1. Dame! Dame! Dame!, Guldskivan & Ampex "Golden Reel" award
2. ABBA Tour 1980 in Japan
3. May: Gracias por la musica, Anders & Görel's wedding
4. Recording sessions for Super Trouper - February-October
5. The Winner Takes It All - the video
6. The Winner Takes It All - the single/photo session
7. The Super Trouper sessions, October 3
8. ABBA in Paris, October 21
9. Super Trouper - the album
10. Happy New Year & Super Trouper videos & sessions
11. "Bravo" in Stockholm
12. Show Express - November
13. Super Trouper - the single, Frida & Björn on "Måndagsbörsen"
14. Finn Kalvik & Mireille Mathieu projects
The year 1980 began in almost the same way as the previous one. Björn and Benny went together to Barbados to find inspiration for new songs. The idea of writing a musical came back again but thanks God they decided to abandon it even this time. They came back to Stockholm after a two-week-holidays with some new songs and ideas for the new album.
ABBA in der DDR
During their whole career ABBA appeared twice behind the "Iron Curtain" - in the Eastern Europe. At the end of 1974 they performed in East Berlin in the former DDR (East Germany) and at the end of 1976 the group paid a visit in Poland where they promoted their forthcoming album "Arrival". ABBA was huge in whole Eastern Europe and Sovjet Union and lots of the group's hits had been recorded by artists in different countries. In 1980 a compilation album entitled "Gimme Gimme Gimme" was released in East Germany. Current world hits had been covered by DDR-artists and among them two ABBA songs - their 1979 hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" and an older but still very popular song in the East Block "Honey Honey". The first song was interpreted by The Cantus - Choir and the latter one by Gerd Michaelis - Choir.
The Spanish album
At the beginning of the year Frida and Agnetha worked in the studio where they re-recorded some of ABBA's songs in Spanish. After the huge success of Spanish language versions of "Chiquitita" and "I Have a Dream" it was decided that a whole album in Spanish would be recorded for the Spanish language territories.
go.to/Gracias Por La Musica
Agnetha and Frida outside the Polar Music Studios in Stockholm.
The French record company "Vogue" released the Spanish version of "I Have a Dream" - "Estoy soñando" b/w "As Good As New" on January 22nd, 1980.
The Olympic album
At the beginning of February Polar Music celebrated Ingemar Stenmark - Swedish skiing-champion on a reception before he left for the Olympic games in Lake Placid. The gold discs were given to ABBA at a party they held at the studios for the Swedish Winter Olympic Team. It was a good luck gesture on the part of ABBA who sold one song on Voulez-Vous to the benefit of the Olympic Team. They received the discs from down hill ski champion Ingemar Stenmark as a big "thank you" for the support which ABBA have given the team.
The Olympic album released for this occasion contained the Spanish version of ABBA's "Chiquitita" and other hits performed by top Swedish artists as well as a cover version of "Why Did It Have To Be Me" performed by Ingmar Nordströms dance band.
The "Hawaii" sessions
The photo session in Hawaii-shirts was took place in the spring of 1980. During latest years more alternative shots came out - mainly thanks to Jean-Marie Potiez and his "ABBA The Book" & "Tribute to Frida".
Alternative shots - different outfits except Benny.
Ampex "Golden Reel" award
Every year Ampex, the company that produced magnetic tapes for professional purposes, created an award to outstanding groups or artists who recorded and mastered their albums on Ampex tape. Among winners there were Bob Dylan, Blondie, Bee Gees and Billy Joel. At ABBA's request the money for their award was given to UNICEF Sweden.
The Dutch music magazine "Hitkrant" sent the reader's award to ABBA in the spring 1980.
Daily News Café
Shortly before leaving for the Japan tour Frida and Benny did not want to miss the inauguration of a new restaurant in Stockholm "Daily News Café" situated in the Swedish House in Hamngatan.
Agnetha, Frida and Benny attended the annual "Spring party" in Stockholm
ABBA in Japan
After new rehearsals ABBA embarked on the tour in Japan.
On April 5th Agnetha celebrated her 30th birthday.
Agnetha reading fan mail
Agnetha with fan
ABBA Live on TV
The documentary and excerpts from the 1979 tour were shown on Sveriges Television on April 7th. The same TV special was released on VHS in 1993.
