Sunday 22 February 2009

Hitkrant, August 1983: Who wants to love Agnetha?

Several ABBA-fans have watched proceedings with concern after both divorces within the group. But it really didn’t work anymore and especially the divorce between Agnetha and Björn had been a long time coming; there wasn’t a normal married life anymore and it was inevitable that the once so happy couple would separate. But Agnetha still suffered a great deal because of it. She became very depressed and once in a while she felt terribly lonely. Of course, she met new acquaintances and there have been a few short love affairs as well, but it all remained incomplete.
“In those days, I’ve often wondered in desperation: who wants to love me,” the blonde ABBA-star says. “But I’m back on top now and I’m looking at the future with confidence. Because now I have someone who loves me!”

“I didn’t choose the title of my album out of the blue: ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me’. Since shortly, I once again know how it feels when someone does that when you need it. Something like that, such a simple gesture, means a great deal to me: to hide away with someone, to feel safe. It enables you to keep on going.”
And because of Agnetha’s new love, she indeed became the old Agnetha again: cheerful, all smiles and full of energy. Her album is mirroring that in every respect and although it’s clear to see that the blonde singer isn’t in her twenties anymore, she’s looking younger than ever and she’s beaming with self-confidence: “A new life has started for me, that’s how you can put it. Somebody loves Agnetha again.”

Tros Kompas, 1985: Agnetha's hobbies (Eyes Of A Woman album review)

Agnetha Fältskog will not move to England, like the rumours will have you believe. The Swedish singer recently bought a farm near Stockholm. To breed horses: her biggest hobby. Another hobby is singing. Agnetha still does this with love and feeling. It can be heard on ‘Eyes Of A Woman’, her eighth solo album. Her eighth, because even before the singer started her successful career with ABBA, she already made six solo albums in the Swedish language. Two years ago, ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me’ appeared, her first English-language longplay. ‘Eyes Of A Woman’, recorded under the productional supervision of Eric Stewart (ex-10CC), is the sequel and she surpassed her previous records with it. The album contains eleven songs in different styles, sung in a tasteful and relaxed manner. Out of these songs, ‘I Won’t Let You Go’, composed by herself and Eric Stewart, is already a hit. Other highlights are the joyous ‘One Way Love’, the pretty ‘Eyes Of A Woman’ and the sensitive songs ‘The Angels Cry’ and ‘I Won’t Be Leaving You’.

Weekend, 1981: ABBA's Benny got married in all secrecy

ABBA’s Benny Andersson has got married in all secrecy with the three years older television reporter Mona Norklit, whom he had been engaged to for a year already. The 35-year-old ABBA-pianist says about his brand-new spouse: “Mona has become a haven of peace and quiet for me. She hardly occupies herself with my work at all. I think that’s very pleasant, because with Anni-Frid, the subject of conversation was always ABBA. ABBA here and ABBA there. Mona and I almost never discuss our work, apart from the times when she asks me or I ask her for advise. Mona is a rather quiet woman, but she is very romantic. When we are together, just the two of us, we can listen to music for hours, without saying much to each other. I think that’s wonderful.”
Benny Andersson already has a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. In 1978, he married Anni-Frid Lyngstad after they had been living together for thirteen years. Soon after that, the two ABBA-members separated, as friends, like they have shown. The other ABBA-couple, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus got a divorce in 1979 as well. Shortly after that, Björn remarried the blonde Lena Kallersjo. Agnetha doesn’t have any marriage plans yet with her new boyfriend who works as a detective at the Stockholm police. For the past few months, Benny has lived a secluded life, but this was not only due to his marriage plans. He says: “Together with Björn, I’ve worked very hard on new song material and I think that we’ve succeeded quite nicely.”

Saturday 21 February 2009

Pop Foto, 1984: There's one thing that Frida will never forget

Fans don’t often get the opportunity to acquire an autograph from their idol. Superstars simply are getting protected around the clock and therefore are unapproachable most of the time.
However, in every country that she visits, Frida always takes the time to have a chat with them.
“That’s obvious, isn’t it?”, the singer told Pop Foto. “When I arrived at Schiphol airport this morning, so many enthusiastic people were waiting for me with flowers and presents! I still think that’s a lovely sight. Apart from that, these are the people who make sure that I’m successful at what I do, and an artist, no matter how famous, should never forget that!”

