On and on in the ABBA tape archives

Published November 05, 2015

Recent tape listening for the revised and updated ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions has taken me into the Super Trouper era, and I'm almost done with that period now. I can't reveal so much about what I've heard without spoiling the surprises when the book is published, except to say that it is, as always, very interesting to hear all the various mixing attempts as Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow journeyed towards the finished versions of the songs. And I guess I can at least reveal that there was one song from this period where I thought, "hmm, that thing you removed from the mix might possibly have made the recording even better if you'd retained it". All details will of course be revealed in the book.

On another note, sometimes there are ABBA tracks from recording periods unrelated to the other tracks on the reference discs, and just the other day 'The Day Before You Came' was one of the songs that appeared in the midst of the Super Trouper tracks. It turned out that it wasn't an alternate mix in this case - it was the familar version - but I still had to listen to it all the way through just to make sure there weren't any surprises.

Although it's a song I've heard many, many times - and familiarity tends to sometimes breed, if not exactly contempt, then at least a certain lack of enthusiasm - I was again struck by its sheer brilliance and just got very excited about listening to it. My opinion is usually that one has to respect that not everyone has the same tastes in music, but as I listened to 'The Day Before You Came', I caught myself thinking, "How can anyone not love this song? There must be something wrong with them if they don't." Arrogant, I know, but that's how I felt at that particular moment. I guess that's the power of music, and how certain songs become a self-evident part of our very existence.

Pre-order ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions here: abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com


ABBA on location, shooting the video for the brilliant The Day Before You Came.