Questions & answers
January 2009

I own an ABBA bootleg, and one of the tracks is called "ABBA Polar Christmas Megamix" and it says it was made in 1983. Other than that, I know absolutely nothing about this release. Is it actually an official ABBA release, or a fan made thing? If it is an ABBA release, than why was it made in 1983, and not in 1981? (The song can be found here

Rudolf, a 16 year old ABBA fan from Brisbane, Australia



It is indeed an official release. It comes from the 1981 promotional LP Julklappstips uti drivor.

Julklappstips Uti Drivor

(thanks to Paul and Pepe @ ABBA Village and Elmari ABBA lehekülg for the image)


I have an "Abba The Collection" Boxset, as featured on your website: It is not in original wrapping, but is complete and in pristine condition. Would you be kind enough to tell me its approximate value as I wish to sell it.

Ciro Castaldo



I haven’t seen this for sale often, but recently I saw a copy on eBay for around US$70. That seems a fair price for this box set.


Where was ‘When I Kissed The Teacher Clip’ made and does each member of ABBA have a favourite ABBA song?

Yvonne, New Zealand



‘When I Kissed The Teacher’ was filmed at Hedvig Eleonora school in Stockholm.

'Dancing Queen' and 'The Winner Takes It All' have often been singled out as favourite songs of all the ABBA members. Agnetha has also mentioned 'That's Me' as a favourite. In a 1982 television interview, Agnetha chose 'Fernando' as a favourite, Frida chose ' Dancing Queen', Benny chose 'Chiquitita' and Björn chose 'The Winner Takes It All'.


Why has Agnetha not become involved/invested/promotion of Mamma Mia! like Bjorn, Benny & Frida have?

Dave, Ireland




Agnetha simply chooses not to be an investor, probably because she wants to maintain her private life away from the spotlight (but not as a recluse - see below). Frida only became an investor and started appearing at premieres and other events a couple of years after the world premiere.



I have heard Agnetha has been a recluse in Holland for years. Is this correct ?

Graeme, Australia



It has been reported that Agnetha has been living a reclusive life in Sweden for the past 20 years, but this is a long-running media myth. Since Agnetha retired from public life in the late 1980s, she has lived in her semi-remote house on the island of Ekerö on the outskirts of Stockholm. But she is not the recluse that the stories would have us believe - she often enjoys nights out with friends or other outings that manage not to be reported in the media. 


The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll talks about ABBA’s “massive financial success that, according to group members, lead to death and kidnapping threats that prompted their disbanding in 1982” How accurate is this statement and where can I find more details of this, as I do not remember it from that time?

Marlene, Australia



There were threats of kidnapping or death in late 1980 against the ABBA members and their children, which saw ABBA cancelling planned promotional trips at the time. This was quite likely one of the contributing factors to ABBA coming to an end, but not the sole reason.


I have recently listened to quite a few ABBA songs and have felt they could have religious significance too for a Church production. I was wondering if I need to get in touch with Bjorn and Benny and ask their permission to rewrite the lyrics only... if so, how?

Matthew, UK



I suggest that you contact Universal Music Publishing in the UK, but I don’t imagine that you’d be able to get permission to carry out your plans. You may be interested to know that composer Björn Ulvaeus is an avowed athiest.


Which DVD shows the best representation of ABBA performing?




The Definitive Collection, ABBA Gold and Number Ones all feature ABBA’s promotional clips made for television stations around the world. These are probably you're best options of ABBA simply performing their songs. ABBA – The Movie features ABBA on stage on their Australian concert tour in 1977, while ABBA in Concert includes performances at Wembley Arena in London on their 1979 European Tour.


Just a quick question about the possibility of this fantastic group ever going on tour again?? Will it ever happen??




Most likely not. Only Benny is still actively involved in music, writing, recording and performing with his group Benny Anderssons Orkester (Benny Andersson’s Orchestra), writing songs for other Swedish artists and special events, or writing musical scores for Swedish films. Both Frida and Agnetha have retired from public life, making occasional appearances at public events, while Björn’s role is mostly as producer and roaming ambassador for the musical based on ABBA’s songs, Mamma Mia! In recent years all four have said there is no interest in performing again as ABBA.


I am looking for some photos or video-material from the ABBA-concert which was held in: Bremen, Germany Stadthalle on 1 November 1979.

I was a singer in the youth choir (Junior Singers, Oyten) which was standing together with ABBA on stage (I have a dream/Thank you for the music).Our Choir has this year 30th anniversary and we´re looking for some photos or other materials of this great concert. It would be nice if we could get something to remember.

