Sunday, 3 August 2008

Hitkrant, November 1982: ABBA divided / ABBA is drifting apart!

An article about the impending end of ABBA from Dutch magazine Hitkrant, November 1982. The Frida poster included here was published in that same magazine.
When ABBA caused a commotion a few years ago when Benny and Frida and Björn and Agnetha announced their divorces, everyone thought this would mean the end of the group. It didn’t mean that, but it was more because the group, while they had drifted apart privately, still could get along great as a musical team. That situation seems to have changed: it’s obvious that there are problems within ABBA, that’s what an associate of the Swedish record company told us. The question is how long the ABBA fairytale is going to last now.

Where in the old days the interest of the group was the most important thing, priority is now being given to the separate solo projects. Of course, there are the solo albums by Frida and Agnetha, but the real problems seem to have started with Björn and Benny.

“It was the intention that Björn and Benny would write songs for the new album during the summer,” is what our spokesperson said. “But when they coincidentally met the famous English musical-writer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, their old dream of writing a musical surfaced again. Since then, it seems as if ABBA doesn’t exist anymore for Björn and Benny. All their attention and energy is going into that new project and that’s why it was decided to release a compilation album, for which the old hits only got a new treatment, so the two B’s in ABBA only had to write new arrangements.
Agnetha and Frida were really upset when they heard that the new album was postponed. They got into their own solo projects, and they turned out to be a great success. But because of that, ABBA is now divided in two encampments: the men on one side and the ladies on the other. Stig Anderson is really worried about his favourite group. A good example is the promotional film for ABBA’s new single ‘The Day Before You Came’: Stig had to go through a lot of trouble to get the foursome together in the film studio, and within an hour everyone had left again, because they all had business or private obligations. Later on, they all came back to the studio separately to finish the film.”

“You can also sense it in the meetings,” the associate of the record company concludes. “They used to last until late in the evening, and were wound up with a sociable drink. These days, Stig reads out the items on the agenda, decisions are being made and then it’s finished. Björn and Benny hardly look at the ABBA-ladies, and vice versa.”
Is the end of ABBA drawing near? Officially, it’s still being strongly denied.

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