From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former featured article candidate ABBA is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 18, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
June 29, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

'The Essential Collection' (May 2012)[edit]

You have no information about the next Global ABBA Compilation 'The Essential Collection'. It is released on May 21st 2012.

LINK:, (talk) 10:54, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Session musicians[edit]

Why is there not a single mention of Ola Brunkert, Rutger Gunnarsson and other session musicians in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:15, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


This article is a "walking contradiction". In the introduction, it says that ABBA formed in 1970, but in the infobox, it says the group started in 1972. It also says in the infobox that ABBA disbanded in 1983, but the article is in the Musical groups disestablished in 1983. I can hardly stand seeing the ABBA article in such horrible shape. --BLAguyMONKEY! (talk) 14:35, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

The article states 1972, but late 1982 is when they split. The group had no recordings or activity in 1983. PS. This article is a walking contradiction?!--Tuzapicabit (talk) 21:35, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We know ABBA had their last recording sessions in the fall of 1982, and they had their last performances and last photos as a foursome in December 1982. You can claim the group split at this moment, but in interviews and press releases it was made clear there were plans to continue. In certain regions, their last single 'Under Attack' was released in the spring of 1983. We know the group had started having conflicts with their manager Stig Andersson in the end of 1982, but the group was still together in 1983 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
As the article states, their last appearance together as a group was 11 December 1982. Their last recordings were some months earlier. What activities did they undertake as a group in 1983? If you show proof that they were still together in 1983 then that's fine, but don't forget Agnetha started recording her solo album in January 1983 so it's unlikely.--Tuzapicabit (talk) 23:29, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

"I can hardly stand seeing the ABBA article in such horrible shape" -Well, try writing and editing yourself: consider this: Benny and Björn met June 5th 1966, Agnetha and Björn saw each other for the 1st time May 23 1968 (then met properly one year later, May 4th 1969), Agnetha and Frida met for the first time January 10th 1968, and Benny and Frida February 1st 1969. The Summer of 1969, the two couples started hanging together. Benny produced Fridas single 'Peter Pan' (written by B&B), recorded September 10th 1969. April 1970 the foursome went on vacation together and started singing for fun together, the following months they recorded together and by November they performed together. The Summer of 1971 B + B + Agnetha went on tour together, and more recordings were done. True, the first record credited to all four has its release date in June 1972, but 'Hej, Gamle Man' from June 1970 featured all four voices contributing already. As these four friends spent so much time together, composing, supporting each other, the time of their 'start' as a Band is not connected to signing a contract. Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid were formed -as they always said 'naturally' in 1970, and became 'ABBA' the day they first used that name on October 19th 1973, as on this date this was scribbled on a studio recording sheet by their technician.

Concerning their break-up in 1982 or 1983; Frida was recording her solo album in the spring of 1982, Agnetha had booked her sessions for the spring of 1983. Agnetha assured to the press in 1983 just as Frida had done in 1982 that ABBA had not split, they were just 'resting' while other projects were focussed on. We may say they already had split, but according to themselves, they were still together, just doing solo projects like they had done before during the ABBA years. It's in 1983 the decisions were made, not in 1982: an interview by norwegian radio in January 1983 with Agnetha and Björn promises a future album and a Tour; only towards the end of 1983 do they individually admit they might not come together again.

If ABBAs break-up is considered from their last activity as a foursome, then surely 1982 is correct. If Agnetha is to be believed, she stated to Terry Wogan in BBC tv after the release of her album 'Wrap Your Arms Around Me' that the group had future plans and had not broken up.

We know the 1982 recording sessions were an uphill struggle, and the outcome pointed musically in all directions: the released material did not chart well. Björn and Benny both had become fathers and Agnetha and Frida went solo; Agnetha had a part in a swedish movie and Frida moved to London. Björn and Benny saved all the good songs for 'Chess'.

We now know 1983 became quite turbulent: not in between the four, but between them and their manager and their record company. It was not ABBA that grew apart: things went really wrong for Polar too.

As 'Chess' took more than just 1983 to wrap up, ABBA ran out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:03, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

No decisions were made in 83. I remember hearing that Abba were going to get back together in 84 for perhaps a release in 85. There was never an announcement that they've broken up. 82 was their last activity - and that's it. Peace everybody. --Tuzapicabit (talk) 18:09, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Not the nine O'clock News send-up[edit]

Some readers may not be aware of a send-up of this supremely irritating foursome on the British satirical programme Not the Nine O'clock news - here is the link — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:24, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Stylized name[edit]

Why was their stylized name in brackets, ᗅᗺᗷᗅ, removed? Many artist pages on Wikipedia have these. Unless I get a valid reason, I'll put it back.Vancho (talk) 19:50, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

