Dick Cavett meets ABBA

Dick Cavett Meets ABBA
Promotional photo after interview
Format Inerview
Original language(s) English
Location(s) SVT Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Original airing

12 September 1981 in Sweden (SVT, TV1) at 10pm
4 December 1981 in Germany (ZDF) and repeated in April 1982
19 September 1982 in Netherlands (KRO)
16th November 1993 (Dutch MTV)
21 November 1981 in Belgium (BRT)
July 1993 in Germany (3-SAT)
16 November 1993 in Germany (MTV)

28 July 1983 in France (A2, France)

Dick Cavett meets ABBA was a 1981 TV special featuring ABBA hosted by American television personality Dick Cavett. A one-off broadcast filmed and produced by Sveriges Television (SVT) in Stockholm, Sweden, it was a joint production between STV, Polar Music (ABBA's record label), and ZDF (Second German Television).


The reason for recording the TV special in Stockholm was the reluctance of the ABBA members to tour. The show was originally supposed to be filmed in Germany, but instead it was the SVT who filmed it.

Originally Dick Clark was supposed to host the program but the parties could not agree on money, so Cavett got the gig. ABBA themselves wanted to have Dick Cavett as a host because Björn said in the Swedish paper: "We thought long and hard and wanted to find someone who could make our 10th anniversary a memorable one. We wanted someone who was fun and the thought came up Dick Cavett. He is very skilled and humorous. We wanted a mix of singing and interviews." The audience in the studio was mostly English-speaking which was demanded by Cavett.

Rehearsals were on 25–26 April; Dick Cavett's interview with them was on 27 April 1981; and musical performances were recorded on 28–29 April.[1]

During the interview ABBA also performed "Don't Fence Me In". Benny also performed his new song Lottis Schottis, a new instrumental version played on accordion of their unreleased track Hamlet III, but was never included in any broadcast of the show.

There are three versions of the show and none of them included all 9 songs.

There were also two PROMOS shown, "When All Is Said And Done" and "One Of Us" which included different scenes to the original PROMO.

Björn: "We wanted to do something really special, a TV show with both an interview and a live performance. We've been together for more than ten years and yet a proper interview with all four of us at the same time where people had a chance to get to know us in depth had never been done. A very superficial picture of ABBA is most often spread. Someone suggested Dick Cavett, one of the world's most famous and skilful interviewers. He accepted and came to Sweden one day at the end of April. We didn't talk much beforehand but went almost directly into the studio and recorded the interview. I think we were more nervous than he was, but his composure made us relax and open up. He had a way of tossing out a question and then talking around it . It was more a pleasant conversation than an interview. We never regretted that we chose Dick Cavett."

"What the public sees and hears is just a tiny fraction of all the time and effort we put into it. We rehearse each song endlessly and take the harder parts home for more practice. When we began rehearsing for this show, we had just been in the studio finishing a couple of songs for the new album. Rehearsals were held in the same place we had used on the eve of our 1979 world tour with the same musicians. Suddenly, it felt as if there hadn't been any pause at all, that it was yesterday we last stood together on stage. It felt wonderful.

Frida: Three days later, we moved to the studio, tested the lights and sound and did all the songs over and over again. Naturally you're tired after singing all day and perhaps you've sung the same song twenty times, but we set very high standards for ourselves. There's always something that can be a little better. The results make it worthwhile."

Agnetha: "We worked on it for three days. I think it will be around 55 minutes of old things cut together with new things like a live concert in the studio and the interview - and it will just be about our being together for ten years." (Re: the clothes), "Half of them we bought in Paris. They aren't stage clothes, they are quite casual styles. The leather trousers that I wore were made in Sweden."

ABBA Mini-Concert

The show featured a mini-concert, in which ABBA performed 9 songs, 5 of which were sung live for the only time. The songs were recorded on 24 track tape and Michael B Tretow reduced them down to one mono track for television.

This was ABBA's last concert.[2]

^ - First time live ^^ - First TV performance

Official release of the songs

Six songs out of nine have been officially released, but never together:

The following songs and videos from this performance appear on DVD 2 of the ABBA album The Complete Studio Recordings.[2]:

The following songs appeared on ABBA Live, the only official live album by the group:

The following songs appeared on the Thank You for the Music box set:

As a result, "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Summer Night City" and "Thank You For The Music" remain as the only songs that have never been officially released. The reason for this is that the television channel lost the original footage. However, these three songs are available with an average quality on YouTube.


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