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ABBA-The Albums

1975/1976 ABBA -Greatest Hits and The Best Of ABBA

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Resolving the GREATEST HITS vs THE BEST OF Confusion!
 
There are so many variations on covers and track listings  on these albums that it is difficult to simplify them all onto one page-so forgive if  me if this page doesn't quite explain it all...

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US cover

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Swedish cover with drawing by Hans Arnold!

Greatest Hits
Sweden
Norway
Finland
South africa
USA
France
Canada
Venezuela
Greece
Israel
Mexico
United Kingdom
West Germany
Belgium

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Australian cover, there is also a different German cover but I am too lazy to put that up here

The Best of

Australia

New Zealand

West Germany (released both Best of and Greatest Hits)

Austria

Switzerland

Asia

Netherlands

ABBA 1975-1976 GREATEST HITS & BEST OF ABBA


"Can you hear the drums, Fernando?" OR ARE YOU DEAF?

------------------------------------------------------------------------

For some reason the first official  ABBA compilation ABBA -GREATEST HITS, was not released in some territories and instead a slightly different album called THE BEST OF ABBA was released ...

ABBA-ABBA's Greatest Hits  Original Swedish edition 1975 LP

The Swedes released the original version of ABBA Greatest Hits..which had a cover featuring a green/bluish drawing by Hans Arnold depicting the members of ABBA as animal life.

In the rest of the world the cover would feature a now famous photoof the two ABBA couples. Benny and Frida- the unmarried couple were kissing, Agnetha and Björn ,the married couple ,were being distant to each other.

This version was short lived as the later 1976 Swedish edition and most of the international versions would include "Fernando"...

It seems strange that they didn't just include the song to begin with on the album,since "Fernando" was already in the can,

but perhaps the they didn't want to conflict with Frida's Swedish version of "Fernando" which had just been released on FRIDA ENSAM.

1. S.O.S.

2. He Is Your Brother

3. Ring Ring

4. Hasta Mañana

5. Nina, Pretty Ballerina

6. Honey, Honey

7. So Long

8. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

9. People Need Love

10. Bang-A-Boomerang

11. Another Town, Another Train

12. Mamma Mia

13. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)

14. Waterloo

ABBA-The Best of ABBA 1975 Australian LP

Though not strictly part of the ABBA canon, BEST OF (the first ABBA compilation album released outside of Sweden) is an important record in the history of ABBA. BEST OF was released in Australia and a few other territories.

According to the Guinness Book of World
Records BEST OF is the largest selling single disc album ever released in Australia (at 1.2 milion copies). During it's intial chart run in Australia this album sold 860,000 copies . Australia had a population of 14 million at the time. This was an unprecedentated rate of market penetration. ABBAmania struck Australia with a vengeance and would not die down for two years. At one point ABBA would have five songs in the Australian top ten. ABBA fervor was never this extreme anywhere else, though ABBA had similarly high market penetration in many territories. ABBA was so popular in Australia that a backlash developed
and after 1977 ABBA would be less popular in Australia than in many other territories.

The cover for THE BEST OF  as you can see above, pretty uninspiring...but people loved the music....

The track listing for BEST OF was similar to, but not the same as the nearly concurrent GREATEST HITS album. GREATEST HITS would be released in late 1975 in Sweden, and thus was officially part of the ABBA canon! Greatest Hits was released in 1976 in much of the world (including the US and Great Britain).

Unlike GREATEST HITS , BEST OF had "Hasta Manana'', but BEST OF didn't have "He Is Your Brother, Another Town, Another Train,
or Fernando'. (The RING RING album was made available in Australia so there was less of a advantage in the having the RING RING tracks on THE BEST OF album. )

The "Fernando" single hadn't been released when BEST OF came out. So when, "Fernando' was released in 1976, it became ABBA 's biggest selling Australian single. ( It was #1 for sixteen weeks ! )

In Australia ,"Fernando" ended up being placed on the ARRIVAL album. But, most territories would see "Fernando' on the GREATEST HITS album.

