Over the past 28 years, 8 albums and 27 singles, Abbacadabra has been one of Almighty’s biggest artists to date. ABBA’s originals have still never been remixed – but now DJs, ABBA enthusiasts and fans of great music can enjoy the magic through Abbacadabra, thought to provide the best dance versions to this day.
So how did it all begin? In 1991, the group released their first single ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’, which was an immediate DJ favourite. Within a few months came the exciting follow up single ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’. ‘Dancing Queen’ shortly followed and was a pivotal moment in both Abbacadabra and Almighty’s history. Such was the interest in this single, that after selling out completely of it’s initial pressing of vinyl and CD’s on the first day, it helped label boss Martyn Norris decide to give up his full-time job and dedicate his full time and attention to Almighty.
‘Dancing Queen’ received so much international acclaim that by the time Abba’s own celebratory revival kicked in at the end of ’92, Abbacadabra’s roots had been firmly planted. Legendary pop producer Pete Waterman started playing both ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ on his late night TV show ‘The Hit Men And Her’. This generated so much interest that he decided to pick up ‘Dancing Queen’ for a full scale release and promotion on his own label PWL. It entered the national charts, was licensed to many compilations and enjoyed sustained sales in many countries around Europe. By the time they had issued their next few singles, 'The Winner Takes It All', ‘The Visitors', 'One Of Us', 'SOS' and 'Eagle' they had enough material for an album.
The stunning debut album, 'Abbasalute' was a cleverly compiled 9 track selection of Abba classics, which ultimately became one of Almighty's biggest selling albums. It contained the much loved ABBA track 'The Day Before You Came' (one of ABBA’s last releases), which was to have been the last release for the Almighty group. The American Almighty supporters (who have always been so fantastically keen) had other ideas. After an article had run in US DJ bible 'DMA' claiming that Abbacadabra had 'called it a day', a barrage of faxes, phone calls and a rather weighty post bag of despairing letters arrived all passionately pleading for an Abbacadabra return! With so much support evident Stateside and with the group's back catalogue still going strong, Almighty decided that if they were going to keep the group relevant then they would have to move forwards with an even fresher sound. It was two years later when dance trends had moved on with amazing speed when Almighty’s newly created in-house production team of Jon Dixon, Graham Willcocks and Ian Gant started work with the next series of recordings. 'Voulez Vous' was the obvious choice to use this new 'full-on' club sound on for Abbacadabra's return. And what a comeback! Catapulting them to the top of DJ charts and playlists all over the world, this more updated club sound then followed through on the next few releases 'SOS', 'Fernando', 'Dancing Queen' and 'The Name Of The Game', all of which were hailed by many to be their finest attempts to date. 'Waterloo' (always difficult to do) hit the stores in early '97 and in the summer of that year 'Angeleyes', was released with a different sound including outside mixes from Marc Andrews and D-Bop. A year on, the single 'Summer Night City' became yet another excellent excursion into the sound of the day – a pumpin’ full-on timeless production that recaptures the real magic of Abba but also with a fabulously clubby edge.
It is internationally that Abbacadabra have gained the greatest commercial achievement and recognition - In Japan, at first with Avex and then to a greater extent being taken on by the major Toshiba/EMI - In the US, the popular remix team Love To Infinity helped 'Dancing Queen' become a huge club hit while the act were signed to BMG.
Abbacadabra’s last major single in the UK ‘Mamma Mia’ has an added relevance — the musical of the same name had just opened in the West End and any ABBA related recordings were in the public’s prime gaze again! Almighty, not shy to take advantage of the situation, prior to the show’s opening released the album ‘Mama Mia’. In edition a number of the songs were used in the UK and original hit TV show ‘Queer As Folk’.‘Dancing Queen’ was also used in the US spin-off of ‘Queer As Folk’, which ran for 5 series.
With various vocalists taking the leads on the Abbacadabra project, we would like to thank Linda Taylor, Karen Boddington, Martin Jenkins, Pam Sheyne, Tracey Ackerman, Belle Lawrence, Jamie Knight and a host of other singers who helped create the unique blend of Abba-esque sounding vocals (not forgetting the Almighty Crew who were compelled to regularly do BV’s!). At the same time we would like to thank Maria Grimshaw and Nina Madhoo who took the Abbacadabra show on the road.
Revival Flight 1 (ALMYCD018)
Revival Flight 2 (ALMYCD021)
Mama Mia (ALMYCD037)
Mama Mia - The Platinum Collection (ALMYCD052)
We Love Abbacadabra: The Mamma Mia Dance Collection (ALMYCD063)
Mama Mia: The Dance Collection (ALMYDD4114)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (ALMY003)
Lay All Your Love On Me (ALMY014)
Dancing Queen (ALMY020)
The Visitors (ALMY023)
The Winner Takes It All (ALMY026)
The Day Before You Came (ALMY049)
The Name Of The Game (ALMY091)
Honey, Honey (ALMY107)
Summer Night City (ALMY122)
Mamma Mia (ALMY133)
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (ALMY207)
Money Money Money (ALMY304)
On & On & On (ALMY316)
Take A Chance On Me (ALMY319)
Super Trouper (ALMY330)
Music Factory Medley (ALMY352)
Just Like That (ALMY378)
If It Wasn’t For The Nights (ALMY379)
Under Attack (ALMY380)
DMC Abbacadabra Megamix (ALMY384)