Pop power: 'ABBA Forever – A Celebration' focuses on Swedish supergroup - Albuquerque Journal

Pop power: ‘ABBA Forever – A Celebration’ focuses on Swedish supergroup

The documentary “ABBA Forever – A Celebration” will air at 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, on New Mexico PBS. (Courtesy of Stanza Media Ltd.)

Filmmaker Chris Hunt met the members of ABBA more than 20 years ago.

Since then, he’s forged a friendship with them.

It was only natural that Hunt would be the one to revisit the band with the documentary “ABBA Forever – A Celebration.”

The documentary will air at 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, on New Mexico PBS.

“I had done a film about them just about 20 years ago,” Hunt says in an interview. “That documentary was a jumping-off point for me. This one is a remake of my original film and tells a more complete story this time.”

In 2019, members of the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA celebrated several anniversaries – 50 years since they first met, 40 years since their last concert and 20 years since the musical “Mamma Mia!” gave them a second life.

Filmmaker Chris Hunt

Hunt says the documentary is a celebration of the lifetime of joy the group has brought to American fans.

It features original interviews and rare archival footage and uses storytelling to set up what went on behind the scenes with the songs.

Band members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad provide surprising insights. Other storytellers include original studio engineer-collaborator Michael Tretow, costume designer Owe Sandström, singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka, singer Donny Osmond, record producer Pete Waterman, pop authority Paul Gambaccini, tour manager Thomas Johansson, singer Barbara Dickson, and Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar- and Tony-winning lyricist Tim Rice. “Their story is a fascinating story, because it’s one that doesn’t ever get old,” Hunt says. “Particularly because the music is relevant to the new generations. Even though they broke up in 1982, their music is everywhere. They are more popular now than they were back then.”

Hunt says one of the draws to the music is the writing.

“As I’ve known them and put the film together, I became more aware of how good the songwriting and production is,” he says. “They are up there with the very best pop songwriters of all time. Their harmonies are pretty much unrivaled.”

Hunt says he had to draw on his deep knowledge of the band.

The journey takes viewers from the original Swedish version of “Waterloo” to the Swedish island retreat where Andersson and Ulvaeus wrote many key songs, into the recording studio watching those songs be completed, onto the stage at ABBA concerts, and back into audio mixing studios to deconstruct the recording secrets behind songs.

“Their popular hits weren’t some of their best songs,” he says. “I believe some of the best songs, like ‘The Winner Takes It All’ and ‘The Day Before You Came,’ were written after they split personally. I often wonder how the band managed to create these songs and make them so powerful.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Exhibit looks at the landscapes of New Mexico, Colorado ...
Arts
Place can connect us to something ... Place can connect us to something beyond ourselves.For Placitas artist Joan Fenicle, t ...
2
Las Cruces film productions roar into 2022 with over ...
Blogs
In February, Jonathon Sepp will hit ... In February, Jonathon Sepp will hit the five-year mark at Film Las Cruces.In that time ...
3
Governor proposes media academy
ABQnews Seeker
Centralized facility would instruct in specialized ... Centralized facility would instruct in specialized areas of film production
4
Oni not shy about delivering flavor and heat
Dining Reviews
One of fictional candy maker Willy ... One of fictional candy maker Willy Wonka's signature products was a magic gum that, when chewed, seq ...
5
NMSU cantina-style restaurant wins national college dining award
Blogs
New Mexico State University has reopened ... New Mexico State University has reopened a space where students, staff and town residents can all ga ...
6
Guitarist Mike Zito to play shows in ABQ, Santa ...
Entertainment
It's the first night of tour ... It's the first night of tour and guitarist Mike Zito is bursting with anticipation.Aft ...
7
ABQ artist has helped grow the community and bring ...
Arts
Stephanie Galloway's art often has a ... Stephanie Galloway's art often has a touch of whimsy.And it's become her signature.

8
Exhibit looks at the Rio Grande through photography and ...
Arts
Clarke Condé's photography speaks volumes without ... Clarke Condé's photography speaks volumes without him uttering one word.Yet, th ...
9
Fox's 'Pivoting' follows the friendship of three women after ...
Entertainment
Eliza Coupe was humbled when Liz ... Eliza Coupe was humbled when Liz Astrof sought her out for a role in the sitcom, "Pivoting."< ...
10
Iconic horror franchise 'Scream' returns for a fifth stab ...
Entertainment
"Do you have a gun?""I'm Sidney ... "Do you have a gun?""I'm Sidney Prescott, of course I have a gun." – Exchange ...