On the day Swedish TV broadcasted an interview with Björn who was talking mostly about ABBA's latest tour in Japan. He even mentioned that the group start recording sessions for a new album "next Wednesday". The interview was a part of the TV show "Måndagsbörsen".
Eurovision Song Contest
The ABBA family was in Haag (Netherlands) when the final of the Eurovision Song Contest was held on 16 April 1980. Sweden was represented by Tomas Ledin, one of the biggest artists signed on Polar Music AB. He performed the song "Just Nu" (Right Now) which became #10.
ABBA connections: Tomas participated in the ABBA world tour 1979 as a background singer. In 1982 he recorded "Never Again" together with Agnetha Fältskog. In private Tomas was (and still is) married with Stikkan's daughter Marie.
ABBA and Stikkan Anderson gave an interview for Austrian TV in the Spring of 1980. The interview for the TV show "Okej" was filmed at the office in Stockholm.
Görel & Anders
On Saturday 19th May 1980 Görel Johnsen, Vice-President of Polar Music married photographer Anders Hanser. The ABBA family attended the ceremony at the chapel of Ulriksdal Castle in northern part of big Stockholm. Agnetha came together with her new boyfriend Dick Håkansson. Anni-Frid had a new 1980 hair-do which would become the "official" Super Trouper image. Björn was alone because Lena was sick. Görel and Anders would spend their honeymoon in USA.
Frida attended a premiere at the Folkan theatre in Stockholm at the end of May 1980.
ABBA released their first official video tape entitled "The Music Show 1" featuring 7 songs including their 1979 smash hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)". Some of the songs were edited - Gimme Gimme Gimme was shortened from 4.45 to 3.15, Eagle to 3.48 (from 5.51) and Voulez-Vous to 4.06 (from 5.20).
The compilation "The Magic of ABBA" was released in USA, Australia and certain territories in South America in 1980. The LP contained 16 songs which was a lot for an LP record's capacity. That's why some of the songs were released in rare edited short versions. "Chiquitita" was shortened with almost 2 minutes from 5.26 to 3.32. Even "Voulez-Vous", "The Name of the Game" and "Angeleyes" appeared in remixed short versions. The cover photo appeared originally on the cover of the 1977 single "Eagle". The cover was gatefold and in the middle there was a short note about the group and 6 well-known photos taken mostly in 1978/1979.
The album "Gracias Por La Musica" containing ten songs in Spanish was released in Spain and other Spanish language territories on 23 June 1980.
go.to/Gracias Por La Musica for more
Gracias Por La Musica in Japan
The Japanese release of the LP was tightly connected with the ABBA tour two months before. The flyer inside the album promoted various T-shirts and among them the one with the official tour logo. Japan was well-known because of its exclusive LP releases and even "Gracias por la musica" was issued in red vinyl with a rare alternate picture in the middle from the photo session taken at the beginning of 1980.
The album was even released on CD in Japan and this release belongs probably to the rarest ones in the ABBA world.
The recording sessions for Super Trouper started in February 1980. The first tracks to be recorded were Andante Andante, The Piper and Elaine followed by Happy New Year and On And On And On. Most of the photos were taken by Anders Hanser in June 1980 when the group was recording Our Last Summer and The Winner Takes It All. The last songs to be recorded were Me & I, Put On Your White Sombrero (which remained unreleased until 1994) and the title track Super Trouper.
Gold for "Greatest Hits Vol. 2"
ABBA received gold record for their sales of "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" in Switzerland. The Swiss press took pictures during awarding ceremony in the Polar studios in Stockholm.
The Winner Takes It All - making of the video
On 12th July the video "The Winner Takes It All" directed by Lasse Hallström was filmed in Marstrand in south-west Sweden. The song would be released as the first single from the forthcoming album. (see: ABBA related places). Agnetha came to Marstrand with her new partner Dick Håkansson and daughter Linda. Björn had his girlfriend Lena Källersjö as a company. The filming of the video took 5 hours.
The single "The Winner Takes It All" with "Elaine" on flipside was released in Scandinavia at the end of July 1980. In Sweden it entered the chart on 8 August 1980 and stayed there for 16 weeks reaching #2. In Norway the single peaked at #3.
