A completely revised and updated edition of what is widely regarded as the definitive ABBA book, Bright Lights Dark Shadows – The Real Story Of ABBA, by renowned ABBA historian Carl Magnus Palm, is now available.
First published in 2001, Bright Lights Dark Shadows was the first true, full-scale biography ever written about the group. At the time it was described as “an instant classic – a truly great account of the rise and fall of a legendary group and a multiple biography of rare insight”.
A paperback edition was published in 2002, followed by a German language version (Licht und Schatten) in February 2003, with a Russian translation later the same year.
So what’s new for 2014?
Of the new edition, Carl Magnus Palm told icethesite: “The 2014 edition takes the book bang up to date, to the very latest chapters in the ABBA saga, including the extraordinary events of 2013 with Agnetha’s new album and the opening of ABBA The Museum.
“I even managed to squeeze in a mention of Agnetha’s appearance on Children In Need in the UK, just before the book had to go the printers.
“It was really important to me that the book was as accurate and as compelling as it could possibly be. Without being big-headed, I know for a fact that this is the book most media people turn to when they need to research ABBA’s history, and so it is vital that it lives up to that ‘status’. From my own perspective, I now feel that Bright Lights Dark Shadows – The Real Story Of ABBA is the book that a major pop music phenomenon such as ABBA deserve,” he said.
Divided into four main sections Bright Lights Dark Shadows captures and unravels all sides of ABBA’s complex story and puts it into both a cultural and historical context:
Part I – The Days Before
Beginning with the early days of the four ABBA members, as well as their all-important manager, Stig Anderson, this section details their childhood and pre-ABBA careers. It analyses all their musical influences and gives the reader important background information necessary to understand ABBA’s cultural roots.
Part II – The March To Waterloo
Covers the period 1970-1974, the years during which the four members enjoyed an on-off collaboration that gradually led to the formation of a permanent group.
Part III – The Time Is Right
The main section of the book, details ABBA’s years of worldwide fame from 1974 to 1982, including the ups and downs of their career, the bumpy road that made up the two couples’ married life, the stories behind some of ABBA’s most famous songs, some analysis of their musical development, the dramatic rise and fall of their business interests and more!
Part IV – That’s Our Destiny
The fourth section describes what happened to the four members and Stig Anderson after ABBA split up, including the rift between the group and their manager, and what happened to the fortune they made. It also describes the ABBA revival, and the success of Mamma Mia! the musical.
In 2008 an updated paperback edition was published featuring an additional chapter covering the period 2001-2008, and in August 2011 an audio book was also released. A Kindle version will be made available in the future.
- Order Bright Lights Dark Shadows from Amazon UK (and take a peek inside the book)
- Carl Magnus Palm – official website
- Carl Magnus Palm will present and discuss the latest edition of his book at the 2014 Official ABBA Fan Club Weekend which takes place in Roosendaal, The Netherlands from 28 – 30 March.