ABBA DOWN UNDER 

TV Week 24 April 1976

ABBA DOWN UNDER

Suddenly ABBA have become the hottest pop property in the world and in Australia they are the undisputed superstars of the record scene.

The band with its unique sound and family appeal, have scored more consecutive hit singles than anyone else since the legendary Beatles.

In fact, with their clean-cut looks and happy style they are the first people to emerge from the dark age of heavy rock and sweep away the cobwebs. They took Australia by storm in a nine day visit – and they didn’t even do a concert, although this is to be remedied in November.

Neither did they get the hysterical avalanche of pre-publicity that The Bay City Rollers received.

They didn’t need it, for they had a string of hits already in the charts and everyone wanted to see them.

So many people were ABBA hungry in fact that when they made a one hour TV special, it drew a bigger number of viewers than the live telecast of the Neil Diamond concert and was so successful that it was repeated within a few days of the initial screening.

Not only that, but their albums and singles are selling at such a phenomenal rate that RCA have five presses both in Australia and New Zealand working flat out to meet the demand, and people are still having to wait.

ABBA came to Australia simply to make the TV special and to appear on Bandstand and The Don Lane Show.

But ABC-TV thought the visit so important that they did a filmed interview with the foursome in Stockholm just before they boarded the plane for Australia.

ABBA were certainly popular with the fans – and they were also popular with the people they worked with on their visit.

All the technicians praised them in the professional approach they took to their work. They worked hard, did all that was expected of them on the sets and in publicity, and turned out to be a really nice bunch of people into the bargain.

Mr Terry Gray, the RCA representative who looked after them in Melbourne was full of praise.

“For a group as big as they are they behaved fantastically,” he said. “They didn’t seem to have an ounce of outsized ego between them. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a nicer bunch of top stars in my life.”

Photos: (1) Fresh off the plane from Stockholm, ABBA set out to see the sights. (2) Anni-Frid and Agnetha, the group’s lovely lead singers, share the spotlight. (3) Agnetha takes a look at Melbourne from the roof of the Southern Cross Hotel. (4) Daryl Somers joins the hit-makers from ABBA after taping their Bandstand special. (5) An appearance on Channel Nine’s Celebrity Squares was also in ABBA’s Australian program. Host Jimmy Hannan squeezes in for a photograph.

© 1976 TV Week. Thanks to Samuel Inglles