"The Winner Takes It All" entered the UK chart on 2nd August 1980 reaching the top one week later. The single was even released as a maxi single for collectors with very nice gatefold, pop up cover.
|Great Britain 7"|
In West Germany "The Winner Takes It All" entered the chart on 4th August and reached #4. The single was released both as 7" and 12". The version on the maxi single was exactly the same as on the 7" single. It was third ABBA maxi single in West Germany after "Chiquitita" and "Voulez-Vous". The main idea behind the maxi singles was to release remixed or extended versions of the songs for djs' use in very popular at the end of 1970s disco clubs. In the case ABBA there were no extended versions of the group's hits available for release but the LP versions of the songs released on maxi singles had better sound quality.
In Holland "The Winner Takes It All" stayed on the single chart for 16 weeks reaching #1 (for 6 weeks). Even in Belgium the single reached the top where it stayed for 8 weeks.
In France the single was released on 17th July and it stayed on the chart for 12 weeks reaching #5.
In Spain the single entered the chart in September 1980 and it stayed there for 12 weeks reaching only #10.
In USA the single was released in November and its highest position was #8. The single entered the Australian chart on 24th September where it stayed for 15 weeks peaking at #11. In Mexico "The Winner Takes It All" enjoyed quite big success reaching #5 on the single chart. The Mexican cover featured slightly changed lay-out comparing to the European releases.
In Japan the single entered the chart on August 5th and it stayed there for 11 weeks peaking at #33.
"The Winner Takes It All" was released by Amiga as a single in East Germany.
"The Winner Takes It All" was even released by Pepita in Hungary
On August 8th, Björn, Benny and Frida went for 3 days to London. The main purpose was to see the Pink Floyd concert on August 9th. But they even gave some interviews and Frida went on shopping tour purchasing lots of new clothes.
Summer with Tomas Ledin
Frida and Benny attended two concerts with Tomas Ledin in August 1980. At the beginning of the month at the disco club "Atlantic" and the end of August at Gröna Lund in Stockholm.
A wonderful evening in Scandinavia
The canadian TV team came to Stockholm for filming an interview with Agnetha, Frida and Stikkan some day in the late summer of 1980. The interview would become a part of the TV special devoted to culture in Scandinavia broadcasted in the series "Super special" in December 1981.
ABBA at the birthday party in Stockholm
All ABBA members attended the birthday party of their friend Lillebil Ankarcrona who was at that time married to Rune Söderqvist - the group's designer. The party was held in Stockholm at the Riddarhuset in Old Town at the end of September.
Notebook "Great songs of ABBA" was released in the US by The New York Times.
The umbrella photo session
In September 1980 Mike Oldfield released a single with his own version of ABBA's "Arrival". The single cover was inspired by the original cover of the ABBA "Arrival" album from 1976 and featured Oldfield sitting in the helicopter on the front cover and standing in front of the helicopter on the single's back cover.
The song was even included on his new album "QE2".
The Super Trouper sessions
The official Super Trouper photo session was planned to be arranged in London on the Piccadilly Circus in the middle of the night. But it was not allowed to have animals there so the idea was abandoned after a while. The photo session took place o n 3rd October 1980 at Europa Studios in Stockholm instead. A lot of footage was taken this day. This footage was used even in the videos "Super Trouper" and "Happy New Year". ABBA's friends as Tomas Ledin and Björn Skifs and many more participated in the session. go.to/ABBA related places
Agnetha & Frida
Greeting for the Dutch TV and Focus project in Holland
Agnetha & Frida - photo session
ABBA went for a short promotion trip to France on 21st October shortly before the new album was released. ABBA performed "The Winner Takes It All" & "Super Trouper" on French TV, they gave lots of interviews and stand up for photo session in Paris.
ABBA in Paris - rehearsals, photo sessions, in the city
The new album entitled "Super Trouper" was released in Europe on November 3rd, 1980. It contained 10 tracks featuring 9 new songs and one live track - "The Way Old Friends Do", recorded live during the 1979 World Tour on Wembley in London. It is still a mystery why ABBA decided to release a live track on a studio album as Björn and Benny always declared that they did not like live recordings.
Agnetha had three lead vocals on the album and Frida four. The only songs sung by both girls was "The Piper" and "On and On and On" and it would be the very last studio recordings performed by Agnetha and Frida together.
The album "Super Trouper" brought of course several chart hits as already well-known "The Winner Takes It All", the second single "Super Trouper" and the third single "Lay All Your Love On Me".
