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1973 ABBA-RING RING
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Björn,BENNY,AGNETHA & FRIDA-RING RING March 1973 (Released in the 1990's most places) Available on CD worldwide.

Björn,BENNY,AGNETHA & FRIDA-RING RING March 1973 (Released in the 1990's most places) Available on CD worldwide.

This is regarded as ABBA's first album. However,the acronym ABBA wasn't used officially till after the release of this lp. The RING RING lp was originally released only in Sweden and a few other territories. The most notable Non-Swedish release was in Australia where a different cover was used. The RING RING album only became widely available in most territories when Polygram began releasing it on Cd in the 1990's.

However, at least  five of the songs from RING RING had been long available worldwide due to their release on ABBA's first GREATEST HITS album or other compilations . Those songs are " Ring Ring"," People Need Love","He Is Your Brother'," Nina Pretty Ballerina" and "Another Town, Another Train" These are still reasonably enjoyable. The remaining tracks are relatively weak, other than the Agnetha & Bjorn composition "Disillusion".. "Rock N Roll Band" is only a mildly effective song, it, like so many of the early ABBA songs features Björn on lead vocals. "Love Isn't Easy... " and "Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother" have pleasent bubble gum melodies but sound contrived."I Saw It in The Mirror" and "I am Just a Girl" are two of the worst ABBA recordings ever made.

The original vinyl album had twelve tracks. The original Swedish LP had both the Swedish & English versions of" Ring Ring". The first Cd issue of RING RING substituted the Björn and Benny song "She's My kind of Girl "instead of the Swedish version of "Ring Ring". "She's My Kind of Girl" is not a bad B&B song, but it was recorded in 1969 , and is not an ABBA record.

Unlike other ABBA albums, recording began on RING RING without a preconceived idea that a album was being recorded. It wasn't till midway through the recording that it became clear that the singles and other tracks recorded were to be assembled for the debut album of Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida.

Originally the aim was to perhaps to release a Bjorn and Benny album but the act became Björn,BENNY,AGNETHA & FRIDA with the "People Need Love" single. People Need Love" was actually the first single released with all four names ( Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida ).

RING RING is generally regarded as the weakest of the ABBA studio albums, though an argument could be made that the less hit-laden Waterloo album is actually weaker. , RING RING, has a certain appeal due to it's infectious, innocent sound. and also has a certain rarity appeal due to it being so hard to get for so long in so many parts of the world.

TRACK BY TRACK, train by train, frame by frame

1. Ring Ring ( Andersson-Ulvaeus-Sedaka-Cody) 3.03 Recorded January 1973

Agnetha Faltskog- Lead Vocals
Frida Lyngstad- Lead Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums
Sax only on the 1974 remix -Ulf Andersson

The title track is of course, the great single on this album. A number of different mixes were tried on "Ring Ring' in an attempt to make it hit big internationally. Along with Swedish, Spanish, and German versions of this song, there are least three different English mixes of the
song. I don't know that any of the versions are that much superior to any of the others, but it is said by some that the American remix was the best.

Indeed each of the versions are all very noisy sounding. "Ring Ring" is a very peppy Phil Spectorish/girl group/Europop concoction, though it's a bit more derivative sounding than most of ABBA's later classics. ABBA tried to go to the Eurovision song contest in 1973 with "Ring Ring" but failed to win the Swedish heat. The English version of Ring Ring is notable for having the help of Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody on the lyrics, the only time a outside writer helped on a ABBA song.. "Ring Ring" is also notable for having Agnetha & Frida sing the song (without Björn's help) in unison. This was the first B/B or ABBA single to solely feature Agnetha & Frida singing in unison (without Björn's help). Of all the weapons at ABBA's disposal-having A&F sing together would prove to be most critical to ABBA's worldwide commercial success.

2. Another Town, Another Train (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.10 Recorded winter of 1972-73

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

This song has nice instrumention, and unlike some other early ABBA songs-seems to benefit from having Bjorn sing it. He almost sounds like he lived the life of the man in the song.

3. Disillusion (Faltskog-Ulvaeus) 3.05 Recorded March 1973

Agnetha Faltskog-Lead Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Mike Watson -Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

"Disillusion" is the only commercially released ABBA song to be written or cowritten by one of the girls. Agnetha wrote the music and Björn wrote the words . (Thus "Disillusion" is the the only released ABBA song not to have some sort of writing credit for Benny). B&B were unable to encourage Agnetha to write other songs for the group despite the fact that Agnetha,wrote many of the songs for her 1970's Swedish language solo albums.She did cowrite the unreleased live track "i'm Still Alive' for the 1979 ABBA tour.

(Frida's only ABBA writing credit is for 1981's "Hovas Vittne" a privately issued tribute to ABBA manager Stig Anderson. The songwriters' credit for "Hovas Vittne" reads Andersson, Ulvaeus, Fältskog, Lyngstad, Tretow and Rune Soderqvist. )

4. People Need Love (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.43 Recorded March 1972

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals- Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Mike- Watson Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums
Cellos & Violins-Various Swedes..

Lyrically, the themes on "People Need Love" are laudatory if not very original. The vocal arrangements on on this song are quite good . Hear how Benny is clearly singing along with Björn on "People Need Love" in the guy section.   ,check out the novel yodeling at the end of the song..This was song recorded in March 1972 it was the first track recorded for this album. as well the first single to be credited to all four ABBA members.

5. I Saw It In The Mirror (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.33 March 1973

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus- Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals. Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Mike Watson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

This song was originally written for another artist, and only recorded for the RING RING album when time was short-and song was needed to finish the album...It is thought by some to be the worst ABBA song-but while it it not is very good song, it not exactly a horrible song either...but even the girls vocal bits don't save this one.

6. Nina, Pretty Ballerina (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.52 Recorded November 1972

Agnetha Faltskog-Lead Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Lead Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar Stefan Brolund, Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Jan Bandel ,Ola Brunkert-Drums

Yeah , yet another song about trains, the politics of dancing , ballet, the meaning of life,the Red Sox and Unbearable lightness of grapes....Cool vocals ,, like the "bings'!

7. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.52 Recorded March 1973

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson- Vocals, Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

A minor hit single in a few territories , though not until the release of THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION was it ever placed on one of ABBA's internationally released hit collections. The percussion hook on the chorus, shows how effective Bjorn and Benny were becoming at a making cool records. This is song which has good mixture of Bjorn voice with the girls.

8. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.49 Recorded January 1973

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-LEad Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Roger Palm-Drums

A song about the time Bjorn smoked reefer with Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson..No,no just kidding ..No, not a very good song...Frida ,preety much, did not get a good ABBA song to sing lead on till "Fernando". Supposedly Benny wrote the lyrics.

9. He Is Your Brother (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.17 Recorded October 1972

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals, Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Stefan Brolund, Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Jan Bandel ,Ola Brunkert-Drums
Sax-Hakan Jansson

Cliched lyrics but Cool  foursome vocals on this song,.this song was featured effectively in the Music for Unicef concert in 1979.

10. She's My Kind Of Girl (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.39 Recorded Late 1969

Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals, Keyboards

1969 Bjorn and Benny recording that has some how found it's way onto the Ring Ring CD, it was not on the original 1973 album..According to the Carl Magnus Palm -It's possible but not likely the Agnetha or Frida are somewhere singing on the record.

11. I  Am Just A Girl (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.02 Recorded September 1972

Agnetha Faltskog- Lead Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

The Girl theme continues...No, this is not very good, it's a dreary ballad. This  song originally had a totally different lyric that was written and recorded in Swedish by another artist. The group, No Doubt would later conincidently borrow the songtitle ...

