ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

Johann Sebastian Bach and Brian Wilson - two of the many musicians that influenced and inspired ABBA.

ABBA On Record contents - 02 The music that inspired them

published March 31, 2019

This is the second of six daily instalments, describing the contents of the upcoming book ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed. Day seven, Friday 5 April, is when pre-ordering starts.

In addition to the discography, which constitutes the main part of the book (detailed in yesterday's blog post), there will also be five additional sections. This is the first of these appendices:


In this detailed essay I will try to cover, in as much detail as possible, the music that the four ABBA members liked and/or was influenced by 1945–1982. Drawing from a multitude of interviews with the ABBA members - from newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes - I will put together a kind of chronicle of what Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida liked in their youth and how their musical tastes evolved over the decades, up until the end of the ABBA era. It will also tell us something about how the consumption of music changed from the early days, when it was mainly a matter of live music or, at best, the radio, to the 1970s, when most homes had a hi-fi system.

I hope to put this information into perspective and see to what extent the music the ABBA members heard may have influenced their own creations. Naturally, one should be careful not to fall into the trap of sloppy analysis, saying that ABBA's music is simply the sum of their influences, so the essay will not offer any easy "Bach + Beach Boys = ABBA" formulas. Nevertheless, I think there's some insight to be gained here, and I'm looking forward to getting to grips with the text. If nothing else, it's fun to see what kind of music ABBA liked, whether or not it had any direct bearing on their own music.

Note: The above content description is subject to minor changes and adjustments.

Stay tuned for the next instalment in the "ABBA On Record contents" story, to be published tomorrow.