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Tour preparations 1979
We tour so infrequently that we need to have a little warm up. Especially since we’re going to the United States where we’ve never been before and where we’re all a bit unsure of how the audience regards us: whether they are familiar with us or not. We really don’t know, so we need a little extra self-confidence as a stage act.
We were going out into the world and touring and wanted to test our material before a real audience. We had been working for some time in the studio and rehearsed well. But we had not played the songs live, or have met our audience. We wanted to know how the music would be received. It was both exciting and uncertain. But it must have gone well. We came in the off on our tours to the USA and Australia.
Benny according to Norrköpings Tidningar, April 25, 2016 (translated via Google)
ABBA sneaked in after a concert by Björn Skifs and his band.
Begin: around midnight
the news about the concert was rumored during the day, a record store had displayed a note announcing the concert, ABBA were not amused about that
“I was 23 years old and saw the concert with my brother and the band I played in then”, says Assam Bop. [...] “I was on the train from Växjö with my guitar when a man named Anders Hanser came to me wondering if I was playing in bands and if he was going to interview us. When we were separated at the station, he said that ‘you have to go to Strand tonight because something very special happens there’. Well, I thought, and did not feel right now. But the interview ended and the rumor of ABBA’s play had siphoned out to some people and then we got there.”
Landskrona Direkt (Sweden), May 15, 2013
soundcheck in the afternoon at around 15.00
after-show party at the Hotel Öresund
Detailed information about the track list is not available. It's not clear how much of the final set list of the tour they played and if it was the same at each surprise concert. According to the articles linked below these songs were amongst them. The total number of songs is unknown.
It was very hush-hush, no advertising, no marketing whatsoever. Instead, the news spread by word of mouth. First Wellander & Ronander appeared on stage followed by Björn Skifs. After a while ABBA appeared. The place was packed.
Taken from ABBA4ever Forum, no detailed source
Media featuring this concert:
Nyheter du aldrig glömmer (News You Never Will Forget), 2008 – this DVD features a short documentary about the event
Raw Power by photographer Mats Bäcker (Norstedts Förlag, 2012) – this book has some pictures
Detailed information about the track list is not available. According to Norrköpings Tidningar ABBA played 10 ‘greatest hits’.
Whether the order in which the songs were performed represented a proposed set list is unclear; in all likelihood they were mainly trying to find the best way of performing the individual songs, leaving running order questions to a later date. Many of the songs sound pretty similar to how they would end up in the show
Does Your Mother Know (4:29)
13-second intro where Benny plays the “take it easy” section twice, in a style similar to the intro of the “Doris Day” version of ‘Thank You For The Music’, only in a faster tempo. He ends this intro with a piano roll along the lines of the start of ‘Dancing Queen’ [...] The guitar solo in the middle of the song, deleted from the original studio version, is present here, as indeed it would be when ABBA toured, with the original intro riff playing in the background (see 6 February). In this rehearsal version, this riff is also used to end the song: it is played twice, first in its normal tempo and then slower and slower, and before the very last note there is a short break followed by a “crash” by all the instruments on this last note.
Knowing Me, Knowing You
‘SOS’ is interrupted after two minutes, for unknown reasons
As Good As New
The King Has Lost His Crown (3:49)
the main point of interest in this live version is the ending, where the girls sing “disaster and disgrace”, holding a long note on the final syllable, followed by a replay of the melody line heard at circa 00:26–00:29 in the album version.
My Love, My Life (4:05)
Benny plays a synthesizer intro with a slight baroque touch, tying together the melody lines corresponding to “but I know I don’t possess you, so go away god bless you” and “was it a dream, a lie”.
Money, Money, Money
Thank You For The Music
One Man, One Woman (5:40)
This rehearsal recording was a fine interpretation, faithful to the album version; the most interesting difference is the ending: the line “one man, one woman” sung slowly and with thundering drums as backing.
Take A Chance On Me (3:51)
ending with “gotta put me to the test, take a chance on me” and then segueing into ‘If It Wasn’t For The Nights’
If It Wasn’t For The Nights (4:09)
Frida starts by singing “Can you hear the drums, Wellander” and then “in the firelight, Ronander”
Been And Gone And Done It (5:25)
by far the most interesting part of this rehearsal tape: [...] the song that would ultimately morph into ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’. The arrangement here is radically different: more like a galloping rock song than a club-oriented disco number. The performance starts with just drums for a few bars, before the rest of the band joins in and plays the chord progression heard underneath the synthesizer riff intro on the familiar record version, except without that melody. This is played twice, with the guitars playing in a chopping style rather than harmonious chords. Then the synthesizer riff is played twice on top of this. After that comes the riff that would eventually end ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ in live versions (it starts at 05:00 on the version included on the double album Live At Wembley Arena), played twice. Then the singing starts, revealing that ‘Been And Gone And Done It’ was a shared lead vocal for both girls. [...] The lyrics were a somewhat contrived story of a woman who, despite being in love, feels no need to tie the knot since she considers marriage outdated, yet finds herself being the bride at a wedding, not quite understanding how she ended up in that situation. The lyrics are not finished in this rendition, as the two verses before and after the first chorus are identical (the verses are available for reading as a facsimile in Frida’s handwriting, included in the 2014 book ABBA – The Backstage Stories, aka ABBA – The Treasures). The first two verses are followed by the bridge leading into the first chorus, which is followed by a repeat of the chopping chords and the synthesizer riff. The two verses are then sung again, followed by the bridge and then two choruses. After that, there is an instrumental break: eight bars of the four final notes of the riff that would end the song in concert (heard at 05:03–05:06 in the version of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ on the Live At Wembley Arena album). Then the verses are sung again, after which the structure pretty much follows the live rendition of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’: two choruses, the synthesizer riff played twice, and then the end riff played twice.
Summer Night City
Why Did It Have To Be Me
The version of ‘Why Did It Have To Be Me’ features Frida and Agnetha singing the lines from “I was so lonesome” until “always thought you knew the reason why” in twopart harmony.
I Have A Dream
The Name Of The Game
Benny Andersson, Anders Eljas (keyboards) Lasse Wellander, Mats Ronander, Björn Ulvaeus (guitar) Rutger Gunnarsson (bass) Ola Brunkert (drums) Åke Sundqvist (percussion) Birgitta Wollgård, Liza Öhman, Tomas Ledin (backing vocals).