A Regime Change? | 11 February 2012
Are record collectors and diehard ABBA fans the new most important customers for Universal? It seems that way, because the latest releases are clearly aimed at the collectors market.
First there was the famous Happy New Year single. Sold out within seconds it rapidly became one of ABBAï¿½s most sought after singles by collectors.
Then Universal caused a worldwide media hype by announcing the deluxe edition of The Visitors. It will include a demo version (or more, we still donï¿½t know that) of Like An Angel passing Through My Room. This new track will show the song at its various production stages: from raw track to the finished product. Well, that is what I expect. Most media around the world reported that it would be a new ABBA song. Sigh! It just isnï¿½t.
But again this new Deluxe edition is another release which is quite interesting for fans and collectors that already have every other release.
And a couple of days ago Universal announced that there will be a coloured vinyl 12" single of the Voulez-Vous extended version. Specially made for Record Store Day. And of course the definite proof that record collectors seem an important group of customers for Universal.
That makes three interesting releases in four months time. Long time ago since we had that. For fans who were used to having one collectable release per year and lots of compilation albums this is a completely new situation.
So, if this "regime change" is really true, we might be in for a surprise. Because we all know that there are lots and lots of demo versions and full version outtakes waiting in the vaults. And we all know that dozens of obscure variations of ABBA tracks (cold endings, remixed versions for tv-shows, etc.) are gathering dust.
And what about live recording? God knows how many of these must be in the Swedish vaults.
Could it be that 2012 will finally be the start of the opening of the vaults? I wonï¿½t set my hopes too high yet, but there seems a fresh wind blowing through the Universal offices. Maybe, maybe we will ever get full versions of Just like That and other rarities in perfect quality.
But ï¿½. Benny already said that he isnï¿½t too keen on releaseing demos and outtakes. Asked about releasing further demos and unreleased tracks, he replied "No, thank god."
So the question remains whether we will at last hear some "new" recordings. One can only hope. And if we donï¿½t get it? Oh well, there is always bootlegs like Take A Chance On Us we can listen to.
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