Published May 22, 2015
Among the alternate ABBA mixes I've listened to this week are a handful of tracks from the ABBA album (the eponymous LP that was at number one in Sweden this time 40 years ago). At least two of those mixes were of the mind-blowing or at least surprising variety: both songs are perfectly recognisable, of course, but the choices made during mixing are often very different from how they ended up sounding in the familiar versions that we've lived with for the past four decades.
I've also reacquainted myself with the original version of 'Bang-A-Boomerang'. If you have the original edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, you will recall that this first take had a different arrangement and also verses with a completely different melody. This puts the spotlight on one of the really nice things about this revised and updated version of the book. Back in 1993, when I listened to tapes together with Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow, we had a lot of material to go through, so there simply wasn't time to listen to each track more than once or twice, forcing me to frantically make notes, so that I would be able to make some kind of meaningful description of what I heard.
In the case of 'Bang-A-Boomerang', which I believe we only heard once, I scribbled down a few key words such as "no galloping" (referring to the rhythm), "lots of acoustic guitars" and "partly different melody in the verses". Well, thanks to a rough mix that was made back in the day I am now able to listen to the recording over and over again, write down the lyrics, define exactly which parts are different and which carried over to the released version, time it for length - and, generally, make a more accurate and detailed description.
If you want to know all about that rare version of 'Bang-A-Boomerang', as well as the other discoveries I'm making in the archives, pre-order your copy of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions here: igg.me/at/abbatcrs
Listening to alternate ABBA mixes at the Polar Music offices in the Universal Music building in Stockholm: