Questions & answers

January 2020

Did the ABBA The Singles - The First Ten Years album chart in Australia both at the end of 1982 and in to early 1983 and then again in late 1983? If so do you know what might have caused the second chart run?
I know this album peaked at number 18 nationally but appeared to do very well in Queensland peaking at number 3 in May 1983. It must have not charted so well in NSW and Victoria- any knowledge as to why? It seemed to get a fair bit of television advertising in Queensland in late 1982.  The 'Under Attack' single also received some reasonable airplay in my Queensland patch but failed to chart in Queensland- maybe it helped sales of the album? I also note that the first batch of 'Under Attack' singles available in my area were in paper RCA  sleeves with a second batch arriving a couple of weeks later in a picture sleeve. Given the singles poor #96 National Chart this was a bit unusual?

Ross, Australia



ABBA The Singles was released in Australia on 13 December 1982. It entered the national Top 100 Albums chart the following week at number 71. It remained in the top 100 for 22 weeks, peaking at number 18 on 24 January 1983, with its last week in the chart on 30 May.
The album reentered the chart on 19 September 1983 at number 91, and in this second run peaked at 60 on 10 and 17 October, with the final week at number 69 on 31 October. I don't know what spurred this second wind on the albums' chart. Agnetha's single 'Can't Shake Loose' and album 'Wrap Your Arms Around Me' both entered the charts in the same week, though they had been released in June and July respectively. I don't remember any particular active interest in ABBA around that time. The first large-scale Sydney ABBA fan event was held in October, but I don't think that would have generated enough record sales to affect the charts - most of the 100 or so attendees probably bought all the records on day of release.
I too had the problem of several later ABBA singles appearing in shops first in a generic record company sleeve: I remember getting 'Voulez-Vous', 'When All Is Said And Done', and 'Under Attack' in plain sleeves before the picture sleeves appeared (I lived in Canberra at the time). Curiously, none of those singles entered the NSW top 40 singles chart. I don't remember hearing 'Under Attack' on the radio at all, and only saw the film clip once, on Countdown's Saturday request show (during a phase when they had a request show rather than a repeat of the previous Sunday's show).


In 2014 there were chocolate replicas Eurovision medals sold at ABBA The Museum.
Do you know how many were made? And is it true there were also real replicas (not made of chocolate) made in 2014?

Best wishes,
Alan from the Netherlands 



They did indeed sell chocolate replicas of the Eurovision medal. I don't know how many were made, probably thousands. They also manufactured 74 replicas of the Eurovision medal as a numbered collectors item. The numbers of some collectors' copies are here.


Can you say what is the "rarest" Swedish single from FRIDA (1967-1972) is?

Thank you, best wishes
Wolfgang from Germany



The rarest Frida single is the EP Snövit Och De Sju Dvärgarna (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), an EP of songs from the Disney film. Frida sings 'Nu vissla vi ett slag' (Whistle While You Work). If you're asking about songs that are on the double CD Frida 1967-1972, I believe the rarest single is 'Vi är alla bara barn i början', her last EMI single.



Does the songs 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', 'One Man, One Woman' and 'One Of Us' has different meaning or they all talking about divorce?

Thank you
Yair, Israel



'Knowing Me, Knowing You' is definitely about divorce. Björn wrote in 2014 "I don’t think I’ve ever had such a vivid image in my head when writing a lyric. I saw the rooms and I saw cardboard boxes piled up against the walls. There were no carpets on the floors and my steps echoed the way they do in an empty house. I say “my steps” because I was the man walking through those rooms even though in reality I was a happily married man at the time". 'One Man, One Woman' is about a troubled marriage, but by the end of the song there is hope that the marriage will survive. 'One Of Us' is set in the wake of a broken relationship, which could be a marriage or could be a less formal coupling, though it's hinted in the lyrics the couple had lived together (references to "her lonely bed", obviously she didn't used to be lonely).


What's the difference between the mixes of the two songs 'When All Is Said And Done' and his Spanish version 'No Hay A Quien Culpar'?

Yair, Israel.



The mix of the Spanish version 'No Hay A Quien Culpar' is quite a few musical elements reduced in volume or missing completely: the guitar trill in the intro at 0.14; the counter melody in the backing in the second verse between 1.01-1.16; the descending riff in the third verse at 2.01-2.03 and 2.09-2.11; the vocoder backing vocal in the first two lines of the third verse; the five-note bass riff in the outro heard at 2.55-2.56 and repeated. The acoustic guitars throughout the songs are reduced, and whole vocal is more compressed. There are additional synthesizers heard in the introduction (0.00-0.13) and that aren't heard in the English version.


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