The Agnetha year | 3 January 2014
Looking back at last year there is no denying: 2013 was the year of Agnetha. The entire year she was the star of the ABBA show.
It was a very unpredictable year with a new album, a new web site, a Facebook page and a true live performance. What more can you expect from the most reclusive, eh I mean media shy, of the ABBA memmbers.
And what no onbe ever dreamed possible happened: Agnetha overcame hear fear of flying and promoted her new album abroad. She even went to London twice. Agnetha's BBC live performance (her first true live performance in decades) was the high light of her comeback year.
Back to the early months of 2013. When her comeback plans were announced I had some doubts. Would her voice be in shape? After all, she hadn't sung professionally in 10 years. Fortunately Agnetha had not lost her magic. She still sang in great style.
Her choice of songs came not much as a shock either. There were no suprises on her album A. It was like her English solo projects from decades earlier: Agnetha loves to play it safe. There's a couple of ballads and a few middle of the road pop songs. But many fans liked them.
So, no vocal magic like in Hole In Your Soul. Nor did we hear a fantastic track like The Winner Takes It All that truly shows her emotional story telling capacity. Oh well, maybe that was a bit too much to ask. I have previously doubted her musical preferences, but at least the A album is a typical en very recognizable Agnetha album.
And with that album a very smart and effective media campaign was staged. First we got a videoclip and a few songs on iTunes. The entire ABBA fan community went wild. And when even journalists gave the album quite positive reviews, you can say that this was a very well received comeback.
Look at the sales of the various CD singles, a picture disc single, a vinyl album, a normal CD and a deluxe edition and you can guess that the release was a commercial success as well.
One less pretty aspect of Agnetha's comeback should not be forgotten: her absence from the opening of the ABBA museum. I heard that B, B & F even arranged a flight ticket for Agnetha to return from her promotion visit to London, but she chose to stay in the UK.
But Agnetha not showing up, could also have been a very smart media strategy from our four Swedes. Which of course helped to keep the ABBA myth alive. Because if Agnetha showed up in Stockholm, there would have been too much speculation of some sort of reunion.
Which is also my expectation for 2014. Another year of reunion gossip. And the usual couple of media performances by A, B, B, or F because of 40 years of Waterloo and 15 years of Mamma Mia!. Nothing new then.
But wait! Maybe, just maybe, in 2014 we might see a true ABBA live album with a full 1979 Wembley concert. Well, Benny said so himself.
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