About ABBA

ABBA 1976
ABBA in 1976
ABBA is one of the most successful music groups ever, and their record sales are only surpassed by those of Elvis and The Beatles. ABBA's career spanned over a bit more than a decade and is filled with successes, one greater than the other. It's filled with love, passion, drama and rolling money but also with hard works and set-backs. Here follows a brief summary of their career.

1971

In the summer of '71 Benny, Björn and Agnetha tour Sweden as as kind of "proto-ABBA" and Björn and Agnetha get married. Later on Frida join the other three and they do a not so successful try at a show in Göteborg. Björn and Benny also start working for Stig at Polar Music, their first job to produce the young Ted Gärdestad.

1972

ABBA 1972 The foursome releases a handful of singles, still without a real group name. But "She's my kind of girl" hits in Japan and "People Need Love" becomes a hit in Scandinavia and is also the first of their singles to be released in Northern America, under the Playboy label (!) and with the "group name" Bjorn, Benny and Svenska Flicka. In Sweden People Need Love is followed by "He is your brother".

1973

the album Ring Ring This year the foursome tries and fails in the Swedish preselections for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Ring Ring. The audience loved the song but the jury to select the winner preferred another song and Ring Ring ended up third - in a competition which is very much about winning or nothing. When Ring Ring didn't win there was an outrage from the public, and the jury was replaced by a different system to select the winning songs.

Agnetha and Björn have their first child together, Linda, not long after the Eurovision. And as a comfort after the loss Ring Ring became a big hit, not only in Sweden but also in Norway, Denmark and Finland, and the English version also charted in Australia, Belgium, Holland and South Africa. An album named after the successful song was soon released and so was a next single: Love Isn't Easy "(But it sure is hard enough)". Now the group takes the name ABBA after their initials of their Christian names (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).


1974

ABBA 1974 Better luck next time! ABBA give Eurovision Song Contest preselections a new try, this year with the song Waterloo. The title was selected especially to be working internationally. And this time it do work! First in Sweden where ABBA and Waterloo wipes the floor with the rest of the contestants.

ABBA goes on to Brighton in United Kingdom and the grand final. And they got one more secret weapon in their bag - colourful and glittery dresses of a kind which these days are more or less mandatory in the competition. ABBA introduces the sequins into the Eurovision Song Contest. Björn also brings a star-shaped guitar. And watched by 500 million of visitors ABBA wins the competition.

the album Waterloo Waterloo goes on to become a hit all over Europe and even charts in the USA and in May ABBA releases their second album - Waterloo. It's the first ABBA album to get an international release. That album is followed by promotion visits throughout Europe and even a short visit to USA. Several singles follow Waterloo, different songs in different territories. A re-release of Ring Ring can be mentioned as well as Hasta Mañana and So Long. But the real success don't happen.


1975

the album ABBA In '75 ABBA spend a lot of time working on their next album, and Björn and Benny also write "Bang-en-Boomerang" for their old friends Svenne and Lotta Hedlund and their Eurovision Song Contest tryout. Svenne and Lotta don't win, but get a big hit with the song and later on ABBA releases an English version of the song. ABBA:s next album becomes self-titled and includes such classics as SOS and Mamma Mia.

The record becomes a huge success in Sweden with over 150 000 items sold, and after a while the rest of Europe follows, including the countries on the other side of the Iron Curtain. And when SOS is released as a single the United Kingdom finally gets conquered. Promo tours in the USA follows and then Agnetha and Frida release a solo album each while the boys produces other artists.


1976

ABBA 1976 This year starts with ABBA getting their first UK no 1 - Mamma Mia! And their second, Fernando. These two songs also smash in Australia and the latter refused to leave top position, staying at no 1 for 11 weeks. Thus ABBA goes to Australia for a promo tour and appears on TV in a show that is said to have more watchers than the Lunar landing.

ABBA also start to work for real on their and Stikkans invention: promo-films - small film clips to market a song. These days clips like that are known as videos and are a mandatory part of every single release. ABBA also begins to "commute" to Great Britain to do TV-appearences, in Top of the Pops for instance. In Marsh they release a Greatest Hits album consisting of tracks from their their three first albums + the new hit Fernando. In May ABBA partakes in a very special event, a gala arranged for the Swedish queen-to-bee, Silvia. They perform their latest song "Dancing Queen", a very fitting title for the occasion!

the album Arrival In the autumn their album no 4 - Arrival is released Arrival contains among other things Dancing Queen, the worldwide hit which tops the sales list in for instance the USA, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Switzerland. ABBA also begin to hit beyond the iron curtain, which led to problems with payment, since the Eastern European countries has no other currency than their own rubles and the likes - worthless abroad. ABBA ends up getting paid in oil by the Russians.


