Live Specials for radio

ABBA Live In Concert

In 1981 Polar released this radio special, consisting mainly of tracks recorded at Wembley 1979 and completed with some songs from Dick Cavett Meets ABBA 1981. As on the album ABBA Live all songs are made to sound like being recorded at one concert only, but seem to be less altered than the ABBA live album otherwise. They also are different to the versions on the TV special/DVD ABBA In Concert.


The track list of the Polar special apparently was this:

  • Gammal Fäbodpsalm / Voulez-Vous4:45
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You4:30
  • Chiquitita5:29
  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)5:06
  • Super Trouper4:32
  • I Have A Dream6:35
  • The Name Of The Game / Eagle9:27
  • Thank You For The Music3:40
  • Two For The Price Of One – 2:10 (edited)
  • Slipping Through My Fingers4:05
  • Me And I4:19
  • Summer Night City5:29
  • Take A Chance On Me4:32
  • (Does You Mother Know – 3:59) – also included?
  • (Hole In Your Soul – 4:48) – also included?
  • The Way Old Friends Do3:05
  • Waterloo3:20
  • Dancing Queen – 3:45
Track list is based on the bootleg CD Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This. Differences to the BBC bootleg CD regarding the
running-times of individual tracks may be due to speed issues or different applause sequences.

The difference between this CD and the announced length of 90 minutes might be explained by assuming that track 14 and 15 and a full version of Two For The Price Of One originally also were included in the Polar special.

BBC specials

However, prior to the Polar special the BBC had an own one-hour version, consisting of Wembley recordings only. It was aired on BBC Radio 2 on December 25, 1979 and was repeated on April 7, 1980.

    1) In Concert

    This Wembley-only version was broadcast in other countries too, like in Germany by radio NDR2, for example around 1991 (probably as a repitition). – Follow this link to listen German introduction

    • Introduction by discjockey – 0:29
    • Gammal Fäbodpsalm – 0:29
    • Voulez-Vous – 4:43 (4:27)
    • Knowing me, Knowing You – 4:37 (4:22)
    • Chiquitita – 5:38 (5:15)
    • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – 5:53 (5:20)
    • I Have A Dream – 4:43 (4:20)
    • Thank You For The Music – 3:42 (3:25)
    • Summer Night City – 5:39 (5:27)
    • Take A Chance On Me – 4:30 (5:37)
    • Does You Mother Know – 3:59 (4:00)
    • Hole In Your Soul – 4:48 (3:57)
    • Dancing Queen – 4:27 (3:35)
    • Waterloo – 3:45 (3:18)
    • Epilogue by discjockey – 0:13
    Track list is based on the bootleg CD ABBA - Live In London which may circulate under different titles.
    In brackets the length according to the BBC transcription, without applause sequences.

    2) ABBA in Europe

    According to BBC Genome this version was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on December 25, 1981, described as “Highlights of their last European series of concerts“.

    This could be the ‘Christmas special’ as announced in the Polar press release above, according to that originally intended for broadcast on January 1, 1982. The press release also mentions "a special interview with ABBA" which  still is missing though.

    • Gammal Fäbodpsalm / Voulez-Vous – 4:45
    • Knowing Me, Knowing You (edit) – 3:37
    • Super Trouper – 4:30
    • I Have a Dream – 4:12
      "Thank you for coming"
    • The Name Of the Game – 3:14
    • Eagle – 6:26
    • Thank You For The Music – 3:45
    • Two For The Price of One – 3:24
    • Slipping Through My Fingers – 4:09
    • Me and I – 4:18
    • Take a Chance On Me – 3:56
    • Dancing Queen – 3:48
    • Waterloo – 3:42
    BBC Presenter: "Abba in Europe featured the musical highlights of their last European Tour. The program was produced by Steve Allen in association with Polar Music Studios Stockholm". The BBC played 'Chestnuts roasting' afterwards.

For decades these radio specials were the most unaltered live recordings by ABBA.

Recordings (sound is crystal-clear)

  • Bootleg Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This.
  • Bootleg ABBA – Live In London, taken from the original BBC transcription LP.
  • The radio specials respectively individual tracks probably originating from there also appear in unedited versions on various bootlegs like for example The Lost Live Album, Take A Chance On Us or ABBA - The Gold Collection Volume 2.

For more information on radio shows with ABBA see On Air.

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ABBA live 1970-1982


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