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Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows [Kindle Edition]

Carl magnus Palm
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.95
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Book Description

This new edition of the best-selling ABBA book has been updated to include details of Mamma Mia!’s extraordinary success and the ongoing lives of Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog, their music and their personal lives. It has also been substantially revised throughout.

As generations of new fans discover ABBA’s timeless music, Frida, Agnetha, Benny and Björn remain rather shadowy, secretive figures. Their marriages, personal break-ups and superficial biographical details are well known…but who exactly are ABBA?

How did Norwegian orphan Anni-Frid become a real-life princess?
How did folksy Benny and Björn become an international pop force to rival Lennon & McCartney?
What happened to blonde Agnetha who smiled a lot but never really looked happy?
And how many billions have Abba been offered to reform?

World renowned ABBA expert Carl Magnus Palm’s acute understanding of the culture of his native Sweden offers a unique insight into the group, and their sometimes dark personal stories.

Bright Lights Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA is the ultimate account of the rise and fall of a legendary group and a biography of rare perception.

Product Description


...compelling and incredibly detailed...essential reading for anyone wondering what the pop world looked like in the 1970s...' --Mojo

...achieves the difficult feat of capturing the multiple layers of Abba...with a deftness unusual in a rock biography. --Sunday Times

...achieves the difficult feat of capturing the multiple layers of Abba...with a deftness unusual in a rock biography. --Sunday Times

About the Author

Stockholm based writer Carl Magnus Palm is recognised as the world s foremost Abba historian. His earlier books include Abba: The Complete Recording Sessions, which was based on extensive interviews with all four Abba members, From Abba to Mamma Mia!, a collaboration with Anders Hanser, photographer and close friend of Abba. Palm was involved in putting together the Abba CD box set Thank You For the Music and has also contributed liner notes to several Abba related CDs most notably the remastered version of the compilation album Abba Gold and the re-issue of Abba s original albums.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11390 KB
  • Print Length: 604 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; Updated Edition edition (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book About ABBA Ever... 17 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read many books about ABBA. Mr Palm's book is by far the best of them. It gives a real insight into
the pre & post ABBA lives & careers of the four members. And about ABBA as a group it gives a great
many details that will be interesting & new to a great many Fans. I cannot recommend the book highly
enough. Some of the details are baffling. Such as why Epic Records chose to re-issue 'Ring Ring' in
the UK, after 'Waterloo' had been a No.1 Hit. ('Ring Ring' had already flopped here in October 1973).
The 1974 reissue, (which was also a remix), only reached No.32. At the same time 'Honey Honey'
was covered by the male/female duo Sweet Dreams, & they took it into the Top 10 - at No.10. ABBA
would easily have taken it into the UK Top 10, & Epic should have rushed it out, to compete with
the Sweet Dreams version. Instead ABBA's original version never got a UK release. A huge mistake.
ABBA did not have another UK Top 10 Hit until 'SOS' reached No.6 in the 2nd half of 1975. The book
also explains how Atlantic Records did a huge ABBA promotion, in the USA, in early 1978, with ABBA
themselves going over to do TV etc.. It created much interest in them there, & 'Take A Chance On Me'
reached No.3 & 'The Album' became their highest charting USA Studio Album & that reached No.14.
Yet, the rest of 1978 saw Atlantic not bother to promote ABBA in the USA at all. There were no
further USA Singles in 1978, even though 'Eagle' & 'Summer Night City' were big Hits in much of
Europe. Epic Records chose not to release 'Eagle' in the UK or Ireland. It would easily have been
a Top 5 Hit in both countries. Instead there was just a long gap between 'Take A Chance On Me'
& 'Summer Night City'. Another inexplicable decision by Epic Records. The book is full of trivia,
with a lot of of facts & figures. A terrific & informative book. Extremely well written too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, but not without issues 5 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many, many years ago I was a member of the ABBA fan club, and as a nipper I won a copy of "ABBA - The Album" from "Look-In" magazine (showing my age!) Since then I've still loved their music, and whenever documentaries about them have been on TV I've tried to watch them. I was therefore eager to read this book.

