ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

ABBA On Record - deadline for name-inclusion fast approaching

published September 28, 2021

The deadline for having your name printed as a pre-order contributor in my forthcoming book ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed is 31 October 2021. That's a little over a month from now, so pre-order soon to avoid disappointment.

Well, what is this book about anyway? In simple terms, if ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions tells the story about ABBA creating their music, ABBA On Record will let you know what happened to the music once it had left the recording studio. By this I mean how it was packaged (the background stories of the album sleeves), promoted (what ABBA themselves, their manager Stig Anderson, and the record company people did to make their music heard), and reviewed (what the critics wrote about the singles and albums).

In other words, I'm trying to paint a larger picture of ABBA's universe, what it took to sell their music to the world, the context within which they operated, and what they were up against along the way. It is also important to remember that the book is story-driven: it's not just a bunch of a dry facts - I've endeavoured to keep it interesting to the reader.

There are so many different aspects that are covered in the book that I struggle to find a way to summarise them neatly here. But a random selection of features are:

• What was the significance of crediting the US People Need Love single to Björn & Benny with Svenska flicka? How did that sexist label fit in with the music business at the time?

• What kind of manager was Stig Anderson? There are many different types of managers in the music business, but how did the Stig/ABBA set-up work in particular?

• ABBA – how did they get that name? I have a 5,700 word essay on that subject.

• What did it mean to promote records to radio back in the 1970s? 1,800 words on that, including a detailed eyewitness account of how CBS/Epic promoted I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do in the UK by dressing up as a wedding party.

• The intricate story behind the releases of 1975 albums entitled either The Best Of ABBA or Greatest Hits, and their success.

• The Super Trouper album sleeve photo session: I've tried to identify as many as possible of those who were there, not least with the help of former Polar Music employees. I've also interviewed around 15-20 of those present, many of which have very vivid and enlightening memories of that photo session, so the story of this sleeve is now getting more three-dimensional. This is what I've endeavoured to do with all the album sleeves: to make them come alive and, symbolically speaking, let the reader know what was going on outside the outer edges of the sleeves.

The above is just a fraction of all the content in ABBA On Record. If you are an ABBA fan, I find it hard to believe that you will not thoroughly enjoy the book and learn a lot of things that you didn't know along the way - even if I say so myself.

Learn more and pre-order here. Your support matters!

ABBA On Record - place your pre-order before 31 October 2021 to have your name printed in the book.