An article from Dutch magazine Hitkrant about the preparations for the new ABBA-single in 1981. As it turned out, the single would not be released until the end of the year.
Alright. Love doesn’t play any part in ABBA any longer: the two couples have become four group members, everything is settled, Björn has remarried, Benny has found his true Mona (what a desert!) as well and Anni-Frid and Agnetha will probably land on their feet as well. Indeed, that’s not what it’s all about in the ABBA-empire: the most important thing is that new things are being produced: especially music. And ABBA is already very busy doing just that.
Like we reported earlier, the Swedish group is in their studio to record the new single. That doesn’t mean that a song pops up before their eyes, they rehearse it and then commit it to tape. No, several days of discussions between Benny and Björn have preceded this. Subsequently, four or five songs are being written. Everything is arranged, orchestrated and everything that comes along with that, and then all five are recorded as well. Only then a new single is being chosen. Because ABBA can choose.
Benny: “We are in a fortunate position, we are free to choose in everything that we do, we don’t have to do anything that we don’t want to do.”
What does that mean? Does ABBA operate unthinkingly?
Benny: “Not exactly, obviously that’s not what I mean. You have to see it like this: we have enough time to write songs, we have a studio of our own, we have more than enough money and an excellent reputation. This means that we are able to seek out the best material possible at our own pace and that means more quality.”
There’s no reason for ABBA to complain about the lack of quality of Björn and Benny’s music, is there?
Benny: “No, not in general, but that’s because we are able to do it meticulously. Look, we are able to keep on developing musically. Especially since my songs are brand new; I can take the time to get the best out of me and that’s obviously very important.”
Apart from the music, there’s the business as well: ABBA is not a little music group any longer, ABBA is an enterprise. There are companies to be managed, new purchases and investments to be made. This all takes up a lot of time: at least once a week, the foursome can be found in the office of ABBA-mastermind Stig Anderson where conferences are being held. Obviously, about the new single and album, but especially about what’s to be done with all that money. After all, you don’t become Sweden’s most successful company just like that, with a turnover of 60 million Dutch guilders (two years ago) and more than 25 million Dutch guilders profit!
For how much longer will ABBA keep on doing this?
“For the most part, that depends on the fans,” Benny says broodingly. “As soon as they don’t like it anymore, we’ll have to quit straightaway, because otherwise it will all go downhill musically in a matter of time.”
But suppose that ABBA will fade from view musically, will that be the end of the company ABBA as well? The only answer that we get from Benny to that is a little smile...