About My Blog

I created this blog to help share ABBA information with other fans and to show off my new collection items :)

Please note: Collection item photos are from my own personal collection. These are not stock photos. If you wish to use any of my photos elsewhere, please have the courtesy to ask first - Thank you :)

Friday, 29 March 2013

Stockholm Museum Thanks ABBA For The Music

Abba on stage in the US in 1979
This photo of Abba on stage in 1979 will be on display at the museum
The first permanent exhibition to celebrate Sweden's most successful band will open to the public in May. The BBC's Maddy Savage was given an exclusive preview of Abba The Museum.
From the moment you touch down at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, you get a taste of the impact the museum is hoping to make.
There are banners advertising its launch, a giant TV blaring out clips of Abba videos, and a revolving glass cabinet featuring replicas of the glittering costumes worn by the band as they shot to fame in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974.

Forty kilometres (25 miles) away, the museum site on the island of Djurgarden in eastern Stockholm is still packed with builders and technicians wearing yellow hats and jackets.

But they are well on track for the venue's launch and are completing what should become a star attraction within the exhibition.

"We are entering the place where each and every visitor can, for a brief moment, become the fifth member of Abba," says the museum's managing director, Mattias Hansson, as he guides us into a bright white room containing a small white platform.

The sounds of drilling and hammering echo around the building.

"It might not look like much now!" he shouts above the noise. "But in a few weeks the band will appear on that stage as life-size holograms and you can dance and sing up there with them!"

Each fan will be able to view their performance online and upload it to social networking sites to share with friends and family.

They will also have the chance to virtually try on Abba's trademark sparkly dresses and flared trousers with the help of green screen technology.
'Looking back'
Abba has sold almost 400 million albums around the world and a film featuring their hits, Mamma Mia!, is the most successful musical movie of all time. Almost 50 million people have seen the stage version of the production.

Stockholm has long considered building a museum to celebrate its most popular music export, but the band was initially hesitant about the idea, with Bjorn Ulvaeus saying he did not want to become "a museum artefact before I'm dead".

Previous plans for a permanent exhibition in a disused customs warehouse in Stockholm harbour collapsed in 2008.

The new museum has the band's full support, with Ulvaeus offering daily direction to some of the 50 staff involved with the final preparations. He is busy promoting the project in Germany, where Abba has a loyal fan base.

"Bjorn told me that as time has passed, it is becoming easier to look back at those years, both the beautiful memories and also the hard times," says Mr Hansson.
'Coming home'
The museum's curator, Ingmarie Halling, is the band's former stylist and says her work remains an emotional experience.

"It is a scary feeling because it feels like I am doing a giant loop. In the 80s and 90s I had my children and worked in the film industry. So it is a bit strange to be back working with Abba, but at the same it is really fun to do this job and tell this story."

Ms Halling says she did not just want to "put labels on glass cabinets" and instead has combined her favourite Abba memorabilia to create sets where visitors can follow in the band's footsteps.

These include the group's song-writing cottage on the island of Viggso, where the group were inspired to write many of their hits, surrounded by seagulls and boats.

"Bjorn told me that when he heard Benny playing the piano in the morning, he knew that they would be composing that day!" smiles Ms Halling.

The hut is her favourite section of the museum, both because she has fond memories of midsummer parties with the band there and as a lifelong fan of Sweden's archipelagos.

Her other sets include the legendary Polar Music Studio, where the band recorded some of their biggest hits, and Edmonton Ice Hockey Arena, where they performed in 1979 as part of their final world tour.

"Visitors will come into the dressing room there and Abba have just left, so there are empty champagne glasses and you can hear that they are on stage," Ms Halling explains.

"It feels like coming home when I go into that room, even though it was 30-odd years ago!"

Ring Ring
Some of the exhibits were included in the Abbaworld show that toured Australia and parts of Europe between 2009 and 2011.

The band members have also donated clothes and memorabilia from their private collections.

Ring Ring, the group's first major hit in 1973, will be celebrated with the red telephone Agnetha Faltskog posed with in publicity shots. It has been connected to an outside line and only four people in the entire world know the phone number.