Monday 16 February 2009

Pop Foto, 1982: Frida's moving plans

Frida is going to leave her house, just outside Stockholm in Sweden. Recently, the 36-year-old singer said that she’ll be living in London from now on.
The reason for that is that Frida thinks the musical climate in England is much better than it is in Sweden. Frida also said that she wants to start working on a new solo album one of these days. Once again, Phil Collins will be in charge of the overall production. On top of that, there’s a small chance that the famous Swede is going to perform with her own band before too long.
That is, if her new solo album becomes just as big a success as ‘Something’s Going On’.
We are curious!

Sunday 15 February 2009

Privé, February 1982: ABBA-Agnetha's secret love

The blonde ABBA-singer Agnetha Fältskog (31) is bubbling over with teenage-like excitement ever since a 38-year-old Swedish police inspector ignited her fire. It was Torbjörn Brander who managed to lift the attractive beauty out of her depressions and gave her a tender, warm and loving romance.

Before she met her new love interest, the 38-year-old police inspector Torbjörn Brander, ABBA’s charming, blonde Agnetha Fältskog seemed to had lost every spark of life. She hid herself away from the glances of the curious public in her luxurious home in Stockholm and wanted nothing else but being a good mother to her two children, who live with their mother ever since the divorce from ABBA-colleague Björn Ulvaeus.
But something happened, that turned a caring mother into a blushing, amorous young girl. It wasn’t easy for the ABBA-star to fall in love again, with the pain and the memories of her marriage to Björn still fresh in mind. Every time that she and Björn ran into each other in the recording studio to record songs for the new ABBA-album ‘The Visitors’, she was reminded of the fact that he was now happy again with another woman, while she was relegated to the part of the old maid, who had been left standing in the cold.

Honesty and faithfulness were the keywords in all of Agnetha’s previous relationships. But many of her so-called lovers treated her badly and time after time she found herself disappointed. Maybe that was the reason why it took so long before Agnetha and Torbjörn could face their love for each other. They had known each other for several years and both of them felt that they hit it off from the word go. That ‘hitting it off’ would certainly have gone unnoticed, if the police inspector Brander hadn’t gotten the opportunity to watch the superstar’s house, in the Stockholm district Lidingö, where all of Sweden’s top artists live. The other police inspectors made jokes about their colleague Torbjörn and his friendship with the blonde ABBA-girl, but none of them really knew the depth of their relationship, that started to grow slowly. All of a sudden, it seemed as if the gates of intimate feelings had been opened when Agnetha and Torbjörn realized that they were made for each other. They wanted to let the world know about the ardent feelings of love that they had been having secretly for a while.

“We love each other, why should we try to hide our feelings,” a blushing Agnetha said recently when their romance became public. Torbjörn, who up till then wasn’t used to the attention that the superstar status of his ABBA-love caused, didn’t hesitate to admit that he was living together with Agnetha. “We’re both happy with our relationship as it is,” he said. “We are immensely attracted to each other, but we both don’t know what the future has in store for us. Time will tell...”
Agnetha has shown a faith in Torbjörn like she never seemed to have had before, not even in Björn, to whom she was married for several years. This can’t all be attributed to the force of law, like it was assumed in Stockholm. It’s clear that Agnetha has found a deeper meaning in life with Torbjörn. Deeper than she has ever known before or even believed possible in her surreal world of ABBA-stardom.

After her divorce from Björn, she focused completely on her children. She wanted – and still wants – to be a good mother to them. “My children are the most important thing in my life. I want to be a very special mother to them. It’s not something that money can buy. I want to give them my love and care as a mother. Their well-being means everything to me,” according to Agnetha.
But now she’s bubbling over with teenage-like excitement ever since Torbjörn has ignited her fire. And together they are working on keeping the fire burning. Even arduous astrologists have given their opinion about the new ABBA-romance. “Astrologically speaking, the love between Agnetha and Torbjörn was meant to be,” one of them said. “Fate has brought them together and strong astrological vibrations are helping them on their way now...”
With Torbjörn, Agnetha can finally realize her romantic needs to full extent, because she is a real romantic girl. She idealized Björn when they were married. He could do no wrong and she couldn’t see or hear anything wrong about him. When reality crushed her fantasies, she was tortured by sickening feelings of betrayal that she couldn’t reconcile with the ideal image she had of Björn. In Torbjörn, she has now found a fantasy and a reality that go together in a tender, warm and loving way, that she has searched for ever since she divorced Björn.

