Flashback meeting with Agnetha

By Peter Dahlgren.

In 1974 the members of ABBA lived in two townhouses in Vallentuna. One was shared by Anni-Frid and Benny the other Agnetha and Björn. I was interested in prog at that time, therefore, before I was not that interested in the pop gang. But behind the facade, I was enthusiastic.

Norrtelje Magazine editor who is no ABBA fan, said that managing editor who likes ABBA, wants a centerfold. Lots of pictures, that is. But the moderately engaged the editors do not think it is worth sending a photographer. I may shoot myself. A decision he would later regret. As a local editor, I had to take the photos although I was barely knowledgeable of how to handle an SLR. Most photos I took were rarely good and the sharpness was not really my thing. But my protests didn't help. One of the photographers at the newspaper advised me to use the flash which would improve the sharpness of the photos.

When I spoke to Agnetha on the phone my heart beat a little faster. She sounded so nice and invited me at her home to do the story. When she opened the door she smiled sweetly and apologized because the place was a little messy. Besides her French bulldog she was alone. Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid qre next door to put a riff(?). They will come later. 

I put the camera bag on the floor and sat down at the kitchen table. Agnetha offered me some tea. I asked about how she felt as well as a few others. She responds patiently while her dog snoops with his nose in my camera bag. I ask if I can take some pictures of her while waiting for the others to come. There is no problem. But, it becomes a problem when I discover what the dog has done. The cable to the important flash and one corner of a camera bag is chewed by the irritated disobedient dog.

Agnetha sits next to me on the floor, picking up her dog and says "Fy". She cuddles for a while with the beast, then she turns to me, puts her hand on my shoulder and says, "Sorry!" I smile matt and immediately forget the broken cord. But the spell is broken when the others come into the kitchen. It gets a little awkward, but Agnetha quickly explained what happened.

I ask the other members of ABBA a few questions and take my photos without the flash. Later, back in the newsroom when the photographer came out of the dark room after developing my photo roll, he said the photo shoot didn't go very well.
"How bad is it?" I ask. 
"It's bad, but I will do my best, "he says.

I tried to blame the French bulldog but got no sympathy ... Much better was the course ABBA took in the SM and in the European Championships in Brighton. But also that brief moment on the kitchen floor I shared only with Agnetha ... and a hot-tempered, ill-mannered bulldog..."


How do you feel about the new Live album?

Now that the CD has been out for a while we would like to know how you feel about the 'new' live album? 

What is your personal highlight? What is the lowpoint on the record? 
And would it have been better to let someone else select the material and do the production in stead of Ludvig Andersson (perhaps releasing the Milwaukee concert is stead of Wembley) or did Ludvig do his job very well? 
We are curious what your feelings are...


Finally released: "I'm Still Alive"

I was a loser then
But I'm a winner now
I'd do it all again
Cause now I know how
How everything in life comes down to this
Surviivin' and living'
Determined not to give in

I'm still alive
My life is rollin' on
Gently from day to day
Memories will fade away,yes
I'm still alive
The agony has gone
Since my mind is slowly wakin'
And my heart has ceased its achin'

I took so many blows
I cried a sea of tears
And only heavens knows
How could I stand the fears
I think of all the nights I lay alone and scared
All shattered and cryin'
And thinkin' I was dyin'
(repeat chorus)


Finally the ABBAForum stopped!

Is the ABBAforum 'ABBA4ever' which was started up by a few fans 8 years ago forced to stop its activities due to the many copyright issues that the forum has to endure? 

Now that the forces that matter found out that many demo's from ABBA were leaked onto the forum and no action was taken by the moderators, the forum is closing down. This is a blessing since many true fans were already more than fed up with the 'rules' of the forum. (a forum that had no problem with allowing illegal material to be shared but had its moderators not allowing freedom of speech when it did not suit there personal views or benefits.) The forum has seen a decreasing number of active members since a majority was kicked off in favor of a hand full of preconceived fans. From October onwards that all will be history! 

Scoop: Benny speaks to Dutch journalist today.. and this is what he has to say...

According to the Dutch journalist that sproke to Benny today, "Just Like That" by ABBA will NOT be officially released. Benny is quite clear that he does not want the song to be out. The ultimate version has been released by Gemini, fans can listen to that. 

Benny said that he does feel Agnetha should record her own music and would be willing to help, if Agnetha would ask him. But she has not asked him, he said with a smile. According to Benny chances are that Agnetha will record more music in the future "Why not, she still has a great voice", he said. Frida has no plans to record again.

