ABBA magazine ‘Thank You For The Music’ on sale in WHSmith

A new magazine for ABBA fans

A new magazine on ABBA – out now!

Written by Audrey Taylor and Instinctive Production Development, the magazine features many full colour photos supplied by the likes of Getty Images, Rex Features, Gunnar Gustafsson and Newspix.

Personally speaking, it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I imagine that for anyone coming to ABBA by way of Mamma Mia! then it’s a pretty good introduction to the group. Solo pictures of Frida are pretty thin on the ground though.

The thirteen sections are:

  • Introduction
  • The Early Years
  • The Key Players
  • The Start of a Musical Phenomenon
  • The Hit Years
  • The Tours
  • The End of an Era
  • Studio Albums and Compilations
  • The Singles
  • One of Us – solo careers
  • The Legend Lives On
  • Imitation – The Greatest Form of Flattery
  • Mamma Mia!

ABBA fan Gary Collins supplied this review (and also my copy, thanks Gary!):

At 132 pages, this WHSmith exclusive magazine is fairly generously packaged with both photographs and text. As the title suggests, it pays homage to ABBA’s career, and, for the casual fan of the group, it does a fairly decent job. 

Photo quality is not the absolute greatest on some pages – but then again, at under a fiver, you probably get what you pay for. 

The hard-core fan will doubtless raise an eyebrow at some of the points made in the magazine, which appears to drift towards the author’s own feelings (note the reference to the ‘syrupy’ songs such as ‘Chiquitita’ and ‘I Have A Dream’).

And one or two claims don’t quite seem to ring true – was ‘The Day Before You Came’ really a Top 5 hit single in Canada, for example? News to me if so…

Ice’s note: That will be the Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart Gary!

Also, as so often happens with such productions, the attempt by the author to set out text in a broadly chronological order is not supported by photographs from the same timeline. Therefore, a section on ‘The Early Years’, explaining Benny and Björn’s first song-writing efforts in 1966, is accompanied by a mid-1980s portrait of the pair.

Nevertheless, you do get a selection of little-seen photographs in the magazine, and there are one or two that I had not seen at all – for instance, a pensive-looking Agnetha leaning on the bar on the video-shoot set for ‘The Winner Takes It All’, with her reflection in the polished surface, and a double-page black-and-white shot of the two couples kissing on stage shortly after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Other sections include the inevitable chapter on ‘Mamma Mia!’, a brief history of the career of ‘Björn Again’, commentary on Stig Anderson’s crucial role in the group’s rise to fame, solo career overviews, plus an ABBA singles and albums discography.   

All in all, an interesting addition to anyone’s collection, in my view, and there are definitely worse ways to squander a few pounds. 

28 Replies to “ABBA magazine ‘Thank You For The Music’ on sale in WHSmith”

  1. I bought this last week and for a ‘fiver’ it’s a bargain.Up to date and loads of great pictures.
    A few incorrect facts but all in all a good read…great for those summer hols also.

  2. Fame at last. Thanks Ice !

    I had no idea that there was such thing as a ‘Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart’, and all I can say is that Contemporary Adult Canadians obviously have extremely good taste in music !!!!

    Cheers

    Gary

  3. Hi Gary and Ice,
    Thanks for sharing this news. It’s a pity the author of that magazine didn’t invest more time in some of the details, but the layout does look very good from these page examples.
    Cheers,
    Tony :o)

  4. Thank you Gary for your review on this amazing publication. It seems nearly as rich as a book! I can’t wait to read it!

  5. Nice one Gary!!!! Will be rushing to WH Smith’s after work!! Nice pic of Agnetha there! Glad they show her looking radiant for the public to see and get away from the image they have of her with dark glases on hiding away..Hugs, Terry X

  6. Could you please give us a link to buy it online? I’m searching for it but can’t find it anywhere…

  7. Apart from some Ebayers selling at twice the price I couldn’t find a online sales option as the WH Smith website only seems to sell subscriptions rather than individual magazines. Hopefully the way the magazine must be selling will get some more copies out.

    My local WH Smith only had the one. It was a real surprise to see the magazine on the shelf (top shelf for some reason!) during a quiet time for ABBA after the ABBA world and Mamma Mia film has calmed things down but very welcome. Some great pictures, quite a few seem to be the "off shoots" from classic photos as often one member is looking away or they are not as posed as the shots we know but that makes them more natural but lots of pictures I had not seen before (like who is the guy with them at the piano in the scans above?).

    Some pictures and info is incorrect but its also a very honest approach in the writing rather than the everything was great approach – it is interesting to see how few numbers ones they had in some countries after 78. Very welcome addition and I hope they print enough for it to get to the fans who want it.

    It’s also up to date with picture of Frida and Bjorn at the ABBA world London even if no other info on that event.

