Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Abba Date - 1st March 1982

Abba's single "Head Over Heels" entered the charts in Germany today in 1982 - the single reached number 19 spending a total of 12 weeks in the charts. The only other single not to reach the top 10 in Germany whilst the group were together was "Lay All Your Love On Me" (which peaked at number 26) other than a couple of very early singles which didn't enter the charts.

Abba Calendar

A great picture of Frida and Benny for March from my 2017 Abba Calendar...

Abba Date - 28th February 1977

Abba's single "Knowing Me, Knowing You" entered the German charts today in 1977 where it spent a total of 26 weeks including 2 weeks at number 1 which was the groups 7th chart topper in a row...

Abba Date - 28th February 1981

Today in 1981 Abba's "Super Trouper" album entered the charts in Canada where it stayed for 13 weeks reaching number 4.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Abba In Australia

Here are some more pictures from Abba's press conference in Australia which took place on the 28th February 1977...

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Abba Compilation

This Abba compilation CD was released in France in 2008 and included the following track list -

  • Waterloo
  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  • Rock Me
  • Love Is'nt Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)
  • Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
  • S.O.S
  • When I Kissed The Teacher
  • The Name Of The Game
  • Hole In Your Soul
  • Why Did It Have To Be Me
  • On And On And On
  • Lay All Your Love On Me
  • The Visitors
  • Kisses Of Fire
  • When All Is Said And Done
  • Ring Ring

Abba Date - 26th February 1977

Today in 1977 Abba's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" entered the charts in the Netherlands where it reached number 3...

Abba Date - 26th February 1977

Abba's "Dancing Queen" entered the charts in Canada on the 26th February 1977 where it stayed for 21 weeks reaching number 2. In the end of year chart "Dancing Queen" was the 5th biggest selling single of the year in Canada.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Abba DVD

The image below shows the DVD of Abba videos which was included with "The Definitive Collection" compilation...

Abba Date - 25th February 2002

The Abba compilation album "The Definitive Collection" first entered the charts in German today in 2002 where it reached number 35. The album would re-enter the charts on a number of occasions as shown in the table below -

  • July 2002 reaching number 23
  • April 2004 reaching number 14
  • January 2005 reaching number 63
  • November 2005 reaching number 54

Abba Date - 25th February 1974

Today in 1974 Abba were photographed outside the Polar Music Office in Stockholm...

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hazell Dean Interview - Part 2

Here is the second part of my interview with Hazell Dean who's album of Abba tracks "Re:Visited" is released in the today...

The closing track from Abba's "Super Trouper" album "The Way Old Friends Do" was included on last years CD single however it's not included on the new album - are there other Abba tracks which you have recorded which may see the light of day at some time ?

No, there are no other ABBA covers lurking in the archive. “They Way Old Friends Do” was part of the Christmas release along with “Happy New Year”. The sentiment of both songs fit so well together.

I wanted to Include “The Way Old Friends Do” in memory of a lovely friend who died following a very tough fight with breast cancer in 2016. It was dedicated to Jayne, her mother and her daughter from all the friends who mourn her. It was special for Christmas 2016.

Back in 70's and early 80's were you a fan of Abba and if so what were your favourite singles ?

Everyone loves ABBA don’t they? Of course I was a fan. I sang ABBA songs in big bands long before becoming a successful solo recording artist, so they are part of my history. “The Winner Takes It All” has to be my favourite.

Your first big hit in the UK was "Searching (I Gotta Find A Man)" which reached number 6 in 1984 by which time Abba were over - did you ever meet any of the group whilst they were promoting any of their solo work or musicals ?

Sadly no. I have never met any of ABBA, so if anyone would like to introduce me, I would be very happy….. and a little starstruck!

Were there any of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced singles which you had wished at the time had been given to you to record ?

My favourite SAW track always was and always will be Donna Summer’s “This Time I Know Its For Real”. Oh how I wish it were mine.

If you could arrange for Abba to cover one of your own tracks which one would it be and why ?

“Nightlife” the title track of my album “NIGHTLIFE”. I can imagine them doing it with a “Summer Night City” feel. Plus they would sell millions of copies and I could retire! LOL

If you were to record an album based on another artist who do you think it would be ?

