abbasite.com announces the release of the deluxe edition of "Voulez-Vous"
The Voulez-Vous album was first released in April 1979. And now, a Deluxe Edition featuring the original album remastered and expanded with bonus tracks, plus a companion DVD with television performances from 1978 and 1979, is released.
The international release date for Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition is May 31, 2010. The exact release date may vary from territory to territory.
Here is the track listing:
01 As Good As New
03 I Have A Dream
05 The King Has Lost His Crown
06 Does Your Mother Know
07 If It Wasn’t For The Nights
09 Lovers (Live A Little Longer)
10 Kisses Of Fire
11 Summer Night City (Full Length Version)
13 Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
14 Dream World
15 Voulez-Vous (Extended Remix, 1979 US promo)
01 ABBA In Switzerland (television special, BBC)
02 Chiquitita (Music for UNICEF)
03 I Have A Dream (extended promo)
04 If It Wasn’t For The Nights (Mike Yarwood Christmas Show, BBC)
05 Chiquitita (ABBA Snowtime, BBC)
06 Björn & Benny Interview (Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, BBC)
07 Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Television Commercial I
08 Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Television Commercial II
09 International Sleeve Gallery
I haven't been this excited about a new ABBA release in years. Universal/Polar has made an excellent job with the new ABBA DVD "ABBA in Japan". I like everything about it, the packaging, the complete versions of songs etc.
My absolute favourite on this DVD is the documentary about the 1980 tour in Japan. ABBA seem so happy and relaxed both on and off stage. They are joking, singing (how bizarre to hear Frida sing a few bars of the Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer hit "Enough Is Enough"). It's a pity that even though we get to see quite a lot of ABBA on stage the music isn't live. I have a new dream now - a full live concert from ABBA in Japan 1980. Compared to how they looked on stage on the European/North American tour it's like night and day. Even Frida's dance solo is wonderful to watch.
I could write a lot more about this DVD release, but I don't want to spoil the fun for those of you who are still waiting for your copy. I don't think anyone will be disappointed. So if you haven't ordered it yet - you should!
With the Deluxe version comes three colour photos and a sticker, a nice touch.
From a distance, everything looks just as it should. The teeny, white-washed Agios Ioannis chapel is perched 202 steps up a winding path on top of a rocky outcrop that juts into the sea. It appears windswept, isolated and beautifully peaceful.
But close up, things aren't quite so tranquil. For starters, the concrete car park below is overflowing. Cars are backed up down the dusty lane and the nearby cafe is doing a roaring trade.
The steps are alive with a constant stream of visitors, huffing and puffing, and singing Abba songs rather badly.
Romantic idyll: Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried embrace in the surf in a scene from the film - but are tourists ruining this unspoiled hideaway?
And the church? Well, on closer inspection, it isn't quite up to scratch either. Indeed, something's so wrong that the moment most visitors pass through the heavy wooden doors, the singing stops and the recriminations begin.
'It's very pretty, but it's all wrong,' says Carla Stone, 23, from Australia. 'There are no pews, and the altar's weird.'
'It's tiny!' says Sophie Goodson, 15, from Godstone, Surrey. 'There's barely room for Meryl Streep, let alone the three dads and all the wedding guests.'
'We've seen the film eight times and have come all the way from Warsaw especially, so this is very upsetting,' says Karl, 28. 'They must have used a film set for the inside.'
Even the visitors' book is brimming with disappointment.
'A very nice place, but not the church from Mamma Mia!' reads one entry.
Oh dear. Perhaps I should explain. I am on Skopelos, the tiny Greek island once known for its scented pine trees, olives, dried white plums and peace and quiet... but now more famous as the place Mamma Mia! was filmed.
Just in case you've been shut away in a wardrobe for the past year, Mamma Mia! The Movie is a film based on the fantastically successful West End show of the same name, and stars Meryl Streep, Piers Brosnan and Julie Walters.
