Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hitkrant, May 1978: ABBA is going to conquer America!

An article from Dutch magazine Hitkrant about ABBA’s attempt to conquer the American market in 1978. The campaign did generate some promising results and proved that ABBA would have been able to crack the US, if they had wanted to. Take A Chance On Me became a huge hit, peaking at number 3 (some even claim that it was their most successful US single, considering sales figures and popularity) and ABBA – The Album became ABBA’s highest charting original album in the US, peaking at number 14. Inexplicably, ABBA’s American record company did not build on this momentum and decided to release no new ABBA-product for a whole year.
Anyone who wants to achieve something in the long run, will have to make a planning. ABBA has made a so-called ‘Plan ‘78’, in which it is exactly described how they are planning to conquer America this year.

Manager Stig Anderson has thought out an ingenious plan in which all activities in the year 1978 are aimed at getting the United States completely won over by the Swedish foursome. For starters, at the end of April the group has left for Los Angeles to execute the whole operation from there.

The Scotti Brothers, who are taking care of the publicity and the promotion of, among others, Bellamy Brothers, John Denver and Barbra Streisand, will occupy themselves with the practical execution of Plan ’78. This means: promoting the records, setting up interviews with important people of the press, having conversations and making deals with promoters and record dealers.

In America, you have to hire professional people for things like this, otherwise you won’t stand a chance. But: it costs loads of money!
One of the ideas is that ABBA will make a television special together with Olivia Newton-John, who is a huge star in the States, if only due to the success of her hit single with John Travolta, ‘You’re The One That I Want’.

ABBA still knows Olivia from the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 in Brighton, where ‘Waterloo’ became the winning song and Olivia finished in fourth place. This way, the Australian-born singer is an important tool for ABBA on their way to the big American success. Time will tell!

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