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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 :)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

ABBA Super Troupers Exhibition - Southbank UK - Opening Soon !

ABBA Super Troupers Exhibition

Southbank Centre - London UK

14 December 2017 -  29 April 2018

Yep, that’s right. We’re getting set to go 'Head Over Heels' for all things ABBA as we say 'Thank You For the Music' in an exhibition that will have you clamouring to hand over your 'Money, Money, Money'. OK, we’ll stop the puns and focus instead on the details of what’s set to be a truly unique experience, pitching the Swedish supergroup against the news and social events of 1970s Britain.
With Entertainment Exhibitions International AB, and in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm we’re bringing the world of the chart-topping Swedish pop sensation to life in a brand new exhibition. The immersive experience will chart the group’s music, lyrics, creative process, and irrefutable influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the modern age.

Benny Andersson went full glam-rock with his look early on, but he was never a fan of the platform shoe. On a 1979 tour of Europe and North America, he wanted low-heeled boots the same colour as his glistening white stage outfit, but none could be found. Abba’s enterprising crew bought him these cheap cowboy numbers and painted them. Abba were a thrifty band, using theatrical tricks rather than expensive details to make their costumes work – and no one could see the paint-marks left by the boots from the crowd. Off stage, Andersson ditched them for Fred Perry plimsolls.
* There seems to be an error here - we all know Benny wore these boots in 1977 !

ABBA: Super Troupers is a guided exhibition which goes beyond the surface of the group to transport you on a journey through previously unseen archive material including ABBA’s original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music and instruments. It will also feature album artwork, photography and film by notable collaborators such as film director Lasse Hallström.

One of the memorable costumes designed by Owe Sandström and worn by Frida Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog during the band’s Australian tour in 1977.

For the first time, objects from ABBA The Museum and private archives will be brought together in the UK, charting the success of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, from their individual careers to that Eurovision Song Contest win and their subsequent international stardom.

ABBA: Super Troupers opens to the public on Thursday 14 December 2017 as part of our Wintertime festival, and the final month of Nordic Matters – a year-long programme of Nordic arts and culture here throughout 2017.

Come on a musical journey with Swedish pop sensation ABBA as they take over 1970s Britain in this one-of-a-kind exhibition.
Led by a personal tour guide and the voice of narrator Jarvis Cocker, we take you through nine immersive rooms exploring the music, lyrics and lives of one of the world’s most unforgettable bands.

Get close to never-before-seen items from the band’s archive including personal notes, memorabilia and iconic costumes. Chart their rise to fame and lasting legacy; from their early pop explosion onto the British music scene, to chart-topping international stardom.

Frida's hand-painted fox dress in green.

Designer Owe Sandström made all of Abba’s costumes apart from the Waterloo outfits, many of them purely for photoshoots and videos, as the group rarely toured. In their career, they only spent three months away from home; both couples had young children, and their image travelled through magazines and promo clips. Abba never allowed famous designers to dress them. Frida was a talented seamstress, and got fully involved in fashion decisions, as did Agnetha Fältskog. This was Agnetha’s shirt, in her favourite colour, its hare hand-painted by an artist in their crew.

Taking on 1970s Britain, in the midst of a financial crisis, a wave of strikes and a three-day working week, ABBA were a breath of fresh air, dominating the airwaves with their upbeat anthems channelling positivity and optimism.

ABBA: Super Troupers is presented by Southbank Centre in partnership with Entertainment Exhibitions International AB, in association with ABBA The Museum.

More details and bookings here:


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Private jets were de rigueur in the money-drizzled 1970s music business; Elton John even had an organ on his. This Abba plane tells another story. An ordinary jet for a company that only ran internal flights in Australia at the time, it was branded by the company as a promotional tool. Inside was standard seating with everyone in ordinary rows, the band, as ever, not separated from their crew. This was the way Abba always toured, without pomp. Their riders were also remarkably slim, only asking for post-show drinks.

Before Abba, Frida Lyngstad was a jazz singer. Here, she is with the Gunnar Sandevärn Orchestra, next to her first husband Ragnar Fredriksson, with whom she had two children. In 1967, she formed the Anni-Frid Four, won Sweden’s New Faces, and got a contract with EMI. Two years later, while divorcing Fredriksson, she entered the Eurovision heats, and met future husband Benny Andersson. In 1973, Abba tried Eurovision again, and failed. A year later, they entered with Waterloo - and won.

As well as Frida, the other three members also had impressive earlier musical lives. Fältskog had a 1968 solo Swedish No 1, Jag Var Så Kär (I Was So in Love), and performed in musicals (this was taken after her first night as Mary Magdalene). Ulvaeus and Andersson were members of 60s groups the Hootenanny Singers and the Hep Stars. They released their first album together as a duo in 1970, but soon realised that their new girlfriends were better singers than they were.

This was taken by the boss of the UK Abba fan club, at a party in London to promote compilation album The Singles (all 23 are in the frame). Their manager, Stig Anderson, can be seen in the far left. The party also celebrated the band’s first 10 years together. Later that night, Ulvaeus and Andersson went to dinner with lyricist Tim Rice, to discuss the idea for a musical called Chess. A month later, Abba performed together for the last time, on the BBC’s Late Late Breakfast Show, saying they would split when making music ‘wasn’t fun any more’. Photograph: courtesy Lynne Chick, The Official British Abba Fan Club

Just some of the many thousands of items of fan mail received by the band over the course of their 10-year history. The group’s international fan club is still going strong today.

Iconic brown leather headphones as worn by Frida & Agnetha.
Photograph credit: Photo by Mikael Bodner. Courtesy of ABBA The Museum.

Ring Ring Gold disc, celebrating 100,000 singles sold.
Photograph credit: Photo by Mikael Bodner. Courtesy of ABBA The Museum.

Abba were successful all over the world, but a 1980 arena concert in Japan proved their most surprising to date. Used to screaming, dancing fans, they found the crowd at Tokyo’s Budokan merely sitting and clapping, which worried Andersson. Later, the group found out that Japanese crowds at the time were unbelievably polite, often not doing anything without the artists granting permission. The next time Abba played there, the audience were told to get up straight away and start dancing. Normal service resumed.

One of Abba’s only touring indulgences was a tour doctor, a friend of their Swedish promoter, Thomas Johansson. He was treated in the same generous way as the rest of the crew, such as the band not starting aftershow dinners until everyone, including stage-riggers and roadies, was ready. Unsurprisingly, Dr Olsson loved touring life, especially as he was an ordinary GP when not on the road. He also enjoyed collecting stickers and tour paraphernalia. After he died, his family came to the museum offering his suitcase in his memory.


With thanks to ABBA Info for additional images.


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