The premise is simple. A raft of Abba hits worked into a cheesy plot about a girl who tries to uncover the identity of her biological father - her mum (played by Meryl Streep) was quite a goer in her day - by secretly inviting the three candidates to her wedding on the un-spoilt fictional Greek island of Kalokairi.
Abba magic: Hollywood's most successful musical, it's the highest-grossing film and fastest-selling DVD of all time in Britain
It is just over a year since the film was released and, despite a steely determination that their island will 'never do a Captain Corelli' - nearby Kefalonia, where Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed, was mobbed in the wake of that film's release in 2001 - it's clear that life will never be quite the same again for the 4,969 Skopelites.
The islanders' official policy has always been maximum friendliness and minimal Mamma Mia! publicity - so there are no Mamma Mia! T-shirts, postcards, fridge magnets or bus tours. There is no Hollywoodisation of the island, in fact, no tasteless tat at all.
The only exception is the desolate Mamma Mia! bar, run by a lugubrious man called Demetri - who was Brosnan's driver during the filming - and dismissed as 'tacky' by many locals.
Oh, and a smart signpost at each sacred stop on the Mamma Mia! trail - the church, the bay where the cast danced on the jetty, the trees where Sophie enjoyed a picnic with her three 'fathers'.
'Skopelos is about more than Mamma Mia! - we don't want our island to change because of a film,' says mayor Hristos Vasiloudis, who is sitting in his sunny office in a pink, short-sleeved shirt and jeans.
'We have culture, architecture, ancient history and pride. A film comes and goes, but we want our island to remain the same.'
This all sounds impressive and, had it been any other film, he might just have got what he wanted.
But as well as being horribly cheesy, Mamma Mia! is Hollywood's most successful musical, and the highest-grossing film and fastest-selling DVD of all time in Britain. It has also spawned millions of fans around the world - an awful lot of whom seem to be making over-excited pilgrimages to the island.
Despite the fact Skopelos can be reached only by a choppy 50-minute ferry ride from the airport in Skiathos, visitor numbers have skyrocketed.
Paradise invaded: Jane Fryer on the crowded beach now
Hotels have been booked up months in advance, the bars and restaurants are buzzing and every couple of hours an enormous ferry disgorges another batch of Mamma Mia! fans on to the quayside in picturesque Skopelos town, often in full song. Until they realise it's not quite as it was on the big screen.
'It was a bit disappointing at first,' says Diana Staveley, 40. 'In the film, they arrived at a pretty bay in a tiny boat, but we came on a giant ferry into the port and there were people everywhere.'
While increased custom - even by Abba fans - sounds like good news, it's had a big effect on the island's much-prized tranquillity. The narrow roads are teeming with cars reversing and spinning tyres in the dust. And there's barely room left to sit down on some of the beaches.
'We've been coming for years and this time it's different,' says Christina, 34, from Athens. 'There used to be four, maybe five, people on some of the beaches and now they're completely full. It's so busy you need to be there early to get a spot, so we don't bother.'
And then there are the weddings... For months, fans have been flocking here to get married Mamma Mia!-style in the minuscule church on the hill - only to discover it's off limits unless you happen to be Greek Orthodox.
Instead, they're tying the knot in the town hall, on one of the beaches or on a yacht and then diving into the clear blue water in their wedding finery.
'There was one Swiss couple who were going to convert to Greek Orthodox and come back,' says Marion Fester, who works for Thalpos Holidays. 'Given that you'd fit only about six people in the church, it seems a bit extreme.'
A bit? Just how silly can you get? Very, it seems, judging by the stream of fans traipsing into Marion's office to pay homage to a pair of Piers Brosnan's flip flops - 'They're only size seven, which was a bit of a surprise' - retrieved from his villa and now firmly nailed to the wall and draped in fairy lights.
'At first, it was just a few children and women with their daughters, but two days ago there was a whole group of British tourists - all here to see the flip flops. The men looked embarrassed.'
And does anyone try them on? 'Oh no! They're nailed down. Though we'd love him to come back and prise them off.'
