Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Closing of Stockholm's Legendary Polar Studios

The First of May marked the twentieth anniversary of the closing of the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm after 26 years of operation. The studio, opened on May 18, 1978, by members of ABBA and the band’s manager, famously featured a Harrison 32 Series analog mixing console — the world’s first 32-bus, inline desk.

ABBA recorded their final three albums — Voulez-Vous, Super Trouper and The Visitors — and two non-LP singles, "The Day Before You Came" and "Under Attack," at Polar. The very first song recorded at the studio was the global hit “Chiquitita,” the lead single from Voulez-Vous, which was released in January 1979. The Visitors became one of mainstream pop’s first digital releases in 1981 when it was recorded to Polar’s new 3M digital tape machine. All four ABBA members recorded solo projects at the studio after the band split up in 1982.

Most major Swedish artists recorded at Polar, as did a very long list of international artists, including the Rolling Stones, Backstreet Boys, Chic, the Ramones, Roxy Music and Celine Dion. Led Zeppelin recorded their 1979 album In Through the Out Door at Polar and Genesis recorded Duke in 1980, with the band’s lead vocalist and drummer Phil Collins going on to produce, with Hugh Padgham, ABBA singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad's solo album, Something's Going On, at the studio.

Anderson bought out partners Ulvaeus and Andersson in 1984 before selling the facility to a business partnership comprising his daughter, son-in-law and Lennart Östlund, Polar's chief engineer since 1978. The building was later sold to a Swedish insurance company and the building became a private housing cooperative, which raised the rent. With the business no longer economically viable, Polar Studios closed.

Note: The console is now housed in the ABBA museum, Stockholm Sweden.