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ABBA Career Overview (1972-2005)

Short Reviews of over 120 ABBA Albums released by ABBA as a Group.

John Bernhardt & ABBA-The Albums presents....ABBA -THE SCROLL PART 1 !

ABBA PART ONE (1972-1982 ) Reviews of over 120 ABBA Albums released by ABBA as an active Group.

Includes all studio albums and most of the numerous official compilation albums released throughout the world....also DVD's.Sorry non-official albums (bootlegs) are not included. The more important ABBA albums are covered more fully in their own pages...Albums are listed by era..

Releases are listed chronologically, though often the exact month of release is not known, some albums were released later then the month listed in some territories....

A short introduction ...skip this if you do not want be bored...

How do we judge the merits of ABBA? Well many believe that ABBA is one of the five or ten most commercially successful pop groups of all time.*SEE NOTE BELOW They have sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 to 360 million records. They were highly successful in nearly every market they competed in, with the notable exception of the United States. In the United States they were merely successful. The recent success of MAMMA MIA (the musical based on the songs of ABBA) confirms ABBA continuing appeal,

Sales figures tell us little about the artistic merit of a musical act. Sales figures merely confirm that the act connected with an audience. ABBA connected with their audience both on a huge commercial level and with more serious fans in the 1970's. The reemergence of ABBA's appeal in the 1990's confirmed that there is something classic and universal about ABBA's music. In a sense ,it is hard to weigh the artistic merits of much of ABBA's music, especially the recordings made in the first half of their career. Many of ABBA's records are pure and simple pop records -that lack the pretension of being anything else more substantial. "Waterloo", " Mamma Mia", "SOS", even "Dancing Queen" do not really mean to say anything . A mere handful of songs on ABBA's first four studio albums have worthwhile lyrics. Nor can it be said that the music itself necessarily conveys much artistically. So these records really have to be judged on how listenable they are as pop recordings. By that standard ABBA does well....and continued to do well throughout their recording career. Many of ABBA's later records actually do have more artistic aspirations and thus can be judged accordingly. However many of ABBA's later recordings lack the joy and charm found in their early records. ABBA's first mission and best destiny was to be among the best pop groups of their time , and at this they succeeded.

Judging ABBA simply as pop group I find that . ABBA was probably at their best on their 1976 ARRIVAL album, Also . The 1975 ABBA album, 1979's Voulez-Vous ,and 1980's Super Trouper make for great pop records. ABBA's hits collections -ABBA Gold and The Definitive Collection are also good presentations of ABBA's mastery of pop. The listener should keep in mind that ABBA's studio albums were rarely filled with filler and thus merely buying one of ABBA's hits collections doesn't get you all of ABBA's listenable records.

Looking at ABBA from artistic perspective you will find that to hear ABBA at their most searching and reaching you need to listen to 1978's -The Album or 1981's THE VISITORS. .Super Trouper probably is the best coupling of ABBA's more serious later work with ABBA's earlier pop sensibilities.

ABBA's most interesting compilations are probably the THANK FOR THE MUSIC box set, MORE ABBA GOLD and PA SVENSKA, a collection of early 1970s ABBA and ABBA solo material that was recorded in Swedish..

* How many records did ABBA really sell?

 *The Beatles, Rolling Stones,ABBA, Queen , The Bee Gees, The Eagles,Pink Floyd , Led Zeppelin are among the musical groups who probably have sold the most records...Of course, there are also solo artists as such as Elvis Presley and Madonna who also may have sold as many or more records than ABBA... Because ABBA sold relatively few records in the key US market (14 to 20 million) ,some observers have questioned whether ABBA could have sold as many as the 360 million albums and singles worldwide that has been claimed by their record labels....When you add up all ABBA's official sales certifications you have trouble coming up with more than 150 million to 200 million total units...

There however, are sales not covered by sales certifications such as on all those singles and albums that didn't reach "Gold" in a particular country, record club & other non-record store sales and sales in countries that ABBA sold records that did not have record sales certifications. programs in the 1970's.

THE OUTPUT:

In total, ABBA released during their active career 8 studio albums, as well as a Spanish album, three official compilations and about 25 b-sides/other non-studio album tracks . An official live album followed 4 years after their breakup as well a number of compilations and reissues and the belated release of a few previously unreleased tracks. So far a total of about 120 final studio versions of songs have been released, a figure which does not include any of the following: two dozen or so unreleased tracks, two dozen Spanish, Swedish, German and French language tracks, a handful of alternate versions., and 20 or so official live recordings.

 

  ABBA's EARLY ALBUMS 1973-1976

Most of ABBA's early work is fresh, energetic, innocent, melodic but lyrically challenged. ABBA created their first great single in 1974 with"Waterloo". The 1975 ABBA album was ABBA's first excellent album. This period closes with the great single "Fernando" which shows off Björn and Benny growing as songwriters.

ABBA made a short concert tour of Sweden and mainland Europe in 1975.

 

People Need Love /Merry Go Round Swedish 45 single June 1972

The first single by Bjorn,& Benny , Agnetha & Frida featured all four members on lead vocals, the b-side was a non-lp sung mostly by Bjorn...

He Is Your Brother /Santa Rosa Swedish single November 1972

The second single by Bjorn,& Benny , Agnetha & Frida featured all four members on lead vocals, the b-side was also a non-lp sung mostly by Bjorn...

