What's this cat got to do with ABBA's Super Trouper?

Published January 05, 2017

One of the best aspects of conducting interviews for the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions is the unexpected anecdotes that emerge during the conversations. Take the backing track session for 'Super Trouper' on 3 October 1980 when, according to percussionist Åke Sundqvist, they had a visit from bassist Louis Johnson of soul/funk outfit The Brothers Johnson.

The duo were at the height of their career in 1980, having just enjoyed a US Top Five placing with their Quincy Jones-produced platinum album Light Up The Night and its fantabulous Top Ten Pop hit single ‘Stomp!’. On 3 October the band were playing a show at Stockholm’s Konserthuset venue, and although musicians from the African-American community haven’t been too vocal about being ABBA fans, Louis Johnson was apparently a huge admirer of the group and begged to be allowed to come and watch the session. I guess it just proves that the boundaries regarding what kind of music so-and-so is "supposed" to like are completely imaginary.

The musicians were invited to come to the Brothers Johnson concert that night; ABBA themselves were of course otherwise engaged, as this was the night when the Super Trouper album sleeve photo was shot.

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Bassist Louis Johnson attended the Super Trouper sessions.