Sunday, 17 October 2010

Hitkrant, 1977: ABBA has now achieved a breakthrough in the USA as well

No matter how successful ABBA has been all over the world in the past few years, it always remained very difficult to achieve a breakthrough in the country where you can sell so many records and therefore make a lot of money too: America.
The United States are still the promised land for a pop musician and ABBA has bent over backwards to achieve a breakthrough over there. It appears that these efforts are starting to pay off.

Meanwhile, Anni-Frid, Agnetha, Björn and Benny have grown accustomed to getting gold and platinum records; they have received numerous of them already. But still they were very happy about the gold disc that they received recently for the sales of their album ‘ABBA’s Greatest Hits’ in America: sales of more than one million dollars...

This year in March, ABBA reached the number one spot in the American single charts with ‘Dancing Queen’ and this is clear proof of the fact that America has given in to the Swedish supergroup as well. All three single charts that are being compiled in the States are having ‘Dancing Queen’ at the top spot. An unprecedented achievement.

That’s why manager Stig Anderson traveled to America right away to see what more could be done in that immensely big country. Things like this are taking up an awful lot of Stig’s time. At the moment, he is spending so many weeks and even months on traveling and business meetings that there isn’t any time left anymore to write lyrics.

ABBA isn’t planning on doing any television shows this year. However, promotional films of their new singles will be available at any time and this will probably be necessary too to keep the television stations satisfied...
Stig Anderson is planning to make only one television special per year and he is going to do that in America, to promote their new albums.
It’s starting to turn into an international enterprise, this ABBA...

6 comments:

Monica said...

It is such a shame that Atlantic Records didn't do more to promote ABBA here in the USA. You only heard their newest once a day maybe twice if you were lucky. The American representation of ABBA dropped the ball big time. There just wasn't enough promotion to help them break through sooner than Dancing Queen.

Michel said...

Yes, Atlantic made some strange choices. Why didn't they release any new ABBA single in 1978 after the success of 'Take A Chance On Me' and 'ABBA - The Album'? 'Summer Night City' could have done very well in the US charts as a follow-up.

When ABBA performed at the Unicef Gala in January 1979, Atlantic inexplicably didn't use this opportunity to promote the 'Chiquitita' single. Instead, it was released later that year when the momentum was lost.

On the other hand, ABBA themselves weren't willing to spend much time in the US for promotion or tours either, so it cut both ways.

Monica said...

Michel, I also think had there been more interest in ABBA here in the States they might have changed their minds about touring sooner or more often? You never know.

Anonymous said...

Actually Atlantic records cancelled not one, but TWO ABBA singles in 1978! What they were thinking, I don't know. 'Eagle' was intended to be the follow up to 'Take A Chance On Me' in summer 1978. Then in October 1978, 'Summer Night City' was planned for single release, but at the last minute Atlantic pulled it.

Fritz Von Ludwigslust said...

I agree totally. Atlantic records killed Abbas momentum at its peak. There was no single release for almost one year... the kiss of death for any artist. Summer Night City was a smash hit all over the globe but not released here, then the idiots at Atlantic didnt release Chiquitita when Abba performed it in NYC... and it was then an even bigger smash hit, then they released Does your Mother Know almost the same week as the LP V-V!? What idiot doesnt release a lead single at least 3 months before the LP to build momentum? Who would buy both then the same week? Atlantic really threw Abba under the bus. Abba were ruling the pop world exterior of the USA at that time and Americans had NO idea that they were on top of the globe outside of the usa.

Fritz Von Ludwigslust said...

The idiots at Atlantic records did the same thing two years later when The Winner takes it All was once again released almost the same week as the S-T album... Winner had already been a number one hit around the world 6 to 7 months prior to S-T lp release in December. Single suicide, luckily the song hit #8 in the US and two weeks at number one on the A/C chart.