I didn't make that edit, but I just came to ask the opposite question: why is it "ABBA" not "Abba", when the MOS:TM guideline mentions KISS as an example of something that should be uncapitalized as Kiss? Art LaPella (talk) 01:21, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. It specifically also states: "Using all caps is preferred if the letters are pronounced individually", which in Abba's case it is not - it's pronounced as a word. Also as to the stylized name, this should not be used either as it is a trademark and can only be used once in the infobox (ie. as a picture) if it's fair-use and is necessary to include it.--Tuzapicabit (talk) 00:40, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, I've had some comments about this at Talk:NASA, which is a similar case. Of course, the obvious point I missed is that NASA isn't a trademark, so it doesn't apply. In that sense neither is ABBA, it's a name (the stylized inverted B is the trademark - and of course that does now have to go). I've seen ABBA written many times as Abba, but it's down to consensus, which I'm guessing will stick with ABBA.--Tuzapicabit (talk) 00:59, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Jeep® and Kleenex® are also trademarked but that does not mean we cannot write it. I added ᗅᗺᗷᗅ® back on the wikipage.Flamma (talk) 05:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Logo from[edit]

Can we use the logo from ABBA’s official website at the top of the article? This one: --Vancho (talk) 20:05, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if that would be allowed, it's a registered trademark. Boot Blues (talk) 23:22, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Eurovision importance[edit]

I have to say that when I read the article their Eurovision 1974 win gets very little importance while it actually was a big part in ABBA becoming famous. I think that part of the article needs expansion.--BabbaQ (talk) 16:32, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it's true that the Eurovision victory was what made their career take off internationally, but if there is to little written about it you can always add some more information you know of yourself. Boot Blues (talk) 23:19, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Eurovision Song Contest 1974 scores can be found here</ref>(Coachtripfan (talk) 11:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC))

Abba's Genre[edit]

Genre: Abba is a pop/Europ pop band before anything. Eurodisco should be secondary. Abba only did one "Disco" album which could have been categorized as pop, Voulez-Vous. Most of it's tracks were not dico such as Chiquitita, I Have a Dream As Good As New. I think people are hung up on Dancing Queen which was released during the disco age but was really a pop song played not only in discos but EVERYWHERE! It's like saying the Beatles were psychedelic rock before they were pop/rock. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree most of Abba's material doesn't really fit the disco genre as such and not everything played in Discos for dancing belongs to the disco genre. Actually aside from typical Abba sound features, Abba's material is a somewhat weird collection that is all over the place (glam rock, pop-rock, reggae, schlager, jazz song, tango, funk, synth pop, disco, musical style songs, traditional folk anthems, folk dances, canon, pop/europop....).--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:38, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I do not understand what is the insistence that some people in the U.S. have to label ABBA as a Disco group, when in essence they are a Pop band that only incorporated some disco songs (as other genres) to their repertoire. Categorize ABBA as Disco only for Dancing Queen (which, infact is an exception in their repertoire), just demonstrates a great ignorance about their music. Just listening to "Gold", anyone can learn that Abba is not a disco group. They don't even have their roots in Funk or R & B. They have their roots in Folk music infact MiltonMacVie 10:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I'd question whether even "Dancing Queen" is disco really. It's too slow paced for that and carries few of the trademarks, such as the Wah-wah pedal or hi-hat. Seems more pure pop to me. Some parts of the Voulez-Vous are much closer. Certainly they're overall a pop group.--Tuzapicabit (talk) 20:29, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Agnetha Fältskog debut and breakthrough 1967 - 1968[edit]

The article states ms Fältskog had her breakthrough and sold 80 000 records at the age of 17.

Agneta (still without the 'h') Åse Fältskog was born April 5th 1950. She made her debut as a singer with a very small band on September 17th 1966 at the restaurant 'Bellevue' in the little town of Karlshamn. She only appeared in a few numbers each night as she was so young. A home tape recording of the bands repertoire, including Agneha singing her own composition 'Jag Var Så Kär', was sent to a record company in Stockholm: They again contacted Agneta and she came to Cupol Records to record her first four songs (two singles) on Monday October 16th 1967. She then signed up as Agnetha Fältskog with an extra 'h' in her artist name. The first single, 'Följ Med Mej' / b-side 'Jag Var Så Kär' was released in late November 1967.

Nothing happened the first two months. She was invited to perform on tv in January 1968: and on Wednesday the 10th that month she was live on public tv (and meeting Anni-Frid Lyngstad who also performed in the same "Studio 8" Program that evening!).

A week and a half later, Sunday January 21 1968, the b-side of her single, her own composition 'Jag Var Så Kär' was tested for the highly popular radio charts 'Svensktoppen', and a week later, Sunday january 28th, she entered this list at # 3. It stayed in Svensktoppen for seven weeks.

The sales charts saw the single entering in February at # 6, climbing slowly until four weeks later it became # 1.

Her second single, self-composed 'Utan Dej' / b-side 'Slutet Gott Allting Gott' was released in February, entering Svensktoppen at #8 but disappearing after two weeks. Her third single 'En Sommar Med Dej' didn't chart at all. September 15th 1968 she entered Svensktoppen at # 9 with the song 'Den Jag Väntad på'. She fell out after one week. September 22nd 1968 she was back stronger with 'Allting Har Förändrat Sig', as this song climbed to # 2 on Svensktoppen and stayed there for seven weeks. The single also did well in the sales charts.

