1. Recording sessions 78-79
2. ABBA in New York - January 79
4. ABBA in Switzerland
5. The royal dinner/Photo sessions for the new album
6. Videos for Voulez-Vous & Does Your Mother Know
7. Voulez-Vous - the album
8. Does Your Mother Know/Kisses of Fire/Finn Kalvik
9. Rehearsals before the tour/ABBA in Spain
11. Gimme Gimme Gimme/Estoy soñando - summer 79
12. The World Tour 1979
13. Greatest Hits Vol. 2
14. I Have a Dream - the single
The recording sessions continue
Recording sessions for the album "Voulez-Vous" took extremely long time comparing to recording sessions for earlier ABBA albums. The group started working in the studio already in March 1978 and it took more than 1 year to complete the new album which contained only 10 new songs. But it has to be mentioned that lots of material recorded during the Voulez Vous-sessions remained unreleased. It was definitely the sign of the first creativity crisis in the group. The first recordings were made at the Metronome studio in Stockholm but from May 18, 1978 ABBA continued in their newly opened, top modern own studios called "Polar Music Studios". As the Polar Music Studios were the most advances recording studios in the world by that time many famous international artists recorded their albums there.
On arrival in New York
The first public appearance of ABBA took place on the Unicef gala in New York on 9 January 1979. The group performed their brand new song "Chiquitita" with Agnetha's lead vocal. At the end of the show all participating artists sang ABBA's 1973 hit "He is Your Brother".
In Sweden it was announced on 16 January that Björn and Agnetha would divorce. The same day saw release of a new, long-awaited single "Chiquitita" from the forthcoming album with another new track "Lovelight" on the B-side. "Chiquitita" was released in its full-length version of 5,26 and "Lovelight" in two different edits - 3.46 on the Swedish Polar release and 3.28 on the West German Polydor release. The photo for the single cover had been taken in the autumn 1978 - go.to/ABBA 1978 if you want to see more alternative shots.
"Chiquitita" entered the Swedish chart on February 9th, 1979 and stayed there for unbelievable 24 weeks reaching #2.
The single released in Denmark featured label with different lay-out to the Swedish one.
The "Unicef" version of the single released by Polar in Norway contained "Chiquitita" (on Polar label) and "Too much heaven" by Bee Gees (on RSO label). The single entered the Norwegian chart on February 10th and stayed there for 18 weeks peaking at #4.
The single entered the British chart on February 4, 1979 and stayed there for 9 weeks reaching #2.
In West Germany "Chiquitita" entered the chart on January 29th, 1979 and stayed there for 26 weeks peaking at #3.
"Chiquitita" was released in West Germany even as a maxi single featuring the album version of the song with an edited version of "Lovelight" on the flip side.
Australian chart entry took place on February 19, 1979, the peak position was #4 and the chart life 19 weeks. New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe were the only countries where the single became no 1.
In Austria the single entered the chart first on March 15th, 1979 and stayed there for four weeks peaking at #6. The B-side featured an un-edited full-length version of "Lovelight".
In France "Chiquitita" stayed on the single chart for 10 weeks peaking at #13.
Even Polydor released "Chiquitita" as a single in France. It's quite unclear what was the reason for two alternative releases of the same single.
The single "Chiquitita" was released in Spain twice - the English version in January and the Spanish language version in April (see below). The single with the English version of "Chiquitita" stayed at the Spanish chart for 16 weeks peaking #1. In Italy the single reached only #48.
"Chiquitita" was released as a single in Spain once again in May but this time in Spanish language version - go.to/the Gracias por la musica section.
In Holland "Chiquitita" entered the chart on February 2nd, 1979 and stayed for 13 weeks reaching #1. In Belgium the single entered the chart on January 27th, 1979 where it stayed for 16 weeks and 5 weeks on #1.
The single "Chiquitita" b/w "Lovelight" was released in limited editions in Poland by Tonpress and East Germany by Amiga.