1977

ABBA 1977 The main event this year is ABBA's large and successful world tour. The first leg, the European one takes place in the spring and includes two performances in the large UK arena Royal Albert Hall. The second leg takes them to Australia where complete ABBA hysteria is raging.

This Australian tour also becomes the main theme in the film ABBA the Movie, which is really a concert movie featuring ABBA on stage singing a lot of their songs. But to avoid making it a dry documentary a thin storyline about a radio DJ struggling to get an interview with ABBA is added. The film premier in Scandinavia the same year and worldwide in 1978.

During the year ABBA also keeps adding more no 1 hits to their collection, among others "The Name Of The Game" and "Knowing me knowing you". On the private level things are happening too. Agnetha and Björn get a second child, the son Christian and Frida gets reunited with her lost German father, Alfred Haase.


1978

ABBA 1978 The Album This year starts with the release of The Album. This record had reached platinum in Great Britain already on pre-orders. And it stays as the no 1 selling album for nine weeks, and spends half a year as a top 10 album! This album contains something of an experiment - four songs from the mini-musical "The Girl with the Golden Hair", which had been performed on ABBAs world tour the year before.

ABBA also decides to aim for the US marked, where they earlier have had hard to break in spite of their successes in other parts of the world. So they go there for several TV-appearences. They go to Japan to do TV. In the autumn they record and release the disco-hit "Summer Night City", a song which, like "Fernando" remains "album-less" until the 90:ies remasters of the original ABBA albums.

Then Frida and Benny finally get married. The hectic spin of their career had put an halt to wedding planes for nine long years!


1979

The album Voulez-Vous Frida and Benny had hardly got married before Agnetha and Björn declare that their marriage is over and they split up. But this isn't the end of ABBA, Björn and Agnetha decide to go on as colleagues in spite of their divorce.

One of the greatest ABBA happening this year is their appearance in the UNICEF (UN organ for children) aid concert hosted by the Australian group Bee Gees. Besides ABBA a lot of great name appears in the concert, names like Rod Stewart Earth Wind and Fire, Donna Summer and Olivia Newton-John. The gala is shown in more than 70 countries. ABBA and all the rest of the acts performed for free and they also donated one song each to the UNICEF. ABBA:s contribution was Chiquitita. Later on Chiquitita was released as a single.

In May the new album Voulez-Vous is released. It contains Chiquitita, the latest single Does Your Mother Know and a handful other hits-to-be. This album has an updated, more disco-like sound. Later in the year "Chiquitita" is recorded in Spanish too, and goes on to be a huge success in Spanish-speaking countries.

Then, in the autumn, ABBA go on tour, first to Canada and the USA then to Europe with a six sold-out concerts at Wembley in UK as the Grand Finale. A Greatest Hits vol 2 album is also released, with one new song added: "Gimme Gimme Gimme".


1980

the album Super Trouper In 1980 ABBA release two album, the Spanish "Gracias Pour La Mucica" (Thank you for the music", a collection of ABBA hits sung in Spanish. This is mostly the ladies' work, for instance is "Move On" added to the album, named "Al Andar", but without Björn's spoken parts.

In the end of the year Super Trouper is released, headed by the single "The winner takes it all". The album cover was originally planned to be shot at Piccadilly Circus in London, but the police didn't give permission for that kind of event, so the shooting took place in a warehouse outside Stockholm instead, with members of two circuses flanking ABBA. The album included for instance the celebratory yet dark "Happy New Year" and the rocky "On and on and on".


1981

The album The Visitors Dick Cavett Meets ABBA was one of ABBA's major and last TV appearances and took place early in 1981. It consisted of a studio concert and a long interview with the group. Early the same year Benny and Frida gets a divorce. The love-story which created ABBA is definitely over now, but that doesn't stop ABBA from working together. They continue on working on what is going to be their last studio album together "The Visitors", an album with more deep and dark lyrics than ever before. "When all is said and done" is one of these songs as well as "Soldiers" and "The Visitors".

1982

ABBA 1982 This year marks the end of ABBA as a group. They release a few singles and what was originally planned to become a double album with new songs and live tracks ended up as yet another collection, with only two new songs added "Under Attack" and "The Day Before You Came" ,the latter with one of the most developed videos in ABBA's carerr.

Now the members start to walk down different paths instead. Both Frida and Agnetha restart their solo careers while Björn and Benny continue their co-work, now with the plans to make a musical.


Later years

In 1987 a live album with ABBA arrived and the early 90:ies saw more collections, the successful Gold and its companion More Gold. The latter featured more rare songs, including the previously unreleased "I am the City".

The late 90:ies and the 00:s has mostly seen DVD-releases of concerts, videos and "ABBA the Movie".