ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, 20 years on

Published October 31, 2014

I can't quite believe that it's been a full 20 years since my first ABBA book, ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, was published. But it's true: it reached bookshops around this time way back in 1994. It made quite a splash in the ABBA fan community at the time, and notwithstanding biographies such as Bright Lights Dark Shadows - The Real Story Of ABBA and ABBA - The Story, it has remained my best-loved book among hardcore fans.

I'm very much aware that there is a demand for an updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, and it's something that I'd really like to do myself. Without making any commitment, I can at least say that at the moment it looks a little more promising than it has for a long while. Please note: This is NOT an announcement that an update of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions is imminent, I'm simply saying that there have been some positive developments recently. But it could very well go the other way, that the book is not updated in the near future. Either way, whenever I have some definite information, it will be posted on this site.

In the meantime, I leave you with this very nice apprecation of the book, originally posted by Edward Veldman on the Facebook group ABBAtalk earlier today. Enjoy!


In this year of anniversaries (and what a year is has been so far, with still some more goodies to come), there is one more anniversary that I just have to bring up.

At the end of October 1994 Carl Magnus Palm published his first ABBA book ‘The Complete Recording Sessions’. It was the start of a series of books, liner notes and internet articles by Carl Magnus that took writings about ABBA to a whole new, more serious and professional level.

Many people have referred to the book as the ‘ABBA Bible’, and I can only agree. It gives such a fantastic and detailed insight into the creative process of ABBA’s recordings and is an inexhaustible source of information on ABBA’s studio work. An essential read for every serious ABBA fan!

When I bought the Thank You For The Music box set in 1994 I read in the booklet about the release of this “meticulously researched” book and I immediately knew I had have it.

Remember, this was all in a time when we did not have access to the shared knowledge of ABBA fans around the world on the internet, and as Carl Magnus himself puts it, “very little of what had been written about them dealt with the creative aspects of their work.”

I got the book in February 1995, started reading it and haven’t really put it down since. I love reading about who played on what songs, on what dates songs were recorded (or discarded...) and what magic ABBA used to produce those phenomenal records.
It is always interesting to hear some new details in ABBA’s music when you know what to listen for and the wealth of details and previously unknown facts about their recordings have deepened my appreciation and love for ABBA’s music.

By the way, on Carl Magnus’ own website there is an extensive series of articles about the book, a must read!

A lot has happened in twenty years, and more details about ABBA’s recordings have surfaced since the book was published. I’m sure I’m not the only ABBA fan to say that I hope Carl Magnus will one day find the time and funding to write a fully updated version of this book.

But even it that never happens, I will forever be thankful for this fantastic piece of work.

Thank you Carl Magnus!