Questions & answers

August 2009

Bob wrote to you in May 2009 saying he sent a letter to Agnetha’s home address on Ekero. Is there any way possible I can write to him for that same address. I would like to send a card to Agnetha please.

Wes, Australia



You can write to Agnetha or any of the ABBA members care of these addresses.


How many albums and singles all totalled has this group sold over the years? Still today my favorite musical group by far.




ABBA's official sales figure is touted as 370 million or thereabouts. 370 million what is never specified, though it's sometimes reported as "albums" or "records". It's more likely to be "units", a record company term that can mean whatever the record company wants it to mean. It has been used to mean a two track single = one unit, or a full length album, or it could be something in between. Actual sales figures seem to have been lost in time unfortunately. Polar/Universal Music don't have accurate figures from the 1970s and 80s and it seems that many of Polar's licensees from those times disposed of those records when their distribution contracts expired.


I was wondering if Fernando still holds the record for being the biggest selling single in Australia? 

Also, I remember in the days when the media didn't exclude records set by ABBA in Australia (like they tend to do now with their ignoring of such records set, like the 'The Best of ABBA' special from 1976 having one of the largest ever viewings of a TV show), that either Fernando or Hey Jude would be reported to be the single that stayed longest at number one in Australia (ie about 14 weeks). Was that ever resolved, or did it end up being a tie? 

Finally, I was wondering, with a combination of ABBA's mega sales from the mid 70s, through to now (especially since 1992, with ABBA's various reappearances in the Australian charts since), is it known where ABBA would come in for overall sales in Australia (compared with the Beatles, Elvis, etc)?      (...And would Mamma Mia stage and movie album [and DVD?] sales be inclusive in that counting?)

Cheers for now,
Tony, Australia.



Sadly 'Fernando' is no longer Australia's biggest selling single. Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana 'Candle In The Wind '97' is certified 14 times platinum, which equates to sales of 980,000 copies. In early 1977 RCA placed an ad in American trade magazine Billboard with ABBA's 1976 sales figures which said that 'Fernando' had sold 400,000 copies during that year. Both 'Fernando' and 'Hey Jude' were number one in the accepted national chart for 14 weeks, though some state-based charts have one or the other at the top for 15 weeks, and some place 'Hey Jude' there for only 13 weeks.

I don't know where ABBA would fit in with the all time biggest selling acts in Australia. Mamma Mia! movie and soundtrack wouldn't count towards ABBA totals, just like any other cover version. This page on Wikipedia has lots of interesting statistics including many ABBA records.

On the Songs section of your website I saw that the song Just like that was/is available on a Dream World promotional single , released in 1994. My question is if the version of Just like that that appears on the single is the excerpt that can be heard in the Abba Undeleted medley, but edited out of the context of the medley so to speak ? Or is the version on the Dream World single maybe a full version of the song, that is to say longer than in the medley, and/or maybe even another version of it, as I´ve read on your website that there are several versions of it. I do however know that on the pages for the "sax version" , the "slow version" and the "na na version" it does not say anything about any releases of those songs.

Abba-fan, Sweden 



The version on that promotional CD is the exact same two minute extract that's in the 'ABBA Undeleted' medley. The several versions listed on the website are unreleased but cassette copies have been circulating through fan circles since the mid-1980s and they have also been included on many bootleg CDs.


In your book section it says it's a 'select bibliography'. Why isn't it a complete list and where can I find one? I want to know about every book/magazine that was ever published. In 'ABBA The Movie' there were some picture books shown but I can't find any information about them online. Can you help me out?

Thanks for your time!
Terri, USA 



I use the term "selected bibliography" in the Books section just to cover myself if there are books that aren't listed. As far as I know it does include every ABBA book ever published.

Most of what is shown in ABBA - The Movie are special issue magazines or even regular weekly magazines. What can be seen includes:

Woman's Day (a weekly women's magazine); two different ABBA Scrapbooks (a blank scrapbook with ABBA pictures on the front and back); The Spunky! ABBA Picture Book (a special issue of a regular pop magazine; Ashley picks up two copies of this one!); Scream! Arrival ABBA special issue ; another issue of Scream (a regular teen music magazine); two different ABBA writing pads (blank pages with an ABBA photo on the front); two issues of People (a weekly general interest magazine, not related to the US People magazine); the book ABBA by Harry Edgington; the tour programme; and at least one Swedish magazine (seen when Ashley is reading about Stig on the plane). Also seen in the newsagent scene are ABBA jigsaw puzzles and an ABBA bubble gum card display box, and there appears to be a lot of regular magazines that probably didn't have anything about ABBA in them.

Ashley's mad magazine grab


What decision made them give up performing?




There were probably a lot of personal reasons, including the breakdown of the two marriages, the members all getting older and not wanting to be away from their families, and a feeling that there was nothing left to achieve with ABBA.


I read something recently mentioning that 'Du är min man' was originally written around the time of 'I Do (x5)'. If this is so, do you know if it it also had the lyrics too back then (or similar lyrics), or if it was originally only a tune that Benny was playing around with at the time?

Tony, Australia. 



I read Benny's comment about that recently too. I suspect that Benny and Björn might have come up with a melody that ended up as part of 'Du är min man' back then, recorded it for posterity on a cassette (a common practice for many songwriters) and that was possibly as far as it got. I suspect it's likely the same thing happened with 'Crush On You', apparently started in 1979 and recorded for BAO3 in 2006.


Can you tell me if the photo collage that appears at the beginning and at the end of the video of 'The Winner Takes It All' that was released on "ABBA GOLD GREATEST HITS" and other video collections had always been included in the original video or if they were added later..

Thank you,

Jose, Venezuela 



Yes, it has always been there. Video director Lasse Hallström has said that he wanted to give a feeling of looking back on better times with those black and white photographs.


What album is 'I Have A Dream' on?

Bodil, Norway 



'I Have A Dream' was first released on Voulez-Vous in 1979. It has appeared on many compilations. It's currently available on many CDs including Voulez-Vous, ABBA Gold, The Definitive Collection, and Number Ones.


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