Ring Ring (English vers.) /Merry Go Round Swedish single February 1973

Bara Du Slog En Signal (swed-Ring Ring)/Ah Vilka Tider Swedish single Febuary 1973
R
ing Ring was released in both English and Swedish single versions The b-side of Bara Du Slog En Signal was was also a non-lp sung mostly by Bjorn...

Björn Benny &Agnetha Frida-RING RING Swedish LP March 1973 available worldwide on CD 1990's

This is regarded as ABBA's first album. The acronym ABBA wasn't used officially till after
the release of this LP. The RING RING lap was originally released only in Sweden and a few other territories . The RING RING album only became widely available in most territories when Polygram released it on Cd in the 1990's.
However, Five of the songs from RING RING have been long available worldwide on ABBA's first GREATEST HITS album. Those songs were" Ring Ring"," People Need Love","He Is Your Brother'," Nina Pretty Ballerina" and "Another Town, Another Train" These are still reasonably enjoyable. Lyrically, the themes
on "People Need Love" and "He is Your Brother" are laudatory if not very original.
The original album had twelve tracks. The original Swedish LP had both the Swedish & English versions of" Ring Ring".The first Cd issue of RING RING included the Björn and Benny song "She's my kind of Girl "instead of the Swedish version of"Ring Ring"

Of the six remaining tracks the most interesting is "Disillusion" . "Disillusion" is the only officially released Abba song to be written or cowritten by one of the girls. Agnetha wrote the music and Björn wrote the words .B&B were only to encourage Agnetha to write one more song for the group-the unreleased live track-I'm still Alive".... (Frida never had a writing credit on any official ABBA release).
"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 pleasant bubble gum melodies but sound contrived."I saw It in The mirror" and "I am Just a Girl" are two of the worst Abba songs ever.
Like all of the ABBA albums that would follow RING RING was engineered by Michael B.Tretow, and produced by ABBA's boys, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

RING RING is generally regarded as the weakest of the ABBA studio albums, though an argument could certainly be made that the WATERLOO album is actually weaker.

Original Swedish LP track listing:

1. Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal); 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. Ring Ring; 11. I Am Just A Girl; 12. Rock 'N Roll Band

Track listing on CD reissues

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;

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster:: 13. Merry-Go-Round; 14. Santa Rosa; 15. Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal)

Waterloo(Swed vers. )/Honey Honey (Swedish vers.) March 1974

ABBA- WATERLOO March 1974 Available worldwide on CD

"My, My at Waterloo , Napoleon did surrender".
Released on the heels of ABBA's big Eurovision breakthrough this album did little to solidify ABBA's commercial standing. Although, WATERLOO is not a great album it still can be an fairly enjoyable listen you can get beyond this album's bubblegum sensibilities.
There have been few more explosive pop records
than the "Waterloo" single. It is easy to see how such a song could prove to
be such a breakthrough track for the group throughout the world. Like many of ABBA's
1970's hits much of the song is sung in unison by Agnetha and Frida.

Another hit off the the album was "Honey Honey". It wasn't an especially big hit though.
"Honey Honey" ABBA's most anonymous sounding song, It
sounds overly inspired by bubblegum classics like the Archies," Sugar Sugar".

"Honey Honey". was actually covered by another group in Britain and became a hit.
Agnetha's vocal showcase -"Hasta Manana'
was a hit in some places and was covered by Debbie Boone .

"Dance (While the Music Goes On)"seems a bit derivative of Producer Phil Spectre's work. ,Phil as well as the Beach Boys were the major Amercian influences on ABBA's work. I don't really care for Björn's vocal interjections on "Dance", They almost ruin the song.

Bjorn 's vocal presence on this album is still substantial -he has
three lead vocals here, and sings on many of the other tracks, but the girls
sing on his songs ,sweetening them up, making them listenable.

A lot of the songs here have an element of fun -Most Notably "King Kong Song,"and "What About Livingston". Two of the songs are more serious- "My Mama Said" which had a great instrumental break and "Gonna Sing You My Lovesong" which offers a very vulnerable Frida lead vocal.


"Suzy Hang Around" is practically the only ABBA song to feature Benny on lead vocals.I hate the songs' lyrics but love Benny's keyboards on the song. "Watch Out" is a unconvincing rocker which has interesting ending.

In Sweden , the Swedish version of "Waterloo" was included on the LP. But in most other places "Ring Ring" was used as the twelth track.

The recent CD remastering includes both of these tracks. However, there were no b-sides or other such rarities because no Non-album tracks were released in 1974 other alternate language version tracks... 1974 was preety much the only year in ABBA's career when that was the case....

WATERLOO is just an average album. It's a must only for fans of the early ABBA period.

1. Waterloo; 2. Sitting In The Palmtree; 3. King Kong Song; 4. Hasta Mañana; 5. My Mama Said; 6. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On); 7. Honey, Honey; 8. Watch Out; 9. What About Livingstone; 10. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong; 11. Suzy-Hang-Around;

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster::: 12. Ring Ring (US remix ); 13. Waterloo (Swedish); 14. Honey, Honey (Swedish)

Waterloo/Watch Out (Bjorn) International single April 1973

ABBA- Björn Benny &Agnetha Frida 1974 Czechoslovakia Lp

This is just the same as the Waterloo album, with the standard track listing but with a different title. I don't know why they didn't call it "Waterloo". ABBA was unusual in their attempts to release albums on an frequent basis in the then Communist Eastern European markets...

