ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog is putting the finishing touches on her first album in 16 years for release in March 2004. Basic recording of the album is finished, with final overdubs and tweaking nearing completion. A single is planned for release in January on an as yet undetermined label.
Her last album was 1987’s Peter Cetera-produced “I Stand Alone.” The Atlantic Records set produced a top-20 Adult Contemporary hit duet with Cetera, “I Wasn’t the One (Who Said Goodbye).”
Fältskog quietly returned to the studio in 2000 with an idea of recording songs that have inspired her. The project was put on hold when trusted friend and ABBA sound engineer Michael B. Tretow suffered a stroke, but work later resumed with Anders Neglin. Neglin’s credits include playing keys on Brenda Russell’s “Get Here” album and transcribing ABBA’s master tapes for the “Mamma Mia!” musical score.
“Agnetha chose music that is very important to her from earlier in her life,” Neglin says. “As we started to get into it we added our own color to the songs.”
Neglin brought drummer and producer Dan Stromkvist to the project in January. “We decided to produce the album together — the three of us — and we have worked since as a trio.”
Unlike ABBA co-star Frida Lyngstad, whose 1996 No. 1 comeback album was in Swedish, Fältskog’s outing — a 15-track acoustic set recorded with a full orchestra — is in English and includes songs originated by legends Brenda Lee and Cilla Black.
According to Staffan Lindé, who handles business affairs for Agnetha Fältskog Produktion AB, a label deal has yet to be confirmed, but the artist has licensed her post-Polar Music recordings to Warner Music Sweden.