Brief excerpt of original Fernando demo

Published September 28, 2017

SVT (Swedish Television) are currently airing a series about the stories behind major hits, with last week's episode focusing on Emilia's 1998 global smash 'Big Big World'. The song was of course co-written and produced by Lasse Anderson, the son of ABBA manager Stig Anderson.

Lasse's heritage, growing up with Stig as a father and working within the Polar Music organisation, is allued to in the programme, and what's of interest to us here is the excerpt from the 1975 documentary Mr Trendsetter, about Stig Anderson, featured in the programme. Let's look up page 164 in ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions ( and find out why.

In a section about the recording of 'Fernando', we can read the following: "Interestingly, a Swedish documentary about Anderson, entitled Mr Trendsetter and filmed around this time, features footage of the ABBA manager working on the lyrics in his house on the Viggsö island. A few bits of Björn and Benny humming and playing the tune on a cassette tape can be heard in the background – the only known instance of any of these Andersson/Ulvaeus cassette demos being heard in public."

Well, a bit of that "Fernando demo" segment of Mr Trendsetter is included in the Big Big World programme, albeit obscured by narration. But you can just about make it out behind the talking, so I thought it might be of interest to ABBA fans. Oh, and I also realised there is an error in the text: the demo was not recorded on a cassette tape but on a reel-to-reel tape - I wonder where that tape is now...

Listen to the 10-second demo excerpt here.

Order your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions at


Stig Anderson working on the Swedish lyrics for Fernando in his summer house in the Stockholm archipelago.