ABBA - Wikipedia
The divorce of Agnetha and Björn stops the reuniting of ABBA. The couple decided to divorce, but they still carried out ABBA's last world tour. Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid will be able to answer all the questions on this tricky ABBA trivia quiz!. Agnetha Faltskog, who married Bjorn in and had already Time spent with Benny and Bjorn is like time spent with a married couple.
The eponymous ABBA album generated three American hits, but it only peaked at number on the Cashbox album chart and number on the Billboard chart. Nevertheless, the group enjoyed warm reviews from the American press.
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Cashbox went as far as saying that "there is a recurrent thread of taste and artistry inherent in Abba's marketing, creativity and presentation that makes it almost embarrassing to critique their efforts", while Creem wrote: Superstardom[ edit ] In Marchthe band released the compilation album Greatest Hits. It became their first UK number-one album, and also took ABBA into the Top 50 on the US album charts for the first time, eventually selling more than a million copies there.
At the same time, Germany released a compilation named The Very Best of ABBA, also becoming a number-one album there whereas the Greatest Hits compilation followed a few months later to number-two on the German charts, despite all similarities with The Very Best album. That same year, the group received its first international prize, with "Fernando" being chosen as the "Best Studio Recording of ". Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Amsterdam Airport SchipholThe group's fourth studio album, Arrivala number-one best-seller in Europe and Australia, represented a new level of accomplishment in both songwriting and studio work, prompting rave reviews from more rock-oriented UK music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Expressand mostly appreciative notices from US critics.
Hit after hit flowed from Arrival: The real sensation was " Dancing Queen ", not only topping the charts in loyal markets the UK, Germany and Australia, but also reaching number-one in the United States. The band's popularity in the United States would remain on a comparatively smaller scale, and "Dancing Queen" became the only Billboard Hot number-one single ABBA had there they did, however, get three more singles to the number-one position on other Billboard charts, including Billboard Adult Contemporary and Hot Dance Club Play.
The group's status had changed dramatically and they were clearly regarded as superstars. They opened their much anticipated tour in OsloNorway, on 28 January, and mounted a lavishly produced spectacle that included a few scenes from their self-written mini-operetta The Girl with the Golden Hair. The concert attracted immense media attention from across Europe and Australia. Tickets for these two shows were available only by mail application and it was later revealed that the box-office received 3.
The Moviethough it is not exactly known how much of the concert was filmed. The opening concert in Sydney at the Sydney Showground on 3 March to an audience of 20, was marred by torrential rain with Lyngstad slipping on the wet stage during the concert. However, all four members would later recall this concert as the most memorable of their career. Upon their arrival in Melbournea civic reception was held at the Melbourne Town Hall and ABBA appeared on the balcony to greet an enthusiastic crowd of 6, At the first Melbourne concert, an additional 16, people gathered outside the fenced-off area to listen to the concert.
In Adelaidethe group performed one concert at West Lakes Football Stadium in front of 20, people, with another 10, listening outside. During the first of five concerts in Perth, there was a bomb scare with everyone having to evacuate the Entertainment Centre. During the Australian tour, she performed in a skin-tight white jumpsuit, causing one Australian newspaper to use the headline "Agnetha's bottom tops dull show".ABBA - AGNETHA AND BJORN'S WEDDING DAY
When asked about this at a news conference, she replied: Although the album was less well received by UK reviewers, it did spawn more worldwide hits: They converted a vacant cinema into the Polar Music Studio, a state-of-the-art studio in Stockholm. Recording sessions for the single " Summer Night City " were an uphill struggle,[ citation needed ] but upon release the song became another hit for the group.
The track would set the stage for ABBA's foray into disco with their next album. The news caused interest from the media and led to speculation about the band's future. ABBA assured the press and their fan base they were continuing their work as a group and that the divorce would not affect them.
To escape the media swirl and concentrate on their writing, Andersson and Ulvaeus secretly travelled to Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamaswhere for two weeks they prepared their next album's songs. The group's sixth studio album, Voulez-Vouswas released in Aprilthe title track of which was recorded at the famous Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, with the assistance of recording engineer Tom Dowd amongst others.
Also inthe group released their second compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. In Russia during the late s, the group was paid in oil commodities because of an embargo on the ruble. Technically perfect, melodically correct and always in perfect pitch The soft lower voice of Anni-Frid and the high, edgy vocals of Agnetha were stunning", raved Edmonton Journal. During the next four weeks they played a total of 17 sold-out dates, 13 in the United States and four in Canada.
