The making of The Winner Takes It All and Our Last Summer - an excerpt from ABBA The Complete Recording Sessions

Published August 24, 2017

The book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions is referred to as "a fantastic work" by ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus, while reviewers call it "an enlightening study of a pop phenomenon" and "the ultimate ABBA artefact". ABBA fans all over the world have been equally enthusiastic in their praise. In other words, if you're a serious ABBA fan or just interested in the story of pop music, this book is definitely for you.

If you want to read an excerpt from the book, look no further. The 9 pages available here will let you in behind the scenes as ABBA write and record 'The Winner Takes It All' and 'Our Last Summer' in the summer of 1980. (Because of the author's lack of pdf editing skills the first page brings you mid-paragraph into a preceding entry - consider it a bonus! - so scroll down to start reading about 'The Winner Takes It All'.)

Enjoy your reading - and then order the book here:

2 stars out of 10 for Thank You For The Music

Published August 17, 2017

The revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions ( features almost four pages detailing the story behind the compiling of the 1994 box set Thank You For The Music. However, some of the reviewers of the box set at the time of its original release would probably not agree that it was worthy of such attention. 

I thought the most damning review may have been the 2-out-of-5 mauling in Q magazine, but the other day I came across this 2-out-of-10 submission from Vox, written by Steve Malins. You don't need to be a genius mathematician to figure out that 2 stars out of 10 translates as 1 star out of 5. Ouch! So here is the review for your reading pleasure, or displeasure as the case might be.

"After two recent greatest hits packages, the only motivation for this four-CD, 66 track monster is hollow-bellied greed. Most of the material is etched into the psyche of British suburbia, and hardly needs further introduction. This leaves one CD of rare B-sides and six previously unreleased tracks to justify the whole. Most of this paltry addition to the Abba story should have remained locked away in Benny and Bjorn's bottom drawer, with only 'Put On Your White Sombrero' and 'Dream World' exuding any charm. The latter is particularly worthwhile, as it includes a melody later massacred by the boys on the rocky 'Does Your Mother Know?'. As for the rest, it's a pitiful mix of rotten flipsides, folksongs, live recordings, and, worst of all, more Abba songs with the beards on vocals."

Along with the box set and the original albums, those rotten flipsides and songs with the beards on vocals are explored in some detail in ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Order your copy here: