There's an interesting site called The Range Place where it covers the voice range of an individual singer. There was a thread about Agnetha and Frida's voice range from that site, so I felt like this has to be shared due to my persistent interests in vocal ranges and types.
The links below will take you to the additional information where the notes are circulated at, such as Agnetha's high belting notes at E6 in 'King Kong Song', and Frida hitting a B5 on the telly show 'Gäst Hos Hagge'
Very interesting. I remember there was a discussion about Frida's range on ABBA The Site before the forum was closed and I found Agnetha's range on YouTube but this is much more detailed. So it seems Frida was actually able to go both higher and lower than Agnetha... How come she's considered a mezzo-soprano then? Is it determined by singer's "comfort zone"?
...it seems Frida was actually able to go both higher and lower than Agnetha... How come she's considered a mezzo-soprano then? Is it determined by singer's "comfort zone"?
Frida has said herself that she is a mezzo-soprano and Agnetha is a soprano, but classical vocal definitions don't map across to popular music very neatly. The practical difference between them as pop vocalists is that Agnetha can belt more or less right to the top of her range, whereas Frida needs to change gear to her head voice and then to a whistle register (at the end of En Ledig Dag). Frida's higher notes (above B4) are perfect for opera or jazz, but are less effective in the context of a pop lead vocal line. In HIYS Agnetha famously belts a B4 and then glisses up a whole octave to B5, without switching to head voice.
To illustrate, in IBWFY Frida's high harmony on 'and finally it seems my lonely days are through' is just as high as Agnetha's subsequent 'I've been waiting for you'. But the head voice that Frida is employing to reach these notes would not have the necessary punch to carry the 'I've been waiting..', which Agnetha belts. Of course, neither could Agnetha match Frida's warmth at the other end of the spectrum.
Thanks for explaining. I have noticed that Frida uses her head voice when harmonizing above Agnetha (besides IBWFY in Move On to a great effect). And I've read in the book ABBA Let The Music Speak about the fact that if they sing in unison, Frida is more prominent in lower register while Agnetha prevails when they go higher. What I don't fully understand though is if Agnetha could go much higher if she used her head voice? You said: "Agnetha can belt more or less right to the top of her range..." Does that simply mean she can use both her chest voice and head voice in approximately the same range or could we expect her reach yet higher? I mean... all of the reported high notes she sings in ABBA songs (B5 in HIYS) are belted or even screamed (King Kong Song) and she uses her head voice sometimes when singing harmonies but we never experienced her singing like Frida did - i.e. using head voice to go higher than usual.