A sister exhibition, The Swedish Music Hall of Fame, is also being built on the same site.

There, visitors will be able to learn about the country's more recent global success stories including Roxette, Europe and Swedish House Mafia.

"Abba was a door-opener for so many other artists," Mr Hansson says.

"Before Abba, not so many record companies in the world were opening envelopes coming in with Swedish music, but after Abba they had to."

The museum is hoping to attract several hundred-thousand visitors in its first year, half of them foreigners.

Eva Camel from Visit Stockholm, the city's tourist board, believes the museum will become its most popular tourist destination.

By 2020 she hopes there will be 15 million commercial overnight stays a year in Stockholm - compared with around 11 million in 2012 - with the Abba museum "a very important piece in the plan to help reach that goal".
'Abba tourists'
Fans say the exhibition will provide a focal point where they can celebrate the group.

The Polar Music Studio was turned into a gym in 2006.

The Hotel Rival, which is owned by Benny Andersson from the band, is said to attract some so-called "Abba tourists", although on our visit its red-cushioned chairs appear to be full of Swedes holding business meetings.

"I think it is great that we will finally have a place to remember the band in their home city," says Stockholmer Micke Bayart, 45, in the hotel's cafe.

He used to run an Abba fan group and has written a book about his experiences following the band.

"There is a large hype about the museum, but I have to say I think it is mostly outside Sweden," he adds. "For example I spoke to a friend who runs a club in Germany and she has just had so many requests about when it opens and how people should get there."

He argues that Swedes have, at times, been too modest or even embarrassed about the band's success and he hopes the museum will also help revive national interest in the group.

"Everybody was very tired of Abba in the 80s and it was a really bad time to be an Abba fan. But then Abba Gold broke, and then Mamma Mia!, and the outside world once again showed Sweden how big Abba really was. So I think it is high time for a museum like this."

His comments are endorsed by 29-year-old Karl Batterbee, from Drogheda in Ireland, who recently relocated to Stockholm, where he runs a website dedicated to Scandinavian chart music.

As a teenager in the 1990s he became "pretty much hooked" on Abba after discovering their compilation album Abba Gold.

"The songs just have amazing melodies and there is something timeless about the music, which still inspires a lot of commercial Scandinavian pop today, even if people don't realise it."

He hopes to get "totally immersed" in the museum. "Because I wasn't there the first time round and I do wonder about the lifestyle and the people behind the music."

Certainly not all his contemporaries share his enthusiasm. Another customer at the cafe, Steinar Aspoy, 32, says he is tired of Abba being so iconic.

"When I was travelling a few years back, everyone was like 'oh you're Swedish, like Abba!' and I got fed up because they are really not the best thing about Sweden! I just hope that the Swedish Hall of Fame part of the museum shows off the great indie bands like First Aid Kit that have also emerged from here."

Mr Batterbee says "the Swedes have a strange relationship with Abba, because they were never as big here as they were abroad". But he adds that when he DJs in bars, "rarely a night goes by when I don't get a request for an Abba track... you can tell there's a genuine fondness there".
Abba have not performed together in public since 1986, and last appeared as a group in 2008 to attend the Swedish premiere of the Mamma Mia! film.

Organisers say they are unsure whether the band will reunite again to attend the museum's official opening in May.

Agnetha Faltskog is busy promoting her first album in nine years around Europe, and Frida Lyngstad now lives in Mallorca.

"The visitors and the whole crew behind the museum - everyone - wants them to come. But they have their own agendas and they are really busy," says Ms Halling.

"I know they will turn up sooner or later, though, because they want to see what we have done with their legacy."

