Filmed: Wednesday 14 February 1979
Location: Leysin, Switzerland
Release status: See below
Shown in: Worldwide
Filmed while making the ABBA in Switzerland special, this PROMO wasn't directed as per usual by Lasse Hallström or produced by Polar Music who subsequently acquired it to add to their catalogue.
Apparently this clip was filmed on Wednesday 14 February 1979, the same day they arrived in Switzerland. The film was then taken in a rush to the BBC in England because they wanted to broadcast it as soon as possible. This makes sense as they are wearing the same clothes they wore when stepping from the helicopter featured in ABBA in Switzerland.
The place where the snowman was located was called Plan Praz near the telecabin in view of the mountains "Mont d'or" and "Pic chaussy". Plan Praz is located in Leysin ski station, and is part of the Vallée blanche.
UK Dance Troupe Legs & Co performed Chiquitita on Top of the Pops on 8 February 1979 before the official PROMO was made available - or indeed filmed.
Frida's red coat was worn the following year in ABBA 80 concert tour in Japan. It was auctioned off in 2012.
This clip has been released officially several times. Most recently, you can find it on the DVD ABBA - The Definitive Collection.
An alternate version (virtually identical, although only one verse, slightly earlier in the day and ever-so-slightly different camera angles) of this was broadcast as a world première on Saturday 17 February 1979 on channel TROS in The Netherlands on the programme Tros Top-50 and this footage was then also used a few months later on the 1979 Dutch programme 5 Jaar ABBA. This alternate version appears to have been filmed earlier in the day as the sky is brighter and it's less windy so Frida doesn't battle to control her hair as much. There's also no strange man walking in the background towards the end. This alternate version is very hard to find unless it was video-taped from the TV at the time. It is not in the archive and has not been included on any TV broadcasts since then. See an example of the subtle difference between the two versions here - on the line, "I'm a shoulder you can cry on."
I'm curious to know the background to this earlier alternate version: was it a dress rehearsal perhaps? Maybe just a 'first take' given that it is only one verse and chorus. How did Tros Top-50 and then 5 Jaar ABBA get hold of it? 5 Jaar ABBA was obviously made around April 1979 by which time the Chiquitita PROMO would have been finalised.
NOTE: VIDEO tab - the 5 Jaar ABBA programme, Chiquitita starts at 2.:37.
5 Jaar ABBA contained the full length SOS PROMO, a snippet of Honey Honey from Spotlight; full length Mamma Mia PROMO; snippet of Money Money Money from ABBA-dabba-dooo!!; full length Fernando PROMO; full length Eagle PROMO; snippet of Take A Chance on Me PROMO; this version of Chiquitita; full length Voulez Vous PROMO and snippets from ABBA - The Movie and their arrival at Amsterdam airport in 1976. Duration 28.47. Thanks to Jozsef for all this information.
On 18 March 2022, a new 'lyric video' was released.
Question: we've seen Benny shivering at the beginning but one ABBA on TV regular remembers seeing a version of this on TV (in South Africa?) where right at the end, Benny is so cold he jumps up and runs around to the others shaking his hands wildly from the cold! This was shown sometime between the late 80s and the mid 1990s - does anyone recall this too or where it was shown?
Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site