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ABBAcadabra-The Musical
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Various Artists-ABBACADABRA conte musical, WEA,Out of Print Late 1983 French LP Reissued on a French CD in 1994  also out of print.
 
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French Lp cover

This was the first" musical" based on B&B music. In 1983 French producer and songwriter Alain Boubil put together this project which  originally broadcast on the French TV channel TF1 over Christmas, 1983.
The musical was also recorded as an album for the French market.
(Alain was well known to ABBA and Stig Anderson, he had wrote the French language lyrics to ABBA's sole French language track, "Waterloo". Alain would also have  worldwide success with the musicals Miss Saigon and Les Miserables ).

The idea here was to borrow the melodies from ABBA songs and write new lyrics so as be able to tell a story and also so as to be able to do it in French. (this was a French/Belgian coproduction). B&B were not directly involved with the French version, although they did allow their music to be used, which is a bit surprising, though perhaps they thought that the ABBAcadabra project was an interesting experiment.

The story that was made up was inspired by  children's fairy tales. Somehow, the producers were able to get Frida (from ABBA) involved to  play Sleeping Beauty. Frida sang a duet  in the show a duet called "Belle" which was a new version "Arrival".

"Belle" was released as single in France and became a hit there. Frida's duet partner was the great late French singer, Daniel Balavoine. Daniel would work on Frida's SHINE album and would remain a friend of Frida's till his unexpected death in  a plane crash in 1986.

Late the same year, a English version of ABBAcadabra was staged on the West End. In December of 1983 ,it premiered at London's  Lyric Theater. It ran for a eight weeks  as a limited Christmas season show.

This was an English language version of the French show, This show was produced by Cameron Macintosh. This British version however, did not result in another record album; however,two studio recorded singles were released. These singles actually had some involvement from Bjorn and Benny.

One of the singles included Frida's duet with B.A. Robertson on "Time" ,The B-side of that single featured B.A Robertson doing "(I Am) the Seeker" which was a B&B song that ABBA considered in 1982 but never recorded, The other single featured Elaine Paige doing a rewritten version of "My Love, My Life called "Like an Image Passing Me By" . Oddly, the new lyrics for this one were cowritten by Björn.  The singles were also released by Polar in Sweden.

Later also a Portuguese, and Dutch version of ABBAcadabra were staged. For some reason there was also released a sequel album in France with more ABBA songs rewritten with new lyrics.

None of the versions of ABBAcadabra are widely known , partly because interest in ABBA was low at the time.they came out, and at the time they were was not really grand expectations for the show...

Apparently, B&B never saw the play-which seems bizarre considering how many times they have sat through stagings of Mamma Mia or Kristina.

The ABBAcadabra experiment did seem to prove that it was ultimately counter productive to alter ABBA's lyrics too much for a stage production that would feature ABBA songs. The lyrics (even the weak ones) were a integral part of the appeal of the songs that ABBA sang.

.. The license to produce ABBAcadabra was apparently for a limited time and so this musical has not revived since the 1980's. Nor it it likely to be brought back with Mamma Mia  taking over the ABBA theatrical musical market. Currently none of the albums released from this are in print..

 FRENCH LP& CD track listing Lyrics by Alain & Daniel Boublil

Track listing side A

. QU'EST-CE QUE J'VAIS FAIRE PLUS TARD (When I Kissed The Teacher)
DÉLIVRÉS (The Visitors)
ABBACADABRA (Take A Chance On Me)
MON NEZ MON NEZ (Money, Money, Money)
.TÊTE D'ALLUMETTE (Super Trouper)
IMAGINE-MOI [I Wonder (Departure)]

 Track listing side A

CARABOSSE SUPER SHOW (Dancing Queen)
PAREILS ET MÊMES (I Let The Music Speak)
L'ENFANT DO (Fernando)
\LACHEZ MES CASSETTES (I`m A Marionette)
BELLE BELLE (Arrival)
ENVOYEZ LE GÉNÉRIQUE (Thank You For The Music)

bonus tracks on 1994 CD version...

13. GARE AU LOUP  (Waterloo) 
14. LA PLANÉTE AMOUR
(Lay all your love on me) 

 

 Track listing side A

Qu'est-Cc QueJ'vais Faire Plus Tard (When I Kissed The Teacher)
Deliveres (The Visitors)
Abbacadabra (Take A Chance On Me)
Mon Nez Mon Nez (Money, Money, Money)
.Tete D'Allumette (Super Trouper)
Imagine-Moi [I Wonder (Departure)]

 Track listing side b

Carabosse Super Show (Dancing Queen)
Pareils Et Memes(I Let The Music Speak)
L'enfant Do (Fernando)
\Lachez Mes Cassettes (I`m A Marionette)
Belle Belle(Arrival)
Envoyez Le Generique(Thank You For The Music)

Bonus tracks on 1994 CD version...

13. GARE AU LOUP  (Waterloo) 
14. LA PLANÉTE AMOUR (Lay all your love on me) 

THE BRITISH Staging Late 1983 Lyric by Don Black and Mike Wood!

The British staging generated two singles but no album!

