ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

ABBA On Record - what is the discography like?

published August 30, 2023

I am very pleased to report that the design of ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed is now under way. In the not too distant future, I will show you some samples of Maria Nicholas' brilliant work. We hope to send the files to the printers towards the end of 2023, and then I will finally be able to ship the book to everyone who has pre-ordered during the first few months of 2024. As soon as I know more, I will make announcements on my website and in social media. I thank you again for your extraordinary patience.

If you haven't pre-ordered ABBA On Record yet, here is the deadline date to keep in mind:

21 October 2023: Please pre-order ABBA On Record no later than this date if you want it personally signed by me. Copies of ABBA On Record bought after this date will not be signed for as long as this edition remains in print. 21 October is also the deadline date for UK customers to buy the book at the current UK price. After that it will be Europe prices (please visit for more details about the prices and to place your order).

Now, with those details out of the way, I thought I should provide a little more insight into the discographical aspects of ABBA On Record. In this book, the starting point is ABBA's Scandinavian Polar discography. You will recognise this format from ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions: ABBA's Polar releases 1972-1983 are presented chronologically along with commentary text. However, this time I want to show you a little more in terms of illustrations: both the Danish and the Norwegian single sleeves for instance, and the front and the back of the Polar album sleeves.

Another important difference is that the discography will feature the first known release of specific recordings and mixes, many of which were never included in the original Polar discography. For instance, the German and French versions of 'Waterloo' have been inserted where they belong chronologically in the 1974 chapter, and the Japanese 'Slipping Through My Fingers' single is featured in the 1981 chapter, since it preceded the song's release on The Visitors. Some of these non-Polar releases are rather "odd", for want of a better word, and I feared that it would be impossible to determine exactly when they were released. I am happy to report, however, that I usually have been able to identify at least a month of release, along with interesting background stories, including details that I wasn't aware of before.

I have not included edits and such among the non-Polar releases: if the mix or version sounds different, then you're in; if someone has just excised sections of the familiar recording, then I'm afraid there's no room for that release in ABBA On Record. That is not to say that the story of ABBA edits is uninteresting, but it's for other people to investigate and compile. You will find information about all those edits on Ian Cole's excellent ABBA Omnibus site (the Songs section).

I feel the discography format of ABBA On Record, mixing releases on Polar with relevant releases on other labels, adds a great deal to the storytelling of the book, and it does so in a way that has surprised me. That's part of the beauty of writing a book: the format you have chosen offers up unexpected insights that will delight both you as a writer and, hopefully, your intended readers.

I will be back soon with more information on the contents of ABBA On Record. In the meantime: pre-order your copy at

ABBA with records that are featured in ABBA On Record.

ABBA with records that are featured in ABBA On Record.