They appeared at the Boston Music Hall for the performance 90 minutes late. The tour ended with a show in Toronto, Canada at Maple Leaf Gardens before a capacity crowd of 18, Anyone who's been waiting five years to see Abba will be well satisfied", wrote Record World. On 19 Octoberthe tour resumed in Western Europe where the band played 23 sold-out gigs, including six sold-out nights at London's Wembley Arena. Progression[ edit ] Super Trouperseventh studio album released by the group in In MarchABBA travelled to Japan where upon their arrival at Narita International Airportthey were besieged by thousands of fans.
The group played eleven concerts to full houses, including six shows at Tokyo's Budokan. This tour was the last "on the road" adventure of their career. In the middle ofthe group released the single " The Winner Takes It All " the group's eighth UK chart topper and their first since November the same year saw the release of ABBA's seventh album Super Trouperwhich reflected a certain change in ABBA's style with more prominent use of synthesizers and increasingly personal lyrics.
It set a record for the most pre-orders ever received for a UK album after one million copies were ordered before release. The second single from the album, " Super Trouper ", also hit number-one in the UK, becoming the group's ninth and final UK chart-topper.
This was released in Spanish-speaking countries as well as in Japan and Australia. The album became a major success, and along with the Spanish version of "Chiquitita", this signalled the group's breakthrough in Latin America. Greatest Hits, was released in For this occasion, ABBA recorded the track "Hovas Vittne" a pun on the Swedish name for Jehovah's Witness and Anderson's birthplace, Hova as a tribute to him, and released it only on red vinyl copies, to be distributed to the guests attending the party.
This single has become a sought-after collectible. In mid-FebruaryAndersson and Lyngstad announced they were filing for divorce. Andersson and Ulvaeus had songwriting sessions in earlyand recording sessions began in mid-March.
The VisitorsABBA's eighth and final studio album, showed a songwriting maturity and depth of feeling distinctly lacking from their earlier recordings but still placing the band squarely in the pop genre, with catchy tunes and harmonies.
Although not revealed at the time of its release, the album's title track, according to Ulvaeus, refers to the secret meetings held against the approval of totalitarian governments in Soviet-dominated states, while other tracks address topics like failed relationships, the threat of war, ageing, and loss of innocence. The album's only major single release, " One of Us ", proved to be the last of ABBA's nine number-one singles in Germany, this being in December ; and the swansong of their sixteen Top 5 singles on the South African chart.
Although it topped the album charts across most of Europe, including Ireland, the UK and Germany, The Visitors was not as commercially successful as its predecessors, showing a commercial decline in previously loyal markets such as France, Australia and Japan.
The song's lyrics, as with " The Winner Takes It All " and "One of Us", dealt with the painful experience of separating from a long-term partner, though it looked at the trauma more optimistically. With the now publicised story of Andersson and Lyngstad's divorce, speculation increased of tension within the band.
Final recording sessions[ edit ] In the spring ofsongwriting sessions had started and the group came together for more recordings. Plans were not completely clear, but a new album was discussed and the prospect of a small tour suggested.
The recording sessions in May and June were a struggle, and only three songs were eventually recorded: Andersson and Ulvaeus were not satisfied with the outcome, so the tapes were shelved and the group took a break for the summer. The First Ten Years. The First Ten Years for possible inclusion on the next projected studio album, though this never came to fruition. A reworked version of the verses ended up in the musical Chess. Despite a number of requests from fans, Ulvaeus and Andersson are still refusing to release ABBA's version of "Just Like That" in its entirety, even though the complete version has surfaced on bootlegs.
The group travelled to London to promote The Singles: While Andersson and Ulvaeus were working on the musical, a further co-operation among the three of them came with the musical Abbacadabra that was produced in France for television.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who had recently moved to Paris, participated in the French version, and recorded a single, "Belle", a duet with French singer Daniel Balavoine. As the single "Belle" sold well in France, Cameron Mackintosh wanted to stage an English-language version of the show in London, with the French lyrics translated by David Wood and Don Black ; Andersson and Ulvaeus got involved in the project, and contributed with one new song, "I Am the Seeker".
Lyngstad was also involved in this production, recording "Belle" in English as "Time", a duet with actor and singer B.
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The four had not seen each other for more than two years. Benny was not a frequent fatherly presence. I chose to keep on working instead of being with my family which, as you can imagine, was a disaster for them.