But Agnetha was not 17. She was one month short of being 18 when she finally started selling records and got her break-through. And for sure she did not sell 80 000 records at the age of 17, not even at 18. Her first album "Agnetha" was not released until December 1968; her five singles didn't sell 80 000 in 1968.

Thanks for the info, I reformulated the original sentence to reflect the reality more accurately now.--Kmhkmh (talk) 16:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

new section suggestions[edit]

I've read that Abba have sued a lot of "abba tribute bands" for using their name. Also, Abba sued the KLF for sampling one of their songs in the 80s. Are either of these significant enough to include in the article? AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 14:49, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Absolutely. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:54, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure. What exactly do you have in mind? An extra section just about tributes band being sued? That seems a bit out of place to me at first glance. The signficance primarily depends on the sources and how prominently that topic was covered in news and other publications.--Kmhkmh (talk) 19:13, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
It's quite a huge article, so a few concise mentions in the "After Abba" section would do (if that section is chronologically laid out to begin with). The KLF story is significant, and apparently there was a significant proliferation of Abba tribute bands in the US who used shady marketing to try to pass themselves off as Abba.

AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 14:26, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

If the article lacks balance and takes sides I don't think it should be used that way. In the real world Andersson and Ulvaeus have preferred to sue artists with whom they could have reached friendly compromises, and some of their actions have been less than admirable in that respect. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:20, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Year active[edit]

Should their active years really be listed 1970-1983? Yes, they made a few contributions on each other's albums at that time, but as a group they strated of in 1972 with the single "People Need Love". Aslo, they didn't record any music as a group in 1983, only B&B asked Agnetha to help out with the Chess demo "Every Good Man". I suggest that the date should be changed back to 1972-1982. --AgrisR (talk) 10:27, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

fine with me.--Kmhkmh (talk) 16:03, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Under Attack was released as a single in 1983 though.--Coin945 (talk) 01:30, 4 July 2015 (UTC)


Ok, apparently this requires some elaboration.

First of all here is subset of sources claiming figures in the 350-400 million range: Die Welt 2013, >380 million, The Telegraph 2014, >360 Million, ABC 2004, >360 Million, The Age 2005, >360 million, Billboard 2008, >350 million, Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, esimates up to 350 million, Express 2011, >375 million, Biilboard/AP 2012, > 400 million, BBC 2014, >400 million, Rock'n'Roll's Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Tales from 45 Years of Rock & Roll History - book 2014, estimate from 140 to 500 million.

Many of them are as good as sources as CNN, but more importantly note the CNN article is from 2003 (so refers to some published or researched figure from 2003 or few year earlier). I can see no reason to prefer 2003 source over much more recent ones with updated figures in particular since the sources somewhat consistent anyhow. In addition Polydor published in 2004 (on the occasion of the 5 year anniversary of Mamma Mia in London) an estimate of over 360 million. Reuters reported that in 2000s Abba was still selling several million records globally so the more recent figures in the 360-400 are consistent with the Polydor publication and roughly the CNN estimate from before 2003 as well. Since WP is supposed to reflect what recent reputable/reliable sources state state and to use the most recent data in doubt, the article should state a figure between 360 and 400 or even give that range.

Now having said all that, one might of course question the Polydor statement or various other publication, but WP cannot create content based on personal/private guesses or assessment of WP editors instead it it needs to stick what representative sources report. If an editor has serious doubts the only thing he/she can do is to qualify/attribute the statement (so using something accord to the BBC in 2014, according to the record label Polydor in 2004, etc.). But he cannot modify estimate based his own private assessment or cherry bon-representative or outdated figures.

In any case personal doubts or general issues with published sales figures aside, the given figures for Abba are actually fairly consistent in the big picture (from (globally) "best selling" band of the late 70s/very early 80s with estimates in the 200-250 million range in the 80s/early 90s, over the Abba revival in the 90s to the Mamma Mia boom the figures seem reasonable. The only possible glaring contradiction at first glance might be the relatively low figure of certified sales. However considering the time frame and global scope of the Abba sales (with a comparatively low importance of the US market), it is to be expected that bulk of the Abba sales is not certified. So there is no real contradiction or inconsistence here either, that is the published figures fit roughly together and make sense.--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think term "over 300 million records" is adequate due to the facts: 1) reliable sources claim 100-200 million figures, too (not only 350 or 300+); 2) ABBA certified sales are 3 times lower than Elton John although he has started carrer long before them (it's questionable that they for sure outsold him and others like Led Zeppelin (same problem); 3) other articles don't inflate records sales (600 million for Beatles, 400 million for MJ etc.) + informations discussed years ago in "best selling artists" article – there should be any coherence). Due to this, I think "over 300 million" is objective/not inflate and there are sources that claim records sales – so all is written now (btw, there is much more sources claiming 200-300 million for example). (talk) 07:45, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