Illustration showing completed Abba The Museum
This illustration by Jonas Celsing Arkitektkontor shows what the museum will look like
Tumba station
Tumba station was the setting for part of The Day Before You Came video and many of the museum’s exhibits are being stored in a secret warehouse in the Stockholm suburb
Abba members' boots
Many of the band’s boots were handpainted and are being stored in a cool, dark room before they are moved into the exhibition
Ingmarie Halling holds up a photo of Abba
Museum curator Ingmarie Halling used to be the band’s stylist. She has fond memories of visiting the island of Viggso, where Benny and Bjorn wrote many of their songs and is recreating their cabin for one of the exhibits
Benny Andersson’s old piano
Benny Andersson’s old piano which he kept on the island of Viggso is about to be transported to the museum
Abba at Polar Music Studio
The band at Polar Music Studio, which is being recreated for one of the museum’s exhibits
Agnetha and Frida in a private jet in 1979
The museum will give an insight into the band’s three world tours. This is Agnetha and Frida in a private jet in 1979
Replica of a car used by Benny Andersson during his time in The Hepstars
This is a replica of a car used by Benny Andersson during his time in his previous band, The Hepstars. The museum will look at all the band members’ lives before they joined Abba.
Construction worker at Abba The Museum
With just six weeks to go, there is still work to do to ensure the museum is finished on time
Museum curator Ingmarie Halling with outfits worn by Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyngstad
Museum curator Ingmarie Halling used to be the band’s stylist and has selected which items will be included in the exhibition
Micke Bayart and Karl Batterbee
Abba fans old and new: Micke Bayart and Karl Batterbee

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Agnetha Faltskog New Song Release On CD

Agnetha Official:
We are pleased to announce that due to much demand we will be releasing a CD single for "When You Really Loved Someone". More info coming soon http://www.agnetha.com/

Pre-order now from the Official International Fanclub:


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Latest ABBA Collection Items - Street Posters

I have said it before and I say it again - I LOVE these newsagent street posters !
All Australian - advertising various magazines and newspapers.
Just fabulous :)


Monday, 18 March 2013

ABBA The Museum Sweden - Making Of The Commercial

These videos are a sneak peek at the making of the commercial for ABBA The Museum - due to open on 7th May 2013 !

The first 8 videos

ABBA The Museum Will Release on A Worldwide Basis 3 Video's on 16 April 2013

1. One and a half Minutes Long.

2. 45 Seconds.

3. 30 Seconds.

Check out my page about the museum on my website ABBAFanatic:


Sunday, 17 March 2013

New Agnetha Faltskog Article

Abba's Agnetha Faltskog: Could the girl with the golden hair get lucky at last?

Life’s been hard for Agnetha Faltskog since Abba, but the super trouper is taking a chance with a comeback album

7:00AM GMT 17 Mar 2013

The details of Agnetha Fältskog’s return to pop remain sketchy, although it is safe to assume that the rarely-spotted ex-Abba singer has given more thought to her comeback than she did to joining the business in the first place.

Back in the good old glam-rock days when Agnetha was pumping her knees in hotpants and platform boots, it wasn’t immediately obvious that she had been a musical prodigy. At the age of three, she had learned the harpsicord, and by seven was composing complex piano pieces. Then, one night at a small town concert in Sweden, she met a hairy guitarist called Björn Ulvaeus, joined his band, married him, and became a world famous wreck.

Agnetha’s long, troubled stint as a pop recluse has, over the years, become as much a subject of fascination as her work with Abba. Rumours of a comeback have circulated for years, but last week brought confirmation that a new album will be released in May. Called simply 'A’, it will feature ten tracks, including a duet with Take That’s Gary Barlow, and arrives at a time when her old outfit – the band the pop purists of the 1970s most liked to snigger at – is bigger than ever.

“I have been so lucky, I am the girl with golden hair,” Agnetha, 63, sang in 'Thank You for the Music’. Even if the audiences believed it, she knew it wasn’t true. Agnetha had always felt herself to be the odd one out in Abba. She lacked the confidence and the vigour of the others, her English was less fluent, her poise less assured, and when the band became a global phenomenon in the mid-Seventies she felt unable to establish a distinct personality.

While the other members, Björn, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad revelled in the fan worship and the perks of fame, Agnetha yearned only to be home. “I’m a country bumpkin,” she told her (ex) friend and biographer, Brita Ahman. “I’m not a showgirl. The others like to party. I like to be by myself.” Performing in public filled her with dread, and although she understood the commercial drawing power of her leggy figure and blonde-bombshell looks, she was never comfortable as a sex symbol.