Honey, Honey/Ring Ring

ABBA- Honey Honey 1974 German Lp

This album was released by Polydor in Germany-this is essentially the "Ring Ring album with "Honey Honey " tacked on in place of "I Saw It in the Mirror". Wise choice of replacement!

1. Ring Ring; 2. Another Town, Another Train; 3. Disillusion; 4. People Need Love; 5. Honey Honey ; 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;

So Long/I've Been Waiting For You

 

ABBA- Pop Power-The Fantastic ABBA 1975 German Lp

The Germans again released their own special version of "Waterloo". In this case they dropped "Watch Out" and "Suzy Hang Around" and replaced them with "SOS" and "Ring Ring". The cover also was different this one features Frida's butt. Yes it's true, go look up it up!...one source says this release was intiated in Austria....

ABBA-ABBA released April 1975 Available worldwide on CD (ABBA's self-titled 1975 studio album)

After the success of "Waterloo" Abba had success in some markets with singles released between Mid 1974 and mid 1975 but it wasn't till the release of the "SOS" single that they proved that they were not just a one hit wonder in the critical British and US markets.

This album ,despite the presence of four million selling hits was not a mega seller in the English speaking markets (though it certainly did well enough). That's probably why it tends to be less well known than the later ABBA albums.

This is the ABBA album with the highest
concentration of effective rock n roll numbers. Five of the songs on the ABBA album
had elements of rock and roll, "So long", "Intermezzo No 1", " SOS" , "Rock Me", and
"Hey Hey Helen".

Some critics dismiss "Hey Hey Helen" as Glamrock but "Hey Hey Helen" is one of the great unsung ABBA songs Björn and Benny themselves have expressed a distaste for most of there straight rock and roll style recordings most of which can be found on the Waterloo and the ABBA albums. But unlike most of those songs the lyric to HHH is actually is actually preety good, better than the usual nonsense that pervaded many of their singles. It is a has a darker lyric with feminist overtones that are thankfully not diluted since Björn refrained from singing along . Also, somebody put away the key to the music hall piano so that Benny wouldn't make the song too cheerful. Benny instead provides some solid clavinet fills ..

"Rock me' is perhaps a less convincing if still enjoyable
rocker with a run-of -the mill-lyric, On this one they let Björn into the vocal booth,
and Benny got to throw in the music hall piano. Admittedly, one has to give Björn
a lot if credit for the way he managed to stretch his voice into such a growl on "Rock ME",(For a long time I had assumed it was Benny singing on "Rock Me "because
the lead vocals sound so different".)


The album's closer "So Long' was not a very good song,but nor was it really
so bad, it was the first single from the album in a few territories.
"Intermezzo No 1" & "SOS" are highly original classical/ rock fusions. " Intemezzo" was ABBA's first instrumental record -and was most certainly not a filler track. "SOS' melds a keyboard backed verse with a guitar driven chorus. Agnetha's angst-tormented lead vocal is puncuated by some charming accented pronunctions of English words that tend to emphasize how European this record is. "Tropical Loveland' and"Bang-A-Boomerang"
are the kind of lyrics and songs that seem'
provoke disdain amongst ABBA's critics.
"BAB "actually has a fairly clever title and
was illustrated by one of the cheeriest videos ABBA ever made (. For once the ABBA smiles look sincere! )"Tropical Loveland' does have stupid lyrics that are poorly pronounced by Frida, but it is redeemed by some sublime but subtle backing vocals and organ work-listen closely to this song headphones. ( ABBA's harmonies from Day One were always incredibly inventive).
Agnetha got another prime vocal opportunity on "I've Been Waiting For You",just catch her hitting the high notes on the word "ceiling".

1. Mamma Mia; 2. Hey, Hey Helen; 3. Tropical Loveland; 4. SOS; 5. Man In The Middle; 6. Bang-A-Boomerang; 7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do; 8. Rock Me; 9. Intermezzo no. 1; 10. I've Been Waiting For You; 11. So Long;

:BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster 12. Crazy World; 13. Medley: Pick A Bale Of Cotton/On Top Of Old Smokey/Midnight Special (new bonus tracks)

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do/Rock Me
SOS(Agnetha)/Man In The Middle
Mamma Mia/Intermezzo No.1

ABBA- Mamma Mia ABBA 1975 German Lp

For third time the German's issued a ABBA Studio album with name different then it's given one.

In this case they called ABBA's self-titled studio album-"Mamma Mia". The track listing is the same as "ABBA' and the cover is similiar to the original cover...

ABBA-I do I Do I Do I Do I Do ABBA 1975 South Africa Lp

In this case the South Africans decided to call ABBA's self-titled studio album-".-I do I Do I Do I Do I Do The track listing is the same as "ABBA' and the cover is similiar to the original cover. This album was also released in scenic Zimbabwe...Not too sure about what they did in Swaziland.

Various artists- -Stars Im Zeichen Eines Guten Sterns 1975 German Lp (includes one song by ABBA)

ABBA recorded a medley of "Pick a Bale of Cotton", "On top Of Old Smokey, and "The Midnight Special".
for this obscure German charity album.They recorded these old folk songs because they
had no new original material available.
  Interestingly, all the songs are in the public
domain-meaning that B&B could claim the publishing rights to this arrangement. The medley didn't get released in territories other than Germany until it was released as the B-side to "Summer Night City" in 1978.
The track can be easily obtained on the box set, or on the 2001 remaster of ABBA's 1975 album.

