Frida on the west coast...of Sweden

Published April 29, 2016

The first couple of weeks of September 1977 were both hectic and emotionally challenging for Frida. Having just learned that the father she'd long believed was dead was in fact alive and well and living in West Germany, he came to visit her for the first time on Friday, September 9, and didn't leave until Monday, September 12. On the very same day that he left, Frida travelled down to the town of Kungälv on Sweden's west coast to join Björn, Benny and Michael B. Tretow as they were doing work on the soundtrack for ABBA - The Movie and mixing 'The Name Of The Game' at the state-of-the-art Bohus Studio. As if that wasn't enough, while on the west coast she gave her only interview about her first meeting with her father to a Gothenburg newspaper - despite even saying in the interview that she felt highly uncomfortable doing it - before going back to Stockholm. With Agnetha's difficult pregnancy on top of that, I'm amazed that ABBA managed to get any work done at all during this period.

A local Kungälv newspaper also made a story on the ABBA members' visit, which I located a few weeks ago, illustrated by the attached photo, snapped by their own photographer. I've long since learned that I know zilch as to which ABBA photos are regarded as rare and unusual, but I'm guessing this picture has not been widely seen. Or...? Anyway, nothing remarkable, but the only picture I can recall seeing of Frida while she was in Kungälv.

More - much more! - about the Bohus Studio sessions in the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Learn more and pre-order your copy here:


Book talk at ABBA The Museum today

Published April 23, 2016

Today, I talked about ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions at the Friends & Fans Day at ABBA The Museum here in Stockholm.

Arranged by the museum together with the official fan club, the occasion was the 30th anniversary celebration of the fan club, a day filled with various fun activities. The highlight of the day for visitors was of course when Benny made a surprise appearance, took a few questions from the audience, and then sat down at the piano to play Thank You For The Music while the entire crowd of fans sang along.

It was a tough act to follow, but I felt like I had the attention of the audience, who were very enthusiastic. Many came up to me at various points during my time at the museum to offer encouragement and letting me know how much they are looking forward to the book. Thank you all for your support!

Read more about the book and pre-order your copy here:

An update on ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions

Published April 15, 2016

As regular readers of my blog and Facebook messages will know, work is ongoing on the very exciting project that is the revised and expanded edition of my book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Every day working on the book is a day of endless fascination for me, as disparate facts and information gleaned from listening to alternate mix tapes come together to form new theories and conclusions regarding ABBA's recorded work. If you're interested in how the group's music came to be, this is a book that will not disappoint.

There is an aspect I need to clarify, though. Contrary to what I believed when I first announced the project, there are some tapes that I will not be able to listen to. The multitrack tapes (i.e. 16-track and 24-track tapes) will remain off limits for everyone outside the group and their immediate circle. This was a misunderstanding on my part, and the misunderstanding is my responsibility entirely. There have been some discussions about this, but those have now reached the end of the line, so I please ask everyone not to contact the former ABBA members, their representatives or their record company about this. Much as I applaud passionate feelings about this project, contacting ABBA and their representatives at this stage is not going to help the book. Thanks for understanding.

What will this mean for the book? Less than you'd think, to be quite honest. The multitracks are unlikely to feature any unheard songs - there would have been traces of such titles on tape boxes or on session sheets if they existed - so what would remain would perhaps be a few alternate takes of backing tracks with no vocals. My understanding is also that many of these alternate backing track takes were junked along the way, so as to keep the library of multitracks neat and clean, which means that the remaining alternate takes will mostly be instrumental versions that perhaps ran a bit slower or a bit faster than the familiar version. 

Another important fact: On my journey through this project, I've come to the realisation that the alternate mixes do a much better job of telling the story of how ABBA's songs and recordings evolved over time than the multitracks would have done. It is in the alternate mixes that we can hear when certain overdubs were added in the process, when they were removed, and how ideas were put forward and discarded along the way. The multitracks would only show what was still on the tracks, without saying anything about in which order all the different elements and overdubs were added.

All in all: the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions will bring us all much closer to ABBA's working process and how their music was written and recorded than any other book has been able to - or, in all likelihood, will ever be able to accomplish. As the author of the book, I have been granted unique access to tapes and materials that are off-limits to most other people on this planet. Thanks to the support of ABBA fans all over the world, this book will now become a reality, and I guarantee a book that will be an eye-opener for everyone.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see some of you at the ABBA Friends and Fans Day at ABBA - The Museum here in Stockholm, when I will do a presentation about ABBA's recording sessions.

Pre-order your copy of the book here:


Programme for fan day at ABBA The Museum

Published April 07, 2016

Update April 20, 2016: The programme has changed slightly and I will now be doing my talk at 15:30 (see below).


ABBA The Museum and The Official International ABBA Fan Club have announced the programme for the ABBA The Museum Friends & Fans Day on Saturday, April 23. I will talk about ABBA's recording sessions and my upcoming book at 16.00 (4pm).

Pre-order your copy of the book here:

The programme is as follows:

Special celebration of 30 years ABBA Official Fan Club.

10:00 Museum opens.

11:30 Entertainment (to be announced).

12:00 Welcome message from Ingmarie, the Museum Director, and Helga, President of the Official International ABBA Fan Club.
- Premiere - Our new attraction at ABBA The Museum.
- The unique photos by Michael Svensson’s 24 hours with ABBA in Norrköping before the group’s European tour of –79. Michael will be there for Q & A and the newspaper he worked for then, and still does, will do a feature about the Friends & Fans day.

14:00 The Polar Studio exclusively opens its doors, with Lennart Östlund.

15:00 POP TALKS - The album ARRIVAL turns 40 years! Mia Segolsson (Polar Music) & Görel Hanser are interviewed by Ingmarie.

15:30 ABBA PRESENTATION - Carl Magnus Palm, the ABBA expert, talks about the group’s recording sessions.

16:00 Official Fan Photo 2016.

18:00 THANK YOU all and goodbye for this time.

In addition: put on your best ABBA clothing or clothing from the 70’s and you can win a really nice price from ABBA The Museum.

Price: 195kr if you buy the ticket online.
195kr+20kr (service fee) if you buy a ticket in the museum.

The wonders of Eagle

Published April 01, 2016

One of the nicest aspects of writing the revised and updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions is how some songs, that were never my favourites, all of a sudden reveal themselves to me and I fall in love with them. This has now happened with Eagle. It's a song I've always admired and liked, but never loved. But recently, listening to it over and over again, it just hit me what a fantastic song and recording it is.

I love the "slow walk" tempo, I love Agnetha and Frida's beautiful harmony singing (rounded off here and there by the soft tones of Björn and Benny, which shouldn't be forgotten), I love the chord changes underneath "higher and higher" at circa 02:25, and I love the guitar and synthesizer solo - 'Eagle' has just wormed itself into my heart and, I guess, into my ABBA Top Ten.

I've also stumbled across a couple of quite different alternate mixes of this particular song, which I'm looking forward to telling you all about in ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Support this project by pre-ordering your signed copy here: