Part 11 (of 12): The book is published

Published March 30, 2010

Finally, in late October 1994, ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions was published. There had been quite some anticipation surrounding the release of the Thank You For The Music box set and The Complete Recording Sessions; the first few meda things in Sweden happened more than six months earlier. The news about the upcoming box set and the book was broken to the general public in the newspaper Expressen on March 19, 1994; the article was based on an interview with me. A while later I also made my very first television appearance. The programme was Go'morron Sverige ("Good Morning Sweden") on April 6, and the occasion was the 20th anniversary of ABBA's Eurovision Song Contest victory with Waterloo.

An article based on extracts from the book was published in the Sunday supplement of the Swedish newspaper Expressen. Although ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions was hardly a muck-raker, the paper somehow managed to sell the story as "For the first time, Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Björn tell all about the fights within ABBA". Oh dear...My agent also managed to stir up quite a lot of interest in conjunction with the actual publication. Extracts from the book were published in Exxet - which, at the time, was the Sunday supplement for Expressen - and also in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. I was interviewed on a couple of Swedish radio shows; on one of them, Efter tre ("After Three"), I appeared together with Michael Tretow; on another, Studio Ett ("Studio One"), I appeared with Björn Ulvaeus.

Less memorable was a telephone interview with a local radio station in the UK, where I was introduced as being from Denmark and the title of my book as "ABBA - The Golden Years"! Indeed, considering the UK was where the book was published, the overall media attention for it in England was scant: a few brief mentions here and there, but only one full-scale review, in the now defunct Vox magazine. Partly, the book was probably before its time: the world had just got used to ABBA being back again, and it appears the interest in the group was still regarded as a "temporary revival". I remember even in Sweden, my agent was talking to an interested publisher who declined after having been told - by people supposedly in the know - that "the ABBA thing was over". Also, I guess the book simply wasn't regarded as important enough outside the most ardent fan circles.

For me personally it was, of course, an amazing feeling to finally see the book in print. Perhaps the design wasn't exactly what I had envisioned - compare it with The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and you will see what I mean - but at least the information was out there for anyone to read who was interested in the history of ABBA's recorded work. Most importantly, Century 22 did actually publish the book at a time when almost no other publishers were interested. For that, I owe them plenty of gratitude.