1. James Last Annie Laurie/Greensleves
2. Lars Berghagen-Aloja Oe La Paloma/Und darn ging ich zu den Madchen
3. ABBA Medley- 
Pick A Bale Of Cotton  
    On Top Of Old Smokey  
    Midnight Special 
4. Bata Illic-Auf der Stafe zu Dir/Katjcuschka-Kalinka
5. James Last Danny Boy/Palsir D'Amour/The House of the Rising Sun

1. Freddy-Guantanarmera/LA Golchinna/Cileto Lindo
2. Wencke Myrhre -Triliba -Hozchuctanz/Titshc-Trsch Polka
3. Fischer Chore -Horsh, was kinnit. etc/Hetzt Koomen etc.
4. Karel Gott -Swanee River/When The Saints Go

ABBA-BEST OF November 1975 Australian LP (released in Eastern Australia in Feb 76)

Though not strictly part of the ABBA canon,
BEST OF (the first ABBA compilation album) is an important record in the history of ABBA. BEST OF was released in Australia and a few other territories. 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 a unprecedentated rate of market penetration. Abbamania struck Australia with a vengeance and would not die down for two years. 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 substantial backlash developed
and after 1977 ABBA would be less popular in Australia than in many other territories.
The track listing for BEST OF was similiar to but not the same as the subsequent GREATEST HITS album. GREATEST HITS would be released 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 need for RING RING tracks to be on THE BEST OF album. )


The "Fernando" single hadn't been released when BEST OF came out. So when, "Fernando' was released in 1976, being only available on single , it became ABBA 's biggest selling Australian single. In Australia ,"Fernando" ended up being placed on the ARRIVAL album. But, most territories would see "Fernando' on the GREATEST HITS album.

TRACK LISTING (with Australian chart postions)
, Side 1: Waterloo(#4) Ring Ring(#32) Honey, Honey(#30)Mamma Mia(#1) People Need Love; Nina, Pretty Ballerina
Side 2: I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (#1) SOS(#1) Dance (While The Music Still Goes On); Bang-A-Boomerang; Hasta Mañana(#16) So Long

 Here we pause to say "Hey would you please pass the salt?"

***ABBA-Greatest Hits Swedish version November 1975 Released on Cd in 2006

In Sweden and a few other territories , this albums cover featured a bizarre green/bluish drawing of the members of ABBA as animal life.

GREATEST HITS had only one new song the legendary "Fernando" . "Fernando
was ABBA's first internationally successful ballad hit. It 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. It had started as a Swedish tango ,but had soon developed a ersatz Mexican feel.
The chorus to the song is easy to sing along to.
The earliest versions of GREATEST HITS in Sweden didn't have "Fernando" ,but
all the later pressings did. Sadly, with the release of ABBA Gold,
G
REATEST HITS has been phased out,but the Swedish version is to be reissued in 2006.

Track listing in most territories

 Side A

 SOS

He Is Your Brother

Ring Ring

Hasta Manana (only on some additions)

Nina Preety Ballerina

Honey Honey

So Long

 Side B

I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do

People Need Love

Bang-A-Boomerang

Another Town, Another Train

Mammia Mia

Dance (While the music still goes on)

Waterloo

Fernando (on later additions)

 Fernando(Frida)/Tropical Loveland

ABBA's middle period 1976-1979.

1976 began with ABBA on the top of world music charts. At their commercial peak they filmed their movie, ABBA -The Movie. They also went on their two major world concert tours (1977, 1979-80) during this time. However ,by 1979 ABBA's innocence and smiles were starting to be in short supply. Still, ABBA continued to be dominant artists on the world charts through to around mid- 1981.

ABBA-Greatest Hits International version early 1976 Released on Cd worldwide, but phased out

This album is where ABBA broke through worldwide on the album charts. This album( or the alternate version, Best of )would precede to go platinum everywhere it was released including America.
This was only ABBA's third album released in many parts of the world and it would be released barely two and a half years after their Eurovision victory with "Waterloo".
Although a GREATEST HITS set might have seemed premature, with the release of "Fernando" ABBA now had nearly a dozen songs that were a hit at least somewhere at some small moment in time.

In Sweden and a few other territories , this albums cover featured a bizarre green/bluish drawing of 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.

GREATEST HITS features five songs from the RING RING album, three songs drawn from the WATERLOO album(four if you count "Ring Ring") and five songs drawn from ABBA.

GREATEST HITS had only one new song the legendary "Fernando" . "Fernando
was ABBA's first internationally successful ballad hit. It 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. It had started as a Swedish tango ,but had soon developed a ersatz Mexican feel. The chorus to the song is easy to sing along to.
The earliest versions of GREATEST HITS in Sweden didn't have "Fernando" ,but
all the later pressings did. Sadly, with the release of ABBA Gold,
G
REATEST HITS has been phased out.

Track listing in most territories

 Side A

 SOS

He Is Your Brother

Ring Ring

Hasta Manana (only on some additions)

Nina Preety Ballerina

Honey Honey

So Long

 Side B

I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do,I Do

People Need Love

Bang-A-Boomerang

Another Town, Another Train

Mammia Mia

Dance (While the music still goes on)

Waterloo

Fernando

Dancing Queen/That's Me

ABBA- 16 ABBA hits 1976 or 1975 German Lp

A West German music club release that may have actually come out in 1975...

ABBA-All About ABBA- Spring 1976 Japanese Lp

This album was a compilation released only in Japan.. ABBA were not mega huge in Japan, though did they well enough. This was their first album to make the Japanese record charts....

ABBA-GOLDEN DOUBLE ALBUM May? 1976 French 2Lp set

This was among the first double albums released by ABBA. The tracks are drawn from the Ring Ring, Waterloo, and ABBA albums Indeed this is Preety much the same album as later THE VERY BEST OF ABBA. Basically, the same exact tracks-But Those French used up with different title.. A cassette version of this album actually had a French title-La Cassette d'Or.

 

 

ABBA -THE VERY BEST OF ABBA August 1976 German 2lp set

Polydor issued this 24 track two Lp greatest hits set in Germany, the Netherlands ,Austria and a few other places-it drawed on tracks from the Ring Ring, Waterloo, and ABBA albums. It also included "Fernando" This was among the first double albums released by ABBA. This was issued on CD in a reduced version with only 20 songs. This album was released in August 1976.

 1. Ring Ring
2. So Long
3. Sitting In The Palmtree
4. Suzy-Hang-Around
5. Hasta Mañana
6. S.O.S.7. Mamma Mia
8. Tropical Loveland
9. Rock Me
10. Love Isn't Easy
11. People Need Love
12. Intermezzo No. 1
 1. Fernando
2. My Mama Said
3. What About Livingstone)
4. Hey, Hey Helen
5. Honey, Honey
6. Bang-A-Boomerang7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
8. Nina, Pretty Ballerina
9. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)
10. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
11. I've Been Waiting For You
12. Waterloo

*****ABBA-Arrival October 1976 and later..Available worldwide on CD

Was ABBA at it's peak here? Quite possibly! This is a very strong pop album. There are few studio albums in pop music that are so filled with catchy listenable hooks . ARRIVAL's only flaw is that many of the songs lack emotional depth. This was the first of the ABBA studio albums
to sell in large quantities in a large variety of territories.

This album featured three big hits. "Dancing Queen' , ABBA's first nod
toward Disco was probably ABBA 's biggest hit worldwide (it hit # 1 in the most
countries). This elegant single was ABBA's only #1 hit in America.
"Dancing Queen' was even sung to
Sweden's queen in a Royal Command Performance. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" was ABBA's first single (with the possible exception of
"Fernando' )that had lyrics that were as
good as the music. The troubled relationship
theme was one that would prove to be important theme for later ABBA songs.The vocals of "KMKY" seemed derivative perhaps of the 1960's American group,the Mamas and The Papas ,but the guitar in KWKY was playing a melody that could only have been dreamt up by Europeans. Oh and did I mention the bass guitar...
Well,"KMKY is just a great record.
ARRIVAL's third single was "Money,Money, Money". Björn admits that MoneyX3 uses a lyrical theme that had already been done one too many times, but Frida's jazzy caberet singing brings it off with verve.

All the other songs are highly listenable, the album opens with "When I Kissed The Teacher" an amazing example of B&B's and
their bands' ability to come up with original
arrangements-12 string guitars, basses,
keyboards all come at you from surprising places." My Love, My Life" was one of ABBA's sweetest ballads and best melodies.
"Why Did To Have to Be Me' is amongst
the msot enjoyable of the songs with Björn
in the lead. "Tiger" is a good rock number
elevated by it's lovely soft bridge.
"Dum Dum Diddle" is quite dumb but also incredibly hooky. "That's Me" (also on the b-side to "Dancing Queen") is a great showcase for cool, smooth A&A harmonies.

ARRIVAL's ' closer was also the title track , it's a instrumental though it does have backing vocals. It's very effective, even if to some it seemed out of place. ARRIVAL is ABBA's best pop album, although artistically it's not their best.

1. When I Kissed The Teacher; 2. Dancing Queen; 3. My Love, My Life; 4. Dum Dum Diddle; 5. Knowing Me, Knowing You; 6. Money, Money, Money; 7. That's Me; 8. Why Did It Have To Be Me; 9. Tiger; 10. Arrival;

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster: 11. Fernando; 12. Happy Hawaii (new bonus track)

Money Money Money(Frida)/*Crazy World

ABBA-ABBA's Greatest Hits-24 Fall 1977 Japanese 2lp set.

The Japs were already back with another ABBA compilation album . They named this ABBA album after the Kiefer Sutherland show 25 years before the classic TV show , 24 even existed..

The Name Of The Game/*I Wonder live
Take A Chance/I'm A Marionette

ABBA-The Album Released December 1977 Sweden, Early 1978 International release Available worldwide on CD

It is interesting, that at the heighth of ABBA's worldwide popularity they ended up
recording their first more "serious" album.
ABBA-THE ALBUM was the album tied in with ABBA-THE MOVIE their only theatrical
movie release. Many,but not all of the songs on the album can be heard in some form in the movie.

THE ALBUM, though .it has only nine songs
has the richest and most colorful production
of all the ABBA albums. The songs vary considerably in subject, tempo,
and instrumentation but none of the songs
seem out of place.

Where, THE ALBUM fares less well in comparision to the albums that bookend
it (ARRIVAL & VOULEZ-VOUS) is in the fun department. Only two or three
songs here are liable to cheer you up. This album was also lacking somewhat in the singles department-only two of the songs were worldwide Top Ten hits-Not very impressive compared to the albums that bookend it. ("Eagle" and "Thank You For
The music" were only hits in a few places).

"Take A Chance on Me" was the one
song most in line with ABBA's primary
mission of providing great pop singles
to the world. "TACOM" is a textbook case on how to make a record. It's almost ,but not quite saved from sounding a bit too much like a well oiled machine by Agnetha's singing and the very fresh sounding acapella introduction.

The "Name of the Game" is not a great song
but it's a masterwork of arrangement.
You never know where they are going with this.There are elements of funk, at times rock, gospel, and at times it's stately Europop ,and when the horns come in near the end you are reminded of the Beatles' "Penny Lane".
The best bit on the song again is once
again the acapella part. The middle of
the song has been badly butchered on some
of the edited releases of this song.

"One Man , One Woman' was another song
about relationships in trouble , but unlike
most of the ABBA songs on this theme ,
this song ends with the sentiment that "It's never too late for changing'. You dont
really pay as much attention as you might to the rich backing vocals because Frida's lead vocal handles the lyrics so well.

On this album, ABBA seem to do things that even they dont seem to realize were counter to the stereotypical view some had of them. "Eagle" is a daring opening gambit, at nearly six minutes it was ABBA's longest song. Agnetha & Frida sing above a majestic, if somewhat droning. Hendrix by way of
Morricone by way of Spectre sound salad. "Eagle" certianly wasn't a song you could hum to, but you could put the headphones on and fly along (at the end the Eagle literally flys from one speaker to the other and back).

"Move On", puts some people off with Björn's spoken prologue , Some people also might not find it's searching lyrics convincing,either, but for ABBA lyrics they are preety good. In "Move On" a powerful
bass riff drives the song's stirring chorus. When A&F sing "Like a roller in the ocean musically it sounds very much like a powerful wave. Listen for the "la la la's" and other background vocals and see how
they are mixed at varying sound levels
to help create a wall of sound.

"Hole in Your Soul" joins the distant influences of 1960's Girl Group music with Europop to create a quirky,fun tune.
The "paint your world and use all colors"
bridge harkens back to a similiar section in
"Tiger .The low male voice chorus on "it's got to be rock roll to fill the hole in your soul"does little of value for the song.
The opening riffs of "HIYS"
were used in the opening credits to ABBA-The movie.

A novel three song "mini-musical" closes
THE ALBUM. "The Girl with The Golden
Hair" was tried out live on the 1977 tour.When done live the mini-musical also included a narrator, incidental music, blonde wigs for the girls, and fourth song appearing at the end called "Get on the Carusoul". "Get on the Carusoul" remained unreleased but it was no great loss not having it on THE ALBUM.

A lot of the mini -musical can be seen in ABBA-THE MOVIE. On the album,the songs are arranged in a more formal orchestral manner instead of the theatrical approach favored in the live performences.

"Thank You For the Music" has become ABBA signature song even though
it was only belatedly released as a single.
It probably doesn't deserve such stature,
but it sums up ABBA better than something
like "Dancing Queen". The song has a great
keyboard riff at 1:53 into the song.

"I Wonder' was one of ABBA's more serious
some might say boring numbers.The arrangement for this is surprisingly orchestral,it along with "Move On" and "Name of the Game" were Stig Anderson last lyrics for official release. All of the lyrics for ABBA's subsequent songs were written by Björn.

"I'm a Marionette' despite the awkward lyric
has a theme that suggests there is something wrong with seeking music stardom, kind of ironic considering that conquering the world often seemed to be the only thing that ABBA cared about. The opening bass riff and the two guitar solo add considerably to "Marionette's" impact.

ABBA's commercial momentum slowed in mid 1978..
The sessions for the follow-up to THE ALBUM proved troublesome. Only one A -side was released during the the year and a half between albums. That song "Summer Night City" was a nod in the discodirection , Björn sings along with the girls on it, B&B had trouble getting a g
ood mix of the song together, the mix that was released left out a elegant introduction. "Summer Night City' would not be put on
a album till GREATEST HITS II came out in Late 1979.

1. Eagle; 2. Take A Chance On Me; 3. One Man, One Woman; 4. The Name Of The Game; 5. Move On; 6. Hole In Your Soul; "The Girl With The Golden Hair" - 3 scenes from a mini-musical - 7. Thank You For The Music; 8. I Wonder (Departure); 9. I'm A Marionette

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster: 10. Thank You For The Music (Doris Day mix) (new bonus track)

Eagle/Thank You For The Music

ABBA-El album- 1978 Argentina LP

The Album was called El Album in Argentina....

ABBA-UM Novo Espaco PAra A Musica 1978 Brazil Lp

Another 14 track collection with tracks from 1973 to 1977.

ABBA -Non album single -Summer Night City/Medley September 1978 Vinyl 45 single

For some reasons, that are not entirely clear ABBA felt it necessary to put out a new single (with new material )in mid 1978.

This was done partly because ABBA had gone a unusually long time without releasing a single,it least in most territories. So people were getting antsy for some new material.

So B&B worked on getting a song ready, that song would be "Summer Night City" . IT was a nod in the disco direction , Björn sings along with the girls on it,. B&B had trouble getting a good mix of the song together, the mix that was released left out a elegant introduction. Whatever the quality of the mix-the song isn't of the high quality of many of their singles....
"Summer Night City' would not be put on a album till GREATEST HITS II came out.

