The Best of ABBA (Bandstand Special)

Filmed: Thu 11 & Fri 12 March 1976

Location: See below

Broadcast: See below for detailed info

Release status: See below

Shown in: Australia

Additional information

This is the TV special that Australian fans were waiting for.  It was a Bandstand TV Special and is sometimes referred to as the "Bandstand Special" (because it was an off-shoot of the Bandstand programme) although its Australian title was The Best of ABBA.

This is the programme that drew more Australian TV viewers than the moon landing in 1969 pulling in 58% of the viewing public.

Filmed on 11 and 12 March 1976 at the Channel 9 Studios in  Artamon, Sydney, it shows ABBA in the studio performing all the songs below including Tropical Loveland (which was substituted for - but played over - footage of ABBA on the Hawkesbury River for ABBA in Australia). 

ABBA performed in front of a studio audience.  A competition was run in the Daily Mirror newspaper to win a double pass to the filming. The audience were just back from the stage and were present throughout on wooden benches which ran upwards in rows. Agnetha must have just asked "the kids" to step forward for Waterloo the audience was merely seated ten feet in front of them.

Due to local content regulations, ABBA were backed by a local band (though the entire performance was mimed to ABBA's studio recordings).

Songs performed:

    1. Mamma Mia
      Björn introduces the band
    2. Hasta Manana
    3. Ring Ring
      Frida introduces ....
    4. Tropical Loveland
      Agnetha introduces ...
    5. Waterloo
    6. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do **
      Agnetha and Frida introduce ...
    7. Rock Me (introduced by Agnetha and Frida) **
      Björn introduces
    8. Guest appearance by Lucky Starr performing two songs (Lucky Starr first made the song I've Been Everywhere famous in 1962).
      This segment was in the show due to local content laws - they had to have some local performer in the show. When Björn filmed the introduction to Lucky Star, he (Lucky Star) wasn't even in the studio at the time. Björn kept stuffing it up and calling him "Happy Star" which is why you hear a huge round of applause for Lucky Star - it was because Bjorn finally got his name right! The interview between Björn, Benny and Lucky Star was filmed at a different time.   
    9. Honey Honey **
    10. Fernando **
    11. So Long
    12. SOS
    13. Closing credits - medley of songs played above.

A version of The Best of ABBA was repackaged to be sold overseas and was known as ABBA in Australia which had several differences (see separate entry).

A performance of Dancing Queen was recorded for use later in the year for use with the planned next single - and was filmed under strict security at the same time as The Best of ABBA.   I strongly suspect the filming of these songs from The Best of ABBA,: I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, Rock Me, Honey Honey and Fernando were filmed on the same day as Dancing Queen as Agnetha's eyes look very different in these performances to the other ones (more blue eyeshadow!).

The end credits for The Best of ABBA showed snippets of each song that had been performed while the credits ran. Click here for two versions where one has clapping just over the first song, while the second version is shorter and has clapping throughout. This second one might be from the cut-down half-hour version of the show that was shown in 1976.

Broadcast information for The Best of ABBA
Saturday 20 March 1976, Australia (in capital cities)
Saturday 27 March 1976, Australia (in regional centre)
March 31 Sydney, April 24 1976 Melbourne and May 23 Brisbane on Ch9
Wednesday, 7 April 1976, 8.30pm on Ch9

Click below for cuttings from The Australian Women's Weekly on 14 April 1976: 

cutting 1
cutting 2

 

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Thanks to ABBAMAIL (no longer online), Jun Seo, Alex Jones, Ian Cole, Jan Bach, Petr Mlejnek, Jozsef, Alexandre Carvalho, Roxanne Dickson, Erik Liebstaedter, Ken Griffin, Judy Sawyer, Robin Andersson, Jozsef, Lendy, Sam Shervz, Neil Barber, Philippe Dupont, Peter Kennedy and Philip Muytjens.
YouTube links c/o ABBARoxAus and Magnus Faltskog
Also thanks to ABBABACK2BACK

 

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