Filmed: late January 1976 (over 2 days)
Location: Bremen, Germany
Broadcast: 31st March 1976 on NDR, Germany
Release status: See below
Shown in: Germany
Musikladen = Music Store
Musikladen was a Radio Bremen production, broadcast on ARD from 13 December 1972 until 29 November 1984 and contained 90 episodes.
This TV show (also mostly known as Musikladen Extra but also The Peter Frankenfeld Show; ABBA in Europe (in Australia); and ABBA at The Beat Club (in the UK), featured the songs:
The opening of the programme featured a few lines of Ring Ring (Swedish version).
There was also a brief interview with the group interspersed with the songs. Benny sounded very Swedish here.
The programme was directed and produced by Michael Leckebusch.
Mamma Mia and Fernando only were first shown on a regular Musikladen programme on 6 March 1976 (episode 25). The full programme Musikladen Extra included all the songs.
Pictures from the performances from Musikladen Extra 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 a few months later as ABBA In Sweden but this time interspersed with interview footage and topped and tailed with the performance of Money Money Money from ABBA-dabba-dooo!!
According to newspaper reports from the time, this programme was sold to over thirty countries.
German TV special - Thank you For the Music (25 Jahre ABBA), 1999
This programme, broadcast in 1999, showed some interesting differences in some of the Musikladen Extra clips.
Other differences/versions (NOTE: different versions are not always available on YouTube)
It would seem that Radio Bremen (for Musikladen) must have kept all alternative clips and even rehearsal clips (the Mamma Mia clip centered on Agnetha is a rehearsal clip of her close ups. Undoubtedly the same exists for Frida, and possibly Benny and Björn too). Each performance must have been rehearsed and filmed and let's hope more of this footage becomes available over ime.
In October 2021, an incredible out-take of Agnetha and Frida discussing the steps for the dance for So Long and an apparent dress rehearsal of Mamma Mia with the camera mostly focussed on Agnetha), appeared on Instagram.
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."
All is not lost however, as Musikladen are now making clips available on their own YouTube channel.
Björn: Well, I don't think there's really prescription. You just have to be very, very careful so that you don't copy the hit before. Like, say we would have copied Waterloo. Then we would have been finished in one or two years.
Benny: That's very American, I think. There's a lot of groups or artists copying their first hit, knowing that they're following, I mean, the spin-off. Coming after that will still sell their record, whatever it is. So they try to make it as similar as possible. I think that's very dangerous.
Björn: You have to change all the time.
Benny: What's yours?
Frida: If you're asking me? Yes. I like to sing, naturally. Of course I do. And I like very much to dance. And to be on stage.
Interviewer: And Benny?
Benny: Well, it's different because, I think, the most inspiring thing about all this, we are doing, is that to be in it from the beginning. From the song, from the melody. And the recording, the arrangement. The production. Even the marketing. As we are doing. Then followed it up with being on stage. The promotion and all that. That's fantastic.
Interviewer: How about you two?
Agnetha: I like the recording very much. And sometimes to stand on a stage. But not always.
Björn: And for me, I think, I agree with Benny. It's fascinating to have total control. So that every phase of it. You're in it.
Frida: Benny and I are engaged. And Björn and Anna are married.
Interviewer: And where do you live?
Interviewer: In Stockholm. Close to each other? In the same house?
Frida: No, no
Benny: Not the same house.
Agnetha: Gottseidank. ("Thank God" in German)
Björn: We share a flat. One room and a kitchen. (Everybody laughs)
Interviewer: Where do you get the ideas from?
Björn: We just sit down and work. As far as writing is concerned. We sit down with piano and guitar and we start working.
Interviewer: But what does it start with. With the text or with music?
Benny: With the music. Always with the music.
Interviewer: Always with the music. And who writes the music?
Frida: Björn and Benny writes the music.
Interviewer: And who writes the text?
Frida: It's our manager called Stikkan Anderson.
Interviewer: And what do the girls do in this whole thing?
Agnetha: Nothing. (Everybody laughs)
Benny: They do the rest.
Interviewer: They do the rest. They do the singing but how about arrangements?
Benny: Well, some of the vocal arrangements and all that in the studio, yes. We work very close together.
Interviewer: How does the choreography?
Frida: We have a teacher. He is called Graham Tainton. He has been working with us since we started the group.
(translated from Swedish by P M I)
Benny: Now you have to get on, they are waiting for us
Frida/Agnetha: Yes, yes
Frida: But it looks better to take it two times …
Agnetha: But it doesn't feel…we havent done that.. no
Frida: Are you sure about that? To me it feels good to...
Agnetha: …to do that. One, two, one two, one, two (trying out the steps)
Agnetha: Let´s just go for it
Frida: It doesn't matter.
Frida: Could we have some powder? Hello!
Agnetha: Damn, it's difficult.
Frida: it's ridiculous, such things like…it has been
Björn: Yes, but it is like that. Things that you have been knowing how to do damn well
Agnetha: One, two, one, two, one, two…and then another time. No, Frida not eight times there.
Frida: Yes it is...Yes I now eight, I remember that.
Agnetha: But we give a damn about it, we will do different, it doesm't matter.
Frida: They are horrifyingly hot these shoes.
Björn: But six times then
Frida: Six times?
Frida: What did you say?
Björn: In the beginning
Frida: Yes, we did that - did we do it to early now? Must we wait four hours more…
Agnetha: Can I put down my mic here?
Agnetha: Like this?
Björn: Put it on the piano instead.
Frida: No, it,s better to put it behind because we starts from there.
Frida: Yes, yes
Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site
Blue Denim - Waterloo, Tropical Loveland, Rock Me
Blue satin suits (Agnetha and Frida without jackets for the only time - Honey Honey), Mamma Mia
Velvet jumpsuit - Dancing Queen, So Long
Frida Ensam dress - Frida - Fernando, Ive Been Waiting For You
Gypsy dress - Agnetha - Fernando, Ive Been Waiting For You
Casual - Benny & Björn - Fernando, Ive Been Waiting For You, Tropical Loveland (Benny only)
Leopard jacket - Benny - Waterloo
Thanks to Phillipe Elan, Pawel Ruczko, Kym Casanova, Petri Kaasalainen, Maria Nicholas, Jose Luis Juarez, Joachim, Philip Muytjens, Harold Hanlon, Henk, Walter Veldman, Markus, Ronnie Mehlis, Martin Borus, Jozsef, Erik Liebstaedter, Jun Seo, Jason Swan, Guido, Karen Danzilio, Sam Shervz, Ian Cole and Robert Verbeek (RIP), Richard Knight, Luke Rogers, Grant Whittingham and Ken Griffin c/o ABBAMAIL (no longer online). Huge thanks to Aaron Evans, Henk Jansen, Dustin and Karin Angeleyes and more thanks to Dionne Kennedy, Pascale Ranson and Roxanne Dickson c/o ABBA Village and Regina Grafunder at Intermezzo.
YouTube links c/o Best Musickaleidoscope2020, Su Yee, Junyor Abba, Schlagerfan 58, Engelauge, Kurt Brady