The Japanese single featured an alternative 4'59" mix of "Chiquitita" with the full-length version of "Lovelight" on the flip side. ABBA were hot in Japan after their promotional trip in November 1978 and the single was very successful. It entered the Japanese chart on January 25th, 1979 where it stayed for 21 weeks peaking at #3.
In USA "Chiquitita" was released first on October 19th and it entered the US chart on November 10th, 1979 where it stayed for 12 weeks reaching #29.
The single was released even in Kenya
Chiquitita - the Spanish singles - go.to/the Gracias por la musica section.
The note sheet
Chiquitita - the videos
The single "Chiquitita" was not promoted by any new video as it was released in January. Two videos were made in February in Leysin / Switzerland where ABBA were filming the BBC-special "ABBA in Switzerland". The first video was filmed in the mountains outside Leysin and the second one in the hotel lobby. Very cheap productions with ABBA sitting in the same position during the whole song and miming.
During the last two weeks in January and the first week in February ABBA members devoted their time to various projects. Björn and Benny tried to find a new inspiration in the Bahamas, Frida acted in a Swedish movie picture "Gå på vattnet om du kan" and Agnetha recorded a new song "När du tar mig i din famn" planned for her new compilation album "Tio år med Agnetha" which would be released later this year.
"Stikkan hos Hagge"
Stikkan Anderson participated in the TV Show "Gäster hos Hagge" on Swedish TV at the beginning of the year 1979. The ABBA members contributed to the show with pre-recorded video where they were talking in a funny way about Stikkan and his importance for ABBA. Stikkan became so touched that he started crying in front of TV cameras...
Frida in the Swedish press
New pictures of Anni-Frid were published by Swedish press at the beginning of 1979.
In the middle of February ABBA went to Switzerland and made a TV-Show "Snow time Special" aka "ABBA in Switzerland".
go.to/ABBA Voulez-Vous Special
Greatest Hits - Italy
Surprisingly the 1976 compilation album "Greatest Hits" was re-released in 1979 in Italy with a brand new cover featuring a picture from the famous photo session taken in 1978. The track listing was identical as on the first release. The album became one of the most hard-to-find albums for the ABBA collectors.
The Unicef album
Some weeks after the Unicef-gala in New York the soundtrack was released on the album "The music for Unicef concert - a gift of song". ABBA did not performed "Chiquitita" live during the show but the playback had been mixed with the sound of the audience.
On March 8th ABBA and Stikkan with his wife Gudrun were participating in the dinner at the Royal Castle in Stockholm invited by the King Carl Gustaf and the Queen Silvia.
In the studio
with Ted Gärdestad
Voulez-Vous - the photo sessions
Photo sessions for the new album were taken at Alexandra Disco in Stockholm (go.even.to/ABBA related places)
Chiquitita - on German TV
On March 22nd ABBA appeared in the German TV show "Musikladen" performing "Chiquitita".
I Have a Dream - the recording sessions
One of the last songs completed for the upcoming new album was "I Have a Dream" (with working title "I Know a Song"). The song was recorded in March 1979 with Frida in lead-vocals and a children's choir from the International School in Stockholm. The picture below was taken some day in the middle of March.
The "nude" session 1979
These almost "nude" photo session was taken at the beginning of 1979 primarily for use on the cover of the "Estoy Soñando" single in certain territories.
Bosse takes Frida in
Swedish TV channel 2 broadcasted an entertainment show "Party at Parnevik" hosted by famous Swedish comedian Bosse Parnevik in 1978. The highlight of each show was a phone call made by Parnevik to various Swedish celebrities. Parnevik is well-known for his imitations and he pretended to be a well-known person during each phone call. One of the offers was Anni-Frid Lyngstad and another ABBA-related person was the manager Stikkan Anderson. Parnevik pretended to be Anni-Frid's old friend and mentor Swedish jazz-musician Charlie Norman. The talk lasted for 5 minutes and 13 seconds and Anni-Frid was all the time sure that she was talking to Charlie Norman. Parnevik pretended to be the prime minister Olof Palme when he called Stikkan Anderson but Stikkan seemed not to be 100% sure that he was talking to Palme. The best 10 phone calls were released on an LP in 1979 and it's probably the most odd ABBA-related record in the history.
When the popular German TV show "Disco" celebrated its 100th edition on April 29th, 1979 ABBA contributed with a greeting taped at the Polar Music Studio. Both Björn and Agnetha were talking German.
Agnetha & Frida - spring 1979
In the spring Agnetha and Frida met Finnish press and gave an interview which was published in the Finnish press at the end of May.
Party time at the Alexandra disco in Stockholm - Frida & Benny
Frida and the Swedish showman Christer Lindarw some day in 1979.
Voulez-Vous/Does Your Mother Know - the videos
At the beginning of April the videos for "Voulez-Vous" and "Does Your Mother Know" were filmed in Europa Studios in Stockholm. The idea behind the videos was to create the disco atmosphere having ABBA on stage in front of dancing audience.
Does Your Mother Know
Finally the long-awaited new album was released on April 23nd, 1979. The 10 songs on the LP represented different styles from ballad to reggae and disco. The album seemed to be a little bit messy though. It was probably because of some kind lack of new musical ideas or maybe because of the personal problems in the group. The album contains though some of the best ABBA songs ever as "If It Wasn't For The Nights", "Lovers" or "The King Has Lost His Crown". The LP was released all over the world in slightly different versions.
A wonderful photo of Ola Lager was featured on the cover. The photo sessions for this album had been held at Alexandra disco in Stockholm at the beginning of 1979 and the pictures from those sessions are absolutely stunning.
"Voulez-Vous" entered the Swedish LP chart on May 5th, 1979 and stayed there for 26 weeks peaking at #1. In January the album re-entered the Swedish chart and stayed there for 14 weeks reaching #5.
|Ad in Swedish press April 23|
Promo posters - Sweden
Scandecor in Uppsala printed two different posters promoting the album "Voulez-Vous".
Voulez-Vous in other countries
Danish release of "Voulez-Vous" with labels printed in Sweden.
In Norway "Voulez-Vous" entered the LP chart on April 26, 1979 and stayed there for 21 weeks peaking at #1.
West Germany, Holland
The album "Voulez-Vous" was released in West Germany as LP and MC. The record company Polydor released the album even as a limited Club-edition. It entered the German LP chart on May 21st, 1979 and stayed there for 57 weeks peaking at #1 (for 4 weeks).
In The Netherlands "Voulez-Vous" entered the chart on May 12th, 1979 and stayed there for 31 weeks peaking at #2. The album re-entered the chart on January 12th, 1980 and stayed there for 14 weeks peaking at #5.
In Japan "Voulez-Vous" entered the LP chart on May 1st, 1979 where it stayed for 37 weeks peaking at #1.
The album entered the US chart on July 7th, 1979 where it stayed for 27 weeks reaching #19
"Voulez-Vous" entered the Canadian LP chart on July 7th, 1979 where it stayed for 52 weeks peaking at #6.
The album entered the British chart on May 19th directly on #1 where it stayed for 4 weeks. Totally "Voulez-Vous" stayed on the UK chart for 43 weeks.
The album "Voulez-Vous" was released by the French record company "Vogue" in three versions - vinyl, red vinyl and picture disc. The vinyl versions of the album came out on 23 April and the picture disc on 28 May. It is unclear why just this album had so many different releases in France but one can suspect that the French title had something to do with it.
"Voulez-Vous" entered the French chart in May 1979 where it stayed for 16 weeks peaking at #6.
On the cassette "Kisses of Fire" and "The King Has Lost His Crown" swapped place with each other. "Kisses of Fire" was the final track on side A and "The King..." on side B which probably made that both sides had approximately the same length of recorded music.
The Spanish Carnaby release featured "Chiquitita" both in English and Spanish language versions. "Voulez-Vous" stayed on the Spanish chart for 20 weeks peaking at #3.
The Asian version of the album impressed with its high-quality glossy cover. "Voulez-Vous" was released by Polydor in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
The Asian MC featured slightly different track listing with "Kisses of Fire" as the last track on side A and "The King Has Lost His Crown" on side B.
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria
The three East European releases of the album featured slightly different back covers. The Czechoslovakian and the Hungarian versions had even all titles translated into respective languages..
In June the LP "Voulez-Vous" was released by Sunshine Records in South Africa and Zimbabwe. ABBA were extremely popular in those countries and nobody was surprised that the album reached top on the South African and Zimbabwian album charts.
Note books + promotion
|Note book - UK|
|Note book - Australasia|
|Czech note book containing three songs: Angel Eyes, Kisses of Fire and As Good As New.|
The second single selection from the album "Voulez-Vous" was "Does Your Mother Know" b/w "Kisses of Fire" which was released in Europe in April 1979. The single became quite big hit all over the world even if the song had a little different sound to the usual one with Björn's lead vocal and the girls as background singers.
It entered the UK chart on 5th May 1979 where it stayed for 9 weeks reaching #4.
In The Netherlands the single reached #4 and stayed on the Dutch chart for 8 weeks. The Dutch release of the single featured a picture cover with a wrong version of the picture of the group which had been laterally reversed before it went for pressing.
Even the Portuguese single cover featured a reversed picture of the group and its lay-out was slightly changed comparing to the most European releases of the single. The flip side featured "Voulez-Vous" and not "Kisses of Fire".
In West Germany the single entered the chart on May 21st, and stayed there for 15 weeks reaching #10.
In Austria the single entered the chart on 15 June 1979 and stayed there for 12 weeks reaching #13.
"Does Your Mother Know" was less successful in France where it reached #26 staying on the French single chart for 7 weeks.
In Mexico the single entered the chart in August where it climbed up to #17.
In Canada the single was released at the end of July and entered the local chart on 8th August where it stayed for 14 weeks reaching # 8.
In USA on 19th May for 14 weeks with the peak position 19.
In Australia the single saw its release on 4th June. It reached #7 on the chart where it stayed for 16 weeks. The highest position #3 "Does Your Mother Know" reached in Irland.
Voulez-Vous/Kisses of Fire - the Spanish single
The Spanish record company was not so "brave" as the other record companies representing Polar Music. "Does Your Mother Know" was too risky for release in Spain and that's why more "traditional" ABBA song "Voulez-Vous" was chosen for the A-side b/w "Kisses of Fire". The single entered the Spanish hit chart in May and reached #9.
For fuld musik
"Does Your Mother Know" was featured on the Scandinavian compilation LP in the series "For fuld musik" which was released later in 1979.
At the beginning of May Benny started a collaboration with Norwegian singer Finn Kalvik. They recorded together an album "Kom ut kom fram". Agnetha and Frida were background singers in several songs and all ABBA musicians were engaged in this project. Rune Söderqvist designed the album cover.
Norwegian version with slightly different cover.
ABBA demonstrate in Stockholm
On 3rd May Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Björn took part in a demonstration against the goverment's action to stop the creation of an agency aimed at finding work for artists. (source ABBA The Book by J-M Potiez).
The "Frida feet" session
Probably one of the biggest photo mysteries. The photo was manipulated in order to add the part with Agnetha in the TV. In one version of the picture which was published in many newspapers Frida's foot under the TV stand in a wrong direction! Fascinating that Polar Music missed this mistake and released the photo.
Honey Honey -the LP in West Germany & Holland
The album "Honey Honey" was originally released in 1974 and re-released in May 1979 (with different cover) in West Germany and Holland. The content was almost the same as "Ring Ring" and the only difference was that "She's My Kind Of Girl" replaced "I Saw It In The Mirror". "Honey Honey" originally released on the album "Waterloo" was the opening track on side 2 as well as the title for this compilation. If you know Dutch read the original review of the LP from "Hitkrant" (June 1979)
The rehearsals before the tour 79
On 18 & 19 May ABBA was secret guest on Björn Skifs concerts at disco clubs in Landskrona and Norrköping. In front of a totally surprised audience ABBA tested their live performance.
|Norrköping 19 May 1979|
More about ABBA rehearsals before the 1979 tour
On 27 May ABBA went to Spain and appeared in two TV shows "Applauso" and "300 Millones" where they presented new songs.
go.to/Gracias Por La Musica for details
Sång till Görel
On June 7th, ABBA and Stikkan recorded "Sång till Görel" (Görel Hanser, Stikkan's secretary) who would celebrate her 30th birthday on June 21. The single was a gift to her and the lyrics were talking about Görel's importance at Polar Music. The single was released in 50 copies and is one of the rarest ABBA items.
The famous picture
An artistic picture-collage of heads of the four members was created and used on the "Voulez-Vous" single cover. There are several various alternative shots of this session even used in 1994 on the cover of the ABBA box "Thank you for the Music".
Frida, Benny and Stikkan were among 182 guests invited to the summer dance party in Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm.
The third single from the album was released in Europe in July/August. The single had 2 A-sides containing "Angeleyes" and "Voulez-Vous".
In West Germany it entered the chart on August 20th, where it stayed for 16 weeks peaking at #14. The West German single contained edited version of "Angeleyes" (3.47).
The West German maxi single featured the full-length album version of "Voulez-Vous" and the full-length version of "Angeleyes" (4.20).
In France the single spent 11 weeks on the chart peaking at #9.
In Holland "Voulez-Vous"/"Angeleyes" stayed on the chart for 9 weeks reaching #4.
In Great Britain the single was released on 6th July 1979 and it entered the British single chart on 14th July 1979 where it stayed for 11 weeks reaching #3. A special "not for sale" promotional edition of the single was released before the commercial release only for radio stations. The single featured slightly different cover. Even in Irland the single reached Irland #3.
|The promotional version|
The single "Voulez-Vous" b/w "Angeleyes" saw its US release on August 1 1979. The American DJs and radio received the promotional version of the single with two versions of "Voulez-Vous" - a full-length version 5'08 and en edited version 3'45''. "Voulez-Vous" never became a chart success in USA and it stayed only for 3 weeks on the US single chart reaching #80. In Canada it peaked at #43 and in Australia at #79.
The second single from the album "Voulez-Vous" released in Japan featured the title track backed with "Kisses of Fire". The single was released by Discomate Japan on July 5, 1979.
Voulez-Vous - maxi single in France
French record company "Vogue" released rare three-colour-edition of maxi single featuring "Voulez-Vous" b/w "Does Your Mother Know". The record was released in red, blue and green colours. Today almost impossible to find as it was a limited edition release.
Frida, Benny and Björn were in Västervik at the beginning of July and attended the folk music festival (Visfestivalen). Among artists performing in 1979 there were Tomas Ledin, Finn Kalvik and Hootenanny Singers (without Björn though).
In August ABBA were back in their rehearsal studio in Sundbyberg outside Stockholm. They made prints of their hands which would be hanging on the wall in Europa Film Studios. On August 9, ABBA recorded a new song called "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" with Agnetha singing lead vocal. The song was planned for the single release in autumn.
The "house" session
Photo session taken someday in the summer 1979.
The US record company Atlantic released in the Oldies series a single featuring "Money Money Money" and "Knowing Me Knowing You" in 1979.