  8. Got mine already. Nice book and excellent price. Shame a few details are incorrect. One of which states ‘Abba in concert 1979’ when it is quite obvious they were taken in 1977!!! I guess I can spot these mistakes as I’m a bit of an abba nut!!! I haven’t seen some of the pictures in the book so that was a particular bonus. Some pics are badly reproduced too. Worth the £4.99 though…

  9. Ted Gärdestad is well worth following up if you like the early ABBA sound. Benny and Björn produced some of his material and Agnetha and Frida can be very clearly heard singing backing vocals on some of Ted’s tracks.

    Benny took part in a concert celebrating Ted’s music at Cirkus in Stockholm.

    Contemporary Swedish artists released a cover album of some of Ted’s biggest hits called ‘Fånga en ängel’ a few years back. On the album, Helen Sjöholm recorded the song ‘Come Give Me Love’, which originally featured a distinctive backing vocal by Frida.

  10. Sorry to disappoint some of you, but WHSmith are not selling it on-line and apparantly have no plans to do so. Also, my local store has now sold out of its 25 or so copies….but maybe there will be a re-print.

    Gary

  11. I do not understand the point of this publication. Especially fustrating as the photographs taken do not correspond with the relevant year. So annoying. Thank goodness I only wasted £4.99!

  12. I got the last copy in my WH smiths in Brighton! I love the photos in it!!Vaughan- I’m surprised you "dont see the opoint of it"!!To see ABBA on a magazine shelf is a rarity!! So much Beatles n cliff n Elvis andno A8BA all the time!

    I collect ABBA’s photos. Even if just a turn of the head is the only difference between one photo and another!! Its a lovely magazine and great seeing A8BA back on the shelves! The copy I got was a bit thumbed so I asked the assistant if she had another, and she said no but you can get it online…so whether she was misinformed I don’t know, as Gary has posted its not online.

  13. This is good value-as someone said,it’s almost like a book. There are some great pictures, quite a few I hadn’t seen before.One or two oddities, like someone mentioned-‘The Early Years’ title over an 80’s picture of B and B! I hate it when publications do that, but it’s a niggle.Also there’s a big double page spread picture of Agnetha,pg 70-71, where her face completely disapears down the spine!Er, bad placing!Never mind. It’s great to have a nice pic of Benny at Hyde Park last year,and also the Mamma Mia Swedish premiere balcony. If anyone is looking for this mag near Wimbledon, the little WHS next to the station had 9 copies yesterday! This is well worth buying for the pictures alone.

  14. my partner showed me icethesite with the article about the whsmith abba mag- so as you do we rushed to buy it before going to see sex and the city 2 lol. its great there are loads of different shots and new pics- not sure how accurate the picture captions are as one shot I may not have seen before says its from abba’s manchester 77 concert. hope it is as ive always wanted to see some of those shots!A great magazine-although havent actually read it yet!

  15. Yes, I am afraid it is not available on-line. It is classed as a ‘bookzine’ (half-book / half-magazine) by the shop and they don’t tend to sell those on-line. I’ve sent about 8 copies out now, to people who have contacted me, but even my local shop has run out of supplies now…

  16. My local WHSmiths in Sutton had 2 copies left. I ignored the well thumbed one on top and bought the mint one behind! This I’m sure is the first ABBA magazine to be displayed on UK bookshelfs since the Gold mag 18 years ago. Lots of nice photos, almost like a softback book, and well worth £4.99. I sincerely hope this won’t be the last ABBA mag. Something tells me this might be a rarity one day as there doesn’t seem to be many in circulation, so I’m very glad I found one before it sold out. Richard.

  17. WH Smith certainly in my area seem to have stocked back up with the book with three to five copies in stores – just make sure you go for one at the back – people seem keen to read the book even if they dont end up buying! – WH Smiths do a lot of these special one offs on a lots of subjects some with DVDs along side the mag/book. Hopefully the sucess of this print may encourage them to release a further issue.

  18. For anybody who lives in/near Glasgow, the WH Smith in Argyle Street has got a fresh batch of copies in.
    I thought it was well worth the £4.99 and was even worth making a complete fool of myself by falling up a set of stairs when I was trying to read it.

  19. For those who still don’t have a copy, I understand that the Fan Club in Roosendaal are arranging to get a supply. I’m sure they will update their news page when they can confirm availability.

  20. Having just checked the Fan Club page, this is on sale there today. So, do hurry if you want a copy – I think they will be popular !

  21. I?m finding it very good ,even a section on ABBA world , the singles listings is a bit Belgium centric for some reason, when describing the chart positions around the world, I would have expected more mention of the UK in the department. Other wise very good.

  22. There are lots of copies at the London airport a week ago where I picked up mine. I felt compelled to buy it but maybe I need to sell it to anyone who’s interested- it’s in mint condition but the quality is pretty awful in my book. I’m in Hong Kong though- let me know!

  23. Hey dear abba fans. you all can buy it on line at ebay usa from nearerdark seller ( with very good positive feedback 100% ). He has more than 10 units available. I’ve just bought mine. The price is 10,oo pounds.

    Regards Tallis

Please leave a comment...