  • This isn't so much about inflating or not inflating sales but stating (and sticking to) what the sources say (with attribution in doubt), it is not up to individual WP editors to provide their own analysis and to integrate that into the article because it appears "right" or "plausible" to them as that would be a violation of WP:OR. The 300 million figure for Elton John in his article for instance is sourced with USAToday. Using the same publisher for Abba I again end up in the 350-400 million range (see [1], [2]).
  • As far as the "best selling artists" article is concerned from what I've seen so far it seems highly problematic what editors have done there and I don't want to see the issues of that article imported into this one. Why is it highly problematic? Because its certified sales figures at least partially seem to consist of self compiled (rather than reliably published) certified sales data. That is politely put at least borderline WP:OR but nevertheless might be acceptable if all those figures are easily verifiable and agreed upon, but they are not. For instance I just tried to independently verify some of the certified sales figures for the UK for which the article compiled 16 million records. That figure seems high enough at first glance however in that figure the Dancing Queen single only accounts for 500,000 copies whereas the actual certified sales figure clocks slightly above 1.06 million ([3]) So we are off by a factor 2!. Ironically enough the official compilation up to 2012 has Abba as the 3 biggest selling group in the UK with 11 million records rather than 16 after the Beatles with 22 million and Queen with 12 million. The Beatles figure however in the WP article is just given with 12 million, so again off by a factor 2 almost. To sum this up the figures in "best selling artists" article are at least partially self compiled and do not always match the actual reliably published data. It seems WP editors simply compiled all the data they could access at some point, which however in parts seems incomplete and/or faulty (not to mention that some of that data lacks rather simple sanity checks, which would directly suggest its unreliability - for more details the discussion page there). That also means however the certified sales figure it provides for Abba is probably anything but reliable. So to argue certified sales for Abba we need to actually a reliably published figure for Abba's globally certified sales in the first place. Do you have one? If so then it certainly should included in the article.
  • In the meantime however we stick to what the majority of the most reputable and recent sources say, which brings us back to the 350-400 million range. If want to attribute/qualify that by "according to their label" or provide a sourced range or more details in a footnote, that's fine. But we definitely are not using an outdated 300 million CNN figure from before 2003, just because you feel it to be the most accurate or closest to the "real" figure. WP policy is quite clear on that point.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:26, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please note, you are the only one editor who see problem in term "over 300 million records" (all sources that are cited in the article claim various number of units). Term "over 300 million records" include all of them. As you've seen BBC claim 200 and 400 million units for ABBA in different articles. There is no putting "other articles issues in that article" - Wikipedia is the project, there must be some coherence between informations. In other artists articles claimed figures are not inflated or understated. I think "pver 300 million records" term with all sources that are used is objective (sources are given). (talk) 14:35, 4 July 2015 (UTC) There is another one newer source claiming CNN figure, as you think CNN's is too old. PS. Certified are not private work - private work is Harout document (as he's written). Total certified figures are supported by reliable sources in that article (Harout has also written about it). "Over 300 million records" includes all cited sources - I don't delete any of them, because it's not objective. (talk) 14:47, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

WP is project that must reflect appropriately (in a representative fashion) what reputable external sources state and NOT what WP-Editors at the "best selling artists" article think might be the "real" figure. I don't know how I can state that any more plainly. This is basic corner stone of WP policy - in other words non-negotionable. Now having said that I'm not on quest to personally rid WP of any possible WP:OR violation and/or inappropriate handling of sources. So if editors in "best selling artists" are hell bent and do it in certain way and in doubt ignoring standard policies, I don't really care all that much. However if they or other editors now spread out to make the articles of other artists conforming their notions (rather than sticking to sources) or in other words spreading potential policy violations all over, then it becomes a big problem. As I've already stated above reflecting reputable external sources is non-negotionable.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:49, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree we can't argue with reliable sources. We have to base on it. I think now it's clear and objective. (talk) 16:03, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

The last edit is still violation of WP:OR and exactly something what we as WP editors cannot do. We cannot the state (presumably) "real" figure/estimate, if the real figure it not known. What we can do however is giving the most prominent or most common figures and attribute them properly and/or providing a range. That's why re-adding the old text as an additional information is not appropriate in this form. As it seems to suggest to the reader that there is an neutral and most likely correct figure of 300 million whereas the label gives a supposedly false 375 million and there are other also supposedly false estimates, which is simply not correct and only a WP editors best guess. That exactly is a violation of WP:OR. We report report/summarize what reputable external say, but we do not report our personal conclusion we draw from them.

Another thing which we cannot do is compiling various figures from te press and pick the lowest with the argument it would be correct for sure since we state all those figures as "over". While that is correct from a pure logic perspective (at least under the flawed assumption that one of the figures contains the true value), it makes little sense in normal English not to mention that arguing the line of that formal language perspective, we simply all record as "over 0" (being logically true). So unless the different cited estimate are very close, we cannot cannot simply pick the lowest but instead we need provide and attribute the individual figures or alternatively summarize them in a range argument.

