The Best of ABBA (Musikladen Extra)

Filmed late January 1976  


Location Bremen, Germany
Broadcast 31st March 1976 on NDR, Germany (and again 21st August 1976 on ARD, Germany)
June 1976 in Sweden
09 October 1977 on BBC1, UK (between 16:53-17:29pm)
23 June 1976, Channel 7, Australia under the title "ABBA in Europe" and was sponsored by SANYO
7 April, 2005 at 6am, Uhr, Germany
'Fernando' was broadcast on German TV channel NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, the local channel of the ARD/ZDF for the north of Germany) on 'Das große Wunschkonzert' ('The big musical request programme').  It was cut to 16:9 and it was the original alternative mix on the soundtrack.
27 December 2013, Germany
Released 'Dancing Queen' has been released officially on the Arrival Deluxe Edition
This Musikladen programme was released by ARD in August 2010 on their 1972-1976 "Best of" DVD box set of 10 DVDs (there were three available at 99.95 Euros each or 249 Euros for all three). The box set 1 included a 44-page booklet with liner notes and information about each episode and also includes some pictures. For episodes 20 and 25 there are a few lines about ABBA while for episode 27 they explain how the Double LP The Very Best Of ABBA, ABBA's Greatest Hits came about. However, since November 2010, these boxes (including Box 2: 1976-1980 incl. Chiquitita (1979) and Box 3: 1981-1984 incl. solo performances) are no longer available because of copyright issues between the ARD and "a music company". According ABBA Intermezzo, in December 2010, "We have heard that fans are discussing whether it could be Universal objecting to the release of the Musikladen DVDs featuring ABBA performances. Unfortunately we can't tell you which record company is taking action against the release, but we can 100% confirm you that it's not because of the ABBA performances. A permission for this has been granted long ago."
'Musikladen' was a Radio Bremen production, run on ARD from 13 December 1972 till 29 November 1984 and contained 90 episodes.

Programme 27

This TV show (also known as 'Musikladen Extra', 'The Peter Frankenfeld Show'; 'ABBA in Europe' (in Australia); and 'ABBA at The Beat Club' (in the UK), featured the songs:

Honey Honey
Tropical Loveland
SOS  (see separate entry in 1975)
Rock Me
Dancing Queen
Mamma Mia
I've Been Waiting For You
So Long (complete with dance routine later used on the 1977 tour and featured in ABBA - The Movie)

The opening of the programme featured a few lines of Ring Ring (Swedish version).

SOS had been recorded in 1975 and inserted into the programme. There was also a brief interview with the group interspersed with the songs.  Benny had never sounded as Swedish.

The mix for 'Fernando' is a different mix from the version released on record.  The differences are most noticeable in the instrumental spaces between lines of the chorus - the chime-like keyboards and guitar strums are much 'hotter' in the mix and it sounds a little "Christmassy".

'Mamma Mia' also sounded a bit different compared to the released version. In the special it sounds like the drums are more noticeable (having a tougher, dry, punchier sound).

The outro of 'Dancing Queen' sounds different to the released version. It seems to be a few seconds longer and you hear the almost bare instruments a bit better.

'Mamma Mia' and 'Fernando' only were first shown on a regular 'Musikladen' programme on 6th March 1976 (episode 25).  The full programme 'Musikladen Extra' included all the songs.

Pictures from the performances from 'Musikladen' were featured heavily on the cover of the album The Very Best of ABBA released in Germany, Austria and The Netherlands.

The Australian version called, 'ABBA In Europe' was 'hosted' by Johnny Farnham (later to be known as John Farnham who had a big hit with 'You're The Voice') who topped and tailed the show.  'Fernando' and 'Rock Me' were repeated at the end of the show because they were apparently his favourite songs.  The programme was so popular it was repeated not long afterwards.  The promo trailers for the show included the announcement that it included the then unreleased song 'Dancing Queen'.  Most of the clips were re-packaged not long afterwards as ABBA In Sweden but this time interspersed with interview footage and topped and tailed with the performance of "Money Money Money" from

According to newspaper-reports from the time, this programme was sold to over thirty countries.

After a few years of speculation finally Musikladen will be produced for a DVD release in August 2010.  Apparently it was given up on originally because a long list of right-holders would not give their permission to give it a DVD release.  Someone is however keeping an eye on YouTube because clips keep disappearing with the words, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Studio Hamburg Distribution & Marketing GmbH (SHDM)"

The programme was directed and produced by Michael Leckebusch.

German TV special - Thank you For the Music (25 Jahre ABBA), 1999
It is increasingly obvious that this programme broadcast some special gems relating to this Musikladen/Best of ABBA programme.
  1. 'Waterloo' - If you've always found the 'Waterloo' performance annoying because of the flashing lights (photo 1 below), then there is evidence that a version without the flashing lights exists - as per the opening credits of the German broadcast of "Thank you For the Music (25 Jahre ABBA).

          original               'Thank You For The Music (25 Jahre ABBA)'
  2. 'Tropical Loveland' - 'Thank You For The Music (25 Jahre ABBA)' showed a slightly extended version of 'Tropical Loveland' where Frida was messing about at the end of the song and they all put down their microphones and walk off the stage.

  3. 'Dancing Queen' - One eagle-eyed fan has spotted a different version.  The one featured in the original show shows the reflection of ABBA in the floor.  However, in the German TV Special 'Thank you For the Music (25 Jahre ABBA)' , a version was broadcast where the 'Musikladen' logo is on the floor instead

    See the differences here:

A different edit of 'I've Been Waiting For You' has materialised on YouTube with a cold start (you see them standing waiting for the music to start) and other camera angles although much of it is still the same as the original.  At the end, notice Agnetha turns around full circle and you get wonderful shots of the back of her head!  There are no red kaleidoscope effects in this different edit also.  Thanks so much to Erik Liebstaedter and SADL00KINM00N for the link. This was NOT part of the German TV Special 'Thank you For the Music (25 Jahre ABBA)' - so where does it come from?

Watch them side by side (you'll have to be clever with the stop/start button!)

                                   original                                                                            different edit
                 "I've Been Waiting For You"                                                  "I've Been Waiting For You"                                             or see them together here:


NB. The following includes "Chiquitita" from Musikladen 1979 and "Take A Chance on Me" from Am Laufenden Band (1978) from the version broadcast on 27 December 2013:


Watch Out For

Dancing Queen - you can see the edges of the backdrop which they are performing in front of - and see the studio beyond it.
Agnetha having a little giggle with Frida

Transcript Click here for a transcription  
Pictures Click on an image for a larger view (includes SOS recorded in 1975)


Related links    
Credits Thanks to Petri Kaasalainen, Maria Nicholas, Joachim, Harold Hanlon, Henk, Walter Veldman, Markus, Ronnie Mehlis, Martin Borus, Jozsef, Erik Liebstaedter, Jun Seo, Jason Swan, Guido, Karen Danzilio, Sam Shervz and Ian Cole. Thanks to Robert Verbeek, Richard Knight, Luke Rogers, Grant Whittingham and Ken Griffin c/o ABBAMAIL.  Huge thanks to Dustin and Karin Angeleyes.
More thanks to Dionne Kennedy, Pascale Ranson and Roxanne Dickson c/o ABBA Village and Regina Grafunder at Intermezzo
YouTube links c/o Dodinho85, 2Shaymcn and SADL00KINM00N and