Polar’s final roll of the dice?
The final Abba CD released by Polar as an independent entity was somewhat surprisingly a promotional item entitled Abba Complete.
This 1989 item was the only Abba promo CD issued by Polar Music when it was controlled by Stig Anderson, Abba’s manager.
The timing of this item is very interesting. By 1989, Polar was a shadow of its former self: its hits had dried up, it wasn’t issuing many new releases and it was clear that Abba were never going to reform.
Many of Abba’s licences around the world were also due to come up for renewal and it was highly unlikely that the deals would have been as lucrative as before.
There are two potential purposes for this item: either to attract the interest of new potential licensees or (more probably) to attract someone to buy the company from the increasingly demoralised Anderson.
The final Abba CD issued by Polar as an independent entity
The tactic may have worked: in Summer 1989, it was revealed that PolyGram had bought Polar and its associated companies for an undisclosed sum.
Interestingly, the promo reuses the artwork from Telstar’s UK Absolute Abba compilation, suggesting that it had actually been commissioned by Polar.
Familar artwork for UK readers but in a different context
The CD may not have been for sale but the label was
In terms of the mastering used, like most record company promos, the tracks would simply have been copied across from the then current versions of the relevant albums.
This interesting artefact comes up irregularly on Swedish auction sites and generally sells for around 400kr.
Images courtesy of Pepe