Her stage fright reached the point that she was unable to perform without whisky. What the average rock star accepted as adulation, she saw as something close to intimidation. “No one who has experienced facing a screaming, boiling, hysterical audience,” she told Ahman, “can avoid feeling shivers in the spine. It’s a thin line between celebration and menace.”

Then there was the sheer bad luck. In 1979, during a tour of the US, the group’s private jet flew into a violent thunderstorm while approaching Boston. Although the plane landed safely Agnetha developed a morbid fear of flying, and afterwards travelled whenever possible by road. This provided only temporary relief, for in 1983 she was on a coach which crashed outside Stockholm, hurling her through a window and into a frozen ditch. She has rarely travelled anywhere since. When Mamma Mia!, the blockbuster Abba musical, premiered in London in 1999, she was the only member of the group not to be present.

For the last 25 years, her home has been a secluded lakeside farmstead on Ekerö, eight miles from Stockholm, one of the loveliest of the thousands of islands around the Swedish capital. Not that it has provided much solace to Agnetha. Fans regularly turned up her gates. Sometimes she would come out, sign a few autographs and ask them to leave. Then came the strange case of the man who wouldn’t go away.

Agnetha’s love life has never been simple. Her marriage to Björn, with whom she has two children, ended in 1979, by which time both of them were seeing psychiatrists. Ulvaeus later slipped into the arms of Lena Källersjö, an advertising executive to whom he remains happily married. Agnetha had no such luck. She fell first for a Swedish ice hockey star, then for a fashion designer, and later for her marriage guidance counsellor. In 1990, she married Tomas Sonnenfeld, a Stockholm doctor, but the union lasted barely two years.

Into the void stumbled the bizarre figure of Gert van der Graaf, a bespectacled Dutch factory worker. Abba fans first became aware of his existence in 2003 when Agnetha complained to the police that she was being stalked by a maniac, and was in “fear of my life”.
Officers raided a rickety wooden cabin on the shores of Ekerö, in which they found 37-year-old van der Graaf, a decomposing turtle and thousands of mementoes of Agnetha’s career. The Dutchman was charged with threatening behaviour, but in a spirited court defence produced a letter from the singer suggesting their relationship was rather more than that of stalker and victim. It quickly emerged that the pair had enjoyed a full-blown romance and had been on holiday together only weeks before Agnetha called in the police.

Sweden was outraged. Brita Ahman says it was the end of their friendship. “When she told me about it, I was extremely shocked,” recalls Ms Ahman. “I warned her and said it could be dangerous. Instead she continued to encourage him. I think it was the point at which many people simply gave up on her.”

Those who remain close to Agnetha say she never had the aptitude for stardom. That it might have been better if she had stayed in Jönköping, the small town in southern Sweden where she was brought up, the daughter of a department store manager, and become the classical musician she seemed destined to be.

Yet Abba would never have reached the same heights without her. Björn and Benny created those beautifully polished pop tunes, Anni-Frid provided the funk, but it was Agnetha’s pure voice and arresting beauty that made the group both eye-catching and irresistible to the ear. No one knows how her comeback will unfold, but when we see her again we can at least say a proper thank you for the music.

Agnetha Fältskog's new album, 'A', is released on May 13


Friday, 15 March 2013

Agnetha Faltskog Radio Interview With Lotta Brome

Here is the English translation - in summary - of the interview Anna did recently with Lotta Brome in Sweden.
Exclusive Interview with Swedish Radio

Abba Agnetha: "I've taken singing lessons"

This is the first newly written material by Agnetha in 25 years, and will also include a song she wrote herself.
The rest of the song has been written by Jörgen Elofsson, the man behind huge hits for Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys for example.
In an exclusive interview with Swedish Radio's P4 Extra programme, Agnetha explained how the project came about.
"It was a process, you could say. Firstly I was contacted by Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl and they wanted to play some songs for me. And I thought that that sounded really nice, I've never closed any doors and I wanted to listen to the songs, I thought it'd be fun. And then I thought that, wow, the songs are really good, how will I be able to say no to this?
So then I said ok, they sound fantastic, but how will I be able to interpret these songs in a good way? What if my voice sounds old? 'No, we don't think so at all', they said. But I wasn't at all sure. When you haven't sung for a while your voice gets almost rusty, you feel that you haven't kept that muscle working. "
Agnetha told presenter Lotta Bromé she even took singing lessons to freshen up her vocal chords.

