New features in ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions

Published January 04, 2015

As promised in my previous post about ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, in this blog I will reveal some of the new features in the updated, revised and expanded edition of the book.

But first I'd like to announce that I now have a designer for the project. If you're a member of ABBA Intermezzo Fan Club you will be aware that they publish a very nicely designed magazine. The brains behind the look of the magazine is Maria Nicholas, and I'm very happy that she has offered her services to design my book.

Maria, based in the United States, is a designer by profession, and we've already started discussing various solutions for the layout and overall look of the book. I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far and feel confident that we will have a book that will be both stylish and reader-friendly. If you're interested in checking out her work, please visit her website (personally, I'm especially impressed by this example of her stellar work).

Now, over to the new features in the book. One thing that I want to accomplish with the new edition is to expand its scope a little. The original version of the book offered details of recording dates, mixes, the creative aspects of writing and recording ABBA's music, and plenty of commentary from the four ABBA members, engineer Michael B. Tretow and the musicians. That approach served me well, and it's not something I want to lose sight of for the new edition.

However, I also want to "open up" the book and bring in the outside world just a little. One subject I'd like to focus on in a little more detail is how ABBA's singles and albums were received at the time of their original release, and so I've decied to include a selection of contemporary review quotes - both good and bad. Let me tell you, the reviews I've assembled so far have been quite revelatory, and when you bring them together they provide a very clear picture of exactly how ABBA's music was viewed by the media at the time. For example, I hadn't quite realised just what a marked difference there was between a positive review of the Waterloo album in the Swedish press and one in the US press. I think you will find it just as interesting as I do.

Another new feature will be the stories behind the original Polar Music album sleeves (and single sleeves as well, where, admittedly, there may sometimes be less to say, but one or two interesting tidbits for some of the seven-inch sleeves will be included nevertheless). You may feel that you already know everything about the album sleeves, but I feel confident that I will be able to widen the perspective considerably and provide new, previously unpublished details. Or, if nothing else, bring together all the facts and stories into one place, which is also one of the goals of the book.

Well, those are some of the new features in the revised edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. I will return with more details in a future blog. And don't forget that the crowdfunding campaign, hopefully making the book a reality, will start 28 January.

More information about the updated version of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions can be found here. It's easy to be notified of updates about the book by following me on Facebook or on Twitter. (If you're worried that you're going to be inundated with updates and tweets, fear not - I seldom post things not related to my work, and you will usually only hear from me a few times every week, at the most.)

I will be talking about the revised edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions at an event hosted by the Facebook group ABBAtalk in London on 7 February 2015. More details and tickets here.