The premiere of "Moonraker"
The ABBA members did not miss any premiere of new James Bond films in the 1970s. The premiere of "Moonraker" at the beginning of August in Stockholm was attended by Björn.
CBS in Stockholm
The American TV channel CBS made an exclusive interview with the group in the summer of 1979 in Stockholm.
ABBA in Stockholm August 1979
The group was rehearsing in Stockholm before their second world tour. Press from all over the world came to meet ABBA. Lots of photo sessions were taken in Stockholm and many interviews were given for the press from Germany and Holland
In Stockholm city
The group took some very well known photo sessions with cars in the background. Privately the ABBA members owned BMW.
At the office
ABBA in the studio
The American TV team made an extended interview with the ABBA members and their manager Stig Anderson someday in August 1979. ABBA performed live in the studio "Thank You For The Music" and talked about music and life. The interview was edited together with footage from one of ABBA concerts in USA during the 1979 World Tour.
Gimme Gimme Gimme/Estoy Soñando - the videos
On 5 September two video clips were filmed in Polar Studios: "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and the Spanish version of "I Have A Dream" (Estoy soñando).
go.to/Gracias Por La Musica
Just before ABBA embarked on their tour, the US TV recorded an exclusive interview with the band members and Stikkan Anderson in Stockholm in the Polar Music studios. The interview was mixed with footage from concert rehearsals and some other videos and broadcasted in USA later the same autumn.
Frida and Benny were among many lunch guests at Berns watching the famous Swedish comedians Hasse and Tage in their new performance "Under dubbelgöken" in September.
The World Tour 1979
On 10 September 1979 Agnetha, Björn and the ABBA-team left Stockholm and started their World Tour 1979. Frida and Benny were already in Seattle in USA where they were relaxing and watching the sailing championships.
go.to/ABBA Tour 1979 or ABBA Tour Diary USA 1979
A new single released in October 1979 featured a brand new song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) with Agnetha on lead vocals. The flipside was "The King Has Lost His Crown". This single was promoting the compilation album "Greatest Hits Vol. 2".
The single version of this song, which was released in its full length of 4:46 everywhere else in the world, was released in the United States and Canada in an edited format, being just 3:36 in length. This was done by removing the first half of the opening instrumental, the first four of the eight bars of the instrumental bridge between the second and final chorus, and fading the song out early. It is believed the edit was done by Atlantic, ABBA's North American record label, and not Polar, hence the reason why it was available only in the USA and Canada.
The single was never released by Polar Music in the group's native Sweden, instead being featured on the 'Greatest Hits Volume 2' album, which did get a Swedish release. Whilst Polar released the single in neighbouring Norway, Denmark and Finland, copies of these versions were not made available in the Swedish record stores, who thus arranged to import copies of the United Kingdom version on Epic Records. Sales of these imports were sufficient for the single to reach number 16 on the sales chart in Sweden
The single entered the Swedish chart on December 14th, 1979 where it stayed for 6 weeks reaching #16. "Gimme Gimme Gimme" was much more successful in Norway where it entered the chart on October 25th, and stayed there for 17 weeks peaking at #2.
In Great Britain "Gimme Gimme Gimme" entered the chart on October 20, 1979. It stayed on the chart for 12 weeks reaching #3. It was the only ABBA single released by Epic with two different labels. At the end of 1979 Epic changed their logo to the new blue one. The first pressing of "Gimme Gimme Gimme" featured still the orange label with old logo and the second pressing featured the new one.
The UK chart history (Top 40): Oct 20 #30, Oct 27 #6, Nov 3 #4, Nov 10 #3, Nov 17 #6, Nov 24 #7, Dec 1 #19, Dec 8 #34.
The single became a great success in West Germany where it entered the chart on October 29th, and stayed there for 26 weeks reaching #3.
In Holland "Gimme Gimme Gimme" stayed on the chart for 9 weeks reaching #2 as the highest position and in Belgium the single reached #1.