So to have the 300 million figure in the article at all it would have to be stated something like "According to CNN Abba had sold over 300 million records by 2003" or "According to Michael Lennox/Huffpo/AP Abba had sold over 300 million records by 2013". But this raises the question what the purpose of that 300 million figure, since contrary to the 375 million figure there is nothing special about it (in comparison to any other figure published in major news outlet) and it is already included in the range information anyhow. The 375 million figure however is special in the sense that it is the figure released by the label, so it makes sense to state it separate/in addition to the range. Other figures for which it might make sense to state them separately from the range would be a figure that is much more recent than the rest or an actual independent analysis. The latter would be the most interesting and useful additional figure, personally I have seen a few on the web, but aside from having some weak points they are not published in reputable source but only in private blogs or websites which are normally not acceptable as a source for WP.--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:58, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

P.S. For those who for whatever reason prefer to see additional figures in the article. Rather than adding them in the lead and by that creating unnecessary and potentially inappropriate clutter, it might be a better idea to compile such figures into a (new) section on sales figures. The article in the German Wikipedia does that quite successfully for instance. It tracks and describes the development of various sales figures (including the certified sales) from the 1970s until today.--~~

I think it should be discussed. Only 2 editors are talking about it so it seems no one other doesn't see any problem in all of (previously and actually) form of sentences in that topic. Note the article redirects to best selling artists article so we should be cautious with noncoherence between both of them (someone who reads about ABBA and next use redirecting file from it can be confused). Someone objective/new should discuss it because 2 involved persons could be wrong and noone has the exclusivity of having right. (talk) 07:44, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, you are right, that incoherence of data between different WP can be a bit irritating to readers and annoying in general. But on topics where no universally accepted or agreed upon data really exists outside of the WP that is cannot always be avoided and is not that uncommon in WP in practice. However in this particular case the incoherence somewhat only exist at first glance anyhow. Why is that? Firstly because the Abba figures in the "best selling artists article" are included the range figure here and more details could included in a separate section (as suggested above). Secondly the "best selling artists"-article outlines a very special approach and special criteria in its lead, that govern its ranking and compilation and that don't necessary apply to other articles. In fact as since that special approach can be seen as problematic with regarding to WP policies, I'd even argue they shouldn't apply to other articles. Some policy violations or exceptions might be acceptable for an individual article (there is also WP:IAR, if it still produces something meaningful for readers and the involved editors at large agree that the benefits outweigh the problems. That is something which cannot always be avoided with a huge project like WP and its diverse set of editors. Nevertheless as I stated earlier such potentially tolerated exceptions for an individual article cannot be applied or generalized across the board, that is moved on to the musical artists' articles. Because in that case we'd moved from a locally tolerated exception to policy to ignoring the policy at large and making the exception the rule and that is a no-go.--Kmhkmh (talk) 08:40, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
P.S.: If you strongly feel that this issue requires more input from other (experienced) editors, you can request additional opinions/assessments at Wikipedia:Third opinion and/or at some other special project pages (dealing with popular music or the involved policies).--Kmhkmh (talk) 08:42, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

I know your edition is good faith, but please don't delete sourced information. It's as justified as your addition. If someone reads the article he will understand what is written. We shouldn't delete reliable sources. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 09:12, 6 July 2015 (UTC)


This still not appropriate as you skipped the date for the CNN reference (actually idicating that the figure is at least 12 yeas old), but more importantly as explained above there seems to be no good reason to cite the individual 300 million figure. Another (minor) issue is that you cited the same source twice which makes no sense here (Huffpo and Yahoo are both copies of the AP article by Lennox).

The (formal) problems stated above aside, I personally don't get the fixation on the 300 million figure. Imho there is at high likelihood that the 300 million figure is essentially just taken from an earlier Label statement of Abba sales (or taken from another article being based on such a statement, fo instance AP might have copied the info from CNN) and I can't see any hint or any reason to suggest that it is derived from an independent analysis. That however means most likely with the 300 you are just adding an additional outdated label figure (the most recent label figure being 375), that iss already included in the range information anyhow. That makes no sense to me at all.

