I've got a queen dancing around in my brain

Published October 15, 2015

When I first announced, about 10 months ago, that I was going to publish a revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com), and that I was shooting for a November 2016 publication date, there were some who said, "Surely you mean November 2015?"

Well, no, I did mean November 2016, because this project takes time, not least writing about the individual recordings. While the stories behind some songs, such as 'What About Livingstone', are comparatively easy to summarise - not exactly an overload of anecdotes and background info on that particular track - with others there is so much to sort through that it literally takes days to piece the story together.

Take a recent example from the CMP desk: 'Dancing Queen'. There are the memories from the four ABBA members as told to me and/or others; various alternate mixes of the song; session sheets; track sheets; the quite detailed recollections of drummer Roger Palm; as well as many other pieces of information of varying degrees of significance. Just to sort through it all, sifting fact from fiction, deciding what's important and what's not, and then working out some kind of reasonable chronology of events is a challenge with a capital C. That's even before I've started writing about it, which introduces the challenge of presenting a very factual story in an entertaining and engaging way. Obviously, I'm not complaining, because it's a challenge I relish. But I have to admit, sometimes, after an entire day of just sorting through information, I ask myself: "Where did all the time go and what have I actually accomplished?"

Suffice it to say that I'm hoping that the updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions will present the most detailed account ever published of how 'Dancing Queen' was written, recorded and released.

Pre-order your copy here: abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com.


Notes from listening to alternate mixes...the drummer's memories...interview extracts...vintage documents - it all adds up to the story of ABBA's Dancing Queen. Collage: Chris Williams.