Agnetha and Björn in boat 1969 (2 pics). Frida and Benny at Hamburger Börs Lill-Babs' Show Opening Night. Charlie Norman's 50th birthday party; Charlite, Siw Malmkvist, Kjerstin Dellert, Frida. Agnetha smoking with Swedish Radio's boss Lars-Magnus Jansson. Agnetha on the piano with a very giggly pianist (sorry don't know his name). Björn alone somewhere backstage playing his guitar, Benny and Lill-Babs (one b/w and one colour from the 1971 show they did at Skansen on June 1, 1970.
It only took 40 years until I found proof in photos that I was present for a whole week when ABBA rehearsed for their European winter show in October. I've written all about it here http://abbamikory.blogs.com/abbamikory/2005/03/when_i_met_abba.html and there are some pictures but not very ggood ones and I did get the autographs. But here are the more professional photos taken by an Aftonbladet photographer on 1974-10-25. It's amazing how my memory works, I remember every little detail of what they were wearing, Agnetha's pants tucked down into her boots etc etc.
I love how Agnetha's expression in the last photo on her face seems to say, well, look at Frida's b*hind, it's not so bad either! :D
[ABBA Waterloo: Deluxe Edition Out 7 APR] Fortieth anniversary of the album that changed pop music forever.
In 1974, pop music had returned to its roots - as music for teenagers, reflected and diluted by glam into shiny, empty copies of 1950s pop. At its best, it crossed over into rock (Bowie, Roxy) and soul, which was enjoying orchestral majesty before compressing itself into disco. As its worst, it was nutless soda pop sung by fat men who appeared to have been eating glitter from the bag and still had some on their faces. But in 1974, a Swedish group composed of two courting couples (who's also been four hurdy-hurdy gurdy powered solo artists) dressed in glam gear, sparkly clothes, platform boots, glitter on their cheekbones - and destroyed a boring international TV-show what Please Please Me and Pretty Vacant where to their respective eras.
Nobody knew at the time, but the harmonic, monotone gallop of ABBA's »Waterloo« would, in a few thrilled years, change the shape of pop ever after. Before ABBA, popular music was either informed by black music (Motown, The Beatles) or it was no good. After ABBA, pop music could be European, ABBA - clean and classical, blond and continenta, happy and sad - changed '70s music so thoroughly that they invented the '80s and the '90s at the same time.
Much of this was to come later (in particular the cool beauty of their late-period records, but here on 1974's album »Waterloo«, the future is already planted. Not that you'd recognise the ABBA of «The Day Before You Came« in »Sitting In The Palmtree«, the whitest reggae song of all time or »King Kong Song«, which appears to be the work of an actual maniac, bubblegum pop accompanied by actual female screams. »Waterloo« constantly displays its era in oddly dated moments, such as »Watch Out«, which its absurd »I'm gonna tame you, you wild thing«, sounds more like The Sweet than anyhthing else, while he cardboard drums, Dicatphone-speaker guitar and pleccy bass suggest it was recorded in a Ryman's stockroom rather than the legendary Polar Studios.
At times, tis is a collection if novelty songs. Even the langurous »Hasta Manana« owes more to Dawn's »Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree« than to anything else.. »Where is the drean we were dreaming?« signs a voiceover and the whole thing is the of Sunday lunch and tricycles in the park. And there are not words to describe »What About Livingstone?« - what about him, indeed. »Suzy-Hang-Around« is a playground song with a weird buzzing drone throughout, like The Beach Boys described by a wasp. It's catchy, but odd. And there's »Honey, Honey«, classically daft early ABBA (two-word title, second word the same as or rhyming with first).
But there is greatness here, »My Mama Said« - great jittery funk riff, treated vocals, teen lyric (»Tried to sneak out without saying, with my loudest record playing«) has the melancholy and ghostly vocals of the best ABBA. »Gonna Sing You My Lovesong« is almost a power ballad, five years before power ballads were invented with a lovely vocal and a Wings-y Moog. Better was to come, but Waterloo - also accompanied by various remixed and differently languaged singles - is still extraordinary.