ABBA On Record – Packaged Promoted Reviewed by Carl Magnus Palm widens the scope of the author’s critically acclaimed and award-winning ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions, by taking a look at what happened with ABBA’s music once it had left the recording studio: single by single, album by album. It presents the stories behind the iconic album sleeves, explores how the record companies worked with ABBA releases in presenting them to the record-buying public, shows what kind of success – or lack thereof – they enjoyed, and presents a selection of review excerpts to give a flavour of how the singles and albums were received by the media at the time. This eye-opening story, based on original archive research and extensive interviews with record company people, provides many new insights into the ABBA universe.
The book also features two supplementary sections, no less fascinating than the main story. Perhaps the most exciting chapter examines the contents of several hours of tapes from the archives of Michael B. Tretow, ABBA’s trusted sound engineer. Tretow sometimes ran on-the-side tapes, capturing in real time what was going on during a recording session and offering a unique peek into ABBA’s working process as it really was. These revelatory tapes also feature alternate versions of familiar songs, along with previously unheard tunes that were never recorded properly. Furthermore, there are tracks that were considered for the 1994 box set Thank You For The Music and/or that box set’s 23-minute medley of outtakes, ABBA Undeleted, including some recordings that were rejected, and some that made it into the medley but are featured on the Tretow Tapes in more complete form.
The second appendix explores ABBA’s 2021 comeback album, Voyage. This chapter uses the same diary format as ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions, although it won’t be quite as detailed in terms of recording dates (this is mainly because recording methods have changed over the past four decades). Designer Baillie Walsh has also shared insights on the design of the Voyage album sleeve and its related single releases.
For space reasons, the other appendices previously announced – The Music That Inspired Them; What Is A Schlager?; and Lyrics Sentiment Analysis – will no longer be part of the hardcover book. However, they will be made available as a free PDF to everyone who has pre-ordered ABBA On Record.
The 456-page book ABBA On Record – Packaged Promoted Reviewed is designed by Maria Nicholas, the art director who also designed the revised and expanded edition of ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions. The first edition is hardcover, 200 x 240mm, clothbound with dust jacket; both cover and insides are printed in full colour, and the inside pages are on coated matte paper stock.
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ABBA On Record is presently scheduled for publication in March 2024 and you can pre-order your copy on this page. There are three different ordering alternatives. All prices include shipping, but because of differing mailing costs, the prices for the physical book vary between the two shipping areas: Europe and Rest of World (see below).
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Printed version of ABBA On Record. Hardcover, clothbound with dust jacket, printed in full colour. Prices include shipping.
Digital version of ABBA On Record. ePub, PDF, and Mobi formats.
EUROPE: EUR 114
REST OF WORLD: EUR 130
(approx. USD 146; AUD 209)