For the Spanish language territories ABBA re-recorded in Spanish two songs: "Happy New Year" (Felicidad) and "Andante Andante".
Two songs from the "Super Trouper" recording sessions were not released on the album:
- "Elaine" became only the B-side of the single "The Winner Takes It All";
- "Put on Your White Sombrero" remained unreleased until 1994 when it appeared on the ABBA Box "Thank You For The Music".
The album was promoted by the videos: "The Winner Takes It All", "Super Trouper", "Happy New Year" (English and Spanish versions), "On and On and On" and a TV special "ABBA words and music" featuring interviews with all group members. Frida and Björn gave even an interview in a Swedish TV show "Måndagsbörsen" on November 17th.
"Super Trouper" entered the Swedish album chart on November 14th, 1980 and stayed there for 22 weeks reaching #1 (for 7 weeks).
Polar Music, Sweden
"Super Trouper" was very successful even in Norway where it entered the chart on November 13th and stayed there for 26 weeks reaching #1.
In the UK "Super Trouper" entered chart on November 22nd and went directly to #1 where it stayed for 9 weeks!!! Totally "Super Trouper" stayed on the UK album chart for 43 weeks.
The UK Super Trouper box
Special box version was released in limited edition in the UK. It contained LP, book "ABBA for the record", poster and a merchandise booklet.
In West Germany the album "Super Trouper" stayed on the chart for 51 weeks peaking at #1.
An alternative release of "Super Trouper" by Polydor featured different LP label as well as wrong information about the length of three tracks on the album: "Me And I" 3.56 instead of 4.53, "Our Last Summer" 4.58 instead of 4.18 and "The Piper" 4.40 instead of 3.25.
In France the album was on the chart for 12 weeks peaking at #8.
In Australia the album entered the chart on December 1st, 1980 and stayed there for coming 24 weeks peaking at #5. In New Zealand "Super Trouper" entered the chart on December 5th for 14 weeks reaching #5.
"Super Trouper" was quite successful in USA where it appeared on the album chart on December 13th, 1980 and stayed there for 38 weeks peaking #17. In Canada the album entered the chart on February 28th, 1981 and stayed there for 13 weeks reaching #4.
|Canada, diff. label|
In the Spanish language territories the album was released in alternative version featuring two songs sung in Spanish. ABBA decided to re-record in Spanish "Happy New Year" which received the title "Felicidad" and "Andante Andante" which had the same title even in the Spanish version.
In Asia the album was distributed by Polydor
The Polydor release of the album from Philippines.
Polydor edition distributed in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
In Japan "Super Trouper" entered the LP chart on December 5th, 1980 and stayed there for 23 weeks peaking at #8.
Limited editions of the LP "Super Trouper" were even released in Czechoslovakia and Hungary in 1981. The album info on the inner sleeve of the album written by Milos Skalka was about the story of ABBA and the album "Super Trouper". It was even mentioned that Helena Vondrackova was the only Czech singer who had recorded "The Winner Takes It All" with Czech lyrics.
The album "Super Trouper" was even released in Yugoslavia
Several covers contained two wrong track lengths: "Me and I" 3.56 instead of 4.53 and "The Piper" 4.53 instead of 3.25.
The Polar postcard - promotion
As usual Polar Music issued a special postcard in connection to the album release.
More Super Trouper sessions
The main promotional sessions for the album were taken at Europa Studios in Mariehäll outside Stockholm (go.to/ABBA related) on 3rd October 1980. More filming took place later in October at the same studios. The film material was used in the videos to "Super Trouper", "Happy New Year" and "Felicidad". In fact the videos to the English and Spanish versions of "Happy New Year" are different even if it is difficult to notice it at the beginning.
Super Trouper - the video
The Bravo team with photographer Wolfgang Heilemann arrived in Stockholm and made an extended photo session. ABBA wore different clothes and the session took several hours. The sessions were taken at the Europa Studios in Sundbyberg outside Stockholm. It was the last ABBA photo session arranged by Heilemann for "Bravo".
Meeting the "Bravo" team
The "yellow box" session.
All available alternative shots so far.
The most known shot is well-known from posters from various mostly German music papers as well as the Bravo Autogrammkarte.
The Super Trouper t-shirts
Take 5 - the can-can session
Voulez-Vous in India
One of the shots from the can-can session was used for the cover of the Indian release of the album "Voulez-Vous". It is not exactly known when the MC was released in India.
