Filmed: Saturday 10 February 1973
Location: TV-huset, Studio 1, Stockholm, Sweden
Broadcast: Saturday 10 February 1973
Release status: This programme has not been included on any officially released video or DVD
Shown in: Sweden
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the contest was called Melodifestival (Melody Festival) but these days it is more known as Melodifestivalen (The Melody Festival).
ABBA (as Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid) performed Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal) in this competition to find the Swedish entry for the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. They came third.
Their performance was filmed in the afternoon and broadcast in the evening.
They were announced as "Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog".
The host for the evening was Alicia Lundberg.
Frida revealed in an interview in 2007 that she had sewn the outfits for herself and Agnetha for this peformance. In fact Frida wore her yellow trouser suit again for Spotlight in Austria the following month.
A black and white photo from that night was used on the back cover of their Ring Ring album.
The transmission was taped but later erased by STV. One dedicated ABBA fan able to research the STV archives confirms, "I have even tried ALL the Scandinavian TV-companies... I have watched every programme from that particular day in the archives, just to make sure there isn't just a 5 sec clip somewhere!". It does not exist in Norwegian TV archives either. Perhaps it is still in the archives of Denmark or Finland?
A conflicting explanation from ABBA fan "TM" was that it was destroyed in a fire at the studios but I've not heard that backed up anywhere else.
Another theory is that there was public outrage when they didn't win which is why public voting was introduced in 1974. Therefore wouldn't it have been covered in a news broadcast where maybe a clip of ABBA was shown while the news presenter said how the public thought this was the best song? A good theory perhaps?
So unfortunately, no known VISUAL copy of this performance exists. But there is an audio clip of it - listen in the VIDEO section here.
UPDATE (INTERESTING INFORMATION): On Saturday 10 March 1973, at 20:10 a 50-minute programme was broadcast on TV 1 in Sweden. Entitled Nordiska EM-schlagers (Nordic EC schlagers; EC = European Championship), it featured the three most popular songs in the selection finals in three of the Nordic countries: Finland, Norway and Sweden; Denmark was not in the ESC that year. Naturally, ABBA’s performance of Ring Ring was included. Could this programme still be in the SVT archives? Might it also be in the Finnish and/or Norwegian TV archives who would have broadcast similar programmes as part of the Nordvision venture?
Click here for TV cutting from Aftonbladet from Saturday 10 March 1979.
Interesting points to note:-
The winning song that went on to represent Sweden was Sommar'n Som Aldrig Säger Nej (The Summer That Never Says No) by Malta (renamed Nova & The Dolls for the Eurovision Song Contest) and ended up coming 5th. One half of the duo Malta was Claes af Geijerstam who was ABBA's sound engineer on the 1979 Tour and Frida's co-host for the 4 TV shows in 1981 Lite Grand i Örat.
Other familiar names taking part in the 1973 Melodifestivalen were:-
A full list of those appearing is available in the table below. All of the contestants were pictured together here.
Click here to see the final finishing positions, songwriters and scores.
Before the song: "Inga-Lill Nilsson sang song number 3, A Frozen Rose there, And now we've come to song number 4 [called] Ring Ring. Lyrics and Music are written by three men; Stikkan Anderson, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and conducting the orchestra is Lars Samuelsson, who has also arranged the melody for song number 4. It is going to be performed by four artists. Please welcome Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog!"
After the song: "And that was song number 4, Ring Ring, sung by Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog!"
Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site
Thanks to Paul Carter, Ian Cole, Neil Barber, Henk Jansen, Pascale Ranson, Chris Williams, Sean Lennon, Charles Yoneda, Carl Magnus Palm, Terry Malloy & Jos Heselmans for information. Extra thanks to Jozsef, Sam Shervz and Johan Jerreling. Thanks to Claes Davidsson and Sam Shervz for translations
YouTube links c/o daffodil17 and ABBATalk