Ahh, I can’t answer that one as its never gonna happen, this is my first and last album of another artists work. There is only one ABBA!

I would like to thank Hazell and her management for agreeing to the interview - for more information please visit Hazell's website hazelldean.net - the album "Re:Visited" is released today and you order it from Energise Records at energiserecords.com.

Frida CD Single

The picture below shows the remix version of Frida's CD single "Alla Mina Basta Ar"...

Abba Date - 24th February 1997

Frida's single "Alla Mina Basta Ar" (a duet with Marie Fredriksson) entered the Swedish charts today in 1997 peaking at number 54...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Abba Date - 23rd February 1985

Today in 1985 Murray Head's single "One Night In Bangkok" from the musical Chess entered the Billboard chart in America where it spent 20 weeks reaching number 3...

Abba Compilation

This Abba compilation CD was released in Belarus in 2013 and included the following track list -

  • Super Trouper
  • Take A Chance On Me
  • Mamma Mia
  • Money, Money, Money
  • Dancing Queen
  • Lay All Your Love On Me
  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You
  • S.O.S
  • Summer Night City
  • I Have A Dream
  • Fernando
  • Hasta Manana
  • I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  • Thank You For The Music
  • Head Over Heels
  • Voulez-Vous
  • The Winner Takes It All
  • Happy New Year
  • Waterloo

Hazell Dean Interview - Part 1

For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of Hazell Dean, in fact I remember buying her single "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" and playing it to death on my stereo. So when I heard the news at the end of 2016 that she was going to releasing an album of Abba tracks titled "Re:Visited" I thought I must try and get an interview with her.

As luck would have it I managed (via her record company Energise Records) to get in touch with Hazell and here is the results of the interview with the lady herself...

Where did the idea come from to record an album of Abba tracks and did you have any concerns about re-recording such iconic records ?

I have to confess it was not originally my idea. I was approached by Carlton Records with the concept that eventually became the 1996 “The Winner Takes It All” album. I really enjoyed recording this album with my dear friend and co-producer, Pete Ware. It became a fan favorite, and one that was quite difficult to get hold of, so re:recording, re:mixing and re:visiting the album felt right for a 2017 release.

How did you go about selecting the songs to include on the album ?

Basically trawling through all of my ABBA albums and creating a shortlist. It’s as simple as that. I listened to a lot of ABBA during the selection process. There were discussions and suggestions, I played with some of the ideas and eventually narrowed it down to the selection that was on “The Winner Takes It All”. For “RE:VISITED” I dropped a couple of tracks and added some new ones to keep it fresh.

You included a couple of album tracks, "Andante, Andante" and "The King Has Lost His Crown", was there any particular reason for choosing those songs ?

I chose all of the tracks because I like them, and more importantly they suit my vocal style, and I knew I would make a good job of interpreting them. ABBA are such wonderful writers/musicians and their original versions so definitive, selecting songs was never going to be an easy mission.They were chosen with love and the deepest respect.

I bought the CD single of "Happy New Year" when it was released at the end of last year - are there any plans to release more singles from the album ?

Oh, without doubt there will be at least one more single release from RE:VISITED.

I will publish part two of the interview with Hazell tomorrow ; for more information on Hazell visit her website by clicking here, to order the album visit Energise Records by clicking here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Abba Vinyl

This Abba compilation titled "Greatest Hits" was released on vinyl in South Korea in 1977 and included a mixture of tracks from the official "Greatest Hits" and "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" albums...

Side 1

  • S.O.S
  • Dancing Queen
  • Ring Ring
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You
  • Honey, Honey
  • So Long
  • Mamma Mia
  • Another Town, Another Train

Side 2

  • I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  • People Need Love
  • Waterloo
  • Nina, Pretty Ballerina
  • Bang-A-Boomerang
  • Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)
  • Fernando

Monday, 20 February 2017

Abba Date - 21st February 2011

The Abba compilation album "Icon" entered the charts in New Zealand on the 21st February 2011 ; the album track list was as follows -

  • Waterloo
  • S.O.S
  • I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  • Mamma Mia
  • Fernando
  • Dancing Queen
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You
  • The Name Of The Game
  • Take A Chance On Me
  • Chiquitita
  • The Winner Takes It All

Abba Date - 21st February 1979

On the 21st February 1979 Abba's "Summer Night City" entered the Canadian singles chart where it reached number 34 - at this point this was the first of the groups singles not to reach the Top 20 ; however their next single "Does Your Mother Know" was a much bigger hit peaking at number 8.

