ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

ABBA and the United States in ABBA On Record

published October 24, 2022

I'm still working on my book ABBA On Record and will have it published sometime in 2023 - as yet, I'm unable to set a specific date, but as soon as I have it I will announce it on my website, my social media and in my email newsletter.

I've recently had reason to go through and update some of the earliest chapters in the book, and one of the things that jumped out at me then is the stories of ABBA's early adventures in the United States: the first record contract they achieved with Playboy Records in 1972 and then how they were signed to Atlantic Records in 1974. When I began working on ABBA On Record, I didn't quite expect that I would be able to tell those stories in such detail, but I managed to interview the man who was in charge of Playboy Records for most of ABBA's tenure with the label, which was an eyeopener.

In the case of Atlantic Records, I have to thank Jerry Greenberg - the head of the label in the 1970s, and "Jerry" in the 'Hole In Your Soul' lyrics - who has been so generous and patient in putting me in touch with Atlantic people. With the help of those interviews, and with the aid of other sources, I believe I have been able to put together a comprehensive story of the winding road that led to ABBA's deal with Atlantic - I have even interviewed the lawyers who negotiated the contract! It truly is a fascinating story. Speaking for myself, I really gained some insight into how one label can be completely unsuitable for an act, while the other is much more appropriate, and also the sometimes random events that can bring an artist to a label.

These and many, many other stories will be in ABBA On Record. Learn more and pre-order your copy.

ABBA, Playboy Records, Atlantic Records - what's the story? Inroads on the American market  explored in ABBA On Record.

ABBA, Playboy Records, Atlantic Records - what's the story? Inroads on the American market are explored in ABBA On Record.