Monday, 9 November 2009

Pop Foto, November 1978: ABBA doesn’t want any scandals

ABBA’s latest 1978 summer pictures inspired Dutch magazine Pop Foto to write a story about ABBA’s difficulties to achieve a breakthrough in the US. According to this article, the reason was the lack of scandals...
Despite the enthusiastic response to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ in the authoritative American charts, the Americans don’t trust ABBA one tiny bit! They think it’s ridiculous that ABBA still hasn’t caused any scandal yet!

It happens to be a fact that people are raised with scandals on the other side of the ocean, it’s just a part of American show business, and that’s exactly why the two, almost perfect ABBA-couples are observed with suspicion in the USA. In Australia, it was exactly that lack of gossip and scandals that made sure that one in every four Australian households had an ABBA-album in their record collection, and made them incredibly popular down under. The Germans clasped ABBA, and especially the lively Anni-Frid, to their hearts for eternity when it became known that Frida’s father was none other than the German Alfred Haase!
And here in our own little country, we were already won over by ‘Waterloo’. “We discovered all these kinds of things when we started paying attention to them!” is what the ABBAs themselves are stating. “We were wondering why ABBA was received with so many mixed feelings in America, and this is actually the most logical explanation. Imagine, when Agnetha threw a herring at Björn’s head in a hot tempered mood, it made huge headlines, the Americans couldn’t stop talking about that. But in the States they hardly paid any attention to the birth of Christian, the youngest ABBA offspring, while European journalists tripped over each other to obtain those first pictures of Christian. Isn’t it strange, how different the reactions of people can be,” ABBA-mastermind Stig Anderson clarifies. “But that definitely doesn’t mean that we will start creating artificial scandals!” Benny rapidly explains. “We are mature people, we refuse to behave differently to how we really are! Getting drunk at press conferences, we leave that to the young punks. And if that’s not enough for the Americans, well, then so be it!”
Luckily, there are plenty of other things that the American record buyers know how to appreciate. Like the impressive business empire that Benny, Björn and Stig have built with their ABBA-earnings. And the marvellous success of ‘Money, Money’ in the top ten of the Soviet Union!
“Just wait until our new album is released at the end of this year,” Anni-Frid grins. “Then they will change their tune in America!” And while the latest ABBA-blockbuster ‘Summer Night City’ is making its unrelenting way up the charts over here, one significant question remains unanswered: Will they, or will they not go... to America?

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