To sum this up. I didn't simply delete sourced information, but I removed insufficiently stated and redundant information, which doesn't really add any new value to the article.--Kmhkmh (talk) 09:29, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Other sources claimed 300 million are more recent (2013) that information from label (2010), CNN (2003) is only one of them. I think this information can be include in the article and there is no reason to delete it. There's information with source and date. Reader can understand what is written. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 09:32, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
As I said already, here is no good reason/rationale to add yet another individual published figure in the lead, that is already in included in the range. For giving a figure in a in addition to the range it should have have a special property, that makes it worthwhile noting it individually (like official label figure, the (by far) most recent estimate, independent analysis, etc.). None of that however seems to apply to the 300 million figure, which in that case just adds inappropriate clutter in the lead. As I wrote earlier if you want a variety of individual published figures (including the 300) then augment the article by detailed section on Abba's sales in which you might cite plenty of individually published figures, but do not clutter the lead with it it. The lead should only have the range and individual figures with a special property as explained.--Kmhkmh (talk) 09:46, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no WP rule that suggest delete that information and which expand which kind of sentence must be include in the lead. Also there is not practice of creation special detailed section about various claimed sources in other artists article. Previuosly the article stated about over 300 million units figure. Sentences added by you explain and expand informations about it. There is no reason to delete previous information, because next sentences don't deny it and only expand it. Also that information cites reliable sources. All WP rules are keeped. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 10:23, 6 July 2015 (UTC) Also, if there is any kind of dispute about include various informations, it should be accrued the consensus (by including information as consensus if it doesn't breach WP rules, but not include only form which is offer by one of disputing editors). According to not breaching any of rules, actually lead is the consensus in that meaning and, as it is seen, noone other (readers) has any objection to it. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 10:29, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually no, before your recent edits since beginning of July the article did give a 380 million figure [see [4], [5]) figure which was the most recent published in reliable sources (and probably based on label statement). Then this figures was removed and replaced by various other lower and older estimates (most likely based on older outdated label statements) and this includes your 300 million figure. Moreover that was done to synchronize the figures with the (problematic) "best selling artists"-article and I explained above in detail, why that is a bad idea and a policy violation.
  • Yes, there is no WP rule explicitly forbidding to cite the 300 million, the same way that there is no rule against citing any other of the plenty of available published figures (including 380 million that got removed). However good writing (and WP recommendations to that regard in general) suggest to summarize those figures appropriately and that is exactly what the range information and the most recent label statement did. Simply adding additional arbitrary published however is bad writing and adding clutter in the lead.
  • As far as "objections" by other editors are concerned. None of the editors here raised any objection against primarily stating the up-to-date label figures being published in reputable sources, that is the the 360 to 380 million figures which had been in the article for years until you showed up.
  • Lastly, WP does not directly accrue random bits of information based on editorial consent, but it summarizes what external reputable sources state. Editorial consent only comes into the picture, when it is about the exact form of the appropriate summary. That the article however is supposed to appropriately summarize the (most recent) information from reputable sources is not up for debate or editorial consensus. That a mandatory given by WP project rules. Having said all that, even if you want to make an editorial consent argument for the exact summary in the lead, then (so far accepted) consent before you showed up would be 380 million not 300 million.
  • On the positive side your recent edits triggered at least an overhaul of the lead attributing the label figure explicitly and providing the range information. You should leave it at that and stop pushing a somewhat random 300 million figure (being most likely based on an outdated label figure anyhow). That figure (with the cited sources) is simply not improving but deteriorating the lead by just adding redundant information and clutter.
Conclusion: Good writing, general WP recommendations, past editorial consent and frankly imho common sense all seem suggest not to state that 300 million figure in the lead. Other than your personal preference, I still can't see any proper reason to have that figure in the lead.--Kmhkmh (talk) 11:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

It's not true. Previuos version of the article stated 380 million units and cited sources (1 dead and 1 claiming 370 - that was not consistent). Next edits were added not only by me. Another editor has given citation need for information about 2nd best-selling group. Also Harout has explained why 100-200 million figure is used. There is no other reason to delete information about 300 million (according to you, it's "probably outdated", but it's/can be only our opinnion, actual sources (2013) tell sth different). Note, I don't remove your editions, you (not considering my, Harout's and editor's who added citation need arguments) deleted my edit. I think it shows I am more ready for compromise. There is no reason why we can't add information about CNN and Yahoo claims. Only reason could be you as only one person don't want it. Your sentences are not deleted. Lead text is correct, not breaching any rules and more complete by various claims. It's the practice which is applied in other artists' articles. Other editors don't have objections - especially your propositions are considering by sentences you've written. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 11:44, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Actually it is true if you take a closer look. The dead link was at the time the latest estimate from November 2013 ([6]) that stated 380 million. The guardian link was originally used to source a 370 million figure in an earlier version of article ([7]). However if you read guardian source carefully (370 million for 2011 or earlier plus still selling several million every year) it sort of supports the 380 million figure as well for a point in time being few years after 2011. That is why I left it in, when I upgraded the figure based on a newer source (the dead link). If you had any doubt about the dead link, you could have easily confirmed the 380 million figure by 5 secs googling (for instance billboard 2014, Palm's book about Abba, 2014, Boston Globe, 2014, 2015, ABC, 2013, Telegraph, 2014, Sydney Morning Herald,2013) and simply replace the dead link. There was absolutely no reason to replace that sourced figure by somewhat random and most likely older estimates and as pointed out above, before you showed up there was no issue with 380 million figure for almost 2 years and before that there was no issue with the older 370 million figure before that either.
That the CNN figure of 300 million is outdated, is not my opinion but it follows directly from the publication date. That the other later sources just restate an older estimate (like the old CNN figure) is indeed just my personal opinion, albeit a rather plausible one. However that was not the primary reason for exclusion of the 300 million figure, but an assessment for your personal benefit. The primary reason for removing that figure from the lead, is that it makes no sense to add random individual figures that are within the already given range. This simply adds no useful information for readers. It makes only sense to add an individual figure in addition to the already given range, if that figure has particular property like official figure from the label, latest (updated) estimate, independently reasearched figure or certified sales figure. But if it is just another published figure without any special property, it really has no place in the lead, since that would only amount to redundant clutter and that's just bad writing. At best such random figures could be added to a later chapter that deals in greater detail with sales figures, though imho it is questionable even there.--Kmhkmh (talk) 06:41, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