For some reason, "Summer Night City" was not released in the USA as a single, which was sign of things to come...Many of ABBA's post 1978 singles would do poorly in the USA or not even see release

Chiquitita(Agnetha)//*Lovelight

Does Your Mother Know(Bjorn)/Kisses Of Fire

ABBA-Voulez vous April 1979 Available on CD worldwide

This may be ABBA's most controversial album. No doubt, this is due to the high octane disco content found here. People wondered if ABBA were just following a trend rather then setting one.The jump from THE ALBUM to VOULEZ -Vous is a particularly jarring one. The two albums seem to have little in common. One album is poetry the other motion!

It was probably a reasonable idea ,in retrospect for the group that did "Dancing Queen" to try their hand at more dance music.Certainly ,recording dance music was a sound idea commercially and commercial pop music was what ABBA was about.


It's was not totally clear that ABBA had it in them to make a good dance record, after all they were the whitest people in the music business.
To try to make things more legit they recorded the instrumental backing for the title track in Miami at the famous disco studios Criteria. The rest of the tracks
were recorded in Stockholm ,mostly
at their new Polar Studios.
The best of the disco numbers is probably
"If it wasn't for the nights" , As good as new, and "The King has lost his Crown"are elegant disco.The highy rythmic , "Lovers Live a little Longer' is sunk by a stupid lyric.

Three other songs have some disco elements but are not really disco. "Does Your Mother Know "features Björn as the lead vocalist ,the lyric sn't that bad-but this song just doesn't do it
for most people. It's b-side was "Kisses of Fire" has a great intro by Aggie but once again bad lyrics make the song seem slightly ordinary.
I like "Angeleyes" a rare three part harmony between Björn and the Girls , it provides a healthy dose of ABBA's trademark "a-ha's ".
VOULEZ VOUS had two ballads one on each side,one great , one not so great. "I have a Dream"has an annoying children choir on it, and the lyrics seem a little cheesy. However .Frida manages to wring some honest emotion out of the song,(especially on the live versuion) and like "Chiquiitta", IHAD has some crisp guitar and piano work. "Chiquittia does seem a little out of place on this album , but
it one's of ABBA's best ballads. It's powerfully sung, has well executed lyrics, spine tingling crisp
guitar work and uplifting piano work.
"Chiquitita was the biggest of the five songs that were hits from the Voulez VouS.

VOULEZ VOUS had the largest number of successful worldwide singles of any ABBA album.
I personally rank Voules-Vous as my sixth favorite
ABBA studio album, but many people love this
album.).

1. As Good AS New 2. Voulez-Vous; 3. I Have A Dream; 4. e; 5. The King Has Lost His Crown; 6. Does Your Mother Know; 7. If It Wasn't For The Nights; 8. Chiquitita; 9. Lovers (Live A Little Longer); 10. Kisses Of Fire

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster 11. Summer Night City; 12. Lovelight; 13. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight (new bonus track)\

Voulez-Vous/Angeleyes

ABBA-Voulez- vous 1979 Argentina LP

The Argentinian's supposedly put out a version of Voulez-Vous with that featured the Spansih version of Chiquitita, thus this would have been the first album featuring one of ABBA's Spanish language tracks. "Estoy Sonado" was not included becasue it was recorded after the album was released...

Various Artists-A gift of Song Mid 1979 Released on lp in some territories

ABBA gave the song publishing rights for "Chiquitita "to Unicef (the UN children's agency) . This album was drawn from a special concert given at the UN General Assembly . It was
held at the UN building in New York in January 1979. Other artists
to perform included Kris Kristofferson, John
Denver, Donna Summer, Andy Gibb, Olivia Newton-John and Elton John..Elton John was going to perform but was a no show. The BEE GEES who along with David Frost and Robert Stigwood were the promoters of the idea. Supposedly it was
going to happen every year ,but only a few other
songs were given to MUSIC FOR UNICEF.
ABBA lipsynched "Chiquittia" for the show,
which was certainly a less than gutsy approach but because it was totally new song it was less noticable.
ABBA didn't release "Chiquitita" as a single at
this point in America even though the concert was held in New York (at the UN) and was shown on American TV primetime.
The lp features ABBA 's studio recording of
"Chiquitita" coupled with the clapping of the
audience.It was released in some territories in June 1979. This album was not a big seller and was never released on CD.

ABBA & Stikkan .Sång till Görel (private release 12 inch single ) June 1979

Privately released 12 inch Swedish language single given in June 1979 as a tribute to Polar Vp Ms. Gorel Hanser, and it's very good record,worthy of release. It features the only time that we get to hear Stig sing on a ABBA record. This only available to the general publicc on bootlegs..

GimmeX3 (Agnetha)/The King has Lost His Crown

ABBA-Greatest Hits Volume II October 1979 Released on Cd but phased out

GREATEST HITS 2 was released to coincide with ABBA's 1979-80 world tour.
G H II sported a ugly gray album gatefold cover. Two non-album tracks made their album debuts along with 12 previously released songs that were derived from VOULEZ-VOUS (3 songs); THE ALBUM(5 songs), ARRIVAL (3 songs) and ABBA(1 song).

Two songs that were hits from the VOULEZ-VOUS album -"I have A dream" and "VouleZ-Vous" were not to be found on Greatest Hits Volume 2, probably because Greatest Hits 2 was released only about five months after "Voulez-Vous" and they wanted people to still buy "Voulez-Vous". One song ,"I Wonder" from THE ALBUM , seems totally out of place here since it was not a hit anywhere.

