ABBA – Getting ready for Oz

Pix/People 18 November 1976

* “When ABBA come to Australia, please don’t scream during their concerts and spoil it for everyone else.” That’s the plea from West Australian ABBA fan Julie Polich.

Julie is just one of hundreds of ABBA supporters who have written to Pix/People to say why they carry a torch for the Scandinavian superstars.

“They are in the pop scene to make everyone happy,” says Julie, who lives in East Victoria Park, WA.

“Their songs are suitable for any age group, young or old. I like them because the music, rhythm and words blend in really well together. I’m delighted to write about ABBA, because they’re the best group around…”

Julie thinks the boys and girls from ABBA are coming to Australia “To keep their devoted fans happy.” She can’t wait for the Perth concert, and is willing to bet her collection of singles that every show will be a sell-out.

“ABBA love Australia from their first promotional tour, and they want to come back to our lovely cities. The new tour took a lot of negotiating, but it finally came through.

“We are lucky to be getting ABBA, because they don’t like touring. They love Sweden and the quiet life they lead there.”

Julie Polich likes all ABBA’s songs, but Hasta Mañana, Tropical Loveland, Dancing Queen, and Fernando are her favourites. She’s also mad about Agnetha and Frida’s dance routines (“I think the ladies make the music sound even better with their well-timed performances”).

Julie signs-off by saying she wishes ABBA all the best for their Australian tour – “And I know everyone else does, too!”

* “They don’t spread make-up all over their faces like boot polish and try to look like some weird animal.”

That’s one reason ABBA fan Narelle McMurray likes the Swedish pop stars best.

Narelle, of Pittsworth, Queensland, is just one of hundreds of readers who have been bombarding Pix/People with letters explaining why ABBA turns them on.

“They are great, aren’t they? Yes, I knew you would agree!” she told us.

Over to you, Narelle, for more…

“I like ABBA because when they sing you can hear every word, and sing along with them. They always have a nice tune in their songs, and they don’t shout or screech.

“My favourite songs are Fernando, Dancing Queen and I’ve Been Waiting For You, though I love them all.

“My favourite members are Agnetha and Frida, because they are always being funny and playing tricks or jokes. But all of them are pretty, happy, intelligent, friendly, bright people – and that’s exactly what their music is like.

“They are very clean people, too, and dress in nice, fashionable clothes, act sensible, and always look their best.

“I hope to attend their concert in Brisbane when they come; I’ll have to travel a fair way, but it will be worth it!”

Narelle, who is 15, rates ABBA as the biggest group to cut a disc since The Beatles – but ABBA is in front “because they’re better-looking and still churning out the hits.”

* Lorelle Logan, of Albert Park, Victoria, describes herself as “just one of the many thousands of ABBA fans in Australia.”

Lorelle’s first encounter with ABBA was when Mamma Mia hit the airwaves. She liked it. But when S.O.S. was played on the radio, it quickly became her favourite song – and still is.

“I really loved that song,” says Lorelle, “so I decided to get their album. I found that I liked all the songs, especially Rock Me, Hey, Hey Helen and Bang-A-Boomerang.

“I think ABBA is a really swell group. I like Benny and Björn the best, of course!”

Lorelle has an ABBA scrap book (which includes cuts from Pix/People) and the group’s autographs. She wears an ABBA T-shirt, and recently made a super ABBA pillow-case out of coloured sequins.

“I hope that when ABBA come to Australia I will be able to get tickets,” she says. “The way things are going, I bet their concerts will be a complete sell-out. They’re just so fantastic!”

* “I like the image they project,” says Melissa Allen, of North Epping, NSW.

“Their style of music appeals to me. The lyrics are easy to understand and the tunes are bright and catchy. A lot of effort goes into their work, and they never copy ideas they’ve used in previous hits.

“I don’t know of any two songs that sound the same. My favourites are Dancing Queen, Rock Me, Ring, Ring and So Long.”

Mellisa is happy ABBA has never used gimmicks or cheap publicity stunts in order to get to the top. “Their popularity has been gained by their own hard work. This is what I admire most.”

Melissa Allen is also keen on the way the boys and girls of ABBA look happy and seem to be enjoying what they’re doing.

“When ABBA comes here in March next year, I will certainly try to get tickets. I wouldn’t want to miss their concert for anything in the world.”

What do you think makes ABBA tick? Write to Pix/People, PO Box 164, Beaconsfield, NSW, 2014, and tell us your opinion of Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida, and the music they make. Enclose a black-and-white photo and we’ll use that, too. The brightest, catchiest messages will appear regularly in Rock Over Australia.

© 1976 Pix/People. Thanks to Samuel Inglles