tvLive on TV

ABBA performing live on TV

Because clips on video sites often disappear or alternative versions get uploaded these links most often aren’t included here, you will find most of them there though. Please note that some people replace the original TV sound with the stereo album versions without giving detailed information about this major and in my opinion silly alteration.

Usually ABBA performances on TV were lip-synched. However, there also are several special and interesting ones. ABBA pre-recorded several special arrangements with or without new vocal tracks for their TV performances and then mimed to them at the actual show, sometimes they also really sung live on stage. Therefore it’s not always easy to tell how much ‘live’ these performances really were.

Performances just mimed to the studio tracks are not included here. On video platforms people often label mimed performances on TV shows as “live” though, but that’s not what I consider ‘live’, there must be some live aspect regarding the music, not just people appearing at a show.

For an overview about all TV appearances please visit ABBA on TV.

dates are given as dd/mm/yyyy

  • 1972-1973
    • World Popular Song Festival
      Japan 17/11/1972
      A-B-B-A performed Santa Rosa at Tokyo, Budokan
      show band: Swing Beavers and Toshiyuki Miyama, Mitsuru Ono, New Music Association
      begin of the qualifying show was at 18:30 (until 21:30), the song didn't make it to the final round;
      the shows were broadcast on radio, it’s not clear, if it was also shown on TV  – listen on Youtube


    • Melodifestivalen
      Ring Ring (Bara du slog en Signal), a
      udio available as bootleg, video is believed to be lost – listen on Youtube
  • 1974
    • Melodifestivalen
      (Swedish version), two performances, both released on Waterloo Deluxe
    • Eurovision Song Contest
      United Kingdom 06/04/1974
      two performances, both released on Waterloo Deluxe
    • Top of the Pops
      United Kingdom 10/04/1974
      released on Waterloo Deluxe
    • Domino
    • Top of the Pops
      United Kingdom 30/04/1974
      released on Waterloo Deluxe
    • The Tommy Cooper Hour
      United Kingdom
      Ring Ring,
      released on The Tommy Cooper Hour (DVD box set)
    • 45 Rock On (with Kid Jensen)
      United Kingdom 25/11/1974 (?)

      So Long (as indicated by pictures, a ‘live’ version as the following performance on TOTP?)
    • Top of the Pops
      United Kingdom
      So Long,
      clip available as fan tape, apparently the BBC does not have a copy anymore – watch it on Youtube
    • Top of the Pops
      United Kingdom
      Waterloo, released on Waterloo Deluxe
  • 1975
    • Omkring et flygel
      Alley Cat (really live?)
    • Seaside Special
      United Kingdom 16/08/1975
      Waterloo (pre-recorded), SOS –
      SOS released on ABBA Deluxe
    • Musikladen
      Germany 20/08/1975
    • Top Of The Pops
      United Kingdom
      SOS, a
      udio available as fan tape only, video is believed to be lost
    • NBC’s Saturday Night
      SOS, released on The Complete First Season 1975-197
      6 of Saturday Night Live
    • quoteThe most striking thing about this episode is the treatment of its musical guests, ABBA. [...] I don’t know anyone who has ever looked to SNL specifically for the integrity of the selection of its musical guests, but apparently Michaels got a huge bug up his ass about having the biggest-selling act in the world forced down his throat by the network. The official story is that lip-syncing was the issue: ABBA sang S.O.S. along to a pre-recorded backing track, and later in the show lip-synced to Waterloo€ and this is said to have enraged Michaels, because nobody ever got to lip-sync when they were a musical guest on  Saturday Night Live. (It goes without saying that the earliest versions  of this story predate Ashlee Simpson’s appearance on the show in 2004.)

      The show’s way of dealing with this was to turn ABBA’s appearance into a joke: The band is cast as the entertainment on the ”Titanic” and during the songs, the camera keeps cutting away to Klein, who mugs  ferociously as the ship’s captain, reacting to the water that’s leaking on board. Furthermore, during the second number, the words ”Right now, ABBA is lip-synching. It’s not their fault. The tracks didn’t arrive from Sweden” appear on the screen. The whole thing backfires: You don’t have to like the music to find the show’s clumsy attempt to undercut its own guests infantile and ungracious, especially since Klein’s antics make  you want to strangle him. By contrast, Benny, Björn, Agnetha, and Anni-Frid come across as hard-working, eager to please, and just hoping  to make it through the evening.
      Phil Dyess-Nugent, A.V. Club – June 30, 2013
  • 1976
    • Top Of The Pops
      United Kingdom
      Mamma Mia, C
      aj Högberg on bass, released on ABBA Deluxe
    • Top Of The Pops
      United Kingdom
      Fernando, released
      on Arrival Deluxe
    • Abbadabbadoo
      Why Did It Have To Be Me – Dum Dum Diddle, released on Arrival Deluxe
    • Midnight Special
      USA 11/10/1976
      Fernando, Mamma Mia, SOS
  • 1977-1978
    • ABBA. Veronica Muziekspecial
      The Netherlands
      Jingle Bells


    • TBC ABBA Special
      Japan 25/11/1978
      Money, Money, MoneY – S.O.S. – Thank You For The Music,
      with studio orchestra, released on ABBA In Japan
    • Behind the scenes: ABBA In Japan Nov. 1978
      Japan 11/1978
      Ekorren, released on ABBA In Japan
    • Olivia!
      USA 08/05/1978
      Fernando – Dancing Queen – Take a Chance On Me
  • 1979-1980
    • 20/20
      USA 21/09/1979
      Thank You For The Music


    • ABBA. '80 Concert Tour In Japan
      Japan 03/1980
      Ekorren, released on ABBA In Japan
    • Aplauso #100
      Spain 05/1980
      Skål, filmed in Stockholm, released on Gracias Por La Musica Deluxe
  • 1981-1986
    • Dick Cavett Meets ABBA

      see 1981
    • Rapport
      Sweden 11/11/1981 – 19.30-20.00
      Agnetha and Frida received an award on behalf of ABBA for the Super Trouper album and sang the song
      Mårten gås.
      see also ABBA on TV


    • The Late Late Breakfast Show
      United Kingdom 06/11/1982
      Thank You For The Music, released on The Visitors Deluxe
    • Nöjesmaskinen
      Thank You For The Music, released on The Visitors Deluxe


    • Här Ar Ditt Liv
       SVT January 16, 1986 (broadcast January 18)
      special performance of Tivedshambo for the show with Stig Anderson
      more information on ABBA on TV – watch it on Youtube


ABBA The Concerts
ABBA live 1970-1982