Rare Abba memorabilia up for auction in Sweden

A vast collection of memorabilia of the legendary Swedish pop group Abba including two rare recordings along with clogs and clippings is set to go under the hammer in Sweden in August, an auction house said Friday.

Rare Abba memorabilia up for auction in Sweden

The Stockholms Auktionsverk expects the sale of the some 25,000 ABBA items on August 10 and 11 to fetch some 830,000 kronor ($123,000).

Among the rarities are two maxi singles that Abba recorded in Swedish but never released commercially: “Hovas Vittne”, made for their manager Stig Anderson’s 50th birthday party in 1981, of which there exist around 200 copies; and “Saang till Goerel”, a song recorded for their record company assistant Goerel Hanser’s 30th birthday in 1979, of which there are only some 50 copies.

“Hovas Vittne” has an opening bid price of 25,000 kronor, and “Saang till Goerel” 15,000 kronor.

“Those two records really stand out in the collection,” auction curator Beata af Donner said.

“The Abba Collection by Thomas Nordin”, the largest collection dedicated to the iconic disco group to be sold at auction, comprises objects collected since 1974 when Abba burst onto the international scene winning the Eurovision contest with their song “Waterloo”.

Nordin, an Abba fan who was nine at the time, has since then collected rare items and unusual merchandise from around the world, such as Abba clogs made exclusively for the American market, rare Abba soaps and dolls, a large collection of clippings and books, and original posters.

“He has fantastic books of Abba clippings from 1974 until today. Abba’s entourage didn’t collect all the clippings about the band back then so these are really unique, you can’t get these anywhere now. Everything is in chronological order,” Af Donner said.

Nordin, who says Abba’s flamboyant stage costumes inspired him to become a tailor, told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that his dream was originally to open his own Abba museum.

RELATED STORY: Stockholm hit by Abba fever at museum launch

“But for various reasons that didn’t happen. And it feels good to bring (the collection) to an end now, even if it feels very empty at home now, in many ways,” he said.

The quartet dominated the 1970s disco scene with their costumes, kitsch dance routines and catchy melodies such as “Voulez-Vous”, “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me”.

They split in 1983 and have vowed they will never reunite to sing together again.

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ABBA’s first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts

ABBA's first studio album in nearly 40 years has made it to the top of the UK charts, becoming the fastest seller of the year so far, the Official Charts Company said on Friday.

ABBA's first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts
ABBA's new album, 'Voyage' for sale in Stockholm at the start of this month. Photo: Jonatan Nackstrand/AFP

“Voyage” by the Swedish quartet of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid racked up 204,000 chart sales in the seven days since it was launched last Friday.

Sales gave the supergroup the biggest opening week on the UK album chart in four years since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”, and fastest-selling album by a group in eight years.

The last fastest-seller was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” in November 2013.

READ ALSO: Abba’s new album has arrived – tell us, what do you think?

ABBA, propelled to global fame by their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo”, split in 1982, a year after their last album, “The Visitors”.

“Voyage” is their 10th number one album in the UK: only seven other acts — The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie — have had more.

The group said in a statement: “We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again.”

The 204,000 sales comprise 90 percent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it the fastest-selling vinyl release of the 21st century.

The previous record holder was the Arctic Monkeys’ “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.