What if? | 4 August 2015

What if ABBA would do one more track? What if they would do it like The Police did? A rerecording of an old classic. Now wouldn't that be fun?

Back in the days, ABBA recorded songs over and over again to get the perfect sound for their songs. And it came pretty close to perfection. They recorded their songs in a mind blowing career of only ten years. After that it became quiet and new recordings found their way to the general public only a couple of times.

And to be honest: most of these so called new recordings were not new at all. Some of them were binned songs that ABBA thought were not good enough then: Dream World, Put On Your White Sombrero and I Am The City emerged on compilations such as More Gold and the famous Thank You For The Music box set more than ten years after they were recorded.

Other tracks that were exposed to the general public were forgotten mixes such as the early or previously unreleased mixes of Waterloo, Summer Night City and Thank You For The Music.

And on very few occasions ABBA showed us snippets of their fascinating recording process, like in the ABBA Undeleted medley on the TYFTM box set. The last demo recordings to see the light of day have been released on the deluxe edition of the famous The Visitors album. On that CD ABBA collectors are treated with early versions of Like An Angel Passing Through My Room. These were the first proper unreleased recordings since 1994.

Last year ABBA released other seemingly new material on their ABBA Live At Wembley Arena album which proved that there is still a demand for new or at least newly released ABBA tracks.

But ABBA have said that they feel no need to record new songs. And who can blame them with such a back catalogue? But what if they would rerecord some of their classics? Could they improve some of their already quite magical work?

It is hard to imagine that ABBA would be able to make better versions of their original songs. And yet... some slight adjustments could alter a song completely.

Wouldn't it be brilliant to have a new recording of The Day Before You Came? We all know that Agnetha singing like a "normal woman" instead of singing like a true lead vocalist was a much debated creative choice. I wonder how the song would sound if Agnetha would treat it differently with more glamour.

There are obvious other tracks that might benefit from an extensive overhaul. A couple of songs with a very typical eighties feel like Under Attack or We Owed You One might sound timeless with new arrangements and less computerized vocals.

To take it one step further: what about a studio treatment of their Get On The Carrousel track from the 1977 world tour? It's an exciting thought, but I'm afraid it will never happen.

However... as long as all four ABBA's are still alive, kicking and recording, it could happen. Stranger things have happened.

One track. One rerecording. That is all I ask. And then I will keep my silence. Forever.

picture belonging to column What if?

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The birth of a myth
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Number One - at last
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