A:    Time (Frida &Daniel Belavoine)/  B:   ( I am) the Seeker (B.A.Robertson)  
 

A. Like An Image Passing By (Elaine Paige)/When Dreamers Close There Eyes (Finola Hughes)

FULL LIST OF TITLES OF SONGS PRESENTED IN THE BRITISH STAGING....(no official album released, the full version  available only on a bootleg made of the the stage show)

IT'S ANOTHER WORLD (Take a chance on me
BATTLE OF THE BROOMS (Money, money, money)

*I AM THE SEEKER
I CAN PULL SOME STRINGS (The piper)
GOING GOING GOING (On and On and On )
MAKING MAGIC (Super trouper )
*WHEN DREAMERS CLOSE THEIR EYES (Like an angel passing through my room)
BELONGING

BACK HOME NOW (Fernando)
CARABOSSE SUPERSHOW (Dancing Queen)
THINK OF SOMETHING FAST (I'm an Marionette)
*TIME (Arrival)
*LIKE AN IMAGE PASSING BY (My love my life)
THANK YOU FOR THE MAGIC (Thank You For The Music)

*songs released on singles....

 

 

Various Artists -Abbacadabra (2) La Fusée de Noé  French Lp 1984
 
There was a second Lp released of Abbacadabra songs, though I am not clear why or what the orgin of the songs is..The song  ".L'étoile filante" is notable because Frida from ABBA sings backing vocals on it....
 
1. Capitaine 4'43  - Abbacadabra
2. La Fusée de Noé 3'46  - Abbacadabra
3. Ben, Je Suis Ton Ami 2'32  - Abbacadabra
4. Les Colombes de la Guerre 4'01 - Michael Dejeneffe,Tatayet of  Abbacadabra
5. L'étoile filante 3'55 - Mary Starlight 

1. Petit Génie   - Abbacadabra
2. La Mouche du Coche   - Michael Leeb of Abbacadabra
3. Elle Viendra  - Abbacadabra
4. O, Yé Bananier   - Stéphane Collaro of Abbacadabra
5. La Planéte Amour  - Abbacadabra
6. J'ai Révé   - Abbacadabra

ABBAcadabara-Dutch Version Dutch LP 1984

"Als Ik Later Groot Ben" (When I Kissed The Teacher)
"Wij Zijn Vrij" (The Visitors)
Abbacadabra (Take A Chance On Me)
Me Neus, Me Neus (Money Money Money)
Het Liedje Van Alladin (Super Trouper)
Spiegel (I Wonder (Departure))
De Kokende Spoken Show (Dancing Queen)
Toen Ik Een Wolfje Was (I Let The Music Speak)
Naar Huis Toe (Fernando)
Geef Die Banden Terug (I'm A Marionette)
Bij Mij (Arrival)
Laat Het Feest Beginnen (Thank You For The Music

ABBAcadabara-Portuguese Version Portugal LP 1984

Que Mal Fizemos Nos (When I Kissed The Teacher)
O Sonho Dre Joao (The Visitors)
Abbacadabra (Take A Chance On Me)
O Nariz De Pinoquio (Money Money Money)
Aladino Fanfarrao (Super Trouper)
Branca De Neve E O Espelho (I Wonder (Departure))
Rainha Ma Superstar (Dancing Queen)
Cinderela E O Soldainho (I Let The Music Speak)
Os Amigos (Fernando)
Larguem A Cassete (I'm A Marionette)
Branca De Neve E O Principezinho (Arrival)
Nao Basta Ralhar (ThankYou For The Music)

Daniel Balavoine-Balavoine Sans Frontieres,Universal, Barclay 983 343-6, French 2CD set Late 2005

This set includes Frida 's hard to find duet with the late Daniel Balavoine called "Belle" and " Dieu que c'est beau" which has backing vocals by Frida..."Belle" is from "ABBA-Cadabra". The song is not available on any Frida albums...Frida stuck quite a friendship with Balavoine in 1983. All the other songs are in French...

CD : 1
1. Sos D'un Terrien En Détresse
2. Vivre Ou Survivre
3. Mon Fils Ma Bataille
4. Aimer Est Plus Fort Que D'Etre Aimé
5. Le Chanteur
6. Quand On Arrive En Ville
7. Banlieue Nord
8. Dieu Que C'est Beau    4:05
9. Je Ne Suis Pas Un Héros
10. L'aziza
11. Pour La Femme Veuve Qui S'eveille
12. Tous Les Cris, Les Sos
13. Sauver L'amour
14. Lucie
15. Lipstick Polychrome
16. Vendeurs De Larmes


CD : 2
1. Les Oiseaux (1cre Partie)
2. Les Oiseaux (2cre Partie)
3. Lady Marlcne 
4. La Vie Ne M'apprend Rien 
5. Tu Me Plais Beaucoup 
6. Petite Angcle 
7. Me Laisse Pas M'en Aller 
8. Vidéo "Série Noire"
9. De Vous A Elle En Passant Par Moi
10. Frappe Avec La Tzte
11. Soulcve-Moi
12. Partir Avant Les Miens 
13. Un Autre Monde 
14. Belle (Bonus Track)    3:12
15. L'aziza (Remix 86) (Bonus Track) 
16. Sauver L'amour (Remix 86) (Bonus Track)

Here is a great website about Abba cadabra in French and English

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ABBA THE ALBUMS was an Web-TV website from July 22, 1999 to April 4, 2000. ATA has been brought to you by the loverly folks at Tripod since June 13, 2001. THANKS TO: Crystal, Pookie, Bubba ,Baby,  my one-time roommates -The Odd Couple, Jimsb, Edsel Felpin, Montief and the people of  the late lamented ABBAMAIL!       Yours in Stig, Johnny!

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