Questions & answers
 

January 2021

Wonder if any fans can help me. I have been trying to get the answer for many years. 11th November 79, Frida wore a football shirt for 'Why Did It Have To Be Me', as was normal for the tour... but on that particular night did she wear a Wolverhampton Wanderers shirt?? I had been brought up in a family of West Bromwich Albion fans, so it was something that stayed in my mind. Years later I met my other half, a Wolves fan, moved to Wolverhampton, so my allegiance in terms of football became Wolves. Football is a big thing in my life, I now co run a small youth football club in Wolverhampton called Coven United. Many players are Wolves fans, so I would love it if just one person amongst the thousands that night could remember and solve the question I have had for many years.On that cold November night did Frida wear a Wolves shirt ??

Kindest regards
Jayne, UK

 

 

We looked into this back in April last year, Jayne. Unfortunately no one seems to remember, and no one has been in contact since then.

If anyone reading this knows for sure, could you please tell us at ask@abbaomnibus.com.

 


Is the woman in BAO's 'Kära Syster' the sister of The Dancing Queen? 

Kind regards & happy 2021

Richard

 

 

That's an interesting question, Richard. Yes, there do seem to be some connections between the lyrics of the two songs. It's probably an unconcious resemblance as the two songs were written over 35 years apart (just as there are similarities in the themes of 'Nina, Pretty Ballerina' and 'Dancing Queen', or 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!', 'Just Like That', and 'The Day Before Your Came').

 


It's well known that ABBA released a few early hits through the Playboy label in 1972/73 and then Stig dropped them after they won Eurovision. Can you list what songs were issued? 'Rock and Roll Band' was one for certain and I'm pretty sure 'People Need Love' was another.

Regards,
Mike, Canada

 

 

There were just three singles released by Playboy Records in the US and Canada:

  • People Need Love/Merry-Go-Round - credited to Björn & Benny (with Svenska Flicka), released 1972 (US P50014, Canada P50014X)
  • Another Town, Another Train/I Am Just A Girl - credited to Björn & Benny with Anna & Frieda, released 1973 (P 50018)
  • Rock'n Roll Band/Another Town, Another Train - credited to Björn & Benny with Anna & Frieda, released 1973 (P50025)

There were also three known promotional singles:

  • People Need Love/Merry-Go-Round - white label marked "promotional copy" (P50014)
  • Another Town, Another Train (mono)/Another Town, Another Train (stereo) - white label marked "promotional copy" (P50018)
  • Rock'n Roll Band (mono)/Rock'n Roll Band (stereo) - coloured label marked "promo copy not for sale" (P50025)

Apparently promotional singles are more readily available than stock copies, particularly for the latter two singles. The contract with Playboy expired in 1973 and was not renewed. This was probably a mutual decision.

A Playboy label single 'He Is Your Brother' that can be found online is a fake. The alleged catalogue number belongs to another single, 'The Day My Ship Came Sailing In' by Smith Vinson (P50037).

 


I've often wondered if the lyrics to 'Elaine' are about a character like Penelope Pitstop, from the 'Perils of Penelope Pitstop' cartoon show from the 1970s, which is similar to old vaudevillian silent movies, where an innocent young woman tries to get away from an evil guy who tries to kidnap or murder her, including (usually) where the evil guy ties her onto a train-track, to which a hero comes to save the damsel (and 'they live happily ever after'). Do you know if that could have been Björn's intention, and/or do you have your own interpretation?

Thanks,
Tony, Australia 

 

 

That's an interesting interpretation, Tony. Unfortunately 'Elaine' is one song that Björn and Benny have barely talked about, so we don't' know for sure what it's about. In Carl Magnus Palm's excellent book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, Benny is quoted as saying "It's all right, it's a bit original", but that's the only comment I can find.
I wrote in my book ABBA: Song By Song:

The lyrics are a mystery. The song has been interpreted as the titular Elaine being a victim of kidnapping, or, like ‘I’m A Marionette’ in 1977, an essay on being trapped by fame with ‘nowhere to go,’ imprisoned ‘like a goldfish in a bowl’. 

If you haven't yet got ABBA: Song By Song, it's available from all of these excellent outlets now.

 


How many recording studios were used to record and mix all ABBA albums?

Yair, Israel.

 

 

ABBA recorded at the following nine studios, mostly located in Stockholm, with a few outside the city but within Sweden:

  • Metronome Studio - 1970-1979
  • Europafilm Studio - 1969-1972 (some recordings for Ring Ring)
  • KMH Studio - 1972-1973 (some recordings for Ring Ring)
  • Glen Studio - 1974-1977 (some recordings for ABBA and ABBA - The Album)
  • Bohus Studio - 1977 (some recordings for ABBA - The Album)
  • Marcus Music - 1977 (some recordings for ABBA - The Album and Voulez-Vous)
  • Criteria Studios, Miami FL, USA - 1979 ('Voulez-Vous' backing track only)
  • Polar Music Studio - 1978-1982
  • Mike's Studio - 1980 (vocals for Gracias Por La Música)

 


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