Lots of books have been written about ABBA and their career- but this is surely one of the best publications I ever bought and it's absolutely worth its price
. The cover is a wonderful picture of ABBA taken at the filming of the "Dick Cavett meets ABBA" TV- show 1981. Then, on the inside, you can read the foreword written by all four ABBA-members. They apologize to photographer Anders Hanser for being not so relaxed during photo sessions: "May God forgive us our sins.We've really enjoyed Carl Magnus' (Palms) and your book and so will our children and grandchildren." And I can just say: I agree. Wonderful pictures from 1978 onwards are printed and they reveal a new side to ABBA. For example, it has always been claimed that during the 1979-80 world tour Agnetha was in a bad condition and hated the tour and Frida and everything that had something to do with ABBA. But the pictures shown here prove that these rumours were untrue. There's a lovely picture of Agnetha and Frida holding each other in their arms, smiling and looking very happy- just like good old friends. And during the rehearsals for the Cavett-show Anders Hanser took many pictures as well where you can see how these two women help each other with their clothes, their make-up etc....And that's what makes the book so precious to every ABBA- fan: there are not just the well-known-glamour-pictures that were printed again and again but photos that really take you behind the scenes
Have you ever seen Frida and Agnetha as part of a "ladies choir" (complete in hot pants, suits and so on) that woke up Stig Anderson and his wife Gudrun on his 50th birthday ? I guess not. Interestingly, also part of that choir was Björn's second wife Lena, dancing next to Agnetha. So after all these years, the fans can see that there really wasn't that much friction between the members of the group. And that's the impression the reader is left with and that's what I like about this book and "The Complete Recording Sessions": there are no speculations here, no rumours or the ususal story of how once happily married couples became to sadly divorced couples (yawn!)- no, the pictures show us four people who worked together, respected each other and liked each other- until the very end of their career of the group.
And the book also has its funny moments. During the "Happy New Year" video-shooting the Benny and Björn and Agnetha and Frida were but in huge flower pots with wheels on and someone sat on the the floor and turned it around and around. The pictures of that scene are so absurd but also show that ABBA's life a leading pop stars of the world wasn't always so glamorous after all. I enjoyed this book enormously and I think it's a pleasure for every ABBA fan even if it seems expensive- but it really is worth the money. And it's not just the photos that make this book a great piece of work.
ABBA themselves admit that they were human after all. Björn admits that he was completely drunk when he wrote the lyrics for "The Winner Takes It All"- a bottle of whiskey was what he needed to write those words.And after Agnetha recorded her lead vocals, tears were flowing in the studio because everyone was touched by her interpretation. "From ABBA to Mamma Mia" is a very special book in every way- and after reading it I must say- now I can understand why I've loved ABBA through all these years- they were great musicians, great singers and very nice people- this book the definite proof ! Thank you Anders Hanser and Carl Magnus Palm for all the infornation and all those beautiful pictures. After all the crap that has been written about ABBA this comes as something of a relief.