Although there isn't any ABBA record on our charts at the moment, it would be premature to conclude that things are going downhill for the Swedish quartet. In England, for instance, their album 'Arrival' has been number one on the charts for weeks, and - until recently - the same could be said about the single from that album 'Knowing Me, Knowing You'. In America, they have just enjoyed their first real chartbuster with 'Dancing Queen'. And then we don't even mention countries like Australia, Poland, Germany, Japan, you name it.
In short, there is nothing wrong with ABBA. On the contrary. At the moment they are working on a new album that will be released in the late summer. "Probably, we are going to release one of the songs from that album as a single first," Björn told us on the phone. "But we don't know yet what it's going to be. Benny and I are still very busy composing. If that album is going to be different from our previous album? Maybe, maybe not. We never start working on an album with the thought 'now we will have to record an album that's better than the previous one'. We just write songs that come straight from our hearts. If they are different, if there is some kind of evolvement, then that's something that happened as a coincidence - or rather without intention. Music can't be planned ahead, because then everything would go wrong. There are groups that decide all of a sudden 'now we are going to make better music'. Then they force themselves, they are not themselves any longer and they record music that doesn't have a soul anymore. Then the spontaneity is gone. That won't happen to us. We don't care if the reporters write that we are not evolving! As long as the audience is satisfied..."
Apart from the album and the single, this year we don't have to expect much else from ABBA. They have signed a new contract with Warner Brothers that will begin next year. So it's only natural that their new bosses insist that they save their best material for their debut album on the new label.
But there is another reason why ABBA wants to take it easy for the rest of this year. In November - as we reported earlier - blonde Anna is expecting a second baby. "That was more or less planned," Björn continues. "The album will be completed in August and then Anna will have more than three months to prepare herself for the arrival of the new baby. She is doing just that at the moment as well, because while Benny and I are composing new songs, she doesn't have to be around. Last week she went - as she told me in the morning - grocery shopping. Around noon she called me to ask if we could come to the city with a small van. She had bought half of a baby store. The store manager told her that he would deliver everything to her door the next week. But Anna was too impatient: she wanted to have it immediately. That same afternoon she started decorating the nursery. Anna is crazy about children, you wouldn't believe how happy she is at the moment. The big subject at home: a boy or a girl. I would love to have a son, Anna would rather have a second baby girl. Either way, one of us will be right..."
Björn and Benny have just returned from America where they bought the complete equipment for a studio. "We have bought an old cinema in the centre of Stockholm that we are going to rebuild into a studio," according to Björn. "But we are still recording our album in that other studio, because our own studio is not ready yet. In September, three American technicians will come over to Sweden to lend a hand. The upcoming holiday months? We are going to spend those on our island. Sailing, going for walks and in between composing new songs. There is even talk of American artists that are planning to record in our studio. I can't mention any names yet. All I can say is that they are on the same label as we are. And then I mean the new label. Oh yeah, I want to say something to the fans: it is very likely that we are going on tour again next year. In March or April. This time we want to prepare for our show even better than before. Because, although the response to our first tour has been amazing, we weren't completely satisfied ourselves. The sound wasn't perfect, and we want to do something about that..."