Filmed: Sunday 9 - Friday 28 March 1980
Broadcast: Never broadcast
Release status: Released on ABBA in Japan
Shown in: Never broadcast
A wonderful account (without narration) of ABBA's tour of Japan in March 1980 showing them in between TV shows, press conferences and some of the concert itself - specifically:
Featured songs (all filmed at concerts, but dubbed with studio recording):
The little song that Frida continually sings about a squirrel is called Ekorren (The Squirrel). The Swedish generation who grew up in the Fifties would be most familiar with a recording of Ekorren by Alice Babs.
This documentary had been rumoured to exist for many, many years and only a privileged few had access to it. Apparently one Japanese fan visited the offices of Discomate Records in 1984 (must have been shortly before they went bankrupt) and saw a film of ABBA's tour in Japan which had different content to the ABBA in Japan programme. So its existence has been known about for some time. It was definitely worth the wait when it was first seen on the DVD ABBA in Japan released in 2009.
Seeing ABBA so relaxed is a rare treat. Whilst they had no free time during this trip whatsoever, this documentary shows them as real people, not the strictly-controlled image we usually see. We therefore see more of their individual personalities and see them having fun, being natural, warm and happy - and now we love them even more!
The whole programme is not available on YouTube but there are plenty of snippets to be found. I have chosen to use the available concert footage here.
Björn and then Agnetha both wore the lilac jumpsuits that were worn on the cover of the Gracias Por La Musica album and also for the Gracias Por La Musica PROMO. However, for both the album cover and the perfromance, Björn wore a turquoise jumpsuit, not a lilac one - so did he and Agnetha share an outfit (unlikely) or was Björn wearing the jumpsuit that Benny wore on the album?!)
Frida could be seen wearing the big red coat from the Chiquitita PROMO.
Björn also could be seen wearing the black and white stripey jacket he would wear on Måndagsbörsen.
This programme was released on the ABBA in Japan DVD in October 2009.
There are lots of things in this documentary worth looking out for but the best ones: