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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book About ABBA Ever...
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...
Published 1 month ago by J. Hughes

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, but not without issues
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...
Published 3 months ago by Peter Lee


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book About ABBA Ever..., 17 Aug 2014
By 
J. Hughes "realistcritic77" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows (Updated edition) (Paperback)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows (Updated edition) (Paperback)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, but not without issues, 5 Jun 2014
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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. There are also times when the chronology seems a little out - at one point Benny & Bjorn have written and premiered their "Chess" musical, then soon after in the book they are still working on it.

The story of ABBA is a good one - how they came to be, how their relationships flourished and then died, and how the band then fell apart before their return to popularity in recent times - but for me this book could have been better. Good, but not as good as it could have been.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend it to anyone of my era!!, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows (Updated edition) (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars first class read, 2 Sep 2014
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Reads superbly and gives a real insight to joy and pain of the phenomena. Particularly enjoyed Swedish social context. Excellent.
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Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows (Updated edition)
Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows (Updated edition) by Carl Magnus Palm (Paperback - 30 Jan 2014)
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