Flashback to 1993

Published April 01, 2015

In case you haven't pre-ordered your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions in the second crowdfunding campaign, the opportunity is still there (or why not order a second copy for yourself or a friend). Just click here: igg.me/at/abbatcrs

In today's blog, I thought we might travel back in time to 29 October 1993, the day when I listened to unreleased music together with Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow in Michael's home studio. Without a doubt, this will forever rank as one of the most exciting days of my life. This was the time when songs like Put On Your White Sombrero and Just A Notion re-emerged, to eventually be released in complete or partial form a year later (on the Thank You For The Music box set).

Barely legible: the notes I made the first time I heard Just A Notion, back in October 1993.
Barely legible: the notes I made the first time I heard Just A Notion, back in October 1993.

Indeed, one of my favourite tracks from that listening session was Just A Notion, the scribbled notes about which you will see in the picture above. In the notes I tried to describe the tempo and general feel of the recording: "Boogie, Why Did It Have (slightly faster) [referring to ABBA's Why Did It Have To Be Me, of course], Waterloo". Then some other keywords: "major key, Beach Boys, lots of harmony singing, Crystals/Ronettes [I was probably thinking of a Crystals track such as Da Doo Ron Ron], Duane Eddy [the twangy guitar riffs]". Then, of course, I also scribbled down a few lines from the lyrics.

Perhaps the biggest revelation of all was Put On Your White Sombrero. When we listened to the tapes that day, sometimes none of us would have the slightest idea what to expect. Michael pushed up the faders for all of the 24 tracks on a particular tape, so that we would hear what was on there. Most recordings were in a slightly unfinished state: still very exciting to listen to, but not complete productions. Put On Your White Sombrero was different. I will never forget the feeling when those angelic backing vocals from Agnetha and Frida came on. As I recall, there were big smiles all across the room. Personally, I had goose-bumps!

I'm sure there will be further revelatory moments ahead as I research the updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Pre-order your copy here: igg.me/at/abbatcrs

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