The paperback is huge, and the Kindle edition is equally vast, with no page numbers encoded. The book tells the story of ABBA from the childhood of the members to the present day, and is broken into a few sections, essentially covering before, during and after their peak of fame. The author is clearly a huge fan of the band and really knows his stuff, as it can only be described as an authoritative book, leaving almost no stone unturned.

The trouble with such authoritative books is that they are often rather dry, cramming so much in that the "story" is a little overwhelmed, and I found this to be the case here. It's a very dry read, and curiously it doesn't seem to say that much about the music. Some songs aren't mentioned at all, only in the brief discography at the end. I wasn't looking for a review of ever song (which was the case with Matt Thorne's dismal biography of Prince - essentially Matt Thorne's opinion on every song Prince has ever recorded, with almost nothing about the man himself) but it seemed odd that the songs and albums seem to come and go - the band record the record, release it, and that's all that is said. The videos were also almost overlooked, only a few meriting a mention. Meanwhile, there is lots of coverage on the political leanings of the members of the band, their financial affairs (and those of their record label), and so on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book. 8 May 2015
By Jim
Just spent the last week reading this book. It is a superb book. I have read a lot of ABBA books, but nothing like this. It covers absolutely everything. Im somewhat suspicious if Palm actually wrote it in English. Or used a Translater. It doesn't matter though. The standard of English is so high, it could only be written by someone who has a Mother tongue in English. Has Palm ?

However it is not without fault. His repeat use of the SCHLAGER word is very irritating. Its absolutely meaningless to non swedish speakers, yet he insists on using it everywhere !.
He is also very cagey about venturing into the finances of the 4 members. Although he does touch on it. I would like to have read more on this issue..
He also seems to place too much emphasis on lyrics. How important are they ? Mmmm...
Anyway, a magnificent book
James, Dublin
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read! 26 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Luckily its a pretty good read as there aren't really any other Abba biogs about. I guess the more interesting interviews/articles would have appeared in Sweden anyway, so the (Swedish) author would have had good access to these. The book comes right up to the release of Agnetha's recent album. I have not read previous editions of the book (only read the amazon reviews), so not sure about the other changes.

I find autobiographies more interesting (such as Keith Richards, Pete Towhshend) - I suspect we won't get one of those from the Abba members anytime soon, so this book is the next best thing.

Check out the foreign (subtitled) TV interviews with Agnetha Falkstog on You Tube - much better than the lame British efforts after her new album was released.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly detailed and lots of fun, it really is hard to put down
Its a must for anyone with the slightest interest in Abba. Highly detailed and lots of fun, it really is hard to put down.
Published 16 days ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brings you back to the old days.
Published 1 month ago by Richard Wouda
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great read by the great author who knows his stuff ...
what a great read by the great author who knows his stuff about abba. Love this book highly recommend this to anyone
Published 2 months ago by GRAHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars but if that's what fans want fine, but at times not my cup of tea
The ultimate ABBA story & beyond, makes very interesting reading. There are a lot of things mentioned from before ABBA which I never knew about, growing up & how they met etc, some... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. A. Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book above other ABBA biographies because it...
Whether one likes ABBA or not, they were one of the most astounding groups of the century.

I read this book a few years ago and rather than a factual historical type... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jerz Jurkiewicz
5.0 out of 5 stars It realy a great buy you must get it i love it so ...
It realy a great buy you must get it i love it so much thankyou carl magnus plam for doing the book it eonderful xxx
Published 3 months ago by jansen piper
5.0 out of 5 stars its a great book written by the authority on all things ABBA-a ...
its a great book written by the authority on all things ABBA-a really good read with lots of information that has not been published before-wonderful.
Published 7 months ago by andrew john casey
5.0 out of 5 stars first class read
Reads superbly and gives a real insight to joy and pain of the phenomena. Particularly enjoyed Swedish social context. Excellent.
Published 8 months ago by S McDonagh
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend it to anyone of my era!!
Abba were a famous group and this book explains things from the beginning to the end - any one who followed them would find this book more than interesting.
Published 15 months ago by Julie Francis
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