"Two, actually. Then I didn't need any more. It might sound a bit cocky, but once I learnt how to breathe properly again I felt, no, this might work. And then it started sounding better and better."
One of the tracks on the album was written by Agnetha herself. She wrote a lot of songs before the Abba years, but since then had left songwriting behind her. But she decided to sit back at the piano just this once.
"Yes, exactly", she told Lotta Bromé. "I felt that this was an album with Jörgen's songs, at least nine of them, and he writes together with others too, but I thought it'd be fun to have one song on there. And then I started to write songs as well and that started to work well, I managed to squeeze a song out, and it will actually be the last song on the album. It's called "I keep them on the floor beside my bed". A long title."
The media image of Agnetha is of some kind of recluse, almost the Greta Garbo of pop, but that is an image she resents.

"I'm very down to earth, I think I'm the same person now as I was when I first went into a studio to record my first song when I was just 17 years old. I'm the same, but I have a load of life experience now. A lot of experience, and you get quite hardened in this industry, but you never get free from.... you want to do a good job the whole time, the best. So I have high expectations on myself. But to go from that to say that I'm mysterious, that's been created by the media.
I actually get quite hurt by it actually, it's something that has sprung up along the way, because of certain things. Maybe because I withdrew for a little while, but there are periods in your life when you have to take care of yourself, and things happen and you have to be alone and have things quiet around you for a while."

Agnetha has also suffered from a fear of flying for years, following a traumatic experience during one of the ABBA tours, but now she says that she has learnt to deal with it, somewhat.
"Well, I'm not out flying all the time, but I've had some therapy and learnt to think in a different way. That helps a bit, but I never think I'll be free of it. I've spoken to the therapist to find out what my hang-up is. I'll never sit there and be thinking there is nothing to worry about, I do have worries and fears. But I have learnt how to deal with it to some extent now, so I can deal with a flight of about 3 1/2 hours. But I don't fly several times a year, or once a month, I make some trips every now and then when I feel that I can cope with it."

But those hoping to see Agnetha appear at the new Abba Museum may be disappointed, she is booked for promotional appearances in London at the same time as the museum opens. And she also says that she has left the days of live performances behind her, so there will be no performing at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö either, but she will watch it, she adds. She says she saw the Swedish contest at the weekend, and thought that the right song won.
"I thought it was fantastic", she told Lotta Bromé, "I'm so impressed by these young artists today who can deal with all the pressure, and that they can dance so well as well. I thought the winning song was fantastic, a really talented guy. I thought there were a lot of good songs there. It's a fantastic competition."

And the obligatory question. Will ABBA ever reform?
"I don't think it's going to happen. It doesn't feel like any of us are particularly tempted to do it, because we all have our own lives now and it was such a long time ago. We have to deal with that question all the time, but we'll take it easy and see what the future holds. You never know what might happen. But I think there is a only a very very small chance that we'll do anything together again."

Reporter: Lotta Bromé, P4 Extra.
Transcription: Kris Boswell, Radio Sweden

Agnetha Faltskog 'A' .. Order The CD Now !

Here is a link for fellow Aussies to pre-order Anna's CD - a physical CD.
A bargain basement price too - $13.95

Check out my new page dedicated to this new album on my website ABBAfanatic:


Agnetha Faltskog on Skavlan TV Show - Pictures !

Agnetha on Skavlan Talk Show in Sweden on 13 March 2013.
This is the recording of the show to be aired on 14 March.
The show claims to be one of Europe's largest talk shows, offering in-depth and earnest interviews with some of the world's most famous politicians, musicians, stars, etc.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Agnetha New TV Interview - Italy - In English !