It is credit to the Skopelites' determination and lack of greed that there is still only one organised Mamma Mia! boat trip from Skopelos a week - because there must be ten times the demand.
Competition for the 58 places on the Odyssey is feverish and, occasionally, bordering on the violent. Jonathan Stone, from London but resident in Greece for seven years, leads the trips.
'They are unbelievably obsessed. We had one Swedish woman who'd seen the film 198 times. And she was upset when we didn't play it during the trip.'
And music? 'The moment you put on the soundtrack, everyone starts dancing, so thank God the engine makes the CD slip so we can play it only when the boat stops. If it didn't, we'd have to listen to Abba all blooming day. They get disappointed that they can't drink in the beach bar and jump off the jetty [which were built specially for the film].
The suitors: Colin Firth (l), Stellan Skarsgard, and Pierce Brosnan in a scene from the hit film. Tourists now come to pay homage to a pair of Brosnan's flip flops
'I swear they expect Meryl Streep will be there waiting for them, sunning herself on a sun lounger.'
It might sound like harmless fun, but the film has had a more worrying effect on the island. Prices have shot up in the bars, tavernas and even supermarkets. 'Taverna life is being eroded,' says Neil Durham, 64, from Bangor, but now a resident.
'The Greeks like to spend their evenings eating and drinking together, but since Mamma Mia! food prices have gone up by 50 per cent and the locals can no longer afford to eat out.
'Mamma Mia! is also destroying the Greek culture. Even the TV adverts have changed to cater to the tourists. These days, they're all for Danish cheese and German sausages.'
One furious local, known for obvious reasons as 'Hairy George', has built a mock taverna in a lay-by to protest against rising bar prices.
Development is booming, too. Property posters flutter in the wind around Skopelos, the island's first five-star hotel will be completed next summer, and building sites are being carved out of the empty land between the lemon trees and the olive groves as foreigners fight to buy a slice of the Skopelos dream.
Prices start at about £120,000 for a traditional townhouse, and from £200,000 for a villa with sea views.
According to local estate agents, interest has been increasing steadily since the film came out and properties are being snapped up within days of going on the market.
'There's no faffing about - they see something and buy it. They know that if they don't, someone else will,' says one estate agent. 'There's no such thing as a recession in Skopelos.' So what do the Skopelites think about all this interest in their beautiful green island?
There are a few commercial types who think the mayor's mad not to milk Mamma Mia! for all it's worth. Generally, however, the locals aren't interested. Particularly outside Skopelos town, where eyes roll at the mention of the film.
The locals do, however, have fond memories of the filming. As well as spending huge amounts of money on the island - 'It was like manna from heaven,' says local restaurateur Nikos Stamatakis - the cast and crew were happy to mix with the locals.
They shopped in the gift shops, drank in the bars, danced on the tables and had a brilliant time.
'I had them all in here: Mrs Streep, Mr Colin Firth. Mr Brosnan was my favourite - so natural and handsome,' says Peggy, who runs a jewellery shop in Skopelos town.
'He was in more than 12 times - my poor husband was working flat out to make all the jewellery.'
And many locals appeared as extras. 'It was so exciting and brilliant fun,' says Sabrina, a 38-year-old travel agent, who spent three days traipsing up and down the 202 steps to the chapel in the rain.
There were, of course, a few hiccups. The set builders upset everyone by adding a false front to the chapel, and a vicar officiated in the wedding scene instead of a Greek Orthodox priest.
But generally, the shoot went like clockwork and the locals have nothing but praise for the stars - particularly Brosnan, who did a lot of late-night drinking with them, charmed the whole island and wrote lovely thank you notes afterwards.
To be fair, the film company did go to enormous lengths to put everything back as it was when they arrived. It seems the only thing they couldn't do was restore the peace and quiet.
As Nina Koukovinas, 79, puts it: 'If only they could turn the clock back to when things were more normal and people had better manners.'
