ABBA The Name Of The Game
Andrew Oldham, Tony Calder & Colin Irwin
The greatest composers of the twentieth century. That’s the contentious view of
ABBA from Andrew Oldham and Tony Calder, the original rock’n’roll outlaws,
who’ve now turned their acidic wit and opinionated prose to tell the
extraordinary story of the world’s most famous Swedes.
Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid shot into the world’s consciousness with
their bizarre triumph in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, launching and
unprecendented run of international success matched only by the Beatles. Yet
they were largely reviled by the critics for what were interpreted as mindlessly
perfect pop songs and a ridiculous wardrobe of polyester jump suits.
But as bands like Erasure and Bjorn Again keep the ABBA phenomenon thriving and
gay clubs play their records constantly, Calder, Oldham and their
partner-in-pen, Colin Irwin, reassess their music and reveal for the first time
the full background story of their glittering rise. It explodes many of the cosy
myths about ABBA and tells of the heartbreak as their marriages collapsed
literally on the road, the constant enmity between the two girls, the bitter
split with longstanding manager Stig Anderson, financial disputes and the
pressures that drove them apart. All this while seemingly effortlessly producing
the greatest pop songs of the century.
First published UK 1995.