In France the single stayed on the hit chart for 18 weeks reaching #1. Even in Finland, Ireland and Switzerland the single topped the charts.
"Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" was released even in Spain and Portugal. In Australia it went up to #8 and in New Zealand to #15.
The single "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" saw its release in Italy at the beginning of 1980. It flopped on the Italian chart. The Italian version of the single featured completely different cover to other European releases with the picture of Agnetha and Frida from the video "Summer Night City" on the front and pictures of Björn and Benny from the US TV Special "Olivia" on the back. The back side of the cover even contained promotional ads for ABBA's latest three LP releases in Italy including the 1979 version of the "Greatest Hits" album. The Italian version of the single belongs to the rarest items for ABBA hunters and a beautiful piece of ABBA single history.
In USA the single was released on February 1st, 1980. The US single featured a remixed version of "Gimme Gimme Gimme" shortened from 4.45 to 3.35.
The single "Gimme Gimme Gimme" was released by Polydor even in India. The chart life and the release date are though unknown.
Pictures that appeared on the covers of the single "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and the album "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" had been taken earlier in 1979. Partly in studio partly on the island Lidingö outside Stockholm where all four members of the group lived by that time.
|rare alt. shot|
The photos for the inner sleeve of album "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" had been taken on the "ABBA" island Lidingö outside Stockholm. Agnetha appeared as a person who likes gardening and nature posing with a big hedge trimmer whilst Benny posed in front of his new boat and Björn was of course jogging. Anni-Frid put emphasis to her intellectual side posing outside her house holding three books.
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" was featured on the Scandinavian disco compilation LP in the series "Disco drönet".
Hasse & Tage
On October 17th, Frida and Benny were on the premiere of a new show of Swedish comedians Hasse & Tage in Stockholm.
Björn was interviewed by Dutch TV in Rotterdam on October 24th, 1979.
The BMW photo session - Munich
The group posed for several photos with the latest model of BMW in the BMW city of Munich in Germany where they arrived on October 27th.
The Bravo session
The photographer Wolfgang Heilemann arranged a photo session featuring the group in their concert outfits (the white ones) during their tour in West Germany.
Not Bad At All
Very popular in his native country - Sweden - Tomas Ledin followed ABBA on the 1979 tour as a background singer. He got an opportunity to perform one of his own songs during the concert. The song was "Not Bad At All". Stikkan wanted to promote Ledin internationally so it was big help to have a possibility to present him for the ABBA fans all over the world. Polar released a single with the song as well. Ledin became a big name in Scandinavia and Finland but he did not make it in Europe and USA even if Stikkan tried one more time in 1982 when Tomas recorded "Never Again" with Agnetha.
The compilation album "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" was released on October 29th, 1979. The album contained 14 songs from the period 1975-79. Even a brand new song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) was included as well as the 1978 single hit "Summer Night City" previously unavailable on any LP. This greatest hits compilation contained even some songs which had never been single hits. One of them was the beautiful ballad "I Wonder (Departure)" which had appeared in live version on the B-side of the 1977 single "The Name Of The Game". The unofficial ABBA anthem "Thank You For The Music" was the closing track on the side B of the LP. This song had never been released as A-side and it only backed "Eagle" on the single released in certain territories in the late spring of 1978. ("Thank You For the Music" b/w "Our Last Summer" would eventually be released by Epic in 1983 as a single promoting the British ABBA compilation with the same title). The third odd song on Greatest Hits Vol. 2 was "Rock Me" from the 1975 album "ABBA". Some explanation to this selection can be though the fact that "Rock Me" had been a big hit in Australia.
In Great Britain the album entered the LP chart on November 10th, 1979 and reached #1 one week later. It stayed there for 63 weeks. It was the third most successful ABBA album on the British chart after "Greatest Hits" (130 weeks) and "Arrival" (92 weeks).
