ABBA blog

Thoughts and observations on the Swedish foursome

Michael B. Tretow's secret tapes feature many ABBA surprises.

ABBA On Record report - Tretow Tapes and more

published July 11, 2019

I thought it would be timely with an update on how I'm doing with my forthcoming book, ABBA On Record - Packaged Promoted Reviewed ( Work is progressing, and these are the issues I'd like to address:


I'm happy to report that I've completed the essay about The Michael B. Tretow Tapes: a treasure trove of on-the-side session recordings and previously unheard tunes. The essay will need to be fine-tuned, of course, but it currently stands at 38,500 words.

I recently sent the text to one of my proofreaders, Ian Cole, who, judging by his spontaneous comment to me, enjoyed it very much. "The Michael B. Tretow Tapes piece is fascinating!" Ian wrote. "It’s so much more detailed and so much longer than I was expecting. This is outstanding stuff. The fans are going to love it."

I hope and believe that Ian's right: never mind my wonderful prose - the information contained in the essay will certainly give us so much more insight into ABBA's musical universe.


It's now clear that ABBA On Record will not be published before the end of 2019. Partly because I just won't be ready in time for that, but also because I want to include the recording history of the new ABBA songs in the book, and the latest we've heard about that is that at least one song will be released in November, probably two. We don't know for certain that this date will hold, though, so we'll see what happens.

Another factor to take into account is Benny's recent comments about the much-delayed avatar concert project, for which these songs were originally recorded. "If it happens, it will happen in 2021," he told a Swedish reporter a few weeks ago. Earlier in the year he also said that he felt ABBA should record at least one more song to have something that was truly fresh for the avatar concerts.

What this all adds up to is that a) the two songs we already know about - 'I Still Have Faith In You' and 'Don't Shut Me Down' - will probably/maybe be released in November 2019, and b) there may be one or more new song(s) that possibly won't be heard until sometime in 2021.

I can't wait until 2021 to publish ABBA On Record - I expect to publish sometime during the first half of 2020 - so, maybe, if there are further songs, some kind of addendum will be made available to those who purchase ABBA On Record. Probably something like a free PDF.

I would also like to take this opportunity to make it clear that I have not heard the new ABBA songs, and I don't have any inside information about them at this stage: I know only what's been reported in the media.

In the meantime, I will keep on working on ABBA On Record, which I feel confident will be a thoroughly enjoyable book. If you haven't already done so, I urge you to place a pre-order: everyone who pre-orders will have their name listed in the book, plus get their copy personally signed by the author.

Pre-order your copy here: Your support matters!