Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Hitkrant, October 1978: ABBA is going to conquer the Eastern bloc! – 40 million albums shipped to the Soviet Union

While the Summer Night City single was climbing the charts in Western Europe, Dutch magazine Hitkrant published this article about ABBA’s success in Eastern Europe.
First, there was Europe. Then the successes came in Australia; a few weeks ago we already reported that ABBA was taking the United States by storm as well. But ABBA wants to conquer the entire world and therefore, the Swedish quartet has its eyes set on the East: ABBA is on the verge of becoming a household name in the Eastern countries as well.

ABBA is no longer just a pop group; they have grown into a multi million company that’s making gigantic profits every year. And manager Stig Anderson is doing his best to keep it that way and even improve on that. Now that ABBA’s popularity in Europe is slightly decreasing, Stig has started conversations with the Russians.

In the near future, a Russian delegation will travel to Stockholm to sit down and get to business with Stig and the members of ABBA. And then, decisions will be made!

One deal is as good as closed already: the Russians want to buy the rights to the ABBA-movie ‘The Movie’, while the Russian broadcasting company has already bought all the promotional films that have ever been made by the group.
Furthermore, the Russians have already started pressing no less than 200.000 ABBA-albums. This will mark the first time that official ABBA-records will be available in Russia. Up till now, the fans – and there are a whole lot of them – had to make do with ‘white’ records.

More importantly, a tour through the Soviet Union is already in the making. The Russian teenagers’ fascination with Western pop music, and especially ABBA’s, seems to be so overwhelming that music executives can’t resist the pressure any longer and have asked if ABBA wants to come on tour.
But it’s not only Russia. Poland, Tsjecho-Slovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria are falling for ABBA as well. In all, more than one million ABBA-albums have been sold in those countries in the meantime. For that matter, the goods are not being paid in cash, since the currencies of the Eastern countries aren’t exactly favoured in our area. Therefore, accounts are being settled in oil, cement or canned food.

Once again, this indicates that Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn, Benny and especially Stig are sitting on a goldmine. ABBA is far from being at the end of their game, that’s even more obvious. Europe was conquered, Australia and the United States were next; now it’s the Eastern bloc’s turn and after that it’s high time to invade China...

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