Benny looks forward to the release of 'his' film and sees himself create a new musical in the future. He works in the studio every day.  Obviously ABBA is a thing of the past, but Benny realizes Universal will do anything to keep ABBA alive. "We will see what happens, but I do not think we will ever release unreleased material again as there is very little left to release  that we are willing to share."

The full interview will be published in a new Book about ABBA packed with interviews and really rare images which will be released in the BeNeLux next year. 

Snippets of the interview will be printed in de Volkskrant newspaper at the time of the release of 'ABBA Live at wembley Arena'. 

GRACIAS POR LA MUSICA to be released as a Deluxe edition

Gracias por la música Deluxe Edition – ABBA’s Spanish recordings on CD and DVD
The celebrations of ABBA’s 40th Anniversary year of 2014 continue with the latest release in the acclaimed ABBA Deluxe Edition series. In April of this year, Waterloo Deluxe Edition was released, attracting 4-star reviews in the music press, and in November, ABBA’s Spanish-language 1980 album Gracias por la música will receive the Deluxe Edition treatment. The original album has been expanded with 5 bonus tracks, plus a 40-minute DVD featuring vintage promo clips and previously unreleased television material. Gracias por la música Deluxe Edition will be released November 10, 2014.
ABBA’s Spanish adventure began in 1979, when it was suggested that the group should record a Spanish-language version of their latest hit single, ‘Chiquitita’. This was in order to facilitate a breakthrough in Latin America, where ABBA hadn’t yet achieved success on the level of the Abbamania that gripped the rest of the world. The results of this single release were astounding: ‘Chiquitita’ rushed to the top of the charts all over Latin America, and became the biggest hit in 25 years in this part of the world.
In 1980, an entire album of Spanish-language ABBA songs was recorded. Appropriately entitled Gracias por la música (“Thank You For The Music”), this also became a huge hit – even entering the charts in the not-very-Spanish-speaking Japan! Since then, ABBA have been consistently popular in Latin America.
The first disc in the 2-disc Deluxe Edition of Gracias por la música is a CD, which features the original album plus five bonus tracks. The bonus selections are the remaining Spanish tracks recorded by ABBA, four of which were originally included on the albums Super Trouper and The Visitors in Spanish-language territories. The DVD features the five official promo clips ABBA did for ‘Estoy soñando’ (“I Have A Dream”), ‘Conociéndome, conociéndote’ (“Knowing Me, Knowing You”), ‘Gracias por la música’ (“Thank You For The Music”), ‘Felicidad’ (“Happy New Year”) and ‘No hay a quien culpar’ (“When All Is Said And Done”). Additionally, there are three previously unreleased TV items: two performances of ‘Chiquitita’ from 1979, plus a 1980 interview with the group made for Spanish TV, which also features a unique – in every sense of the word – performance of ‘¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!’ (“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight]”).
The package also includes a 20-page illustrated booklet featuring a personal greeting from Frida, as well as an essay on the making of the album. The essay includes brand new insights from Buddy & Mary McCluskey, who instigated the Spanish-language recordings and wrote the Spanish lyrics for ABBA, and Ana Martinez del Valle, who coached Agnetha and Frida in the studio. In the booklet, Frida’s greeting and the essay are featured in both Spanish and English.
Don’t miss out on this unique celebration of an often overlooked part of ABBA’s glorious career!
Disc 01, CD:
1.  Gracias por la música
– Thank You For The Music –
2.  Reina danzante
– Dancing Queen –
3.  Al andar
– Move On –
4.  ¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!
– Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) –
5.  Fernando
6.  Estoy soñando
– I Have A Dream –
7.  Mamma mía
8.  Hasta mañana
9.  Conociéndome, conociéndote
– Knowing Me, Knowing You –
10. Chiquitita
Bonus tracks
11.  Ring ring
12.  Andante, andante
13.  Felicidad
– Happy New Year –
14.  No hay a quien culpar
– When All Is Said And Done –
15.  Se me está escapando
– Slipping Through My Fingers –
Disc 02, DVD:
1. Chiquitita (300 millones, TVE)
2. Chiquitita (Aplauso, TVE)
3. Estoy soñando (promo clip)
4. ABBA On Spanish TV (Especial Aplauso 100, TVE)
Conociéndome, conociéndote (promo clip)
Gracias por la música (promo clip)
¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!
5. Felicidad (promo clip)
6. No hay a quien culpar (promo clip)
7. International Sleeve Gallery