Mama Mia! Here we go again! My, my! How can we resist? Booksellers might want to take a chance on Weldon Owen this week by visiting booth 1550 and dropping off their business cards. The name of the game is that Weldon Owen is raffling off a Super Trouper limited edition of ABBA: The Official Photo Book, signed by the four Swedish coauthors (two journalists, a professional photographer, and a book publisher) to promote its distribution in the U.S. of the definitive photographic history of one of the world’s most popular musical acts. The book is being released at just the right time, because 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of four young Swedes—Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad—winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England, on April 6, 1974, with their performance of “Waterloo.”
ABBA: The Official Photo Book will be released in September with a total global print run of 150,000 copies in a dozen languages. Knowing me, knowing you, we predict that leafing through this 400-page party between two covers is going to turn millions of fans into dancing queens (and kings), dancing and jiving and having the time of their lives. And because it’s a rich man’s world and we have to mention money, money, money, the book, which weighs three kilos, will retail for $60. The Super Trouper limited edition being raffled this week includes an extra 40 pages of images from ABBA’s major live concerts; an exclusive DVD documentary, ABBA in Pictures—The Photographers’ Stories; a numbered photographic print from the Super Trouper cover shoot suitable for framing; and 18 postcards containing rare images from ABBA’s archives. The package is valued at $325, and the winner takes it all. The winner will be picked Saturday morning and his or her name posted by noon that day.
ABBA was originally acquired by Swedish publisher Max Ström; the coauthors had the full cooperation of their homies, who haven’t performed together since 1982, even though they were once offered $1 billion to perform a reunion concert. ABBA includes a foreword written by the four musicians, as well as their personal commentary throughout, providing context for more than 600 photographs of the band taken both on stage and off, from their childhoods all the way to the present day.
“It’s a stunning story of success for one of the most visual bands the world has ever seen,” says Max Ström’s publisher, Jeppe Wikström, who is one of the book’s coauthors. “They spent so much time with photographers. They were so generous, even inviting photographers into their bedrooms.” Yes, we know what you are thinking (perhaps there was something in the air that night): “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!”