Click the link to watch this fabulous new interview with Agnetha on Corriere TV in Italy !
Interview is in English with Italian subtitles :)

Abba's Agnetha Fältskog is causing a stir – with her first album in nine years

She's been silent for nearly a decade, but now 'the blonde one' from the hit Swedish group is back at the age of 62

The Guardian,

Appearance: No-nonsense Scandinavian returning to work after a period in the wilderness.

I don't watch The Killing. This has nothing to do with The Killing. Agnetha isn't even Danish; she's Swedish.

I'm sure there's a difference, but I don't care what it is. Who is she? She's the blonde one from Abba.

I love Abba! What are they up to? They broke up in 1982.

Oh yeah. What's Agnetha been doing in the, um, interim? Keeping herself to herself, mostly.
She's sometimes described as a recluse, although "publicity-reluctant" might be more accurate.
But did you not say something earlier about her returning to work? Well spotted. Agnetha is about to release her first album in nine years.

What's it called? A.

A? A what? A as in Agnetha. Abba, you will recall, was an acronym formed from the band members' first names, so it's fair to assume she's reclaiming her initial.

Can she handle the spotlight without her famous band to back her up? Fältskog is a respected singer-songwriter in her own right, with 18 solo Swedish chart singles and a string of international hits dating from before, during and after her work with Abba.

What about all the tiresome publicity? Won't she balk at having to pretend to date Justin Bieber? In the past the famously private Fältskog has shied away from doing any promotion, but this time she has been kitted out with a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account, @agnethaofficial.

Is her new record any good? We shall see – it's not out until May. On the plus side she worked with Grammy-nominated producer Jörgen Elofsson, with whom she co-wrote her first song in many years. On the minus side, it contains a duet with Gary Barlow.

Could its release be a sign that Abba are getting back together? No. Abba consisted of two married couples who subsequently divorced, so the split has always had an air of permanence. Fältskog herself is said to be dead set against a reunion.

Do say: "Thank you for the music, and the occasional Facebook status update."

Don't say: "That's Agnetha with an A, and Fältskog with an umlaut."


Agnetha Faltskog On TV ! New Interview

Agnetha to appear on Skavlan TV show on Friday.

This is a rough translation of the announcement:

Weekly Skavlan attended by Agnetha Fältskog and after several years of silence is back with new album. Even tennis star Mats Wilander, Norwegian author Dag Solstad and Danish actress Sidse Bebett Knudsen, known from the television series Castle, interviewed in Friday's program.

After nine year hiatus from the music could Agnetha Fältskog not say no when the producer Jorgen Elofsson got in touch with the three songs he had written to her. The album "A" comes out in May and the first single "When you really loved someone" was released earlier this week. In Friday's episode of Skavlan we will see the former ABBA star in his first Swedish TV appearance in a long time.

One of the greatest Swedish tennis star Mats Wilander, is current in the tournament the Kings of Tennis in Stockholm this month. Between games against big names like John McEnroe and Henri Leconte takes Mats Wilander time for a visit to Skavlan.

Dag Solstad is one of Norway's most award-winning and critically acclaimed author. In the new book "Dag Solstad. Oskriva memoirs "we learn a lot, not the least of man Solstad and the life he has lived.

Even Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen comes to weekly schedule of Skavlan. She has become a favorite of many politicians through its role as prime minister Birgitte Nyborg in "Castle".

SVT121:00 Friday, March 15.


SVT1 21:00 fredag 15 mars (9:12)

Gäster: Agnetha Fältskog, Mats Wilander, Dag Solstad, Sidse Bebett Knudsen

Malin Nyberg



Monday, 11 March 2013

Agnetha Faltskog 'The One Who Loves You Now' Audio

A little taste of Agnetha's German single release from the upcoming album.
This one is 'The One Who Loves You Now'
I love them both !

New Agnetha Faltskog Website !

It's all happening so fast now ! LOL

New Agnetha Faltskog Photos

The latest from the photo shoot for 'A'
Just beautiful !

