February 14, 1979
Every ABBA album was promoted by a TV special. Two months before the release of "Voulez-Vous" a promotional TV show featuring new songs from the forthcoming album was filmed in Leysin in Switzerland.
The travel from Stockholm to Geneve was a real nightmare for ABBA and particularly for Agnetha. The snowfall in Stockholm was so heavy that the aircraft couldn't start. When the plane finally had started it had to turn back to the Arlanda airport in Stockholm because there was ice on the wings which could lead to crash. As ABBA arrived in Geneve it was so big delay that the helicopter pilot did not want to fly to Leysin as he was afraid that they wouldn't manage to come before it would be dark. Landing in the darkness was very risky.
Hotel Central in Leysin (2005)
But they came to Leysin the same evening and it was hard to observe how tired the ABBA members were after their long trip. The press conference was held at the Central Hotel in Leysin.
The press conference started at 7 pm with a photo session which lasted for about 15 minutes.
The foursome answered lots of questions. Here are some of them.
How do you choose the various TV shows to make your rare appearances?
Björn: It is very difficult to know which shows to accept. We did the UNICEF show in New York partly because it was for a very good cause but also because it was being boradcast everywhere in the world. It is the same for the Special we are doing here right now. It is a good way of doing things. We still go to England or Germany to do promotions but not so often now.
What is progress with the work on your forthcoming album?
Benny: We are writing and recording the album now and we will be finished around the beginning of April. It hasn't been delayed, we never set a date. Björn: But it is true that it takes longer to complete an album.
Are you running out of
Björn: Yes that is part of the truth. We have done everything almost, it seems that all the ideas that we come up with, we have tried before.
Can you say something about Agnetha's and Björn's divorce?
Björn: Well as you can see, we are good friends. Agnetha: We don't wish to discuss our private lives with anybody. We have talked to one paper in Sweden just to get things straight. We don't want to discuss it any more, at least not I. Björn: There is no question, it is working really well and the divorce was because we couldn't live together, that's all. Everything is going really well with ABBA.
ABBA received the Bravo award for the year 1978 - the Silver Otto from a German fan who even met the group the day after during the filming of ABBA skiing.
After the press conference at 9 pm ABBA were ready for new activities. The TV team filmed some sequences for the show down in the valley, where the Leysin village ice-ring had been cleared of locals and invaded by BBC technicians with bright lamps and camera equipment. ABBA enjoyed having the whole surface of the ice to themselves to skate on.
The next day ABBA was filmed skiing and miming to some of their hits as: The Name Of The Game, Mamma Mia and Eagle.
The rehearsals before filming of the show took place the same day.
ABBA presented for the first time several songs from their forthcoming album "Voulez-Vous" as well as some well-known hits. The songs were: Take A Chance On Me, The King Has Lost His Crown, Lovers, Kisses of Fire, Does Your Mother Know, Chiquitita, Thank You For the Music. Strangely they did not perform the favorite "If It Wasn't For The Nights" already presented in other TV shows some months earlier. "Voulez-Vous" & "I Have A Dream", two upcoming single hits were not performed either.
Two alternative videos for "Chiquitita" were filmed in Leysin on the mountain in front of a big snowman and in the hotel lobby. The "snowman" version was released later as the official video.
Posing & other activities