Secretly, the singer and her police inspector have had a romance for almost a year, but they’re not considering marriage yet. Both seem very afraid that any form of marriage will crush their romance. They take every day as it comes and have no need for the blessing of a church or a certificate. Torbjörn and Agnetha have no plans to get married, although there are rumours that they both want a baby. That has been a constant argument in Agnetha’s relationship with Björn Ulvaeus. Agnetha absolutely refused to get pregnant at the height of her ABBA-career. Björn, who did want offspring, left his Agnetha and threw himself, apparently immediately, into the arms of a Stockholm advertising copywriter, the blonde Lena Kallersjo. Within a few months after their marriage at a romantic little church in mid-Sweden, over a year ago, the happy couple announced that Lena was pregnant.
Caught in her ABBA-image, the 31-year-old Agnetha Fältskog is the girl with the sexiest bottom in the world, a true entertainer that exudes sex.

Far away from her ABBA-image, Agnetha is a simple girl with normal emotional and sexual needs that she can now fulfil in her stormy love affair with police inspector Brander.
The police inspector makes use of the cool composure of his police training to conquer Agnetha’s often insane depressions. Torbjörn has lifted her out of her depressions and put her back in the sizzling and joyous way of life that she knew before her world got mixed up, when she was thrown into unprepared stardom, from which her fans would never let her escape.
“With Torbjörn, Agnetha has started to live as a human being again,” is what a good friend of the couple in Stockholm is saying. “Being an ABBA-star takes all humanity out of life, whether Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid like it or not!”

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Pop Foto, 1985: "This is much more fun than ABBA!"

Agnetha has got the hang of it. After the enormous success of her first solo album ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me’, she flung herself into the next album. It’s called ‘Eyes Of A Woman’ and Pop Foto took a look around in the studio.

“Can I have a little less bass? Yes, that’s better. And then a bit more horns!” Fully concentrated, Eric Stewart (that’s right, 10CC’s guitar- and keyboard-player) is standing next to the technician of the Polar Music Studios. Arduously, the man is operating the buttons and switches on the gigantic mixing console before them. Meanwhile, Agnetha is sitting at the other side of the big window-glass, with headphones on her blonde locks of hair. Patiently, she’s waiting until she gets a sign to start singing. Actually, she’s starting to get rather tired, because it’s half past twelve at night and this morning at half past eleven she was ready to get to work. What Eric and Agnetha are working on? That’s not so hard to guess: ‘Eyes Of A Woman’, the Swedish singer’s new solo album.
“I enjoy it tremendously to have complete responsibility for the final result,” she confesses later on. “At the moment, I think that’s more fun than working with ABBA in the old days, when you had to consider the wishes of the other group-members constantly. Because one of us wanted this, the other wanted that. But don’t get me wrong, in those days I’ve never made an issue out of it. That’s just how it goes with a group. It’s only now that I realize how refreshing it is to make the decisions completely on my own. That’s why I can fully stand behind my second solo album and I definitely don’t regret having chosen Eric Stewart as my producer. The collaboration with him works perfectly!”
Except Eric, several other celebrities have collaborated on Agnetha’s album. For instance, Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne has written a song, just like Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward. And Agnetha herself has kept her end up, because she composed the wonderful ‘I Won’t Let You Go’.
“I think it’s fantastic to write my own songs,” the Swedish blonde smiles, “but I’m not very experienced yet. That’s why I’m keeping my contribution to this album modest. But I can tell you that I get a kick out of hearing my simple tune, that I created myself, being played by several outstanding musicians. Then I’m determined to do it more often!”

Monday 9 February 2009

Hitkrant, September 1982: Anni-Frid has many faces

A while ago, the ABBA-fans were rather puzzled when Anni-Frid appeared with a completely new, multi-coloured punk hairdo.

The pictures on this page prove that Frida is able to show herself in many different looks, but now that her solo album ‘Something’s Going On’ has been released, it’s obvious that the red-haired singer has many faces from a musical point of view as well. She emerges as a genuine rock-singer who delivers songs, that have absolutely nothing to do with ABBA anymore.

Granted, a sidestep, but on top of that a remarkable contribution to pop music. If Frida tried to prove with her album that she has more in store than singing with ABBA, then she succeeded completely!

