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November 2019

Which songs were planned to enter to the unreleased album "Opus 10"?

Yair, Israel



The "Opus 10" reference was originally made about The Visitors. A journalist visited ABBA at Polar Music Studios during the 1981 recording sessions. He wrote an article about the visit, mentioned that ABBA had released 9 albums (the 7 previous studio albums, plus 2 Greatest Hits volumes, though he missed Gracias Por La Música in his tally), and stated "And will 'Opus 10' now beat them all?" Opus 10 soon became the rumoured working title for The Visitors, but later the rumour morphed into it being the title of the album ABBA started recording in 1982.

More information can be found here.


In the lyrics of 'Our Last Summer' and 'Put On Your White Sombrero' (Both of them from Super Trouper), you been mentioned that they both have early lyrics, but i don't really understand where all the changes are, can you please tell me where they are?

Yair, Israel



There are minor differences. In 'Our Last Summer', the first chorus includes a line "buying cheap champagne" rather than "laughing in the rain", and later Harry is later referred to as "a soccer fan" rather than "a football fan".
'Put On Your White Sombero' has major changes in the second verse. The other verses are the same as the released version:

Put on your white sombrero
Go back to your saloon
Think of this day as a showdown
Goodbye my friend
This is the end
It's our high noon
Now be a bold vaquero
Don't show your feelings
Ah, I'll cry while you're disappearing
Into the night
All dressed in white
Free and unchained
Like John Wayne


With Bjorn and Benny over-delaying the new ABBA songs just because he wants to do me demonstration work on the "ABBAtars", what would happen if the word went silent on them? Personally, I think the ABBAtars are slightly offensive as they represent ABBA in their heyday so Bjorn should just throw them in the can.
Personally, in my opinion the best way to get them out once word goes silent on them is to issue them on ABBA's 50th anniversary (maybe on a new compilation CD?), which I think will also be the release of a "Live In Australia" CD (yes, it's possibly being worked from Lasse Hallstrom's filmings of those concerts used for The Movie).
Of course I regularly picture 'I Still Have Faith In You' as a piano-and-vocal track with Benny on the piano and one of the girls singing about losing her boyfriend, but I still don't know what genre 'Don't Shut Me Down' is, but I suspect it's in a modern genre...

Love, Aaron, Australia



The new songs are tied to the ABBAtar project, so I can't (at this stage) imagine them being released without the ABBAtar concert going ahead, in whatever form it ends up being (originally announced as a world tour, Björn has hinted that it could be a static instalation at one location). I'm pretty sure that when the songs are released they will be part of a new compilation CD, or perhaps added on to another updated ABBA Gold.
Björn has described 'I Still Have Faith In You' as "timeless... reflective... Nordic sad", and 'Don't Shut Me Down' as "a pop tune, very danceable".
A while ago, Universal Music Sweden announced that there were no plans to release a 1977 concert album, Which is a damn shame, as it's highly anticipated by fans everywhere, and would include 2 unreleased songs, and others in forms very different to the familiar versions.


I recently watched a Barbara Dickson documentary in which she referred to the demo of “I Know Him So Well” originally being sent to her and she said that the demo "sounded just like an ABBA song." Was Bjorn the vocalist on this demo or was it just an instrumental that Barbara listened to before agreeing to record the song? Maybe the info is buried in The Complete Recording Sessions, but thought I would ask anyway.

Graeme, Canada.



I've never heard a demo recording of 'I Know Him So Well', so I can't say for sure. Of course, the melody of most of the chorus was originally in ABBA's 1977 concert song 'I Am An A', so it actually was an ABBA song.


What was the first offical recording session under the name 'ABBA'?

Yair, Israel



The first recording session sheets to bear the name "ABBA" was on 16 October 1973, when the names "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida" were crossed out and "ABBA" written over it. On this day, they started recording 'Suzy-Hang-Around' and 'My Mama Said'. However, even before this date the 'Ring Ring' singles in the UK and Italy had been released bearing the name "ABBA".

Yair, do you have the book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions? It has a lot of the sort of information you're looking for. It's highly recommended. Information about the book is here, and you can order it here.


Who directed the music videos of 'The Day Before You Came' and 'Under Attack'?

Yair, Israel



Those two videos were directed by Kjell-Åke Andersson and Kjell Sundvall.


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