Questions & answers

July 2009

What song of ABBA's contains the words like the wings of a thousand butterflies.




That would be 'Andante, Andante':

There's a shimmer
In your eyes
Like the feeling
Of a thousand


Were there any comments or opinions by Agnetha, Benny or Bjorn on Frida's album 'Something's Going On' (especially the success of the title track) or 'Shine'? I know Stig thought there weren't any potential hits on SGO.

Len UK/Ireland
Frida fan 



I'm sorry, I can't track down any specific comments they may have made. Coincidentally (or not) while Frida was touring Europe promoting Shine in late 1984 Björn and Benny were promoting Chess, and all three appeared together on the German TV show Na Sowas Extra.


A friend of mine told me today that ABBA was performing at Chautauqua Institution in New York recently. I find this highly unlikely and was wondering if it was at all true?




No, ABBA did not perform in New York recently. It was most likely one of the plethora of tribute acts touring the world.


Here's (maybe) a difficult question: what sort of remasters were used in the past on ABBA....? I mean we had a first batch in 1997, a second wave in 2001, a third one with the complete recordings box in 2005 and now we have the Japanese SHM-releases again....... I myself am actually the kind of listener who likes to hear it as close to the original vinyl as possible. I read somewhere (article Loudness War on Wikipedia) that the 2005 Complete Recordings-box is supposed to be horribly remastered because all of the dynamic is lost, due to maximizing all of the volume (silent and hard parts). I really would like to know what everybody's feeling on this subject? What are the best remasters? Or maybe you just think the original analog CD-releases are the best? I bought the SHM-Arrival promo box and I get a real warm feeling when listening to these CD's. There's more detail, but also everything is sort of quieter because it isn't all overcompressed / dubbed.

Greetz from Edward / Amsterdam



There have indeed been several different remasterings of the ABBA catalogue. The first was in 1992-1994 for ABBA Gold, More ABBA Gold and the Thank You For The Music box set. Then came the 1997 remasters of the eight studio albums plus ABBA Live that you mention. The 2001 remasters were essentially the same but with many sonic mistakes corrected. Then the 2005 remasters for The Complete Studio Recordings box set and other subsequent reissues.

I believe that the Japanese SHM (Super High Material) CDs released recently used the 2001 remasters but a different manufacturing process and type of plastic that is supposed to sound "clearer".

Many audiophiles feel that the original Polar/Polydor CDs released in between 1983 and 1992 were the best (before the ABBA Gold remasters), as they used the original album masters with no remastering. While there are those who feel that the 2005 remasters are close to the vinyl experience. The 1997 and 2001 remasters are generally disliked and criticised for a harsh sound.

There are a few websites that discuss the various remasterings in greater detail including Abba on CD and ABBA Just Like That!.


I would like to seek your advice on which albums to buy as my personal Abba collection. I intend to buy Abba Oro, Abba Live and then add a full 8 album collection. My priority for the complete collection of all the 8 original studio albums is that, they should include

  • as many non-English language versions as possible
  • and some live versions, if any.
  • in the best sound quality available
  • booklets/liners to explain about the albums and/or ABBA etc

Thus, My options are

  1. The entire 2001 remaster series digipaks
  2. The 2005, ABBA-The Complete Studio Recordings
  3. The 2008, ABBA- The Albums

My choice is (b), as I thought they carried more bonus tracks than the other two. I would like to ask you two questions.

  1. if (b) carried the same remastered recordings of (a).
  2. if you might recommend me to buy (a) or (c) instead of (b)

I would be very grateful if you could share your views on this. And thank you again very very much for such a wonderful website.

Rachael from Tokyo



As mentioned in the above response the 2001 remasters are completely different to the 2005 remasters.

In short the best way to get the maximum number of ABBA's recordings would be to get The Complete Studio Recordings box set, which has every studio recording including all the non-English tracks and alternate mixes. ABBA - The Albums contains only two Swedish tracks and no alternate mixes.

Alternately the eight studio album 2001 remasters, ABBA Oro and ABBA Live will give you most of ABBA's recording output but will still be missing a few versions, but a less popular remastering.

If you're after liner notes about the individual albums the 2001 remasters and ABBA Oro would be your preferred choice. The Complete Studio Recordings and The Albums box set both contain a Timeline booklet but not too much detail.

Take a look at my page The bare minimum ABBA collection for more recommendations on how to get every ABBA recording available.

I've seen the lyrics to Dancing Queen two different ways: "Dig in the Dancing Queen" and "Diggin' the Dancing Queen". Which is right?




On the lyric sheet in the Arrival LP and in sheet music at the time it was written “dig in”. I was told years ago that this was apparently a direct translation of a really cool phrase in Swedish that doesn’t work out quite so well in English - I don’t know if this is true or not. Unofficial sources usually have “digging” and this has also been used for the Mamma Mia! musical and movie.


I'm a huge ABBA-fan and I'm interested in every news item about ABBA. But I can't found many good ABBA news-sites. Could you please help me? Do you have a list of ABBA news-sites?




There is no single website to get all the latest ABBA news at the moment. There are a number of sites that I check regularly for news including The Official International ABBA Fan Club, ABBA Today, ABBA Plaza (Google news feed), ABBA Intermezzo, (good for news from Sweden), and icethesite (excellent for Benny and Björn related news). See the Links section for more sites featuring ABBA news.


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