Speaking of which, back up at the chapel, things are less civil as an elderly couple from Macclesfield are shooed out of the way by an Indian woman brandishing an enormous camera.
'Old lady - get out of the way, please! I've come from India for this picture and I don't want you in it.'
Goodness. As the story goes, the film's producers looked at more than 25 Greek islands before plumping for Skopelos.
'Apparently, they chose our island because it was so green and simple and peaceful,' says one local.
Poor old Skopelos. It's still a beautiful island, but I wonder if the producers would choose it now? And if they did, whether they'd be welcomed with such open arms.
— Former ABBA stars Björn Ulvaeus and Benny
Andersson said Monday they have reached a settlement with a Swedish
playwright in a copyright dispute over one of their musicals.
In a joint statement, the two musicians and Carl-Johan Seth said they had requested the case be recalled from an appeals court that was supposed to hear it this week.
Both sides had been feuding over who wrote the script for the musical "Kristina from Duvemåla", which has been seen by more than one million people in Sweden.
Seth appealed a lower court ruling last year in favour of Andersson and Ulvaeus, who rejected Seth's claims that he was the main writer of the script.
However, both sides agreed to drop the case after reaching a settlement that made it possible to "move on as friends," Monday's statement said. It did not give other details.
Seth's lawyer, Staffan Michelson, said his client's reputation as a playwright has been "completely restored" and that the scheduled court hearing this Wednesday had been cancelled.
The musical is based on novels by Swedish writer Wilhelm Moberg, which depict the journey by Swedish emigrants to the U.S. in 1850.
ABBA, which also included singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, gained worldwide fame in the 1970s and early 1980s.
That's probably what Dame Edna would say if she was getting the same gift I got from my dear Greg and Pat in Australia. So what is this fantastic gift you may wonder? It's "The Dame Edna Experience - The Complete Collection". A fantastic 5 DVD box set.
I remember watching these series religiously back in the 80's together with my roommate Ingrid Lee. We taped the shows and watched them millions of times. We instantly became Edna admirerers and we also had a very soft spot for poor little Madge, Edna's bridesmaid.
Now I'm able to enjoy all those fabulous shows again - this time in perfect DVD picture quality! The guest list is almost unbelieveable:
Mel Gibson, Jane Fonda, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cliff Richard, Ronald Reagan Jr, Grace Jones, Liza Minnelli, Dolph Lundgren, Vivienne Westwood, Chubby Checker, Dusty Springfield, Demis Roussos, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Larry Hagman, Tony Curtis, Joan Rivers, Lauren Bacall, Jason Donovan (Kylie Minogue's boyfriend in "Neighbours") Charlton Heston, Gina Lollobrigidia and Rudolf Nureyev. That's what a I call a guest list! And I think now that this final compete series has been released on DVD we can once and for all kill the rumour that was going around in the eighties that Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA once guested the show together with Marie Fredriksson from Roxette fame. It just never happened.
The DVD is so well put together, animated screens, hidden "tracks", a "forbidden" Madge-badge, but if you're naughty and press it anyway you get to hear Madge SING (I don't think you get to see her even talking the whole series through). The extra material is enormous. Several hours of old shows, TV-interviews together with Whoopi Goldberg and Dame Edna performing her disco hit "Disco Matilda" on Top Of The Pops!
Edna gets away with saying things to these celebreties noone else ever could. She is smart and very witty and varm and loving at the same time. We are also treated to the musical numbers of the shows. I remember Ingrid and me used to love the song and dance number Dame Edna does with Madge Allsop (her bridesmaid) called "My Bridesmaid And I". Ingrid and I used to run around and sing it like Edna. Especially these lines from that song:
"My Bridesmaid and I
together we try
"My Bridesmaid and I
"Kenny claims that she's BI!" (Kenny is Dame Edna's favourite child, a gay designer).
It is a very expensive box, but it has started to pop up on auction sites like eBay so I guess you will be able to get it for a good price. I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who are in love with the very special comedy Dame Edna stands for. You can order the box at www.amazon.com!