Writing about ABBA - it's a jigsaw puzzle

Published August 27, 2015

In last week's blog on the revised and expanded edition ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, I wrote about having all the facts and figures collected and easily accessible in one and the same place. When this is the case, it's almost like pushing a button when you're doing the actual writing.

Another fascinating aspect is the "jigsaw puzzle factor". This is when scattered facts, stories and eyewitness accounts are brought together and suddenly a picture emerges that is entirely new or at least more complete. Separately, those pieces of the puzzle may be interesting in themselves, but then you realise that they actually fit together and will create something you didn't even know was there to be seen.

I feel like I'm experiencing this all the time as I'm writing this book. For instance, just now I was piecing together the story about the 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' single. Suddenly, a random note I made about it when I did my original research back in 1993 acquired a meaning and importance it didn't have before when coupled with facts I've found during more recent research and interviews. I love it when that happens, and I'm sure it's going to keep on happening as I go on finding and adding other pieces to the puzzle that is the story of ABBA's recorded work.

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


Pushing the button

Published August 20, 2015

Do you remember that story of how, when ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Waterloo', Stig Anderson had prepared everything so that it was just like "pushing a button"? He had seen to it that the single was available all over Europe, paid personal visits to local record companies and radio stations, handed out promotional material left, right and centre, and so on. Basically, everybody who needed to be familiar with ABBA and 'Waterloo' knew exactly who they were, and so when the "button" was "pushed" the record could swiftly become the big hit it deserved to be.

I was reminded of this story yesterday as I got to grips with the 1975 chapter in the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Without comparing myself to Stig, I realised that I was in a similar position for this particular chapter. Most of the additional research I wanted to do has been done, I've listened to all available alternate mixes for tracks recorded this year, and I've organised my notes so that I have them handy. Oh, I haven't talked to each and every person I want to interview yet, and there are a number of question marks that need to be straightened out, but still, I feel I'm in a very good place. I can push the writing button and just enjoy the work.

At the moment I'm writing about 'Bang-A-Boomerang' (the version that ended up on the ABBA album), a song it seems Björn and Benny don't like so much today, mainly because of the lyrics. I've always liked it though, and the video is one of my favourites of ABBA's promo clips. They look so happy and alive in it, and the song itself offers so much of that high-energy super-catchiness that was ABBA's hallmark.

My findings about this and all other ABBA recordings will of course be revealed in the book, which can be pre-ordered here: abbathecompleterecordingsessions.com

Recording Agnetha and Frida's vocals

Published August 13, 2015

One of many reasons for doing an updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions is to improve the prose - basically, I'm rewriting the book from the ground up. As I look back at some of the original writing, I cringe a bit. I don't mean to take away anything from readers who enjoyed the original edition, but as one's book is published most writers feel like they want to go back and redo much of it.

However, there are a few sections in the original edition that I think read pretty well. One such bit is the description of how Agnetha and Frida's vocals were recorded. Although I hope to improve on that as well, I still think it wasn't too bad in the 1994 version.

Click here to read about Agnetha and Frida's vocals.

Pre-order the revised and expanded edition of the book here.

Should you buy the ABBA recording sessions book? There's an FAQ to help you decide

Published August 06, 2015

Does the mention of "the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions" make you scratch your head, like Björn? Or does it send you into confusion, like Agnetha? Then you'll be relieved to know that there is help to be had.

Last week I launched the brand new pre-ordering page for ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, and at the same time I also updated the FAQ page for the book on this website. So if you're wondering whether to buy the book or not, please consult the FAQ for more information about it. And don't forget that my website also offers lots more background info about the book: both the upcoming, vastly improved version - including excerpts from the book - and the original "fan-favourite" edition. Just click here to access it all.