Books about ABBA and related subjects

ABBA biographies, musical examinations and pictorial surveys

ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (revised and expanded edition) - more details

published February 21, 2022

This page is about the revised, updated and expanded edition ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. For information about the original edition of this title, click here.

The revised and expanded edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions was funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign, and was published on March 31, 2017, with the ebook version following on 6 April. The book won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2018 award for Best Popular Music Discography. As of 25 January, 2020, the hardcover version of the book is SOLD OUT, but the ebook is still available.

The first edition of ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions was published in 1994. The book, which detailed the background stories on how ABBA wrote and recorded their music, was based on interviews with all four members of the group, their invaluable sound engineer Michael B. Tretow, as well as the most frequently employed session musicians who played on ABBA’s records. At the time, the book made quite a splash in the fan community – it was the first time anyone had published a serious book about ABBA’s music – and many have referred to it as their favourite ABBA book since then, which of course has been immensely gratifying for me.

This was my very first ABBA book, written at a time when I knew a lot less about the group than I know now. The publication of the book opened up an entirely new chapter of my life, and for the past 15 or so years it has been my profession to write books about ABBA, and to plan, conceive and contribute to official releases on CD and DVD – and many other ABBA-related activities.

I’ve long been itching to publish an updated edition of the book - I first started work on it back in 2007, before being sidetracked by other projects - and ABBA fans have let me know on a regular basis that this is something they would like to see as well. “But what could there possibly be to add,” I hear you ask? “Didn’t you cover everything in the first edition?” The answer to that is, quite simply: no!

Certainly, at the time I had access to all sorts of written documentation, tape boxes and such, from which I was able to piece together the hard facts of what was recorded and when and where. But - and this is crucial - I only had one single day of listening to tapes together with Björn, Benny and Michael B. Tretow in Michael’s studio. We spent six hours together listening to multitrack tapes, and what with putting those tapes on the machines, locating the songs I wanted to hear, playing them once or twice, then taking the tapes off again, general chit-chat, a lunch break etc., the total amount of music I got to hear – measured in minutes – was not that much. At the time nothing had really been transferred to a digital format, so the only way to listen to unreleased ABBA music would be to hire a studio at my own personal expense. There was no way I could afford that at the time.

Today the situation is quite different. Everything has been transferred to a digital format, which means that listening to tapes of alternate mixes requires very little effort - the multitrack tapes are still a different kettle of fish, unfortunately - and thanks to being given the green light by Polar Music International/Universal Music I was able to do just that. Of course, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have also approved my revisiting the tapes. So, now I was finally able to hear what those alternate mixes were like.

The new edition of ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions has been re-written from the ground up. The diary/chronicle format is retained, of course, but it's been expanded upon, so as to feature more facts and stories about ABBA's recorded work and how they wrote their songs; more comments from those involved in the recordings; and more reflections on the completed albums and singles. For more details about the expanded sections in the book, click here.

There are also separate articles focusing on various aspects related to ABBA's music. For more details about the new features in the book, click here.

This revised, updated and expanded version of ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions has been completely redesigned by a professional art director. It is also a lot thicker than the first edition: whereas the original book encompassed 128 pages, the new book has 448 pages. There are some illustrations in the book, but photographs have been kept to a minimum, so as not to affect the budget adversely, making the book too expensive. However, there are a fair number of photographs in the book, with priority given to images that are relevant for the subject of the book: ABBA’s work in the studio, including a few previously unpublished pictures.

In order to ensure that this is a quality product, ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions has been printed at CPI, a highly reputable and experienced book printer in the UK. The limited first edition is hardcover, 200 x 240mm, clothbound with dust jacket; both cover and insides are printed in full colour, and the inside pages are on high-quality matte paper stock.

The book was published on 31 March 2017, with the the ebook edition following on 6 April 2017.

Click here for all the information on how to order, and to place your order.

Book ABBA The Complete Recording Sessions revised and expanded edition

ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (revised and expanded edition). Published March 31, 2017. English language. 448 pp. Hardback. CMP Text. ISBN: 978-91-639-2656-3 (or 9789163926563). Sold out (but ebook still available).