Mixed emotions at the mixing desk

Published June 02, 2015

No tape-listening last week, but today I was back at Polar again, discovering more unheard alternate mixes from the 1975 ABBA album, all for the benefit of the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (pre-order your copy here). More insights gained, that's for sure and for certain.

Thought of the day: This may sound naïve, but listening to these alternate mixes I can't help wondering how Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow actually reached the conclusion of what worked, what didn't work, and what they were supposed to do to make it better. How did they know when an additional overdub was what was needed? Or when a little more echo or a little less echo would do the trick? Or, after including a certain overdub in mix after mix after mix, suddenly deciding that the recording would work better if they removed that particular sound ingredient from the equation? I guess it's all down to talent, intuition and many years's experience of creating music, but it's still something of a mystery.

I believe I've now listened to all alternate mixes up to and including the ABBA album. Next time: the Arrival era.

Pre-order your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions here.

Pushing the faders up or down - how do you make the decision?