Friday, 17 July 2009

Joepie, 1982: How Anna helped her desperate colleague out of trouble!

An article from Belgian magazine Joepie about the duet single that Agnetha (in this article still called Anna) recorded with Tomas Ledin in 1982. The article shows a picture of ABBA posing with Ted Gärdestad, although the writer of this piece will have you believe that it’s Tomas Ledin. The single did quite well in Belgium, reaching the top ten. In Holland, it was a moderate chart success, peaking at number 24.
With his head slightly bent in sorrow and a distant look in his eyes, Tomas Ledin walked out of the office of his manager Stig Anderson. He didn’t even notice that Anna was having a chat with the telephonist and walked straight passed her.
“I had never seen Tomas like that,” Anna explains. “For years, I had known him as a friendly, cheerful guy who was always ready for a joke. Afterwards, Stig told me what was wrong: he had just shown him the sales figures of his latest single. Tomas had expected a lot from it, but the result was not up to the mark. ‘I think that I’d better quit’, he said in an almost whispery voice and walked out.”

“I just couldn’t forget that desperate look in Tomas’ eyes when I sat at home that night,” Anna continues. “With ABBA, we had been successful from the very beginning. It never crossed my mind that there are other artists that had been less fortunate than us. Although we had an example in our own stable, because Tomas has been with Polar for years. Yes, we had posed with him before for a picture, but he didn’t get any more support from us than that. I started feeling some remorse. Why did we leave this young bloke to his fate like this? Had we really gone blind for the troubles of less fortunate colleagues? I wanted to make up for that mistake no matter what.”
“The next day, I paid him a visit at his home,” Anna continues. “The desperation could still be read in his eyes. He played a couple of self-written songs for me, that he wanted to put on a new album. ‘But I don’t know if it’s any use to release them anymore,’ he added. One of those songs, ‘Never Again’, appealed to me a great deal. At first, the thought crossed my mind to record it myself for my upcoming solo album with Mike Chapman. But then I came up with a much better idea: why not record it as a duet! With my name on that record, it would suddenly get more attention. If it would become a hit, that album of Tomas would stand a much better chance. I saw that spark in his eyes again. We talked it over with Stig. He liked the idea immediately, and within a week we were together in the recording studio.”

Obviously , that duet recording was the ideal ammunition for the Swedish gossip press. But that doesn’t bother Anna.
“After all these years, I’ve broken that habit,” she says. “After my failed love affair with Torbjörn, I’m far from being ready for a new romance. With every day, it’s getting harder for me to deal with men. They look at me too much as a star and fail to see my own personality. Tomas is definitely not my new boyfriend. We’ve known each other for years, we get along great, but that’s all. As far as I’m concerned, they can write what they like about me, but I could perfectly do without the publicity generated by the gossip press. But for Tomas, it’s obviously important that his name is seen everywhere. I wish him all the success in the world, he deserves it like no other.”
Because of this artistic marriage, Anna found herself in the charts as a solo singer sooner than was initially planned.
“My solo album with Mike Chapman will not be recorded before the autumn,” she says. “I had to postpone it for a couple of months, because there was other work to be done. The movie, that I’ve discussed earlier, and recording sessions with ABBA. Because no matter what they’re saying, ABBA will continue. Recently, an article appeared in a Swedish magazine, claiming that I was jealous of Frida, and that I hastily made this duet recording with Tomas because of that. I thought that was awful. That reporter didn’t even bother to inquire about the true story. He simply had his own view on the proceedings and put it on paper without hesitation. I’m not jealous of Frida, I grant her the success that she’s experiencing at the moment. I even think that her album is very good. Some people seem to forget that it’s beneficiary to each ABBA-member that every solo project is doing well. With or without ABBA, all five of us – including Stig – are shareholders of Polar.”


Iris said...

Never again , is such a great song , and Agnetha sings heavenly on it . I think , TL was lucky to have her as a musical duet partner . Thanks for another article on Agnetha . Your blog is simply cool .

Iris , Germany

Michel said...

Thanks, Iris. Yes, Tomas was lucky to sing a duet with her. I think it was an attempt to launch an international career for Tomas. Although the single did get some international attention (no doubt, thanks to Agnetha's contribution), Tomas' career didn't take off after that.

Karin said...

But Tomas Ledin is still (at the age of 58!) still very populair in Sweden. He is still writing beautiful Swedish songs, even turning the parks in Sweden these weeks.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this article,Tomas is a good singer and ive always enjoyed Never Again,Tomas had been one of ABBA's backing singers for sometime so i think it was a natural process too work individualy with an ABBA member on a single