300 million records figure appear also in more recent sorces. You are writting only abou CNN, but more recent sources claim 300 million. It's not all, more recent sources are claiming 100 million figure, too. Noone has any objections, information about 300 millio nrecords is supported by reliable sources, so tgere is no reason to not include that information. Your informations are still included. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 12:32, 9 August 2015 (UTC) Note, more editors are editing article and noone has objections; cited sources are reliable; as reliable sources claim 100 million, 200 million, 300 milion etc. all informations can be included. Information about outdating is opinnion, cause recent sources claim 300 million (100 and 200 million, too). Which figures are random is only opinnion. Some sources claim they've sold 100 million records. I think including the information about 300 and figures you've added is not bad idea, it only shows more details. Also, if lead part informs how many records they've sold it's not reason to use some of it in lead, but other figures (which is not fitting to someone feeling - mine or others) in next part can be described as trying to omission one and distinguish another one. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 12:42, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

  • a) "noone has objections" <--- False, I'm objecting ever since you started editing here. Also if you to make a "silent majority" argument, then it kinda wirks against you as well, because everybody was fine old figures (current at time) from 360 to 380.
  • b) Correct is nobody has raised an opinion yet, but I requested a third opinion now to remedy that.
  • c) Which figures are random is not simply "my opinion", but i laid out a neutral and imho rather obvious criteria for it.
  • d) That some of the sources you've cited are clearly outdated is not my opinion either but it follows directly from their publication. For the remaining (few) sources with recent dates you might argue it is "my opinion" that they are outdated. However this "opinion of mine" is more less backed up by various authoritative sources including the latest edition of Palm's seminal biograpohy of Abba and any reasoable reading of the overall sources seem strongly suggest it. On the other hand you've provided about zero arguments to suggest that those figures are not outdated (other than pointing to the publication date).
  • e) The 300 millions figure is already included in the range information and you still haven't provided why it should be listed separately as well. From my perspective it still just adds redundant (and most likely outdated) clutter to the lead.
--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:07, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Of course by writing it I only thought about that noone other didn't tell about objections (I didn't think of you, It's of course). Please note, another editor has added "citation need" and also Harout has written about 100-200 M figure. Also, please note I only add sourced information, I don't delete nor discredit content added by you. Adding information supported by sources is nothing wrong. Honestly, I can't understand all the time what is a problem. You've added information about 375 million records and more, it's written. I've added 300 supported also by sources, so there're more details. I still believe in your good faith, I swear. But cannot understand what's the problem. All information (including yours) are added. Some recent sources claim 100-200 million records, so we can't write 300 million is doubtless outdated, because sources are claiming various number. I think there is no reason we can't add it due to any of rules. I don't delete nor want delete informations added by you. So I don't see any bad in current version. Of course, we can ask others, and I see you've asked. By 'opinnion" I undesrtand that information that 2013 publications are outdated is opinnion, not fact. Also information which sources are authoritative more which less is disputable. That's my point of view. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 17:34, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

3rd opinions[edit]


>= 350 million:

<= 300 and below:

[ note: There are also recent sources that cite 100 M and 200 M figur (see e.g. List of best-selling music artists). That seems noone knows how many they have sold (most probably between 100-500 M records). 3rd "vs version" is an example probably (it was not discussed). That what I've wanted to add. :) TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 21:45, 11 September 2015 (UTC) ]

Yes, the "List of best-selling music artists"-article cites 4 small, regional media outlets with low reputation. That the exact number is not known is without dispute and contained in all 3 textversions.--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:08, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

[1 note: In that article reliability of used sources was disscused. Harout has written about it. TaurenMoonlighting (talk) 01:30, 12 September 2015 (UTC)]

Opinions & dispute[edit]

The dispute is over which of the following two formulations is more appropriate for the lead (with the arguments and sources for or against listed in the section one further up plus the sources in current article version). Please note that for all figures given in those two versions there exist some external sources, in that sense all figures are "verified". The dispute not being about being sourced as such, but about how to best summarize and assess all all available sources for the lead. For that one needs to consider reputation and publication dates of the involved sources and the context of the figures they state.