Sunday 8 February 2009

Pop Foto, 1974 & 1975: ABBA posters

ABBA posters, published in 1974 and 1975 in Dutch magazine Pop Foto, featuring pictures from the same photo session.

Saturday 7 February 2009

Pop Foto, March 1981: ABBA's Agnetha and Anni-Frid always look terrific... How do they manage that?

ABBA’s Agnetha and Anni-Frid always look extremely good. Many fans ask themselves how they manage to do that. Reason enough for Pop Foto to ask the famous Swedish top singers to reveal some of their secrets. And so they did...

Hello! To get straight to the point: you always have a very well groomed appearance, Agnetha and Anni-Frid! You must get lots of compliments about that?
Agnetha: “Yes, that’s right. Although I don’t understand it sometimes. I mean, I know lots of other people who look much better, who deserve these compliments more. Because, in my opinion, we don’t look that fantastic.”
What do you think about that, Anni-Frid?
Anni-Frid: “Whether or not we are satisfied with our looks, it is and remains nice to get compliments like that. And at the same time it’s a kind of affirmation that we at least don’t pay so much attention to our appearance for nothing.”

The skin care that you’re talking about must take an awful lot of time?
Anni-Frid: “Yes, as a matter of fact, it occupies you constantly. Because you always need to watch yourself that you don’t eat the wrong kind of food. You have to see to it that you get enough exercise and, for example, too much alcohol isn’t good either. In my opinion, all of this put together is the basis for a healthy skin.”
Agnetha: “Indeed, that’s extremely important. For instance, that’s why we don’t eat nearly as much candy as we’d like to.”

Do you have a make-up artist to put on your make-up, or do you do it yourselves as well?
Agnetha: “For television recordings we have a make-up artist. That’s a special technique that we can’t manage ourselves. On the tube you come across as very ‘unreal’ when it’s not done properly. That’s why even men always get a treatment by such a lady whenever they have to appear on television. The special lighting that’s used on television simply requires that. But in other cases, we do our make-up ourselves.”

You obviously learned lots of make-up tricks since you’re in this business?
Anni-Frid: “Well, lots... that’s not completely true! For instance, something that I’ve learned from a make-up artist, is how to eliminate the bags under my eyes and little stains and zits. You have to buy a so-called ‘green pencil’ for that. You start with that pencil, when you begin to put on your make-up. You disguise the concerning spots, only after that you can put on some liquid make-up on your face. When you do it right (practice makes perfect), it’s practically invisible!”
Agnetha: “Putting on your own make-up is a matter of practice. The more often you do it, the better and faster it will go in time...”

On the ‘Super Trouper’ album cover, Agnetha is portrayed with an intense blue eye shadow. Immediately after the release of this album, lots of young Dutch girls walked around just like that. What do you think about that?
Agnetha: “Wonderful, of course! It only proves that I must do something right!”

You probably use lots of cosmetics?
Agnetha and Anni-Frid look at each other and burst into laughter.
Anni-Frid: “You could say that, yes! Not only make-up, by the way. For instance, twice a week we put on a clay mask. Good cleansing and grooming products are also very important!”

Do you have some advice for the Pop Foto readers? They should be very happy with that...
Agnetha: “When you want to look as radiant as possible, you must see to it, just like I do, that you eat healthy food, that you get enough exercise and that you take care of your skin properly.”
Anni-Frid: “We actually can’t give any real make-up tips, because like Agnetha already put it, it’s mainly a question of practice. But... anyone is able to master it!”

Sunday 1 February 2009

Hitkrant, 1982: ABBA doesn't sit still

Things seem to be quiet around ABBA, but the Swedish quartet is actually very busy: they’re just back from the studio, where they’ve recorded two tracks for the album, to be released in 1983: ‘Just Like That’ and ‘I Am The City’.
Björn and Benny are busy writing yet again and furthermore there’s a double-album around the bend that will, apart from a brand new track, include 25 famous ABBA-singles.
Frida’s solo album ‘Something’s Going On’ and the single ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’ are coming in the beginning of September and there are plans for a solo album for Agnetha as well, with Mike Chapman as a possible producer. On top of that, the blonde singer is going to play a leading part in a Swedish movie in the beginning of the autumn season.
As you can see: busy times for ABBA. In the 22 July issue of Hitkrant (number 29) you can read more about it and there you will find ABBA in colour on the cover.