Monday, 11 July 2011

Joepie, April 1979: ABBA wants to coach young Swedish talent

Ted Gärdestad, Sweden’s entry at the Eurovision Song Contest has the two gentlemen of ABBA to thank for his success in his own country – and who knows in the near future across the borders as well.
Officially, it is claimed that Polar Music – ABBA’s record company – is only engaged in Ted’s business interests, which is already an enormous support in itself. But insiders know better than that: Ted, who recorded his album in the ABBA studios in Stockholm, was supported unofficially by Björn and Benny during the recordings. And it might very well be the case that Björn and Benny will launch other newcomers in the near future.
“ABBA has become a household name, so it isn’t necessary for us to be in the charts continually any longer,” Benny told us recently in Switzerland. “And that’s all for the better, because we need more and more time to create an original product that doesn’t sound like a previous one. That new album for instance has cost us an enormous amount of strain...”
“In these couple of months we have worked on about thirty songs, out of which we’ve made a selection,” Björn continues. “These discarded songs actually sound good too, but they sound too much like things that we have recorded and released before. We thought it would be a shame to throw these songs in the dust-bin and that’s what gave us the idea to start working with newcomers. Because if these same songs are being sung by a male or female singer or a group, then you can make a different arrangement of the song. An arrangement that hasn’t got anything to do with ABBA...”
“To give you an example,” Benny interrupts. “Some of these songs would come off really well in a new wave arrangement. But do you see ABBA recording new wave songs? Look, this working method suits us fine, because this way the songs don’t go to waste. And it benefits these newcomers as well: they get good songs from us, a recording studio and assistance from ourselves whenever that is possible. If we do less travelling that is. A sort of university for young talent, that’s what we want to provide, with a complete tuition. We have a complete infrastructure at our disposal: an office, a recording studio, a publishing company, our contacts abroad, you name it. Why wouldn’t we make use of that outside the ABBA frame?”
This working method will most likely benefit the newcomers in Sweden!


Karin said...

Thanks Michel, this is one of the few articles I have never seen before. The previous Joepie article regarding ABBA is more excersizing, reminds me a lot of an article in Popfoto I have in my scratchbook. The same pictures, almost the same wording. The Dutch Popfoto and the Belgium Joepie must have had the same publisher. Anyway, it was again nice to see and read. It brings back many memories on my teenage years!

Michel said...

Thanks for your comment, Karin.

I posted that Pop Foto article you mentioned on this blog as well. You can find it under the 1979 label (7 March 2010 entry).

Indeed, it used exactly the same pictures (plus one small picture of Agnetha wiping her forehead).

Anonymous said...

remember the times back,thanks for giving me a back in time good old ABBA feeling, I never let go...Jolanna..x

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