According to its label the Universal Music Group Abba has sold over 375 million records as of January 2010, this figure has not been independently verified and has occasionally been questioned. Other estimates range from over 140 to over 500 million sold records. (permanent link with footnotes/sources)


According to CNN and some other sources ABBA has sold over 300 million albums and singles worldwide. Although according to its label the Universal Music Group the band has sold over 375 million records as of January 2010, this figure has not been independently verified and has occasionally been questioned. Other estimates range from over 140 to over 500 million sold records. (permanent link with footnotes/sources)


According to BBC and a large number of other sources ABBA has sold over 350 million albums and singles worldwide. Although according to its label the Universal Music Group the band has sold over 375 million records as of January 2010, this figure has not been independently verified and has occasionally been questioned. Other estimates range from over 140 to over 500 million sold records.

add your opinions below please:

I prefer the second version. First, the first sentence isn't properly punctuated in English. The comma should be a period or semicolon. However, more importantly, I don't think that we should lead off with a figure that is noted to be unverified. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:05, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
By the way, only one third opinion is permitted (because another one would be a fourth opinion), so I am deleting the third opinion request. If you want more opinions, go to voluntary the dispute resolution noticeboard or use a Request for Comments. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:05, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: Did you check the (unfortunately somewhat lengthy )discussion above? The 300 million figure is as "unverified" as any of the other figures in question.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:03, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Another opinion... User:Kmhkmh asked me to have a look at this. Truth be told, nobody knows how many records ABBA sold through the 70s and 80s. Most English speakers (not talking about editors here) have little or no notion as to how overwhelmingly popular ABBA was in the non-English-speaking world throughout much of the 70s and 80s. They indeed had, at times (though I don't think this is still true), more total "lifetime" worldwide record sales than bands like the Beatles. Before the USSR fell, they did barter records for manufactured goods (staples) with "eastern bloc" countries because demand was so high and they weren't seen as too "counter-revolutionary" or whatever by some of those governments. They also handed out manufacturing licenses in "import challenged" countries in exchange for lump sum payments in hard currencies and it's more or less a given that record keeping under many of those deals was "loose" in sundry ways. This is why the sources mis-match so wildly. Given the sheer volume of records they sold in over 100 countries through mazes of deals, I think it unlikely that stronger sources could or ever will crop up. My humble opinion is that the UMG estimate is on the lower end of what may have been sold, with half a billion on the higher end. So, I'd go with the second version while making it clear to the reader that the total is unknown. I'd also have the last sentence read something more like, "Other estimates range further upwards to over 500 million sold records." This is all aside from the straightforward commercial bootlegging, which was meaningful. Gwen Gale (talk) 02:57, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps we could state in the article that the info comes from the label itself, rather than an independent source. These figures were compiled before computerization at the point of sale, which I understand affected the record industry in the mid-1980s.(hifrommike65, 14 August 2015)

@Hifrommike65: Well both text suggestions do that already with regard to the 375 million figure. I agree that the 300 million cnn is most likely just an older label information (see the cnn publication date) if you're referring to that one. So if the cnn figure is kept in the lead the description needs to be more accurate. The problem with the CNN figure however (and most published figure in newspapers/journals) is that they do not tell where the figure comes from. Common sense may suggest, that it is just a label figure from the time of the publication or an older label figure looked up in an archive/reference book, but as long as the source is not stating that explicitly, we don't know for sure and hence can't describe it as label figure in WP. That is precisely why I picked the 375 million figure of 2010 rather than any of the newer 380+ figures because in that source it is explicitly stated that the figure comes from the label. That also why dislike the cnn figure in the lead, because it is unclear where it comes from exactly, it is contained in the general range information given later anyhow and when looking at all the published figures and their dates (see discussion one section up) common sense seems to suggest that it is an outdated label figure being superseded by the 375 million label figure of 2010.--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:39, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
I didn't read all of this discussion, but here goes a quick question to those who are debating the sales: if many sources claim more than 300 million records sold (some claim more than 500), why isn't ABBA in a higher position at the List of best-selling music artists ? The ranking on that page is based on claimed sales, not certified ones. ABBA should be right below Elvis. I'm asking this because, if there isn't any proper and fundamented objection, I can do that myself. Clausgroi (talk) 14:48, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Most somewhat recent sources seem to state >350 million, presumably based on label figures released over the last 15 years with the most recent label figure (2013) being at 380 million. The List of best-selling music artists seems to have its own peculiar methodology, wich strictly speaking constitutes WP:OR. The basic idea is that they generally discard any label figures and compile instead the current certified sales figure themselves by adding up figures from various national databases and in addition they provide some arbitrary estimate published in a "reliable source" that isn't much higher than 3 times the certified sales figure. There are a lot of issues with that approach, but that is a problem of that particular article and not really of any consequence here. If want to change any Abba figures at List of best-selling music artists you would need to discuss that on the talk page of that article rather than here. Here we need to figure out, how to best summarize the sales figures for this article, independently of what editors at the List of best-selling music artists article are doing.--Kmhkmh (talk) 16:33, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
@Kmhkmh: I'm uninvolved other than as a member of WP:ESC, but you make a good point about the practice of that list. Would you be interested in somehow trying to help with changing that, possibly starting with simply an RfC? —烏Γ (kaw), 22:13, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Opinion Second version for me as well, for exactly the same reasons that Robert McClenon and Gwen Gale state. It covers all the bases. Richard3120 (talk) 16:33, 11 September 2015 (UTC)