The UK release small mysteries
Epic released "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" in several different versions. One of them had different colour shade of the cover and it was stated on the back that the album had been printed in USA with Epic label though. Another version also with Epic label had been printed in West Germany and Holland
|Made in Holland|
In USA the album was released in November 79 and stayed on the LP chart for 14 weeks reaching #46.
In West Germany the album was released in two versions - one with gatefold cover and the Club version with plain cover. The Club edition of the album contained the 4.23 mix of "Eagle" even if it was stated on the album cover that it was a full-length version. "GH Vol. 2" entered German LP chart on November 26th, 1979 where it stayed for 70 weeks peaking at #6.
In Austria the album entered the chart on December 15th, 1979 where it stayed for 34 weeks reaching #2. The Austrian club-edition of the album featured different cover.
In France "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" reached #5 staying on the LP chart for short 9 weeks.
Spanish version of the album was entitled "Grandes Exitos Vol. 2" and contained two songs performed in Spanish: Estoy Soñando" (I Have a Dream) and "Chiquitita". "Grandes Exitos Vol. 2" stayed on the Spanish LP chart for 20 weeks peaking at #3.
In Italy "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" was released by Epic with number EPC10017. There is no information available about the album's chart positions in Italy.
The Mexican edition of the album had partly different plain cover. Even this release contained two songs performed in Spanish but the title of the album remained in English.
"GH Vol. 2" was very successfull in Japan where it stayed on the chart for 51 weeks peaking at #2.
Greatest Hits Vol. 2 goes platinum in England
ABBA received Platinum discs for sales of the album at the beginning of November. The Platinum disc presentation took place in London after one of the concerts on Wembley.
On British TV
ABBA were invited to the show "Multi-coloured Swap Shop" during their stay in London at the beginning of November. Björn and Benny accepted the invitation and they were guests in the show where they answered questions from the fans by phone. Agnetha and Frida did not participate.
The last ABBA single in the 1970s and the last single selected from the album "Voulez-Vous" was "I Have a Dream" featuring Anni-Frid in lead vocals. The B-side in most of the territories was a live version of "Take A Chance On Me". The single entered the UK chart on 15 December 1979 and it stayed there for 10 weeks reaching #2. In Ireland the single reached #2, in Argentina #4, in Spain #15, in Zimbabwe #7, in South Africa #3.
In West Germany the single "I Have a Dream" was released in two versions - an usual and a special Christmas edition with wishes from ABBA in German language on the back cover. The first edition of the single contained an advertisement promoting a new compilation album in the series High Life featuring two ABBA sonngs.
"I Have A Dream" entered the chart on December 24th, 1979 and it stayed there for 27 weeks reaching #4.
The first version
The Christmas version
The single peaked at #1 In Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium.
The single "I Have A Dream"/"Take A Chance On Me" was released in France on 30 January 1980 in two versions - as 7" and 12". The most interesting with this editions is the fact that the 7" contained the studio version of "Take A Chance On Me" - probably a mistake of the French record company "Vogue". The maxi single featured though the live version of the song. The single was not very successful and reached only #42 on the single chart.
The single in Portugal featured "As Good As New" on the B-side.
In Australia the ABBA fever was over for this time and the single "I Have A Dream" reached only #64 on the chart.
The West German record company Polystar released their compilation album in the series "High life" at the end of 1979. The compilation contained two ABBA songs: the latest up-to-date hit "Voulez-Vous" and surprisingly "Happy Hawaii" - the B side of the 1977 single "Knowing Me Knowing You".
ABBA received tons of awards as gold and platinum discs, letters of appreciation and others for their album "Voulez-Vous" and among others the single "Chiquitita" from all over the world. Agnetha posed in the Polar studios with awards from Japan.
Björn gave an interview for Australian TV at the end of 1979. He wished all the best in 1980s.
Goodbye to the seventies
In a special video clip ABBA said good bye to the 1970s (broadcasted on Dutch TV).