ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

ABBA On Record. Projected publication date: 2021. English language. 448 pp. Hardback. CMP Text. ISBN: 978-91-519-0980-6 (or 9789151909806).

ABBA On Record - Latest News

published December 31, 2020

As the unlovely year of 2020 draws to a close, I thought I should post an update on where I'm at with the seemingly never-ending book project that is ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed.

As reported in an earlier blog post, the pandemic has not affected my day-to-day routines very much. In basic terms, I'm at my desk, sorting through my research, contacting people for interviews, and then writing the chapters. It's just that this book takes so much longer to write than expected.

If you're into details, like I tend to be, you want to try your best to verify that what you're writing is accurate. This, in turn, sometimes means that before you're really aware where all the time went, you find that you've spent hours on one tiny detail - and sometimes a detail that, at first glance, may appear to be not very important. Nevertheless, it's all those details that, taken together, make up the story that I want to tell.

Let me point to one example: the story behind the sleeve of the 1975 ABBA album. In the album sleeve essays, it's my ambition to turn a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional story. In other words, I'm trying to "open it up" so that we can learn as much as possible about how the sleeve was put together, and whatever related anecdotes there may be about the locations and the people involved.

I should also point out that in these endeavours I'm indebted to those who went before me: Jean-Marie Potiez's wonderful essay about the sleeve in his book ABBA - The Scrapbook, for instance, not least because he had the foresight to interview people who are no longer around to be asked about it. I have also had further discussions with Jean-Marie about the sleeve, which has helped a lot. Sara Russell has also shared information gathered for her excellent The ABBA Guide To Stockholm book.

Coupled with my own research, it all adds up to is a text that currently stands at 5,760 words - just about the ABBA album sleeve. That's longer than the entire sleeve notes I wrote for the Deluxe Edition of that album!

So, will ABBA On Record be published before 2021 is over? I certainly hope so, but it also depends on when the new ABBA songs are released, and when I will be able to access information about their creation. There is also additional research I would like to do, which is currently impossible because of the pandemic. To everyone who has pre-ordered the book, I can only extend my heartfelt thanks for your patience. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

If you want to support the book by pre-ordering a copy (your name will be listed in it, plus you will have it autographed by me), please visit Your support really does matter.

In the meantime: Happy New Year!