But I've been talking to the kids through the years and, for some reason, they feel that I made the right choice. We figured it would be a good idea to try to write a song together. The Hep Stars had split, but the Hootenanny Singers hadn't. The details of what follow read more like the synopsis of an unmade early Woody Allen film than the genesis of a supergroup. Agnetha Faltskog, who married Bjorn in and had already scored a string of self-composed hits in Sweden, had the most to lose from the arrangement.
Bjorn convinced his new wife that a cabaret run might arrest his and Benny's sliding fortunes. With Benny now dating aspiring Norwegian jazz singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad known as Fridathe two couples decided to put together a comedy revue. Hidden away in Bjorn and Benny's personal archive, there is a picture of them dressed as schoolboys with lollipops and little helicopter propellers on their hats.
After a year of playing half-empty nightspots to Swedish businessmen, Bjorn and Benny wisely put their school uniforms away. It wasn't untila year later, that they had the idea of making a record as a quartet. Given that the couples were near neighbours and spending all their time together, this seems incredible.
And even then, People Need Love - an unsexy beer-hall clomp with yodelling! That came a year later when Stig Anderson ran a competition for Swedish radio listeners.
With the best names on the shortlist Alibaba, Friends And Neighbours and Baba, Anderson took things into his own hands.
The fact that ABBA was also the name of a Swedish brand of canned fish didn't seem to bother him; nor did Bjorn and Benny's initial lack of enthusiasm. Time spent with Benny and Bjorn is like time spent with a married couple, as befits two people who have been working together for 36 years.
Benny is the alpha male - taciturn and vaguely intimidating. He borders on truculent when asked about his private life. Bjorn often seems to direct his answers at Benny, as if keen not to misrepresent him.
In Bjorn's head, you suspect, Benny is still "the cool one". Benny recalls the writing of Money Money Money: I said, 'Do you think this is really the best you can do?
Bjorn's second abiding ABBA memory focuses on their co-operation, too: I was playing guitar and he was at the piano, just like we always were. Then we realised that if we slightly changed one of them, they formed a complete song. That was such a kick! I'll never forget it. The challenge was to not do another Mamma Mia or Waterloo.
Not only had they mastered what people refer to as the ABBA sound, they were writing songs especially for it. Bjorn eventually took sole responsibility for the lyrics. I don't know why. Also featured on 's Arrival album was Dancing Queen. Five years ago, when the Sex Pistols' 20th-anniversary reunion tour arrived in London, John Lydon decided that the band should enter to the strains of Dancing Queen - the plan being to remind people how terrible music had become when the Sex Pistols arrived.
The idea backfired when the entire audience cheered and broke into spontaneous dancing. Agnetha was asleep and I just had to share it with someone, so I drove all over Stockholm looking for someone to play it to.
Finally I ended up at my sister's house.
We couldn't believe how good it sounded. But by the time it appears on vinyl, it's gone. You have no connection with it. You know that it's you, but you don't sit around thinking, 'Oh boy! Am I good or what? It's impossible to talk about ABBA without talking about the darkness that pervaded Bjorn's writing from It's in Knowing Me, Knowing You, in which two estranged lovers survey the debris of their relationship.
14 fascinating facts about ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog - Smooth
But for Agnetha, it was really hard. The Movie [the film shot on that tour], you'll see that she was never quite able to let go on stage. She was always a bit fearful - whereas Frida is clearly having a whale of a time.
I felt as if [the fans] would get hold of me and I'd never get away again. It was as if I was going to be crushed. Three months later, Bjorn and Agnetha divorced. Bjorn is keen to emphasise that "my and Agnetha's divorce was never acrimonious. We just felt that we had grown apart. Referring to their marriage as "destructive", she says, "We all know that there is no such thing as a happy divorce.
I would come into the studio and I didn't know what she had been up to for the last two weeks, that kind of thing. But we were very professional about it. Whenever you write drunk, whether it's music or lyrics, you look at it the next day and it's bullshit. But that was a good one. I remember presenting it to the girls, and there were tears, you know? Writing sessions at the group's summer retreat were yielding worrying results.
The Piper saw Bjorn imagining the rise of some charismatic dictator in a distant land - with Agnetha and Frida's harmonies on the chorus treated to a sound like a procession of Nazi oompah-loompahs beating tin drums.
By the time the group's final album, The Visitors, appeared at the end ofthey had given up trying to pretend everything was rosy. Frida and Benny had divorced. Slipping Through My Fingers articulated Bjorn's regret at having prioritised work over Linda and Christian's early years. The title track sounded like Joy Division.