12. Rock'n Roll Band (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.07 Recorded August 1972

Agnetha Faltskog-Vocals
Frida Lyngstad-Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals. Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums
Bo Dahlman, Hasse Rosen -guitar

So-so pop/rocker with Bjorn singing yet again....Still there are some nice bits in it.

There is supposedly I slightly different version of this song.

Bonus tracks found on CD versions.

13. Merry-Go-Round (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) Recorded March 1972

Agnetha Faltskog- BackingVocals
Frida Lyngstad-BAcking Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus- Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals- Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar ,Mike- Watson Bass Guitar,Ola Brunkert-Drums,Various Swedes-Cellos, Violins,Violos, Cellos

One of the peppier and most of effective the early songs that had Bjorn on lead vocals. Oddly, this was hard to find for non- Swedish record buyers to get till 1994 when it showed up on both the box set and in it's Swedish version on PA SVENSK. This English version was released in 1972 as the B-side to "People Need Love".

 

14. Santa Rosa (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Recorded March 1972

Bjorn Ulvaeus- Lead Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals- Keyboards
,Mike- Watson Bass Guitar,Ola Brunkert-Drums,Various Swedes-Flutes

A non Lp b-side and one with a bad lyric You wonder why they dug it up for reissue here and on the boxset, in light of other tracks being left unreleased.

15. Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal) (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) Recorded January 1973

Agnetha Faltskog- Lead Vocals
Frida Lyngstad- Lead Vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Keyboards
Janne Schaffer-Guitar
Rutger Gunnarsson-Bass Guitar
Ola Brunkert-Drums

The Swedish version of "Ring Ring" was found as the first track on the original Swedish Lp version of the RING RING album. This Swedish version did not see international release till the 1990's.

Other songs recorded..

Ah Vilka Tider" has never been made available internationally -it was B-side to The Swedish version of "Ring Ring". It was first compiled on PA SVENSKA.  It showed up again in the 2005 ABBA Swedish compilation  album called 18 Hits.

"Love Has Its Ways" is a Bjorn& Benny vocal released as a Japanese only single. "Den Stora Karlejen" was a unfinished track.

ABBA-RING RING (REMASTERED VERSION) 2001 CD & Limited Edition Digipak

Yet another repackaging of this album. This time a significant number of bonus tracks are included. The previous CD edition did not include bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are "Merry Go Round", "Santa Rosa" and the Swedish version of "Ring Ring". "She's My Kind of Girl" is retained as a track..."Santa Rosa" is perhaps the worst ABBA song ever recorded and should have been melted.

1. Ring Ring; 2. Another Town, Another Train; 3. Disillusion; 4. People Need Love; 5. I Saw It In The Mirror; 6. Nina, Pretty Ballerina; 7. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough); 8. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother; 9. He Is Your Brother; 10. She's My Kind Of Girl; 11. I Am Just A Girl; 12. Rock'n Roll Band;

Extra tracks: 13. Merry-Go-Round; 14. Santa Rosa; 15. Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal)

 

DETAILS ABOUT RING RING

*Swedish release -March 1973 # 2

* UK release April 1991 Did not chart

* US release September 1995 Did not chart.

* Recorded at Europa, Metronome & KMH studios,Stockholm

* Recorded March 1972-March 1973

* Produced by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus

ORIGINAL TRACK LISTING

*Bara Du Slog En Signal (Ring ring -Swedish vers.)

* Another Town, Another Train

* Disillusion

* People Need Love

* I Saw It In the Mirror

* Nina Preety Ballerina

*Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)

* Me And Bobby and Bobby's Brother* He Is Your Brother

* Ring Ring (English version)

* I am Just A Girl

* Rock And Roll Band

 

BONUS TRACKS on 2005 box set

13. Ring ring (bara du slog en signal) (Swedish Version)
14. Åh, vilka tider
15. Merry-Go-Round
16. Santa Rosa
17. Ring Ring (Spanish Version)
18. Wer im Wartesaal der Liebe Steht (German Version of Another Town, Another Train)
19. Ring Ring (German Version)

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