Bright Lights Dark Shadows to be updated

"There’s an additional chapter covering the period 2001-2008 plus certain sections of the original book have been updated and corrected" the author told icethesite.

Here’s how the book was marketed the first time around:

Revealed for the first time – the people who were ABBA, their individual backgrounds, their musical influences and their personal demons.

By the time ABBA spilt up, no one was in any doubt that behind the glitter there was a dark side, and behind the smiling group were four troubled individuals. But even as a whole new generation of fans discovers ABBA’s great music, Anni-Frid, Agnetha, Benny and Björn have continued to remain rather shadowy, secretive figures. Their marriages, personal break-ups and superficial biographical details are well known …  but who exactly were ABBA?

Bright Lights Dark Shadows cover

Bright Lights Dark Shadows cover

How did Norwegian Anni-Frid, the illegitimate daughter of a German soldier, become a real-life princess? How did folksy Benny and Björn reinvent themselves as an international pop force to rival Lennon & McCartney? And what actually happened to blonde Agnetha who smiled a lot but never really looked happy?

The author answers these and many more questions about the hit group that no one took seriously … until everyone did. Each page is a revelation and Palm’s acute understanding of the culture of his native Sweden makes these sometimes dark personal stories understandable in a unique way.

Bright Lights, Dark Shadows is an instant classic – a truly great account of the rise and fall of a legendary group and a multiple biography of rare insight.

At the time of ABBA’s breakthrough single ‘Waterloo’, the group seemed like a life-affirming challenge to the popular notion of Sweden as a musically-barren land famous mostly for Volvo cars and Ingmar Bergman movies.

A decade later, at the time of their hauntingly bleak final single ‘The Day Before You Came’, it was clear that Nordic angst had been there all the time, just below the surface. Probably no one but a Swede could have written the definitive story of ABBA’s four members: certainly to most outsiders it sounds like an unlikely history. Despite their beautiful voices, Anni-Frid and Agnetha were surely fated to be strictly domestic singing successes. And despite their musical enthusiasm, surely unhip Benny and Björn were destined to remain semi-pros, essentially pub players with a second-hand folk/country/pop repertoire?

Carl Magnus Palm unravels the complex story of how ABBA built themselves into a supremely talented musical force in pop; in the process he fully exposes the Svengali-like influence of Stig Anderson, carefully analyses all the musical influences and reveals what happened to the fortune they made.

But this book also contains the first real three-dimensional portraits of the group members. They were real people, after al, despite an infamous dress sense that sometime suggested they might be aliens from the planet where bad clothes go to die. Their personal histories are sometimes shown as being as dark and tragic as anything from a Bergman movie. But Bergman movies never had a soundtrack by ABBA, and the sheer ebullience of their enduringly popular music is also celebrated in a book that his surely destined to become one of the all-time classic pop biographies.

More information at Carl Magnus

2 Comments on "Bright Lights Dark Shadows to be updated"

  • This is great news as it’s a wonderful book. I really look forward to CMP’s take on the recent years, the Kristina court battle and the Mamma mia! Worldwide phenomenon. And by the way, Ice – this is a wonderful site for us Chess and Kristina från Duvemåla fans, it seems you know everything worth knowing. The new design is stunning but I do miss your old rotating banners 😉

  • This book only tells the conveniant story. I long for the real story. I much prefer the German book Ihre ganze geschichte!

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