Björn again, indeed. Current
PolyGram is planning a definitive ABBA boxed set for European release later
this year, while its Swedish affiliate is recording a tribute album to the
long-disbanded supergroup. The later, inspired by the Elton John/Bernie Taupin
Two Rooms concept, will feature top
PolyGram International Music Publishing chief executive David Hockman says
the ABBA catalog of songs and masters – which it acquired in 1989 – is a
consistent income source. The repertoire is most popular in
Hockman has met with Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson – the onetime writing and performing core of ABBA – to discuss ways of remarketing their catalog. Terms of their publishing deal require PolyGram to clear all use of the songs with the pair.
The chart-topping Erasure EP (on Mute) features
Take A Chance On Me,
Lay All Your Love On Me. Ingemar
Bergman, GM of PolyGram’s Swedish publishing affiliate, says Ulvaeus and
Andersson are flattered by the attention. Further flattery is evident in
Bergman is overseeing the tribute project, and says six of the intended 12 covers have been finished. He is reluctant to name artists yet, but does note that Army Of Lovers is tackling Hasta Mañana.
Bergman estimates the ABBA heritage produces more than $US4 million a year in
publishing and mechanical income (PolyGram is thought to have paid some $US25
million for the package in 1989). And the Swedish executive also notes, with
some satisfaction, that U2 performed
Dancing Queen during its recent tour stop in
For all this activity, however, Bergman sees little likelihood of an ABBA reunion. “No one expects it,” he concludes. Transcribed for ABBA World
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