Agnetha Photo Shoot

Here are a few pictures from an Agnetha photo shoot which took place in 1972...

Abba Date - 20th February 1982

Today in 1982 Abba's single "Head Over Heels" entered the charts in the Netherlands - the single reached number 4 staying in the charts for 6 weeks...

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Abba Date - 20th February 1980

On the 20th February 1980 Abba's "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" entered the album charts in Canada where it stayed for 16 weeks including two at number 1 ; this was the groups only number 1 album in Canada whilst they were together...

Hazell Dean Vinyl

Whilst waiting for Hazell's new album which is released on the 24th I have been listening to her album "Heart First" on vinyl. I will be publishing my interview with her in the next couple of days...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Abba Date - 19th February 1979

Today in 1979 Abba's single "Chiquitita" entered the Australian charts where it spent 19 weeks peaking at number 4. This was the groups first Top 10 single in Australia since "The Name Of The Game" in 1977 and would be one of their last hit singles in Australia with only "Does Your Mother Know", "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!", "The Winner Takes It All" and "On And On And On" reaching the top 10.

Abba Date - 19th February 1982

Abba's single "One Of Us" entered the charts in New Zealand today in 1982 where it stayed for 2 weeks reaching number 43.

Of all the groups singles in New Zealand which charted this was the lowest position with "Summer Night City" (no.37) and "Does Your Mother Know" (no. 27) being two others which didn't reach the Top 20.

Abba Date - 19th February 1979

On the 19th February 1979 Abba were in Bremen, Germany where they appeared on the TV show Musikladen where they performed "Chiquitita". Also performing on the show were were Blondie ("Heart Of Glass"), Gloria Gaynor ("I Will Survive"), Tina Turner ("Viva La Money") and Boney M ("Holiday").

Friday, 17 February 2017

8-Track Abba Album

The picture below shows an 8-track tape release of "Abba - The Album" from America...

Abba Date - 18th February 1978

In American "Abba - The Album" entered the Billboard chart on the 18th February 1978 where it stayed for 41 weeks peaking at number 14. This was the highest chart position of any Abba album in the US with only three other albums "Arrival", "Voulez-Vous" and "Super Trouper" reaching the Top 20.

Abba Date - 18th February 1978

On the 18th February 1978 ABBA's latest single in the UK "Take A Chance On Me" hit the number one spot in the singles chart replacing "Figaro" by the Brotherhood Of Man. The single stayed at the top of the chart until 11th March when it was replaced by Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights".

The single also went to number one in Austria, Ireland and Mexico - in the UK the single was the 9th biggest selling of 1978 and also gave ABBA the most number 1s of any other artist in the UK during the 70s.

Q Magazine

The current issue of Q Magazine in the UK includes a brief mention of Abba...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Abba Compilation

This Abba compilation album with the catchy title "The Best Collection Of World Popular Music, Pops And Vocal-13" was released on vinyl in South Korea in 1988 and included the following tracks -

Side 1

  • Super Trouper
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You
  • Waterloo
  • Take A Chance On Me
  • Mamma Mia
  • I Have A Dream
  • Name Of The Game
  • Fernando

Side 2

  • The Winner Takes It All
  • Dancing Queen
  • S.O.S
  • Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
  • I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  • Summer Night City
  • Chiquitita

Record Mart

Abba were featured on the cover of the May 1999 issue of Record Mart magazine in the UK. The article inside the magazine, titled "Pathways", covered the group's recording history over six pages and also included an interview with Michael Tretow.

Abba Date - 16th February 1978

On the 16th February 1978 Abba appeared on the TV show Blue Peter prior to the UK premier of "Abba The Movie" later the same day ; during the interview a clip of the group performing "So Long" from the film was shown together with the video for their single "Take A Chance On Me"...

Film Special

The pictures below are from a magazine from my collection called "ABBA Film Special" which includes images from "ABBA The Movie" including a couple I have never seen before...