Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Veronica, November 1976: ABBA is here to stay

An article from Veronica magazine, November 1976. ABBA’s popularity was reaching boiling point in Holland at this time. In 1976, every single and album they released rocketed to the number one spot in the charts, the compilation The Best Of ABBA was the biggest selling musicassette of all time, Arrival had just been released and on November 19 they appeared on the highly rated TV-show Eén Van De Acht, dressed in their iconic kimonos.
The popularity of the Swedish group ABBA has reached unprecedented heights. If we only take a look at our own country: numerous Top 40 hits, of which ‘Dancing Queen’ has been the biggest, one compilation album of which more than a quarter of a million copies were sold and the new album ‘Arrival’ of which more than one hundred thousand copies were sold already in advance sales. It was high time for the group to show their faces in our country. And that’s just what they’ll do: ABBA will be in our country this week to appear in Mies Bouwman’s television show and at the beginning of next year they will be back for a one-off concert. A unique event that will take place on the fourth of February at the Jaap Eden hall in Amsterdam.
This concert is part of a big European tour that has been a long time coming. ABBA doesn’t tour very often. They’d rather stay at home in Stockholm. Even for a television performance it’s practically impossible to entice Benny, Björn, Anna and Frida to travel abroad. But now a European tour has been put together with great care: ABBA will go to France, Germany, Scandinavia, England and Holland. They will be accompanied by a sixteen-piece band, while a gigantic light show and specially designed costumes will bring about extra effects.
After Europe, ABBA will travel to America, Japan and Australia. Especially in that last country ABBA is insanely popular. “This year, we’ve performed for forty thousand people over there and we were welcomed as if we were the Beatles!” The Australian audience is completely mesmerized by the Swedes: in hardly two months time no less than eight hundred thousand albums of the group have been sold. But actually the same story goes for the rest of the world. One record after the other is storming up the local charts. And with that these Swedes are the first artists, not coming from an English-speaking country, that have conquered a constant position in the international pop scene.

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