An article from Belgian magazine Joepie about ABBA’s success in Eastern Europe.
There are only very few countries in the world where ABBA-mania isn’t raging at the moment. The Swedish quartet is even on its way to surpass the record-breaking achievements of the late Beatles. And this success isn’t of the kind that is simplifying the business interests of this four-piece pop industry. Especially since ABBA has become successful behind the Iron Curtain and particularly in Poland and Russia. Concerning this matter, Benny revealed the following to us on the phone:
“The problem in these countries is that you have to spend the money that you make over there primarily in that country and that you can’t take it abroad. In the beginning, you think it won’t be that bad and you buy things that are far cheaper over there than at home, like for instance caviar, salmon, fur coats, leather garments, cameras, yes even our own apartment in the centre of the Soviet country. But you’ll understand that you can’t keep buying these things as your earnings are increasing. And now that our records can be bought over there since a couple of weeks and we are entitled to a fair amount of copyrights, we were forced to think of another solution if we wanted to make a penny out of it.”
But the ABBA-members and their manager Stig Anderson have proved more than once in the past that they are clever business people and it was clear that they would come up with something within a matter of time. A plenary meeting was being held and the matter was thoughtfully pondered on.
“We have founded a new company, the umpteenth,” Benny smiled at the other end of the telephone line. “It’s going to look after our interests behind the Iron Curtain and specialise in converting our money assets over there in oil and oil products, because we can never have enough of these goodies in Sweden. The people in Russia and Poland have already agreed to that. Therefore, our company will transport all our oil acquisitions to our country and then resell them. Simple, isn’t it? But still you have to think about things like this. From now on, we will no longer occupy ourselves only with music, but we will be up to our ears in oil as well!”