An amusing (and absurd) story from German magazine Pop Foto, claiming that ABBA would have to record ten (yet to be composed) new singles, immediately after the release of the ‘Voulez-Vous’ album, due to their fully booked schedule until the end of the year.
The red light is on above the door of the Polar Studios in Stockholm: trespassers will be prosecuted! What’s happening behind the door in the recording studio is top secret – at least at the moment: ABBA is putting the finishing touch to their new album. The entire week already, Björn and Benny have been sitting at the mixing console for more than ten hours every day, to make the last improvements on the record.
“On top of that, we are working under a considerable time pressure,” Benny says later on, when he comes to the studio canteen for a few minutes to grab a quick bite to eat. “In the beginning of May, the album – that will be entitled ‘Voulez-Vous’ – should be available in the shops. The sleeve photographs and the accompanying advertisements are ready. Now, we really have to stay on schedule, otherwise our entire planning will be turned upside down.” He takes a bite of his salmon sandwich. “And subsequently we will continue working in the studio right away. Because then we will have to record at least ten new hits in six weeks time!”
This ten hits thing should be ABBA’s biggest achievement up till now. Because the group’s schedule is fully booked until the end of the year, ABBA now has to record all the singles that will be released in the next twelve months. Benny: “The biggest problem is that we still have to compose all the songs. This means a double strain for us. After all, the songs shouldn’t be meaningless mass products, but they will have to live up to the quality of our other records. We owe that to the fans and to ourselves.”
But ABBA has taken care of the compensating relaxation already. Björn, who has come to our table with a hot cup of coffee in his hand, clarifies: “By June, everything should be in the can. And then we will be off on a holiday – two months long. What will be our holiday destination – separate of course – remains our secret.”
In August, ABBA will have to get back to work. Benny: “Then we will start the rehearsals for our big autumn tour, that will kick off in the USA in October, after that it will bring us to Canada and in November it will take us back to Europe. In Europe, Germany is obviously on our tour schedule as well. We will perform in your country for about one week. The exact venues and dates are not definite yet. For us, the American leg of the tour will be particularly interesting. This will show if we will be able to become equally big in the States as we are in Europe. Up till now, our records have been successful over there but we have never performed live in front of an American audience yet.”
Björn and Benny are most secretive about the details of the tour. “But it is certain that we will wear some of the stage outfits that we already introduced in the Snowtime Special,” Björn reveals. ABBA is not secretive about one subject: “At least, we will stay together – despite the divorce and despite all the rumours. Because,” Björn grins, “would we have such major plans otherwise?”