Questions & answers

May 2020

Please, tell me all what you know about 'Den stora kärleken' recorded in 1972? Is it the same melody like 'En karusell'? Do the cover versions of Anita Linblom and Birgitta Wollgard use the original instrumental recording of Benny and Bjorn with Agnetha and Frida's back vocal? 

Serge, Italy



'Den stora kärleken' was first recorded in June 1972, in the same sessions that produced 'Åh, vilka tider'. This version apparently had lead vocals by Björn and Benny, with backing vocals by Agnetha and Frida. Later (maybe towards the end of that year) the same backing track was used for a version sung by Polar Music artist Lena Andersson, wiith backing vocals from Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida. Both of these versions were never released, nor have they leaked out to the ABBA bootleg market. Another version, with a newly-recorded backing track and new lyrics titled 'En söndag i maj', was recorded by Birgitta Wollgård & Salut. None of the ABBA members were involved in this recording. 'En söndag i maj' was released on a Polar single in March 1974, on the b-side of 'Jag Älskar Björn Och Benny Och Sten Och Sture, Jompa Och Tompa Och Sven', a cover of ABBA's 'Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother'.

Information compiled from the book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions by Carl Magnus Palm.


Trent Nickson once ran a great site "Callisto" with charts information on ABBA. It has disappeared about a year ago. Do you know what happened to it and if it is available elsewhere? I presume it might have been shut down due to copyright issues?

Thanks very much and best greetings,
Fjodor, Germany

P.S. I regulary check your Omnibus site for news about ABBA, which I appreciate as a very reliable, comprehensive and up-to-date source!!! Thanks very much for this effort of yours! 



Zipworld, the host for the ABBA Charts site, closed a few years ago, and with the closure the site disappeared. Trent told me a while ago that he hopes to resurrect it sometime, but as yet that hasn't happened. I for one miss the site for its invaluable data.
Thank you very much for your kind words about ABBA Omnibus, Fjodor.


Is there really a song titled 'Memory Lane' and where can I hear it?

Yair, Israel



'Memory Lane' was one of the early versions of 'Why Did It Have To Be Me'. Having first recorded 'Happy Hawaii' and not being satisfied with it, Benny and Björn tried creating a country-style song entitled 'Memory Lane', though apparently vocals were never recorded. The insrumental backing track of 'Memory Lane' was played on the Swedish radio documentary B för Björn in December 1976, though obscured by discussion. A filtered version can be heard here.


I wanna know who sang this cover of 'Happy New Year', since it appears to be from a TV show.

Aaron, Australia



I'm afraid I have no idea. It appears to be a Vietnamese New Year's television broadcast.

If anyone reading this knows who the singer is, could you please tell us at

Having listened to the European version of ABBA Gold in full, I have noticed that all the songs happen to be in a sequence that slows down and sped ups in tempo. It explains many choices that don't relate to the fact that "Every track, asides from 'Thank You For The Music' was a UK Top 5 hit", such as the odd sequencing of tracks 11-15 (two ballads with foreign titles being followed by the middle bulk of the Voulez-Vous era singles), the inclusion of 'Waterloo' as the final track (A "get up and dance" encore following the finale-esque 'Thank You For The Music'?) and the high placement of several lesser-known singles (especially 'Lay All Your Love On Me').
Of course, the Australian version breaks the rule I mentioned above, and I still don't know which version of 'Ring Ring' most stations played in 1976 (many sites state the commercial 45 version (1974 remix) corresponded to what was being played on the radio although it wasn't always true).

Love, Aaron



Chris Griffin, one of the original compilers of ABBA Gold at Polydor UK, said that the album was sequenced to be like a radio broadcast, with peaks and troughs taking the listener forward. It starts with several uptempo hits, slows down with a few ballads, places the Spanish-flavoured songs then the disco songs all together, moves into a few mid-tempo songs, before ending with a bang. It wasn't the first album to end with 'Waterloo' - Polar's 1974 Waterloo album ended with the English version of the song, as did the 1975 Greatest Hits album and 1986's ABBA Live LP. Because Gold was compiled by Polydor UK, it does favour British successes over international hits, missing such landmarks as 'Ring Ring' and 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' which weren't big hits in the UK, and oddly 'Summer Night City', which charted higher than both 'Lay All Your Love On Me' and 'Thank You For The Music'. It was probably 'Lay All Your Love On Me''s status as the UK's highest-charting 12-inch single ever that got it a place on Gold. The flow of the orginal Australian edition isn't all that different.
The 1974 remix of 'Ring Ring' was the single available in Australia in 1976, though some record shops sold the 1974 Waterloo EP in place of the single, and the remix is the version heard in the film clip. I don't have an actual memory of hearing 'Ring Ring' on the radio in 1976, but it's likely both versions were played from either the single or an album.


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