Books about ABBA and related subjects

ABBA biographies, musical examinations and pictorial surveys

ABBA On Record

published April 05, 2019

Last updated 21 August 2023

The book ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed is the follow-up volume to the revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. The book is presently scheduled for publication in early 2024, and if you pre-order ABBA On Record you will get your copy signed with a personal dedication from the author.


ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed started out as a companion volume to ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Essentially, if the first volume explored ABBA's own creativity and the stories behind the songs, then ABBA On Record tells the reader what happened after the music had left the studio: single by single, album by album it presents the stories behind the iconic album sleeves, explores how the record companies worked with ABBA releases in presenting them to the record-buying public, shows what kind of success – or lack thereof – they enjoyed, and presents a selection of review excerpts to give a flavour of how the singles and albums were received by the media at the time.

The book also features two supplementary sections, essential to anyone who enjoyed ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions:

• The Michael B. Tretow Tapes – hours of unheard recordings from the archives of ABBA’s trusted sound engineer. These include Tretow's on-the-side tapes, capturing in real time what was going on during a recording session; alternate versions of familiar songs; previously unheard tunes that were never recorded properly; tracks that were considered for the 1994 box set Thank You For The Music and/or that box set’s 23-minute medley of outtakes, ABBA Undeleted, including some recordings that were rejected, and some that made it into the medley but are featured on the Tretow Tapes in more complete form.

• Voyage – ABBA’s 2021 album will be discussed in the book, using the same diary format as ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions. Please note: Because of the nature of the creation of the Voyage album, it has not been possible to access quite as many details as were available for the 1972-1982 recordings covered by ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, but thanks to sound engineer Bernard Löhr and ABBA representative Görel Hanser, I at least have the dates when the four ABBA members have been in the studio together, and most of the session musician dates as well. Together with interviews and information from other sources, I feel I have pieced together a chapter that gives us a good view of how ABBA's unexpected comeback album came to be.

Three appendices, previously meant to be a part of the hardcover book, have been removed for space reasons. When ABBA On Record was first announced back in 2019, we thought that ABBA's new music would consist of two new songs. Since then, however, an entire album has been released, and the detailing of its creation, including the album and single sleeves, naturally requires a lot more space than just the two songs. However, the three removed appendices will be made available as a free PDF for everyone who pre-orders the book. They are:

• The Music That Inspired Them – a detailed essay exploring the four members’ musical influences, or simply the music that they themselves enjoyed as children, teenagers and up until the ABBA era ended in 1982.

• What Is A Schlager? – an attempt at explaining in more detail this genre of music from continental Europe, an important ingredient in ABBA’s mix of influences throughout their career.

• Lyrics Sentiment Analysis – an ABBA fan who works in statistics and data analysis has analysed ABBA’s lyrics with some interesting results.

It's very easy to pre-order a copy of ABBA On Record (you can choose between an ebook or a hardback copy). Everything is covered by your order: the price of the book + shipping to your address. You won't have to do anything else.

ABBA On Record. Projected publication date: early 2024. English language. 448 pp. Hardback. CMP Text. ISBN: 978-91-519-0980-6 (or 9789151909806).