Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad has considered a reunion of the Swedish supergroup of which she was once part. “I’ve felt that it would be fun to do something with ABBA in recent years,” she says. However, because of bandmates Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ success with three stage musicals and Andersson’s solo work, “Basically they’re not interested,” she adds.
The revelation comes in a new interview featured on the Universal Music DVD “Frida the DVD” — released today (Dec. 5) in Europe, with Asia, Australia and the Americas expected to follow -– Lyngstad also states that, despite persistent rumors to the contrary, she maintains contact with co-vocalist Agnetha Fältskog. “Our relationship is warm and sisterly,” she says.
The interview was filmed July 22 at Chez Vrony in Zermatt, Switzerland, and conducted by producer Mats Jankell. It is interspersed with four hours of comprehensive footage dating from 1967, including rare Swedish Television performances, record company promotional films, solo videos, personal footage and a clip of her most recent recording, “The Sun Will Shine Again,” written by and performed with Deep Purple’s Jon Lord in 2004.
Marie Ledin of Anderson Records -– named in honor of her late father, ABBA mentor Stikkan Anderson –- is responsible for the project. “The idea that we should make a DVD came from a Frida fan from the beginning,” she said. “Then I spoke to [Universal Sweden managing director] Mårten Aglander about it. Since Frida turned 60 this year we thought it would be a good idea to do the DVD and also do a box set with the Polar [Music] albums.”
The box set “Frida 4xCD 1xDVD,” also released today, includes the DVD along with four of Lyngstad’s five solo albums. It excludes her 1971 debut, her only album for EMI, although some of that material is represented with early live televised performances. The box contains a 20-page booklet with a “unique, poetic short story” about Lyngstad by renowned Greek-Swedish author Theodor Kalifatides.
The albums included are Polar Music’s “Frida Ensam” (Frida Alone), produced by Andersson in 1975, “Something’s Going On” produced by Phil Collins in 1982 and “Shine” produced by Steve Lillywhite in 1984. Her most recent album — 1996’s “Djupa Andetag” (Deep Breaths), produced by Anders Glenmark -– is on Anderson Records, distributed by Universal.
“It was not hard to convince Frida to do this project,” Ledin says. “We discussed it about a year-and-half ago and she said, ‘Yes, that’s a good idea.’ Mats did the research and got the clips. Then we sent them to Frida on a DVD and she liked them. The best part is with Lars Berghagen.” The two perform a version of Ray Stevens’ “Gitarzan.”
“It’s amazing that ABBA is always relevant,” Aglander says. “There’s always something happening with ABBA even 23 years after their last recording. You never know, but it feels like it will keep going. I’m sure the popularity of ABBA always exceeds every expectation.”
According to Lyngstad, there isn’t much room for another album for the time being. “My motivation today when it comes to my musical career is pretty non-existent,” she says. “It was there up until a few years ago, but there’s a time for everything and that ship has sailed.”