Polar Studios

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The cinema building as seen from the S:t Eriksbron, 2010.
Polarstudion reconstructed in the ABBA: The Museum at Djurgården in Stockholm.

Polar Studios is a recording studio in Stockholm, Sweden. The studio was formed by ABBA musicians Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and the band's manager Stig Anderson, owner of the Polar Music recording label. The studio has been used to record several ABBA albums, and those from a range of other artists.[1]

The studio's original location was a 1934-built cinema building at Sankt Eriksgatan 58-60 on Kungsholmen. The founders began fitting out the studio in 1977 and it opened on 18 May 1978. In 1984 Stig Anderson bought out his partners in the company.[1] Due to rent increases, in 2004 the studio moved to a new location in Södermalm.[1]

The first album recorded at the studio was Genesis' album Duke, followed by ABBA singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad's solo album Something's Going On (which was produced by Genesis drummer Phil Collins). Led Zeppelin recorded their 1979 album In Through the Out Door here. Artists such as the Ramones, Rammstein, Roxy Music, Genesis, Adam Ant, Backstreet Boys, Beastie Boys, Belinda Carlisle, Burt Bacharach, Franki, Celine Dion, Roxette, Terra Firma, Entombed, The Hellacopters, Joan Armatrading, and many major Swedish artists have worked at Polar Studios.

The centrepiece of the studio was a Harrison mixing console, which was modified by technician Leif Mases to give it a unique sound that in some respects resembled a Neve. ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors marked a turning point for Polar, as it was recorded on the studio's new 3M digital recorder - thus becoming one of the first digital mainstream pop records.[2]

The music video for ABBA's 1979 song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" was filmed in the studio; it depicted the group recording the track, although in reality the audio recording was already complete. On the same day, the group also filmed the Spanish language video for "Estoy Soñando" there.


  1. ^ a b c "Stockholm's Polar Studios To Close After 26 Years". Billboard. 17 March 2004. 
  2. ^ ABBA. Das Sonderheft, Rock Classics 10 (2013) p. 70f.
  • "Abba": The Complete Recording Sessions, Carl Magnus Palm and Dick Wallis, 13 October 1994, Verulam Publishing Ltd, ISBN 0907938108

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Coordinates: 59°20′12″N 18°02′05″E / 59.33667°N 18.03472°E / 59.33667; 18.03472