Sunday, 8 March 2009

Pop Foto, 1983: "You never create a hit on your own!"

A 1983 article from Dutch magazine Pop Foto about Agnetha's then recently released solo album Wrap Your Arms Around Me.
“I knew beforehand that my album would be compared to Frida’s successful album,” Agnetha says about her recently released solo album. She told Pop Foto why she still dared to take that gamble...

With cheeks blushing with anticipation, Agnetha listens to the first mix of ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me’. Mike Chapman, the composer of this monster-hit and also the producer of her solo album with the same title, watches matters smilingly. He’s very proud of this successful album, that everybody has been waiting for eagerly. Still, this isn’t Agnetha’s first album. On the contrary! Before ABBA even existed, the – then very young – blonde singer was already very well-known in Sweden. She recorded no less than 6 (!) albums, one of them even produced by herself!
“That doesn’t take away from the fact that this album, my first album in English, was very important to me,” Agnetha says without hesitation. “Because you can bet that it’s terrifying to come up with a solo album after the success of ABBA. I also knew beforehand that people would compare my album to Frida’s. But either way, I do love a good challenge every now and then, hahaha!”
That the album eventually became such a huge success, is for the most part thanks to Mike Chapman, a man who already has an extensive string of hits credited to his name. Mike was what you could call ‘the big man’ behind the number one hits of Smokie, Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Exile, Mud, Blondie, Tony Basil, and we could continue like this for half an hour.
“I used the group Smokie as backing vocalists for Agnetha’s album. Four or five years ago, Smokie was an extremely popular band. You might remember songs like ‘Needles And Pins’, ‘Oh Carol’ or ‘Living Next Door To Alice’. Agnetha has always been one of their biggest fans, and when I told her about my plans, she immediately was very enthusiastic. Obviously, the boys of Smokie were very honoured.”
“It shows once again,” the blonde singer says softly, while looking at Mike gratefully, “you don’t create a hit on your own!”

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