frida would love to sing with Agnetha again”.

Oi vey!

Frida sings!

20 September, 2010

ReconnectionTo the surprise of almost everyone last Tuesday afternoon (CET) Swedish Radio premiered the first new recording by Frida in six years. There had been rumours that Frida had recorded something new after comments she made during interviews at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in March.

Frida has recorded a version of the popular hymn ‘Morning Has Broken’, as the opening track on Swedish guitarist Georg Wadenius‘ new CD Reconnection. Reconnection features songs sung by a number of Swedish artists, including Helen Sjöholm and Peter Jöback.

Widenius has had a long career in both Sweden and the USA since the 1960s. During his career he has worked with many domestic Swedish stars plus some of the biggest names in the international music world. In recent years he has worked on other ABBA-related projects, including Helen Sjohölm’s CD Visor (2002) and Anne Sofie Von Otter’s tribute to the Benny and Björn songbook I Let The Music Speak (2006)

Like almost everything else that Frida has recorded in the last decade the song has strong religious overtones, but also a strong personal connection for Frida. The lyric for ‘Morning Has Broken’ was written in 1931 by British poet Eleanor Farjeon, based on a traditional Gaelic tune that had been used as a Christmas carol in the 19th century. It is best known to most people in the hit single by Cat Stevens in 1972. Read more about ‘Morning Has Broken’ at Wikipedia.

Reconnection will be released on October 25 2010.

Vote for the UK's favourite ABBA song

14 September, 2010

UK television network ITV is asking ABBA fans to vote for “The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song” for a new 90-minute TV special to be broadcast later this year.

Fans have a choice from ABBA’s 25 UK chart hit singles, from Eurovision winner ‘Waterloo’ in 1974 to ‘Thank You For The Music’, released in 1983, six years after its appearance on ABBA – The Album, to promote a compilation album of the same name. Missing are the orignal 1973 release of ‘Ring Ring’ and the 1974 single ‘So Long’, both of which did not enter the UK singles chart, and the 1979 number 3 hit ‘Angeleyes’, the UK’s preferred side of the double A side with ‘Voulez-Vous’ – probably because ‘Angeleyes’ does not have a video, while the other side of the single does.

ITV promises that “band members Bjorn [sic] and Frida tell all about how these 25 songs came about”, but stories now circulating like this one probably exaggerate their participation – interviews with Björn and Frida, plus other ABBA-connected people and various celebrities have already been recorded.

Vote now at ITV.com. Voting closes on Monday 11th October 2010. It is unclear from the website whether votes from non-UK visitors will be counted.

ABBA wins Lifetime Achievement Award: Agnetha and Frida accept award together

23 January, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Last night ABBA was awarded the Rockbjörnen Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony at Cirkus in Stockholm. The Rockbjörnen awards are voted by readers of Aftonbladet.

In a huge surprise moment, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad-Reuss took to the stage together to accept the award.

See video of Agnetha and Frida’s award acceptance here. Read reports of the ceremony here  (in Swedish). A photo gallery, including many photos of Agnetha and Frida, can be seen here, along with a live blog (also in Swedish).

The pair were interviewed afterwards. Read the interview here (in Swedish) here (in English), and another English translation of the interview at icethesite.

2008 in review

1 January, 2009

Benny, Agnetha, Frida, Björn, Stockholm 4 July 2008 (fantasy photo, thanks to Raffem.com)2008 turned into one of the most phenomenal years in ABBA’s 36 year history, another peak in the ongoing ABBA revival.

Of course, this was mainly due to the film version of the musical based on the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA!

Following its premiere in London on 30 June, the movie became the number one film in many countries, even up against such blockbuster fare as the Batman sequel The Dark Knight. MAMMA MIA! has gone on to break box office records, becoming the highest-grossing film ever in the UK.

The movie divided critics and fans, but there’s no denying that it propelled ABBA back into the limelight. To date it has grossed more than US$570 million.

The Stockholm premiere of MAMMA MIA! on 4 July saw that rarest of events, the four former ABBA members at the same place at the same time. Agnetha and Frida danced together with actress Meryl Streep on the red carpet, and for the first time in over 22 years the four were photographed together, albeit alongside the film’s cast and crew. This disappointed many, but within hours Photoshopped pictures of “the ABBA reunion” (like the one above) were spread around the world.

The movie’s soundtrack CD was also a huge hit, topping the Billboard Album chart – the first ABBA-related album to top the US charts. The recently released DVD has already broken sales records in less than two months.

ABBA’s original recordings also made an impact this year, with the flagship compilation ABBA Gold topping the chart again in the UK, becoming the oldest number one album ever, and  it also topped the Billboard Pop Catalogue chart for the first time.

Other compilations including The Definitive Collection, Number Ones, 18 Hits and even the new box set ABBA – The Albums made chart appearances.

Updated versions of ABBA Gold, More ABBA Gold and the box set Thank You For The Music attracted new buyers, as did The Albums box set. A vinyl reissue of ABBA – The Album commemorated the 60th anniversary of the 12 inch 33⅓ rpm long-playing record.

Agnetha released a new double CD compilation of her Swedish and English solo songs, My Very Best.

Many unique ABBA books were released during the year, including ABBA & Me (a Dutch fan’s story), Historia de ABBA en ArgentinaMade in Suécia: o paraíso pop do ABBA (from Brazil), ABBA Let The Music Speak (a musician’s guide to ABBA), ABBA: The Scrapbook (a pictorial history), ABBA – The Story (the first full-length ABBA biography in Swedish, also in Norwegian and Danish versions), plus an updated version of the definitive English biography Bright Lights Dark Shadows.

Stig Anderson’s daughter Marie Ledin wrote a memoir of her father, Min pappa hette Stikkan. Benny denounced the anticipated tell-all, but in reality it was a loving tribute without the expected salacious gossip about the split between Stig and ABBA.

ABBA also joined the lucrative games market, with Singstar ABBA for PlayStation.

For a group that came to an end 26 years ago, that’s a lot more action than could be expected over many years, let alone all in one.

In sad news, drummer Ola Brunkert died in March at the age of 61 following an accident, and photographer Bengt H. Malqvist died in November at the age of 80.

And what of the future? There are those, including Benny himself, who see ABBA as over after this year.

2009 sees the 10th anniversary of the stage musical MAMMA MIA! along with the 35th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision Song Contest win; no doubt there will be commemorations for the twin anniversaries. ABBA’s Voulez-Vous album was released 30 years ago in April, and if past history is anything to go by, we may get a Deluxe Version of the album.

ABBA the Museum was to open in Stockholm in June, but due to problems with the site the opening has been postponed indefinitely. In the meantime the museum’s collection will be touring the world.

Benny Anderssons Orkester (Benny Andersson’s Orchestra, or BAO) will tour Sweden again in the northern Summer, and will also perform its first-ever concert in London in July. There is also talk of an English-language album – some songs have already been recorded.

Björn, Frida and Agnetha will probably remain as they have for the past few years, mostly maintaining their private lives with the occasional public appearance.

And while the music lives on, so will ABBA.


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