The producers of ABBA Voyage ran into trouble after discovering the group recorded over the original vocals for one of their classic hits.
The show features the band’s digital ‘ABBAtars’ – showing the group as they were in their 30s – performing 20 of their iconic songs, with their original vocals accompanied by a live band.
But producer Ludvig Anderson says creating one of the tracks was particularly challenging. “We had access to everything, all the multitrack tapes of the original recordings, but it was quite a strenuous process because most of ABBA’s old recordings were not recorded to a click track, which is what we needed to line it up with the timecode and the live band,” he tells RETROPOP’s November issue. “So what we had to do to get the vocals was go through every song that’s in the show, cut it up and align it to the click track.”
Ludvig adds: “The [multitracks containing the] lead English vocals for SOS do not exist – they deleted those and recorded over them the German version, at the time thinking that no one was going to need them again. That was a particular issue that we had and in the end we had to just strip the lead vocals off the mix, which worked out in the end, but it was an issue.”
According to Ludvig, there are few unreleased takes still in the vaults, however they did find some rarities for the show. He adds: “On When All Is Said And Done, there’s an extra verse that was on the tape. I think they just faded it in the final mix, but there was some extra stuff on the tape. So there are some things that haven’t been heard, but most of it has been put out now.
“What’s nice, though, when you go through the multitracks, is that you start to hear things that you’ve never heard before, often things that are way back in the mix. Of course, we had the opportunity, during rehearsals, to ask the musicians to enhance certain parts, based on how it felt in the live environment.”
Read the full interview in the November 2023 edition of RETROPOP, out now. Order yours or subscribe via our Online Store, use our Store Finder to locate your nearest stockist, or get Digital Copies delivered direct to your devices.