Silke, Bremen, Germany



I’m not aware of any photos of that particular concert performance. Perhaps one of this column’s readers will be able to help. If anyone out there can help with Silke's request, please write to me and I’ll pass it on to Silke.


I want to ask if ABBA ever came to Mexico?




No, ABBA never visited Mexico.


In the mid 70's did ABBA make an appearance in Londonderry in Northern Ireland. I think I remember this but no one else I talk to does.




To the best of my knowledge, ABBA never visited Northern Ireland. Their only Irish visit was for their concerts in Dublin in November 1979.


Do you know where I can get the sheet music for ‘I Wonder (Departure)’? This needs to be an unabridged version, featuring the beautiful piano solo that links two of the verses together.  I’m already aware of the simplified version that is included in the More Abba Gold compilation, but do not want this one.

Katherine, UK



To the best of my knowledge only this simplified version is available. The song was included in ABBA – The Folio in 1977, but was probably similar or the same to what’s in the More ABBA Gold folio.


I would like to know where I can buy the DVD or video of the Mamma Mia! movie with song subtitles so I can sing along.




I believe that all Mamma Mia! DVD versions released around the world have the sing-along feature with the song lyrics on screen. 


I have a query. If Universal Music AB decides to continue with "Deluxe" versions, in which month would they release the album Voulez-Vous? Would be in April?




No announcement has been made whether there will be a Deluxe Edition of Voulez-Vous, as there have been versions of Waterloo, Arrival and ABBA – The Album. Since it hasn’t been announced yet, I doubt it would be released in April. But the previous Deluxe Editions weren’t necessarily released on the 30th anniversary of the original album’s release either, so it's possible we might get it later in the year.

Updated 10 March: the March issue of the ABBA Fan Club Magazine hints that the Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition has been "delayed", though whether that just means it will be released later than the anniversary of the album's release is not clear.


Who wrote the lyrics for 'Should I Laugh Or Cry'? and what was the background for the words?




The song was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Björn was responsible for all song lyrics in ABBA’s later years. The song appears to be a bitter assessment of a man n the midst of a breakup with the song's narrator. 


Which is the more successful group - ABBA or the Beatles? With Mamma Mia! and the endless playing of tracks such as ‘Dancing Queen’ at clubs and discos, have ABBA been more successful than the Beatles, as their music seems to have more longevity?

Ken, Australia 



The Beatles’ music also continues to have longevity almost 40 years after the group broke up. Though ABBA has been very visible over the past year with the enormous success of Mamma Mia!, The Beatles maintain their popularity. The Beatles have allegedly sold over a billion records (to ABBA’s reported 370 million).


My question is related to the single ‘Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)’. Is the original film / video available on any DVDs? I have seen clips on YouTube.




ABBA never made a promotional film for this early single, so it’s not been included on any DVD collections so far. ABBA first made film clips for distribution to television companies in 1974 with the international success in distant countries that they could not visit. The clip on YouTube was filmed for Danish television in 1973.


I would like to know how I can get some of Abba’s CDs and music.

Nilla, Los Angeles CA, USA 



You should be able to get ABBA CDs from any good CD retailer – in LA I’m sure there are many that would stock ABBA. You can also get ABBA CDs from any on-line stores, or you can download ABBA songs from legal download sites such as iTunes or Napster.


Did ABBA ever perform ‘As Good As New’ on TV if not are there any sites that would have a high quality video of them singing it in concert.

Helen UK



ABBA never performed ‘As Good As New’ on television. They did perform it on the 1979 concert tour of North America and Europe and the Japanese tour in 1980, but the song was not officially filmed and released. There are bootleg recordings to be found on YouTube.


Can you tell me the name of the first album ABBA put out




The first album was Ring Ring released in April 1973, originally with the billing Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida as the name ABBA had not yet been created. The first album released with the name ABBA was 1974’s Waterloo.


I’m having trouble finding out the titles of 3 particular ABBA songs-
1. this song goes something like: “ ... when we danced beneath the moon” (that's the refrain)
2. this song goes like: “...irritation...they must know I'm whole life is fallin'...breakin up”
3.this one's purely just music-no lyrics
Can you help me find the names of the song titles?



The first song is ‘The Piper’ from ABBA’s 1980 album Super Trouper. The second is the title track from ABBA’s final album The Visitors in 1981. ABBA released two instrumental tracks, ‘Intermezzo no 1’ on the LP ABBA (1975), a rocky, classical-style piece, and ‘Arrival’ on the album of the same name (1976), a haunting folkish melody.


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