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A Shot of Swedish for a Merry Christmas
A new generation of wannabe Swedish singing sensations, the ABBA Max band, will give Beijing pop fans a Festive Season treat with concerts at the Beizhan Theatre on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Consisting of singers Patti Reveil and Paula Ann Raymond, keyboard player Simone Virciglio, guitarist Ian Llewellyn Sudworth and drummer Darren James Bazzoni, the band will cover dozens of ABBA hits such as Mamma Mia, Name of the Game, Dancing Queen, and Waterloo.

Many of the songs will be very familiar to Chinese audiences because they have been translated into popular Chinese songs since the 1980s.

The world learned how good Sweden was at creating catchy melodies and lyrics in April 1974 when ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. Bjorn Skifs and Blue Suede then reached No 1 on the American hit list with Hooked on a Feeling.

Since then, Swedish pop has been a worldwide phenomenon. The early 1990s produced Roxette and Ace of Base and, in the last five years, Swedish pop music has ruled the world.

ABBA has made Sweden such a big hit, according to Fred Bronson, columnist at American Billboard, who has been following Swedish music for three decades.

And ABBA MAX is one of the leading bands blending the legendary Swedish style of ABBA with their own characteristics.

(China Daily December 20, 2002)

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