Agnetha Faltskog New Video !!! When You Really Loved Someone

'When You Really Loved Someone' video clip in full:

Agnetha Faltskog - New Album Photo Shoot

Some beautiful photos from the photo shoot for her album 'A'


Agnetha Faltskog Promotional Tour UK !

Abba's Agnetha comes out of retirement


Agnetha Faltskog
Agnetha Faltskog says the media has formed the wrong impression of her as a mysterious Greta Garbo of pop

One of pop's most enigmatic voices has emerged with her first album in nine years. Agnetha Faltskog's new album sees her duet with Gary Barlow and collaborate with Britney Spears' Swedish songwriting team. Just don't call her "mysterious".

Forty-five years ago, before Abba were even a twinkle in Eurovision's eye, Agnetha Faltskog made her very first TV appearance.

Aged just 17, she performed Jag Var Sa Kar (I Was So In Love), a syrupy self-penned waltz, on Swedish TV show Studio 8.

The melancholy lyrics, inspired by her idol Connie Francis, were a stark contrast to the exuberant blonde singer, who "took the radio in my arms and danced around" when she first heard her single on the air.

Little did she know, misery would become her musical forte, especially when she teamed up with Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frida to form Abba.

"I'm very earth-grounded and very normal, I just like to stay at home”

The songs on which Faltskog took lead vocals - Hasta Manana, The Name Of The Game, Chiquitita - were the band's biggest tear-jerkers.

On The Winner Takes It All, recorded as her marriage to Bjorn Ulvaeus fell apart, the emotion is almost too much to bear.

Faltskog is by turns defiant and broken. "I was in your arms, thinking I belonged there," she cries, as her husband merely shakes her hand and turns away.

Oddly, the singer calls it "her biggest favourite" from the band's back catalogue. "It's a shame we never got to play it live," she adds.

Since the band went their separate ways in 1982, the girl with golden hair has been the band's most elusive member. She largely shuns the limelight, living quietly on the secluded island of Ekero, west of Stockholm.

Perhaps because of those world-weary lyrics, she was portrayed as a frail recluse - the Greta Garbo of pop.

The revelation in 2000 that she had entered a relationship with an obsessed Dutch fan, 16 years her junior, who turned dangerous when she broke off the affair, only added to the perception that she was lonely and unhappy.

Nervous return

Today, she cannot talk about the relationship for legal reasons, but Faltskog says the media have the wrong impression of her private life.

"I have been described as a very mysterious human being and that hurts a little bit, because it's not like that at all," she says.

abba archive image Agnetha Faltskog says she had totally fallen out of the practice of singing since her Abba days

On the phone from Stockholm, she is neither awkward nor reticent, although she chooses her words carefully, sometimes with the aid of an interpreter.

Laughter peppers the conversation, and she denies any suggestion she's a hermit.

"I'm very earth-grounded and very normal," she says. "I just like to stay at home."

Fate came to her house 18 months ago, when Swedish producer Jorgen Elofsson rang the doorbell, hoping to to play Faltskog three songs he had written for her.

An internationally successful composer, his credits include Britney Spears' Crazy and Kelly Clarkson's Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You). His dream was to coax Faltskog out of a nine-year hiatus and back into the studio.

"It was flattering," says the singer. "It really was."

"I just couldn't say 'no'. I really loved the songs from the beginning."

But before Faltskog would enter the studio, she had some conditions.

"I told him, 'we have to talk about a lot of things first,'" she recalls. "It was nine or 10 years since I'd sung, so I didn't know if [my voice] worked."

"I said from the beginning, 'if it sounds old I don't want to do this, because... Why should I?'"

Tasteful and sumptuous

Listening to the album, simply titled 'A', it is clear that Faltskog's vocal cords are in fine shape.

Abba's Agnetha  Agnetha Faltskog has collaborated with Gary Barlow but they have never met

Elofsson, for his part, has ditched the upfront production of his teen pop hits for a sound Faltskog calls "very mature and worthy".

"When you love someone, and you've lost that one, then nothing really matters," sighs Faltskog on the first single, When You Really Love Someone.

On the closing track, the singer scatters photos of an old lover across her bedroom floor and wonders what happened to their relationship.

