Questions & answers

January 2017

By chance is there, or do you have, an extensive list of the instruments that Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus played during the ABBA years? What makes and models of guitars, both acoustic and electric, were used and when? What pianos and synthesizers were used and when? As well as accordions? I've been looking at photos and trying to start somewhere but it's been a bit of a challenge.

Thank you for your time and all the wonderful information you've provided.




Unfortunately there is no comprehensive list of instruments used by Benny, Björn, and the musicians who played on ABBA's records and tours. An article in UK magazine Sounds International published some information about instruments used on ABBA's 1979 concert tour. The revised edition of Carl Magnus Palm's ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions details many of the instruments, particularly Benny's keyboards. The book will be published in March 2017 and can be order here.


Just as Elvis Costello included a nod to Dancing Queen in his song: Oliver’s Army, do you know if Barry Gibb / The Bee Gees gave a nod to SOS in the instrumental bridge in Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ song: Islands in the Stream? (ie: during the instrumental bridge, it sounds like the notes when ABBA sing “when you’re gone, how can I even try to go on”). 

Thanks and cheers...

Tony, Australia.



I really don't know if that riff in Islands In The Stream was intentional or not. I've never seen it mentioned by any of the Bee Gees (who wrote the song), Dolly Parton, or Kenny Rogers. It probably came about during the recording, rather than during writing of the song. It does indeed sound very similar to the "when you're gone" section of SOS.


Just curious if you anything about picture discs that have cropped up for sale lately, as the one currently on eBay from the supposed ABBA Japan fan club(?!) This one is called "Thank You For the Music..." live promo pic. disc. previous to this one was "Dancing Queen..." live promo pic. disc. Just wondering how authentic these are.

Kind Regards,
Mike, Vancouver, Canada 



All of those "Japanese ABBA fan club" picture discs are pirates or bootlegs, as are many other picture disc albums and singles in circulation.

The only authentic ABBA picture discs are:
Voulez-Vous LP, produced in UK and France, 1979
One Of Us single, UK 1981
Under Attack single, UK 1982
Waterloo (German version)/(French version), West German box set 1983
The Best Of ABBA LP, The Netherlands, early 1980s
Waterloo 30th anniversary single, Europe 2004
Waterloo 40th anniversary single, Europe 2014
Dancing Queen - Arrival 40th anniversary single, Europe 2016
Knowing Me, Knowing You - Arrival 40th anniversary single, Europe 2016
Money, Money, Money - Arrival 40th anniversary single, Europe 2016
Fernando - Arrival 40th anniversary single, Europe 2016


I am trying to find out if I have a one of a kind ABBA record or if other copies were made? I bought The Best of ABBA about forty years ago. Only to find when I play it, side one has songs from the later ABBA record, ABBA Arrival and side two has songs from The Best of ABBA. Even though it is presented as one record The Best of ABBA. Thanks 

Janine, New Zealand 



It's unusual but not uncommon for a record to be mispressed with one side a different record from what it should be. There could be one copy, there could be many, depending on when the mistake was noticed in the record pressing plant. This New Zealand pressing is certainly unusual, and one I've not heard of before. I've checked the few New Zealand copies I have, as have several friends, and we haven't tracked down another copy of this misprint.


I'll be travelling to Sydney, Australia in 5 weeks and was wondering if you know something about fan events or fan meetings around that time? If yes please let me know!

Daniel, Austria 



There are no fan events scheduled right now, though there has been talk and ideas thrown around to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of ABBA's Australian tour. If anything happens, it will be posted on The ABBA Phenomenon in Australia site.

There will be a screening of ABBA - The Movie in Brisbane on Friday March 3rd. See the Facebook event or promoter's website for details.
I have heard that there will be a screening of ABBA - The Movie at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra in February or March, but no date has been announced yet.


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