Monday, 24 January 2011

Bravo, 1983: A secret competition is going on between the ambitious ABBA girls Frida and Agnetha: who will settle the race?

Björn and Benny are smirking: Frida’s solo successes didn’t leave Agnetha resting on her laurels. She is eager to prove that she can do without her ABBA boys as well...

“Well, what do you think? Which of our both girls will settle the race for the goodwill of the public?” Those are the bets that are going on between Benny and Björn at the moment.
Following Frida’s example, Agnetha has ventured out as a solo artist as well. No matter who will win the bet, both ABBA men don’t need the worry about the continued existence of the group.
Both Agnetha as well as Frida have always confirmed their loyalty to ABBA. That’s why Benny and Björn can watch the neck and neck competition between their both girls with unclouded suspense, in between pushing a pram and writing a musical...
There’s no doubt about it: like before, the music is created by the boys, but the action is coming from the ABBA girls only. It can’t be the money that ignites their ambition. What’s going on with the wild ABBA women?
Frida was the first one to free herself from the group’s safety net (which was a burden at the same time). After almost ten years, she got fed up with wearing the same costume as Agnetha on stage, which became a must for ABBA since the ‘Waterloo’ era. She didn’t want to just sing the songs anymore that Benny and Björn had put on paper. On top of that, the divorce from Benny made her look for a new purpose and challenge. And last year, the time had come. Frida was so ready for a break from ABBA that she mobilized Genesis drummer and solo specialist Phil Collins to produce an album for her. Thanks to Phil’s musical intuition, the record ‘Something’s Going On’ was tailor made for Frida. But Frida didn’t want to set herself apart from her ABBA persona on a musical level only. In place of her long hair, she adopted a – according to herself – red coloured punk hairdo. With ‘Something’s Going On’ she indeed did a lot.
The album turned out to be so successful that Frida wants to start a second solo project even this year – however only with Phil Collins in the producer’s chair.
In the meantime, Frida has distanced herself geographically from ABBA’s head office Stockholm as well. In the beginning of this year, she rented a house in the center of London and she has taken up residence there. However, she will keep her house in Stockholm too. “Because whenever there’s work to be done with ABBA, I will return immediately,” she stated. “I didn’t move to England for tax reasons, like many people think. My reasons are strictly personal. I can live more freely there, in Sweden I was always in the public eye.” And bear in mind: Phil Collins is domiciled in London too!

In the meantime, Agnetha is close on her heels. Since her divorce from Björn, she has learned to stand on her own two feet, after several setbacks. Now she wants to prove it on a professional level too.
As a try-out, she released the single ‘Never Again’ with Tomas Ledin last year. The whole matter was simplified by the fact that the young Swede was not a stranger to her. He already sang in the backing choir on ABBA’s major tour a couple of years ago. Still, for the time being it’s ‘never again’ for Tomas. Because for her solo album, Agnetha has brought a surefire hit producer into the ABBA studio in Stockholm. The American Mike Chapman, who already served people like Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet splendidly. Barely ten days ago, they got to work.
Anyhow, Agnetha can face the end of her musical side leap calmly. If she should fail as a solo singer – something that the name ABBA in the back pocket will easily prevent – she can always concentrate on her second solo opportunity: acting.
She doesn’t want her first movie about the Swedish marriage impostor Raskenstam to be her last. She is looking for new projects.
If you look at it this way, Benny and Björn have reason to be excited about the result of the competition between their girls. Because even when Agnetha doesn’t manage to outcompete Frida in her singing career, there is always the possibility that Hollywood will call on her!


Monica said...

This is a disappointing interview about the girls. Seems a little made up to sell some magazines.

Michel said...

Yes, some magazines were always eager to play Frida and Agnetha against each other. And when both of them released solo material in the early eighties, they jumped at the opportunity to start making comparisons between their individual success.

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