Can Nine please remaster ABBA special next?

After a recent Beatles remastered concert, I’m going to suggest Nine dig into its vaults for the 1976 special The Best of ABBA.

Filmed at TCNN9 as a Bandstand special and introduced by Daryl Somers, this drew higher ratings than the 1969 moon landing.

Produced at the time by Grundy, it also featured an appearance by country singer Lucky Starr. It was repackaged as ABBA in Australia with a barbecue and cruise on the Hawkesbury River,  a visit to Taronga Zoo and throwing boomerangs (to Bang-a-Boomerang of course).

ABBA have just confirmed they will release 5 new songs in 2021 (Nine has rights to upcoming TV special) plus an ABBA-tar hologram tour.

Introduction to the show by host Daryl Somers
Mamma Mia
Introduction by Björn; Frida, Agnetha and Benny introduce themselves
Hasta Mañana
Ring Ring
Introduction by Frida
Tropical Loveland
Introduction by Agnetha
Waterloo
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
Introduction by Agnetha and Frida
Rock Me
song by guest Lucky Starr
Interview with Lucky Starr, Björn and Benny
song by Lucky Starr
Honey, Honey
Introduction by Frida
Fernando
So Long
Introduction by Benny
SOS
So Long
closing credits, medley of clips from special: Mamma Mia; Ring Ring; Waterloo; I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do; Honey, Honey; Rock Me; Fernando; SOS

Source: ABBAofficial.com, ABBAonTV.com,  ABBAphenomenon

21 Comments:

  1. Maev....Sydney

    ABBA’s first song in English after European Song Contest..was written by Neil Sedaka/Phil Cody….
    Their manager Stig Anderson brought Neil some music on q piece of paper and he and Phil wrote the song…’Ring Ring.’
    I have learnt so much since watching Neil Sedaka’s weekday mini concerts on Facebook 👌

    • The song Ring Rig actually predates their Waterloo success, and was entered in the local Swedish heats of Eurovision one year earlier in 1973. With the melody by Benny and Bjorn as usual; Neil and and Phil just provided the lyrics, as Abba were not at that stage 100% confident of translating their words into English. I am not sure why they felt the need to turn to Neil Sedaka, as even then Abba were perfectly capable of writing a decent pop lyric.
      After they won in ’74 with Waterloo, they re-released Ring Ring, which eventually became a big hit in several countries including Australia (but only a minor hit in the UK).

      • The only reason to get Sedaka to write the English lyrics for Ring Ring was publicity for their first Eurovision attempt. They had already written plenty of English lyrics before that.

  2. the concert was filmed on 2inch tape…. so the remastering is not the same as if it was filmed on film be film has a higher resolution. they would use AI software to re master it.

    • Universal Music is currently using AI to remaster 1000 of their top music videos into HD so they can be streamed on YouTube. Of course their SD source is better than 1970s 2 inch tape. There are also new MPEG, and the browser AVIF codec, coming out soon which will improve quality.

      Of course this would require Nine to still own a decent copy of it, and the money and incentive to do it.

  3. Nine can’t just magically remaster footage that was overwhelmingly likely to have been shot on videotape. Unfortunately, very few acts in the day have had the foresight to preserve their music videos and concerts on film for prosperity (which The Beatles did).

    In fact, the *only* HD material of ABBA that I was able to find online was the movie, which was issued a Blu-ray release in some markets (but typically not here, even though much of it was shot in Australia). Similarly, INXS’s 1991 Wembley concert was pain-stakingly remastered in 4K and released on Ultra HD Blu-ray release overseas, but they’ve only bothered to release it on (shudder) DVD and Blu-ray here.

      • It’s hard to ascertain the integrity of the source material as 9Now content is so heavily compressed, but it looks like there has been digital manipulation applied all over the shop in order to create an illusion of “remastering” to the unassuming masses, just as I suspected they would. They even put in fake digital film noise before “transitioning” to the so-called remastered footage. The framing is also awkward and excessively tight as they have cropped from 4:3 to a wider aspect ratio.

        I wouldn’t rely on an Australian commercial network to make a concerted effort to remaster archive material, and certainly not for once-off broadcast in a low-key timeslot. I can’t see overseas distributors wanting to lap up this pathetic “effort”. There’s potential here, but only if the remaster were in better hands.

    • ABBA the Movie is unfortunately unlikely ever to see the light of day in Australia again… due to what has subsequently happened to one of its main actors.

  4. Yes!! I actually said that the other night after watching the Beatles. Tried to explain to my partner and kids how it filmed and how many repeats it had – I just want to hear Frida say “Tropical Loveland” again!!

  5. I don’t think they would recoup their remastering expenses. ABBA seem to have a “special” on Saturday night every couple of weeks. The Beatles tape on the other hand was a completely different matter owing to its rarity and being unseen for over fifty years.
    It is the first time I have seen a live Beatles concert of the period and heard the actual music.
    Channel 9 may be using some creative licence to say the ABBA special outrated the moon landing.
    It might have outrated Nine’s viewing figures, but the landing was on every channel.
    Even taking into account the landing happened here during the day, you had to be there to realise how big a deal it was back then.

    • The Beatles concert film wasn’t hidden for 50 years. It has been seen many times. Rage on the ABC played the full Beatles segment many times when they’d have a Beatles marathon. In 2014 the Powerhouse Museum was playing the full film including the support acts as part of its Beatles in Australia exhibition.

  6. The Deluxe CD edition of the ABBA album, put out by Universal, has already partly done this. However, as this CD is for an international audience, it edited out the Daryl Somers and Lucky Starr bits. The sound and vision quality is really good. Bjorn’s introduction had me laughing, where he gives the international audience a bit of a geography lesson on Australia (rainfall information, land size etc…), and Agnetha later on talks about some wildlife with a national parks officer. And yes, the footage of them out and about on the river is there as well. Magic stuff. Happy and simpler times.

    But nevertheless, it would be a nice bit of nostalgia to have the full local version complete with Daryl interviewing the foursome and the Lucky Starr interlude. I am sure it would rate nicely.

    I hope that TCN -9 don’t just gratuitously junk a whole bunch of stuff from the vaults as they…

  7. Would Nine or Fremantle (owner of Grundy) hold the rights currently?

    And do the copyright rights expire after 50 years still (or is it some other length)? Some of these titles could be in the public domain soon maybe.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.