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July 2022

I have noticed the first 8 ABBA CDs aren’t available in Australian shops anymore just looked in JB HIFI. Have they been deleted or are the remastering again?

Brian, Australia 

 

 

The CDs are still available on Australian JB Hifi and Sanity websites, and also on international websites. I guess after being available for 21 years, they're not being restocked as demand has been fairly low in recent years. Sales probably had a bump with the release of Voyage in November last year, which might explain why none of them are in store now. As far as I know, there are no plans for future remasters and rereleases of the CDs individually.

 


Can you tell me how many copies of ABBA's 1975 Greatest Hits, the one released in Sweden only with the Hans Arnold ABBA painting on the cover, were produced/manufactured?

Thank you!
Terri C., USA

 

 

That edition of Greatest Hits was available in all the Scandinavian markets serviced by Polar Music - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. From what I've been able to calculate, it sold in excess of 839,000 copies across the four of the five countries; 293,000 copies in Sweden, 150,000 in Norway, 250,000 in Denmark, 146,000 copies in Finland. I can't find chart or sales figures for Iceland.

 


I am so happy that ABBA recorded 'Just A Notion' for their new album Voyage. Answering a fan’s question in October 2021 you stated that the musical backing and the two lines in the coda are new recordings. Does that mean the whole coda is brand new in relation to the original 1978 recording (I only know the snippet in the track 'ABBA Undeleted' of the 4 CD box Thank You For The Music)? And: I am fascinated that Agnetha and Frida singing the two coda-lines sound absolutely like ABBA in 1978 although their voices have changed, got deeper over the years! Is this something that can be achieved with recording/mixing techniques?

Thanks and best regards
Christiane, Germany 

 

 

Though we haven't heard the full version of ABBA's 1978 recording of 'Just A Notion', it does seem that musically the coda/fadeout might have been similar to the Voyage version, without the new vocal lines of course. We do hear three bars of the original coda on the extract released in 'ABBA Undeleted' in 1994. In 1999 Swedish tribute band Arrival (now known as Arrival from Sweden), recorded a cover, approved by ABBA and allegedly a fairly straight copy of the ABBA recording, produced by ABBA bassist Rutger Gunnarsson. It has a eight bars similar to the released part of the 1978 ABBA version, then repeats the first verse to the fade out.

 


I wonder if you have any information on Bjorn Andersson who did the illustrations for The Album? I have searched all over the web without luck! It is such a great piece of work. I am doing a book about cover designers and would like to mention him. Thanks for your time, no rush!

Simon Robinson /
easy on the eye books 

 

 

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information about this artist Mr Andersson. In an interview in the book Let's Talk About ABBA, album sleeve designer Rune Söderqvist described him as "a friend of mine who did the finishing airbrush". It's hard to Google him, with Björn and Andersson both being extremely common names in Sweden. A Gothenburg-based artist named Björn Andersson comes up, but he is obviously too young to be the artist involved in the ABBA artwork.

 


I was watching Stanza Media (the company that produced ABBA Forever)’s new ABBA vs. Queen documentary that aired on Seven a few weeks ago. They reused that clip where Frida talks about her first experience listening to ABBA music following the group’s “breakup”. Apparently, she got sent some cassettes containing ABBA songs remixed by Michael B. Tretow and Benny & Bjorn. The documentary’s utilisation of the clip (during a discussion on ABBA and Queen’s “greatest hits” albums) seems to be under the impression that the tapes Frida talks about contain songs remastered during the production of ABBA Gold and More ABBA Gold. The above theory doesn’t seem that far-fetched from reality, but do you have any personal guesses on their contents?

Aaron, Australia 

 

 

That interview with Frida dates from the 1999 documentary The Winner Takes It All - The ABBA Story, though the shots of Frida putting a cassette in the player and listening with a glass of wine are actually from 1996 promotion for her solo album Djupa andetag. I think she is probaby talking about the tracks prepared for the Thank You For The Music box set in 1994, particularly the previous unreleased songs and 'ABBA Undeleted' medley - possibly also songs that were up for inclusion that weren't on the released version.

 


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