British TV team met ABBA and made a documentary about the new album. This TV special contained a rare video version of "The Way Old Friends Do". The ABBA members were interviewed separately.
The second video in the series "ABBA Music Show" was released at the end of 1980 and it featured 7 videos, among them an extended version of "On And On And On".
ABBA cover in German
The German pop star Marianne Rosenberg recorded a cover version of "The Winner Takes It All" which in German was entitled "Nur Sieger stehn im Licht" at the end of 1980. The song was released on single the same year.
The Happy New Year sessions
The videos to the English and Spanish versions of the song were recorded on November 8, 1980.
go.to/Gracias Por La Musica
Several photos of the group in their "happy new year" outfits were taken around the time of filming of the video.
Things were not the same when Agnetha's & Björn's children became treated to be kidnapped in the autumn 1980. The promotional tour to West Germany was cancelled. The group made a performance in the TV studio in Stockholm instead and the show was aired live by satellite to Germany on November 27th. ABBA gave a short interview and performed "The Winner Takes It All", "Super Trouper" and "On and On and On".
The famous "around piano" video version of "Happy New Year" was filmed the same evening and shown by Swedish TV on New Year's Eve later this year.
Even a happy new year greeting was filmed for French TV this evening.
"On And On And On" b/w "The Piper" was the second Australian single from the album "Super Trouper". The single was released in November 1980 and it entered the chart on 17th December where it stayed for 10 weeks reaching #12.
Frida on a premiere in Stockholm
At the beginning of November Frida attended alone the premiere of a new show of the Swedish pop star Lill-Babs.
The second single from the album "Super Trouper" in Europe was the title song with "The Piper" on the flipside. This single was released in November by Polar and it reached #11 in Sweden.
"Super Trouper" was a big hit in the UK where it reached #1 on 29th November and stayed on the top for 3 weeks and totally 12 on the UK chart.
In Holland the single entered the chart on 15 November 1980 and stayed there for 10 weeks reaching #1. Even in Belgium the single topped the chart.
In West Germany the single released by Polydor entered the chart on 17th November and on 22nd December it reached the top where it stayed for 5 weeks.
The French edition of the single was released by Vogue on 3 November 1980 and it entered the chart immediately reaching #4.
The single "Super Trouper" was released in Spain by Carnaby and in Portugal by Polydor. The Spanish release entered the single chart first in January 1981 where it reached #8.
The single "Super Trouper" saw its release in Japan and South America at the beginning of 1981. (go.to/ABBA 1981)
"Super Trouper" was featured on the Danish compilation album "Disco drönet 5" among other hits performed by various artists.
Rod Stewart live in Stockholm/Frida 35
Frida, Benny & Björn with Lena attended the concert of Rod Stewart in Stockholm on 15 November. After the show Frida celebrated her 35th birthday at the restaurant "Blå gåsen" in Stockholm. Among the guests there were Stikkan and his wife Gudrun, Görel and Anders Hanser, Tomas and Marie Ledin and many others.
Björn & Frida on Swedish TV
The group represented by Anni-Frid and Björn gave an interview for Swedish TV's "Måndagsbörsen" on November 17th. The journalist asked: "What happened? ABBA used to receive a very bad critics every time a new album was released, but not this time! Everyone says that the new album "Super Trouper" is very good!" Björn answered: "It's something wrong. I don't understand it!" The audience started to laugh. Frida and Björn were asked whether they were planning to move abroad but they denied. About a possible tour they said that it was horribly boring to travel and stay at hotels in different cities all over the world without having a possibility to go somewhere because of the fans.
In December Benny started recording the second album with his Norwegian friend Finn Kalvik. Anni-Frid and Agnetha were background singers. The album "Natt og dag" (Night and day) and it would be released in 1981. Finn had tax-free alcohol for Frida and Benny from Norway...
On December 12th, Björn gave an interview for the Dutch ABBA Fan Club representant Ilona van Hulst. The interview was broadcasted on Dutch TV on January 12th, 1981. Even Agnetha was present at the office but she was not interviewed.
On the cover
ABBA on the cover of the British magazine "Look-In".
The French pop superstar Mireille Mathieu came to Stockholm in the middle of December and together with Frida, Björn and Benny recorded "Bravo tu as gagné" - the French version of "The Winner Takes It All".
The single was released both in France and Sweden in 1981.