Sunday, 18 October 2009

Muziek Expres, August 1979: Singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad is ready for a solo adventure… “ABBA can do without me”

While the Voulez-Vous single was climbing the Dutch charts, Muziek Expres published this article about Frida having solo ambitions. I don’t think there were any serious solo plans at this time, but it would take only three more years before it actually would happen. By the way, this article features one of my favourite Frida photographs of all time.
These days, not everything is smooth sailing in the ABBA-circle any longer. After the unexpected divorce between Björn and Agnetha, Anni-Frid now has outrageous plans as well...

A lot has happened since ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest in ’74. During the past five years, the Swedish group succeeded in continuously delivering hits, that always achieved a top ten placing and, in most cases, the number one spot in several charts as well. Only recently, Japan was conquered as well and the ABBA-concern just couldn’t wait to walk all over the United States. But right at the time when a concert tour through ‘the land of unlimited possibilities’ was being planned, two members of the Scandinavian group single-handedly put a stop to it. Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog decided to put an end to their marriage. A decision that didn’t harm the image of ABBA at first glance. But the Swedish ladies and gentlemen reckoned without their host. The divorce didn’t improve the mutual understanding and collaboration, rather it worsened. Lately, the quartet only gathered together for business meetings. Apart from that, Benny Andersson had his hands full in his own ABBA-studio with his latest solo discovery: Anni-Frid Lyngstad...

The ABBA-office really looks very impressing. It’s all gold that glitters, if only for the string of gold records that are hanging on the walls of the office. The only one present besides ME is Anni-Frid herself. No other band members, no manager Stig Anderson, no bodyguards. Therefore, nothing is preventing Anni-Frid from giving chapter and verse about all the problems surrounding ABBA in an honest way.
Indeed, she did not mince matters: “It’s true that I’m busy exploring my own talents. Or rather: try them out. Benny and I are doing that in the shape of several test recordings. For that matter, we haven’t decided on the right musical path yet. It’s not that easy either. Obviously, a lot of people will recognise me as ‘that dark ABBA-singer’. The kind of music that I want to sing will have to be completely different from ABBA’s music. More mature as well.”
While she poses for our photographer for a moment, she says that the idea of a solo career has been a long time coming.
“We’ve waited this long because there simply wasn’t time for it. No, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit working with ABBA. But I have to think about my own future as well. What all four of us have achieved with ABBA in all those years borders on the unbelievable. Still, it’s inevitable that this enormous popularity will diminish one day. Gone. I want to create a safety net for problems like this. Björn and Agnetha have to continue working with ABBA, but that’s not much fun, of course. For that matter, they don’t have any idea yet what they want to do exactly after the ABBA-era. I want to think ahead. Be ready for my own adventure. In case it will be all over next year, I will have a new job right away.”
The photographer interrupts us and Anni-Frid poses like a proficient model. She says that she “couldn’t be happier that people are finally interested in only me. I always played second fiddle. According to everyone, Agnetha was always a little better vocally. She has proved that ABBA can do without me. That’s fine, but the time will come that I’m going to prove something as well...”

2 comments:

Ivana said...

Michel,

Thanks soo much for this article and picture (YEAHHH) and translation. Very interesting. Especially the end of the article, it makes me wonder.

Michel said...

Thanks, Ivana.
I, for one, could not have imagined in 1979 that either of the girls would release an international solo album. ABBA was still in full swing with an upcoming tour and big-selling albums and singles.
But Something's Going On was released only three years later (although that period seemed much longer at the time).