Ripe with bittersweet emotion, the song is her sole contribution as a composer. You wonder why she didn't write more.

Faltskog says she simply fell out of practice.

"During the Abba years the boys were writing nearly all the material and I didn't have any time. They asked me a lot - but when we were at home, I just wanted to be with my children.

"For this album, we had an idea that maybe I should try to write one song. I didn't want to do more. I'm not that composer that composes every day. But it was very exciting to see if it still worked - and it did!"

The album doesn't reinvent the pop wheel, but is tasteful and sumptuous, rarely raising its tempo above "mid".

One exception is Dance Your Pain Away, where disco strings stab at a gymnastic bassline, apparently summoned from the dusty off-cuts of Abba's Voulez Vous.

Another stand-out is I Should Have Followed You Home, where Faltskog trades lines with Gary Barlow.

"We haven't even met," Faltskog reveals. "I spoke to him once on the phone - but I was on holiday when he did his singing."

She hopes to meet Barlow on a forthcoming promotional trip to the UK, but says there are currently "no plans" for them to perform the song together live.

Tornado trauma

Faltskog's trip to the UK may come as a surprise to some seasoned Abba-watchers. During the band's heyday, she had a rule that she would never leave home for more than two weeks at a time, so she wouldn't be separated from her children (both born in the midst of Abbamania).

A nervous flyer, she arranged to travel separately from Ulvaeus for the sake of the children, in case anything should happen to either of them in mid-air.

Agnetha Faltskog Agnetha Faltskog says an Abba reunion is unlikely ever to happen

Then, towards the end of Abba's 1979 US tour, the band had a quick turnaround between gigs in New York and Boston.

Faltskog boarded a chartered jet, which previously belonged to millionaire aviator Howard Hughes, and flew straight into the middle of a tornado which forced Boston's airfield to close.

Running out of fuel, in a pitch black sky, the pilot performed an emergency landing in Manchester, New Hampshire. The first attempt was aborted at the last minute, pulling up just before the wheels hit the runway. Fortunately, the plane touched down on the second try.

Since then, she has largely avoided flying - even coming to the UK "by bus once" for a promotional trip.

"But nowadays I have started to fly again," she says. "I have gone to a man - a therapist - who taught me to think in another way, a very positive way. It works. It helps, at least."

The 62-year-old says she's looking forward to coming back to the UK, and speaks fondly of Abba's seven-day residency in London's Wembley Arena in 1979.

"People's reaction was fantastic on Dancing Queen," she says. "And otherwise, it was very nice with Thank You For The Music."

She enjoys the memories of Abba, and has donated costumes and memorabilia to the Abba Museum which will open in Sweden in May ("it is very strange to have a museum in your honour!"), but cannot see the band reforming.

"It was such a long time ago, and we are getting older, and we have our different lives," she says.

For now, she is concentrating on the new record - one she thought she might never make, and one which could be her last.

"I think to look in the future, to plan another one, it's not realistic right now. But I don't close any doors. I'm very open for what comes up. At the moment, we are so happy with this one. I really hope people will like it as much as we do."

Agnetha's single When You Really Love Someone is out now. Her album, A, follows later this year.

Agnetha When You Really Loved Someone Available Now !

Agnetha's single 'When You Really Loved Someone' is available on Itunes now !!!
Her album 'A' is also available for pre-order.


Track list:
1. The One Who Loves You Now 3.30
2. When You Really Loved Someone 3.31
3. Perfume In The Breeze 3.31
4. I Was A Flower 4.08
5. I Should’ve Followed You Home 4.04
6. Past Forever 3.30
7. Dance Your Pain Away 4.10
8. Bubble 4.21
9. Back On Your Radio 3.43
10. I Keep Them On The Floor Beside Me 4.06

Apparently in Germany, they are getting a release of 'The One Who Loves You Now'

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Agnetha Faltskog New Album Set For May Release ?

According to this Dutch site, Agnetha's new album is due for release on 10th May 2013.
Another teaser ?
The record label listed here is 'Island' - previous teasers have said the label is Verve - we still just wait and see :)