ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

The multi-million selling Greatest Hits album - one of the many detailed stories covered in ABBA On Record.

ABBA On Record - it's all about the stories

published February 19, 2021

It's now about two years since I announced the publication of my forthcoming book ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed (, so I thought it might be a good time to post a reminder of what the book is actually about.

ABBA On Record is a sort of companion volume to ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, the most recent edition being published in 2017. If The Complete Recording Sessions described how ABBA's music was written and recorded, then ABBA On Record tells the story of what happened with the music when it left the recording studio: the stories behind the record sleeves, the way the record companies worked with a single or an album to promote it and, of course, what ABBA themselves did to make their music heard around the world.

In telling all these stories, I've been trying to go back to the drawing board, as it were, and not take anything for granted. In other words, instead of just repeating material from previously published sources, I've taken a fresh look at it all to see if the truth about a particular subject might be different than we've thought. And often it has turned out to be.

I've received quite a lot of help from people who worked with ABBA at the various record companies, not least the United States, where Jerry Greenberg - president of Atlantic Records at the time - has put me in touch with a great number of people who were involved with ABBA in one way or another. The Atlantic people - as well as record company people elsewhere - have shared so many fascinating stories and anecdotes, including, of course, their dealings with ABBA themselves.

A random selection of detailed features in the book:

● How ABBA got their name, and how the famous logo came together.

● The major promotional trips to Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom: I even have a complete itinerary for one of their days on the 1976 trip to the US, which gives us a good view of the many different things ABBA had to do to promote themselves and their music.

● The efforts that went into making 'Fernando' and Greatest Hits/The Best Of ABBA successful in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

● The televised gala performance of 'Dancing Queen' on the eve of the marriage between Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath.

Well, I could go on - and I haven't even mentioned the "extra stuff", such as the mind-blowing contents of The Michael B. Tretow Tapes, revealed in a 39,000 word essay. Suffice it to say that we will all have a better understanding of ABBA's career when this book is published.

If you want to learn more about ABBA On Record and perhaps support it with a pre-order, please visit Your support matters!