"You think you've heard the latest ABBA single but you're wrong!"

Published September 29, 2016

I often feel like a late-comer to the world of ABBA, missing out on many pivotal events during their active years. But there was at least one instance when I managed to experience a fab event right when it happened.

Around this time 38 years ago, the 'Summer Night City' single was climbing the charts around the world, eventually giving ABBA their final number one single in their home country. On November 11, 1978, a radio programme entitled Skivspegeln Special ("The Record Mirror Special") was broadcast on Swedish radio. Hosted by ABBA pal Claes af Geijerstam, it was a one hour show in which "Clabbe", as he's known to most people in Sweden, played records interspersed with jingles and his American-radio-DJ-like patter - highly unusual in Sweden at the time.*

For some reason I recorded the entire programme on a cassette tape, and that's how I managed to capture the first public unveling of the full-length version of 'Summer Night City'. As most people reading this will be aware, a 45 second introduction had been removed from the single version to make it more immediately captivating, but Claes had gained permission from his friends in ABBA to play the full-length recording, which he said would be included on the upcoming album. This, of course, never happened, and it would take until 1994 before it was commercially released on the Thank You For The Music box set. Today, it's also available on Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition.

I thought it would be fun to go back in time and hear how it actually sounded when Claes played the song on his show. Click here for a Youtube link, which also includes an English translation of his introduction. Note: This clip is blocked in Germany, but you can also listen to it here and read the translation here.

The already convoluted story of the many different mixes and edits of 'Summer Night City' will of course be discussed in even more detail in the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions - it's an intriguing story, for sure!

Pre-order your copy at abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com. Every little pre-order helps make the book better. Many thanks in advance!

*In 1979, this format was transferred to Clabbe's own radio series, Rakt över disc ("Straight Across The Counter"), which ran for many years on Swedish radio.

Summer Night City - the unedited version was unveiled on Swedish radio in November 1978.