Questions & answers
 

April 2010

Have you heard if there are any plans for a 30th Anniversary Edition of Greatest Hits Vol 2?

Dave, Ireland

 

 

I've not heard of any plans for such a release, and I don't imagine there is any real need for it. ABBA's first Greatest Hits was quite an iconic album, being the first real international hit album for ABBA and the first album that many fans bought in 1976. Almost every song on Greatest Hits Vol. 2 is on ABBA Gold or More ABBA Gold.

 


I am curious about how did every time Agnetha and Frida (A&A) learn a new song by Bjorn and Benny (B&B). I read reports saying B&B did not write music score, they only record their new song (or melody) onto a tape and bring it to the studio. So did A&A learn or practice every new B&B song without reading scores?

Hwey, Taiwan

 

 

Yes, I believe that's how they learned the songs, by listening to tapes at home or playing the song in the studio. I believe that Agnetha is the only one of the four who could read music.

 


Some ABBA songs have fast tempo and quite lengthy/sophisticated lyrics (for example, "I Am The City"). Have Agnetha and Frida  ever forgotten lyrics on stage? If not, I admire the girls' super memory and talent! 

BTW, I think I will bite my own tongue and cannot catch my breath if I try to sing "I Am The City".  

Hwey, Taiwan

 

 

They have indeed. There are bootleg tapes of many concerts in circulation and you can hear the occasional flubbed lyric. On TV there are a couple of moments when Frida mixed up lyrics - in Under Attack on Show Express in 1982 she stops singing, then ducks behind Agnetha. In a live solo performance of I Have A Dream in 1983 Frida  sings the wrong line in the third verse, made more obvious because the choir sang the correct lyric.

 


I was wondering about the two members of ABBA, Benny and Anni-Frid, who attending the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. First, I was surprised to see both members of this former couple share the same stage together. (I was wondering how this came about). Usually in the past, it was one member of one couple with one member of the other couple attending whatever ABBA associated event. Was there any hard feelings between the two or any conditions of their reunion?

Second, in the past Benny seemed to be less motivated to be attending an ABBA associated event, making sarcastic remarks, or not being next to his former band mates (for example the Mamma Mia promotion with all of actors and actresses from the movie). So what caused the change? One would think Bjorn would've been there instead of Benny (no offense) since Bjorn is more open and friendlier to the media. Has there been any conspiracy thoughts behind the absence of the other two members or second thoughts by the other members? Since being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a big honor, it would be a shame not being present. (the reasons for an artists absence seem quite lame since much time go by to work out their differences, find a way to get there, and show the world you deserve to be there, care about the industry and fans who put you there in the first place).

Lastly, with the latest rumour of all 4 members of ABBA holding one last show together (much like Michael Jackson with his This Is It tour), is there any latest news, talks, planning, anything regarding this possible last attempt to bring the group together? This event would quash any more reunion questions, and play down the half reunion at the Hall of Fame. I would like to see this happen and so would a lot of other people.

 
Thanks, Walt

 

 

That is a very interesting question, Walt. Since 2004 we have mostly seen ABBA members in groups of two (mostly Björn and Benny or Björn and Frida), except on those two rare occasions when all four were present.

You're right about Benny's comments about the ongoing hysteria about ABBA. Probably his most famous one was just days before the fifth anniversary of Mamma Mia! in London, when he declared he would not be going because he was tired of the expectation for an ABBA reuniuon. But in the end he did go, and in footage of the event looks like he'd rather be anywhere else.

Personally I think that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction appealed to Benny because it was music industry recognition, not some public publicity event for ABBA and/or Mamma Mia!, and it was about the music, not about the mythical entity of ABBA. Benny and Frida was indeed an unusual coupling. Björn apparently had family commitments that stopped him from attending. Are there any hard feelings between them? It's hard to say, they remain so closed about their private lives. Benny and Frida did seem a little distant together on stage at the induction, though there is a lovely photograph of the two of them together offstage with Frida's grandson.

Regarding the rumour about ABBA filling in for Michael Jackson's O2 Arena concerts that was just a media beat up, ABBA had not been approached. As always there are no plans for any ABBA reunion, all four have finally said that it is way too late and there is no reason or motivation. The only coming occasion I can think of that might see all four attend is the eventual opening of the ABBAWORLD exhibition in Stockholm.


Regular reader Tony has some thoughts to add:

Hi Walt,

On the 'icethesite' website (from 18 March 2010), there's a grainy yet lovely photo of both Frida and Benny sitting together in a collage of photos from the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' induction, submitted by one the ‘icethesite’ fans; so I'm sure that there is no animosity between Frida and Benny :o) Also, as Benny remarried many years ago, I feel that what seems to be distance may just be his way of respecting his wife.

Since Frida and Benny divorced, they have done quite a few things together by choice, such as Frida singing in the women's choir who appear on his 'Klinga mina Klockor' album from 1987; and there's a video clip that can be seen where they are standing next to each other in 1984 singing the chorus to 'One Night In Bangkok'.

There are so many wonderful images of Frida and Benny from the past, showing how Frida and Benny were so much in love... the images are magic! (I'm and old romantic ;o) Needless to say, as love is always such a very complex thing, we cannot ever expect to completely know why two people break up, and/or behave certain ways after they’ve split up. Additionally, and understandably, it can be an awkward situation for ex-partners to be in the same place at the same time, even if they do otherwise get on well. And, of course, different people will react differently.

Nevertheless, from my perspective, Benny still has a good sense of humour, and from what I've heard, on a one-to-one level; he is very approachable and very friendly. My guess is that, in a large media set-up, or in public, he is just a very private person; and such people, understandably, will often keep to themselves and to the people who are closest to them.

Cheers,
Tony :o)

 


Do you know whether Ring, Ring (Lois Jean cover) was ever released in Australasia on CD?

Cheers, Wayne, New Zealand

 

 

No, it was not. The first Australian CD release by Rainbow Music in 1988 had a green cover with a 1978 photo (below left), and a re-release of this disc in 1990 had a black cover with another 1978 photo (below right). in 1992 the international release was made available.

Ring Ring CD 1988 Ring Ring CD 1990


I just wondered if you know when the Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition is available.

Regards, Oliver, UK

 

 

The international release date is 31 May 2010, so it should be available in the UK then.


Is there a chance to contact Agnetha F. via email ? or even better to send her a letter ? Do you have an address ?

Thanks in advance, Amihr

 

 

See the FAQ page for addresses you can write to the ABBA members.

 


Did ABBA ever perform "Lay All Your Love On Me" Live?

Great thanks! Hwey from Taiwan

 

 

No, 'Lay All Your Love On Me' was never performed in concert nor on television. See the first answer on the previous Questions & answers page.

 


Previous Questions & answers    

BACK | HOME | MAIL | Disclaimer

This site uses frames. If you came directly to this page from an external link, welcome to ABBA Omnibus. Please click here to go to the home page.

ABBA Omnibus
ABBA: Song by Song by Ian Cole - pre-order now