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Most every collector knows what an Obi is but if you were told you could wear one with a kimono....

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An Obi strip is traditionally a strip of paper looped around the left side or folded over the top of Japanese or other LP albums. Obi strips are also found folded over the left side of music CDs, laserdiscs, DVDs and even on the covers of books when they are sold new. The Japanese word "Obi" refers to the traditional sash or belt worn with a kimono.

The features of the Obi strip include the title of the product usually in phonetic Japanese or other language, the track listings, other information such as price, catalog number and information on related releases or artists from that same record company.

The Obi strip's main purpose was so that consumers knew what the contents of the album were and for the store owner to use for re-ordering. Back when vinyl was the main medium for recorded music, most new records in Japan were packaged with Obi strips on them which of course had the title and all the other information, but on the back there was a tab with the catalog number that the store owner or cashier would cut off when it was sold to a customer so he would know what to re-order.

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ABBA will finally join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the United States

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The Stooges, Genesis, ABBA, Jimmy Cliff and The Hollies are to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year.

The acts will be inducted in the 25th Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, taking place at New York's Waldorf Astoria on March 15.

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ABBA tops the UK Karaoke hit parade

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Sounding like a 'karaoke singer' is one of pop judge Simon Cowell's favourite put downs.

But for the thousands who only dare hold a microphone after too many drinks at the office Christmas party, karaoke remains a popular form of self-humiliation.

And now a top 25 chart of the songs we most love to murder has been revealed.

They are classic, instantly recognisable and easy to remember pop tunes that even the most tuneless and talentless singer can make an attempt at performing.

Abba's 1974 Eurovision Song Contest winning hit Waterloo tops the chart and the Swedish supergroup also provides the fifth most popular karaoke number Dancing Queen.

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New book announced for January 2010 - ABBA in America

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ABBA in America - A pictorial travelouge

It was ABBA's final big tour, their very last live performance as a group on the world stages. ABBA's tour across the USA in autumn 1979 and Japan in winter 1980 turned out to be a triumph for Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Annifrid.

The journalist Leif Schulman and the royal court photographer Charles Hammarsten followed the tour on the count of the Swedish celebrity magazine Hant i Veckan. Back then the idea was to publish a story book about the live on tour. It was a tremendous adventure for ABBA, but aslo for Leif and Charles who were very privileged to be allowed to follow Swedens biggest music export so closely, when they first put their feet on American soil.

This book meets a new audience today. The original story book has been completely rewritten and an immense amount of pictures have been added - all freshly presented and modernly designed. This is a book that focuses on the adventures in America, but which also takes the reader along an exciting journey to Japan. It was here where ABBA finally performed together as a group.

The book will be released in English and Swedish language.

For more information:
Premium Publishing

From ABBA to Mamma Mia! - Revised and Expanded edition! January 2010

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Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid were the biggest global pop phenomenon of the 1970s. Their 1974 Eurovision win led to an unbroken string of hits around the world, and in recent years their music has enjoyed an unparalleled revival with the bestselling compilation ABBA Gold and the phenomenal success of the musical Mamma Mia! ? based on ABBA's songs.

Despite their global fame and the continuing fascination with all things ABBA, since their split the group have never given their blessing to an official book ? until now. From ABBA to Mamma Mia! features more than 500 photographs taken by Anders Hanser, a close friend of the band who has had unprecedented access over more than twenty years. Where other books have only been able to portray the public face of ABBA, this book is a snapshot of life with ABBA behind closed doors: relaxing in a private jet between US shows, departing from Wembley Arena by limo surrounded by fans, and backstage at the video shoot for Super Trouper.

The authoritative text is by Carl Magnus Palm, recognized as one of the world's fore-most ABBA historians, who has worked closely with the group and interviewed many of their entourage, including costume designers, sound engineers and video directors. He paints a complete and vivid portrait of the world within ABBA's inner circle of friends and colleagues.

Official, definitive and essential, and with a foreword by the four band members themselves, From ABBA to Mamma Mia! is every fan's dream book.

More information here:
Premium Publishing

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