Saturday, 7 June 2008

Popcorn, March 1982: ABBA-special

This article from German magazine Popcorn contains an interview with Björn, discussing the plans for a musical, the album The Visitors and ABBA's future.

Stockholm, Hamngatan 11. Here, on the third floor of the ABBA-headquarters a significant meeting took place a few weeks ago: Björn (36) and Benny (37) met the world-famous American musical-lyricist Tim Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar). The successful producer flew in especially from New York to have the first discussions about the planned ABBA-musical. At the same time Annifrid – now with a perky ‘punk’ haircut – flew to London to discuss the concept of her solo-album with Genesis-singer Phil Collins. The album will be recorded in March at the ABBA-studios in Stockholm and is planned to be released in May already. The new activities as well as the latest pictures, on which all four ABBA-members look considerably happier than last year, signal new energy. “Up ‘til now we always took a three or four month break after each album, this time we’ve continued working,” Björn stated in an interview with Popcorn, in which he revealed the latest on ABBA.

First, congratulations on your newborn baby...
Björn: “Thanks. It has been a wonderful timing, that Benny’s son came only a few days after my daughter. By the way, she has beautiful eyes and shall be named Emma.”
Is it true that the new ABBA-project will be a musical?
Björn: “Benny and I have been playing with the idea of writing a musical for seven years now. On our first tour we already staged a mini-musical titled 'The Girl With The Golden Hair'. In the meantime we’ve had numerous ideas and discarded them again. Now we’re at the stage that we can really start with concrete plans. It will be a long time before opening-night though. There will definitely be another ABBA-album before that.”
Did you maintain the idea of 'The Girl With The Golden Hair': a common girl gets caught in the show-business and becomes a superstar?
Björn: “I don’t want to talk about things that are only in the first planning stages. What we have basically is the music. Now it’s about deciding on the right script and the lyrics. We are working on that with people who have extensive experience in this area and have proved to be successful in the past.”
Like for instance Tim Rice, lyricist of 'Evita'?
Björn: “We also have contacts with other writers. We want to be able to pick the best out of several propositions.”
On the album 'The Visitors' it’s clear that the lyrics are very personal. Is that a new trend?
Björn: “For us, the lyrics were usually something we needed to sing the songs to. The content wasn’t that important. It just had to sound good. Today we think it’s more important. Almost every lyric on the album has a very personal meaning.”
What kind of meaning does the new single 'Head Over Heels' have?
Björn: “This lyric deals with girls, who get over their heads into things, without thinking first, who simply let their feelings lead them. I already met many girls like that, especially the show-business is full of them.”
Agnetha commented in an interview last year that you are planning a live-album and that you will be doing concerts for that. Is this still in the works?
Björn: “Yes, a live-album is long overdue. We already recorded our London-concerts at Wembley Stadium in 1980. Of course, our current songs would have to be added to this material. We haven’t decided on when and where this should happen.”
You spend most of your time locked away in Sweden. Do you keep in touch with what’s happening in international show-business?
Björn: “Of course, but we don’t necessarily have to leave Stockholm for that. We have associates who automatically send us the first 40 hits from the UK and the US every week, as well as videos of interesting TV-shows.”
What do you think the future holds for ABBA?

Björn: “After the divorces and the private tensions that surely went with that, we are now back with new energy. The musical will be the next important step in our career. But we will probably never go on tour again.”

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