TRACK LISTING
, Side 1: Waterloo; Ring Ring; Honey, Honey; Mamma Mia; People Need Love; Nina, Pretty Ballerina
Side 2: I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do; SOS; Dance (While The Music Still Goes On); Bang-A-Boomerang; Hasta Mañana; So Long

ABBA-ABBA's Greatest Hits 1976  Released on Cd in a few territories  but the  original CD issuse was phased out. To be reissued on CD in April 2006

This album and  The BEST OF  is where ABBA broke through worldwide on the album charts. This album would precede to go platinum seemingly everywhere it was released, including the USA.

This was only ABBA's third album released in many parts of the world and it would come only 22 months after their Eurovision victory with "Waterloo".

Although a GREATEST HITS collection might have seemed premature, with "Fernando" ABBA was already releasing it's eleventh song that was a hit somewhere.(some songs were hits in different territories.)

In Sweden and a few other territories , the cover featured a green/bluish drawing by Hans Arnold  depicting  the members of ABBA as animal life.
In the rest of the world the cover would feature a now famous photo
of the two ABBA couples. Benny and Frida- the unmarried couple were kissing, Agnetha and Björn ,the married couple ,were being distant to each other.

The USA GREATEST HITS featured five songs from
the RING RING album, three songs from the WATERLOO album
and five songs drawn from ABBA, though there was some variation between countries in the exact track listing

With the release of ABBA Gold, GREATEST HITS had been phased out, but is scheduled to be reissued on CD in Sweden and some other  territories in April 2006 with the original Swedish cover.

Fernando (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 4.05 Recorded August 1975  

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad,Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals, Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassama
Flute -Jan Kling

Strings arranged by S.O. Walldorf.

GREATEST HITS had only one new song
the legendary "Fernando" . "Fernando" was ABBA's first successful ballad hit

The 1976 single "Fernando' was  also included as a bonus track on the original Australian version of ARRIVAL and on some of the recent remastered editions"  of ARRIVAL . It was ABBA's biggest hit in Australia as well as one of the biggest selling hits ever in Australia. "Fernando" had been originally written in Swedish for the FRIDA ENSAM album, but a English language version with both Frida & Agnetha singing was prepared for release by ABBA . The song seems both over exposed and fresh at the same time. The intro and flute still can bring chills to the spine.

A special flute  intro helped made this first ABBA song to exceed four minutes in length. During the songwriting process, "Fernando "had emerged as a Swedish tango ,but had soon developed a  Mexican feel. It almost sounds like a Spanish act recorded it-and reminds it one  vaguely  of the Spanish song-"Eres Tu.' The chorus to the song is probably the ABBA hit that is easiest to sing along to.

The song's back story of Mexican revolutionaries is not  based on any actual Mexican revolutionaries but really is more a conceptual idea  thought up by Bjorn of old friends singing about the binds of their  past...

The earliest versions of GREATEST HITS in Sweden didn't have "Fernando" ,but
all the later pressings did. 

ABBA-Greatest Hits (30th anniversary edition) April 2006 Sweden and some other territories CD
 
A cd reissue of the 1976 Swedish edition of ABBA's Greatest Hits...Thus it will have the bizarre drawing of ABBA and animal life as opposed to the park bench photo on the cover. The release has no extras or liner notes beyond what was in the original release.
 
Fernando
SOS
He Is Your Brother
Ring Ring
Hasta Mañana
Nina, Pretty Ballerina
Honey, Honey
So Long
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
People Need Love
Bang-A-Boomerang
Another Town, Another Train
Mamma Mia
Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)
Waterloo
 

To hear the drums somewhere else...

* ABBA's next studio album1976-Arrival

TO LEARN ABOUT 1970's ABBAMANIA IN AUSTRALIA Visit Ian Cole's ABBA Phenomenon Australia!

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ABBA the Albums History/Acknowledgements

ABBA THE ALBUMS was an Web-TV website from July 22, 1999 to April 4, 2000. ATA has been brought to you by the loverly folks at Tripod since June 13, 2001. THANKS TO: Crystal, Pookie, Bubba ,Baby,  my one-time roommates -The Odd Couple, Jimsb, Edsel Felpin, Montief and the people of  the late lamented ABBAMAIL!       Yours in Stig, Johnny!

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