Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bravo, September 1982: Frida is having a bit on the side!

There is a red alert at the small airport in Hof in Oberfranken: Anni-Frid from the Swedish pop group is announced to arrive by private jet from Frankfurt.
The reason for this flying visit? Frida - like she is called solo - will introduce her solo single 'I Know There's Something Going On' and another track from her same-named, recently released album for the first time live on September 9 in the ZDF show Show Express. Immediately after the broadcast, Anni-Frid and her entourage will board the plane again that will take them back to Frankfurt.
Whoever is looking out for the other ABBAs during Anni-Frid's visit to Germany, will be disappointed. Björn, Agnetha and Benny stayed in Sweden.
Did Frida set the ball rolling with her solo project, that will deal the - by many long-awaited - mortal blow to ABBA?
"Nonsense," she claimed. "After the release of the latest ABBA album 'The Visitors', I simply had some spare time, and I made use of that time to record a solo album."
Fact is that she called Genesis drummer and singer Phil Collins in the beginning of this year to ask him for his help. She had listened to his solo album 'Face Value' and decided: 'this is the man I'm looking for'. Phil Collins thought it was a challenge to get the soft ABBA singer to sing somewhat beefier musical material and he accepted.
But it wasn't enough for the Genesis wizard to be just the producer. He also acted as a drummer, he wrote songs and he sang 'Here We'll Stay' together with Frida as a duet. Apart from that, he also engaged well-known songwriters like Rainbow hit maker Russ Ballard and he secured a track by Bryan Ferry as well.
Anni-Frid consciously passed on Benny and Björn's established songwriting. "My album shouldn't be an ABBA copy," she said and she even recorded parts of the album at the Air Studios in London, to avoid any ABBA involvement.
The team Frida/Phil actually succeeded in getting away from the ABBA sound. Listening to the single 'I Know There's Something Going On', only the singing voice vaguely reminds one of ABBA. One would rather associate the strong rocky sound with something between Genesis and Joan Jett.
And this isn't the end of Frida's side leap. She filmed videos for the single and a second track from her solo album 'I See Red' and there's even talk about a guest appearance at the next Genesis concert.
Meanwhile, the other ABBA members are not exactly inactive. Agnetha is being seduced by a marriage impostor - but only in front of the camera. In Stockholm, she is filming her first feature film about the Swedish women cheater Gustav Raskenstam.
Privately, things aren't that adventurous for her, although her boyfriend - policeman Torbjörn Brander - has moved out of her house again. He couldn't deal with all the fuss surrounding Agnetha and him. To make sure she wasn't left completely unprotected, Agnetha brought in a young Leonberger dog into her mansion in Lidingö.
Björn and Benny are working on a new ABBA album. Five tracks - among them 'Just Like That' and 'I Am The City' are completed. But still the record won't be released until early '83. Before that, a new single release is planned and a double album containing 23 ABBA singles and two new songs.

4 comments:

Monica said...

Very nice story, thanks Michel.

Angela said...

I have Frida's Album I remember she said she wanted to have a different style.
Phil collins was a good choice.

Fridalicious said...

I've been listening to a few songs from Something Going On lately and I am amazed how great this record is. Over and over again.

It is a waonderful article. Thanks Michel.

Monica said...

Happy New Year to you all I hope 2012 will bring many positive changes to you.