Viewpoint - ABBA DABBA DOO! Eric Scott was impressed by this slick production

TV Week 10 April 1976

A few weeks ago I suggested, to the horror of many pop fans, that the televising of live pop concerts was not good television.

My point being that viewers deserved a better fate than to watch pop stars performing on dimly lit outdoor arenas, filmed by hastily installed cameras, no matter how big a draw the artist was.

I maintained that a properly produced show gave better value for money.

This drew a lot of adverse comments from fans, but I’ve just watched a show which punches home the point, and punches it home hard.

This was the special on ABBA, the world’s best-selling harmony group, made by Reg Grundy.

Now that was entertainment, whether you happen to be an ABBA fan or not.

Television stations have studios with poorer lighting, proper control booths, and the facilities to show these international stars in a truly entertaining fashion. And that is exactly what happened with ABBA.

In terms of visual television the ABBA special was a knockout.

The set wasn’t exactly imaginative, but the lighting had warmth and the group themselves were all the set decoration needed 

They worked hard and changed costumes constantly as they belted out a string of their hits.

It was good to see that time had been taken in producing the show. When the artists moved, sang or talked it had been well rehearsed.

It was slick, fast moving, well choreographed.

There was none of that live concert business of the star disappearing into unscheduled darkness, or muttering inaudibly into misplaced microphones.

The whole show was a totally professional production, with some fascinating special effects, excellent camera work, and real polish.

If we can get more of this type of show on television maybe we’ll get more pop artists coming to work on TV.

With quality like this those high flown superstars of rock might take time off to make a real television show.

© 1976 TV Week. Thanks to Samuel Inglles