Sunday, 14 June 2009

Hitrant, May 1978: ABBA is slaving away behind the scenes

An article about ABBA’s activities in mid-1978. Preparations for the new album Voulez-Vous were made, which eventually would take up far more time than expected.
The year 1978 seems to have started off quietly for ABBA. After ‘ABBA – The Album’, the movie and the birth of Björn and Agnetha’s son (who was baptized under the name Peter Christian on the first day of Easter), we have heard very little from Anni-Frid, Benny, Agnetha and Björn. But that’s just a front: behind the scenes ABBA is slaving away. Or, like Benny puts it: “A quiet period of time; it’s just a lot of hard work.”

The two latest albums ‘Arrival’ and ‘The Album’ are still selling millions of copies. But as it happens, a pop group just can’t sit still. That’s not any different for ABBA: a lot of hard work is being put into the successor.
That’s why Björn and Benny are in each other’s company day in and day out, exchanging musical ideas and trying to write new songs.

They’ve developed a tight working schedule: five days a week from 10 o’clock in the morning till 5 o’clock in the afternoon, with a lunch break of one hour. That means 30 hours a week. Thirty hours on the piano and on the guitar, mostly at Agnetha and Björn’s home (after all, they do have to get up early, with two small children at home!).
“The first two weeks we didn’t get anywhere,” Björn says. “It’s always difficult to get that stream of creativity flowing. But luckily I can now say that we’ve finally developed a couple of terrific ideas; we’re very satisfied with it ourselves.”

Anni-Frid and Agnetha don’t sit still either. Anni-Frid is taking singing and dancing lessons. Her singing coach is Inga Sundström, a very well-known lady in Sweden. She’s getting dancing lessons from ballet teacher Graham Tainton, an American that emigrated to Sweden, he also guided Agnetha before her son was born.
In the evenings, Björn and Agnetha mostly stay in, for the sake of the children, and they are rarely seen in the city. But Anni-Frid’s shiny Maserati can regularly be found parked in front of the better restaurants in Stockholm: Benny and Anni-Frid are more outgoing than their friends. “Still, we really don’t party day and night,” Benny says. “Some people think that ABBA leads a life of movie stars, but that’s not true. We’re enjoying our lives, that’s true. But you don’t accomplish anything without work.”

Still, in Sweden the spring has started as well and that means that Benny has taken out his boat (an extremely luxurious cruiser), Anni-Frid has dug up her tennis shoes and Björn and Agnetha have taken out their garden furniture. Because it’s not all work and no play for ABBA...

1 comment:

patrick said...

Great site - thanks for the vast array of articles