Once in a lifetime | 2 June 2014
Sometimes you start dreaming. And great things happen when you dream. Like for instance the possibility to visit ABBA's recording studio. But hey! That was no dream, it really happened.
When I was in Stockholm for the opening of the ABBA Museum in May 2013, the ABBA fan club organized a trip to the former Metronome studios, now called Atlantic studios. For every fan, this seemed the opportunity of a lifetime. What Abbey Road means for Beatles fans is Polar Music Studios and Metronome Studios for ABBA fans.
As we all know, Polar Music Studios is now a gym, so visiting that historic playground is not possible anymore. Which of course is a terrible shame. But Metronome is still there in all of its glory.
Which of course doesn't mean that it's all old and worn out. No, no. People still use the studio frequently. Agnetha herself had been there a few weeks prior to us to record a promo clip for her A album. And much of the backing tracks for that album have also been recorded there.
When I heard about this nostalgic trip to Metronome I immediately signed up for the studio tour. And much to my surprise It even got better when we heard that famous biographer Carl Magnus Palm would be there to introduce us to the story of ABBA's recording days in Metronome.
I was pretty nervous on the actual day of the tour. Would it be any good, would it disappoint me? I decide not to have too many expectations.
So when my ABBA companion and great friend Rike and I started the journey to the studio we knew that it we would end up in an ordinary neighbourhood. Nothing very special, to say the least. And when we noticed that the studio in fact seemed to be the basement of one of a five floor apartment building, I could hardly imagine that true history had been created here.
The entrance didn't do much good to my expectations either. There was only a very small lobby and that was it. But after slipping through the door in front us we entered the most holy of holy places for ABBA diehards. And boy, it was good. I can honestly say that it was absolutely brilliant.
There they were: the original instruments where so many timeless hits had been recorded. The microphones that Agnetha and Frida used when recording ABBA's trademark song Dancing Queen. It was all there.
And when they played some of the original tracks through the loud speakers, it was difficult not to get too emotional.
It may sound silly and if you're not much into ABBA history a studio like Metronome might mean nothing. But for me this was different. Visiting Metronome proved the absolute highlight of the week. It was close to pure magic. You simply can't get closer to the birth place of the music you love so much.
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