An article from Belgian magazine Joepie in which Agnetha is called Anna-Frid. The picture once again shows that there was no doubt about who were ABBA’s visual attraction.
In the entire show business, there is probably not a single celebrity, no matter how big his fame may be, who is convinced that his success is going to last a lifetime. Obviously, they hope it will but there’s a major difference between dreams and reality, meanwhile many superstars are well aware of that. The biggest pop phenomenon of the past five years, ABBA, knows it as well and we discussed this issue with the Swedish pop millionaires.
It strikes us that the ABBA-members are actually far less concerned about their musical future than the rest of the business of which they are the centre of attention since ‘Waterloo’. They’ve made it, they became pop millionaires, but so what?
“For me, ABBA was far more exciting in the beginning than it is now,” Frida readily admits. At which Björn puts the concepts of fame, image and money in the right ABBA-proportion. “The perfect satisfaction for an artist is when people love what you are doing,” he says. “When they buy your records, it proves that they love your music. It’s not a question of making lots of money, but knowing that everybody loves what you’re doing. Therefore, it would be a complete lie to claim that we wouldn’t care at all if the audience would stop buying our records. But we know that it’s bound to happen sooner or later, unless we will put an end to ABBA ourselves before it happens.”
The ABBA-members actually never cared much for the glitter and glamour of superstardom and never did something special for that either.
“We’ve never been hungry for the outward appearance of success,” Björn emphasises. “The glamour might not be there, but the music is, and that’s the most important thing, that’s what it’s all about.”
We wonder if they haven’t reached their peak by now, after having achieved the absolute top in Europe and many other countries in the world.
“It’s hard to say,” Björn muses. “Where is that absolute top? Last year, we sold about three million records in Australia and in a way that’s an absolute top for that country. It looks like this will happen in Germany and England this year. But in the United States, we actually haven’t sold that many records, up till now two platinum albums. And that’s not an absolute top at all in that giant pop country. Therefore, we can still achieve a new peak over there. We are still breaking into new markets. Although we probably do have the feeling that it would be all over for us if we wouldn’t sell any records in our own country any longer, even if we would still sell millions of records abroad.”
For that matter, if the record sales would slow down, there will still be enough musical chores in the several companies that they own, and in their highly modern recording studio that will open at the end of April in Stockholm. Looking forward to this occasion, Frida is dreaming out loud about a solo career.
“I have already recorded a couple of solo records,” she says. “I have an enormous admiration for Barbra Streisand’s singing technique and I’m doing everything in my power to enhance mine. I want to be prepared for the time when ABBA is all over.”
And what about Anna-Frid, we ask Björn. “And what about our children,” he smiles diplomatically...
“Actually, we don’t like being recognised constantly,” Frida adds, “but there is no other way for a successful pop group. Although I have to admit that it felt rather pleasant in the beginning while it’s a little annoying now.”
At which Benny says in a friendly way: “I won’t have anything to do with all the outward appearances of fortune and fame. I don’t even want to have an image! If we have one anyway, then that’s actually forced upon us from the outside. We deliver our music and that speaks for itself.”