"Summer Night City" a non album single originally released in Fall 1978 made it's first appearence on a album here. "SNC' was orignally going to be on "Voulez-Vouz' but was left off cos the "Voulez-Vous album was released too long after "SNC" single. . One totally new song was slated to be recorded for GHII and so ABBA went back into the studio in Summer of 1979 to record "Gimme Gimme Gimme" . "Gimme X3" like "As good As New" has a pseudo classical intro. The result is one of ABBA's best disco (or pseudo-disco) songs .The video for the "Gimme X3" was actually filmed in the Polar Recording Studios.

Some other tracks were recorded during the summer of '79 but not released officially. "Rubber Ball Man/ Under My Sun" was like many of their unreleased songs,infectious but lyrically awkward. "Sang to Gorel' was a privately issued Swedish language, 12 inch single presented to Polar VP, Mrs. Gorel Hanser on the occasion of
her 30th birthday. B&B must have had talent to burn, because the song has a exquisite folksy melody carried by mandolins and a circus music. A&F, B&B , and Stig himself take turns singing in Swedish. This is the only time Stig Anderson performs on a ABBA record.

Concerts on ABBA's 1979 /80 live tour were recorded and filmed for a possible live album.At least two unreleased songs emerged from the tour recordings. Benny's instrumental showcase "Gammal Fabodpsalm" was used as an introduction to the concerts. It proceeded the song "Voulez-Vous".This piece's full title is" Gammal Fabodpsalm Fran Dalarna (Old Pastoral Hymn)",it was written by Oskar Lindberg ,a 20th century composer . It's actually not a very interesting tune.

The other live rarity Agnetha's live solo showcase,"I'm Still Alive ", which was actually co-written by her and was sung solo by her at the piano in concert.The song was never recorded in the studio and It's not clear that there is even a proper live recording of the song-since the song was not filmed for the ABBA -In_concert TV special..

 *Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!-VOULEZ-VOUS

* Knowing Me, Knowing You-THE ALBUM

* Take A Chance On Me-THE ALBUM

* Money, Money, Money-ARRIVAL

* Rock Me-ABBA

* Eagle-THE ALBUM

* Angeleyes-VOULEZ-VOUS

 * Dancing Queen-ARRIVAL

* Does Your Mother Know-VOULEZ-VOUS

* Chiquitita--VOULEZ-VOUS

* Summer Night City-(first lp appearance)

* I Wonder (Departure)-THE ALBUM

* The Name of the Game-THE ALBUM

* Thank You For The Music-The ALBUM

ABBA-GRANDES EXITOS Volume 2 1979 Released on Lp

This was Greatest Hits Volume 2 as it was released in some Spanish speaking markets. It uses the same ugly grew cover as Hits 2 but has the Spanish instead of the English versions of "I Have A Dream" and "Chiquittita". Thus, this was perhaps, the first album to feature mulitple Spanish language ABBBA recordings.

The B-side was a three song medley of folk-songs, originally recorded and released (only in Germany) in 1975.

I Have A Dream(Frida)/*Take A Chance On Me live

 ABBA's later period 1980-1982

ABBA's last three years as a recording act featured a more adult,more autobiographical songwriting. Agnetha and Frida also sang a lot more as soloists at this point,and musically Benny's synthesizer began to dominate. The divorces of the group members also helped lead to the end of the group . Apparently being members of ABBA wasn't as much fun anymore!

***ABBA-Gracias Por La Musicas June 1980 Released in some territories. Made available on CD also.

In 1979 ABBA made special Spanish language recordings first of "Chiquittita " and then of "I Have A Dream" .These Spanish versions proved very successful in places like Mexico and Argentina. So , in early 1980 it was decided to record and release a whole album of Spanish versions of ABBA songs.

In early 1980 Anna, and Frida found the time to very quickly record Spanish vocal tracks to dub onto the backing tracks of eight more previously recorded songs . The instrumental tracks have not been re-recorded but some of the
instrumentation (notably on "Dancing Queen") seems to be different than the original recordings but that this was due to the remixing process (it was to duplicate the original mix.

The biggest difference is that (mercifully perhaps) Björn's spoken prologue to "Move On" was not included in the Spanish version. Indeed, Björn and Benny had little involvement in this project leaving it to Michael Tretow to run the vocal sessions. Buddy and Mary McCloskey did the translations and according to Spanish speakers they only did a fair job.
The ten songs featured on the album had been originally recorded in English between1974 to 1979. The songs were chosen for their appropriateness for the
Latin market so some non-hits were chosen.

This album has been released on CD both in it's original form and reissued
as ABBA ORO. Later, ABBA would also record
two Spanish versions each songs from
SUPER TROOPER and THE VISITORS albums. All of ABBA's 15 Spanish tracks are now on the revised ORO CD

Theis album (or ORO) is great for Spanish speakers and completists but is not essential ABBA.

Gracias Por La Música track listing:

Gracias Por La Música ( "Thank You For The Music") /Reina Danzante ( "Dancing Queen")
Al Andar ("Move On") /Dame! Dame! Dame! ( "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)") /Fernando (Spanish version) / Estoy Soñando ( "I Have A Dream")
. Mamma Mía (Spanish version) /Hasta Mañana (Spanish version)
. Conociéndome, Conociéndote ("Knowing Me, Knowing You")/
. Chiquitita (Spanish version)

ABBA-THE MAGIC OF ABBA 1980 American TV marketted LP

A not too exciting American K-Tel Lp that in typical K-Tel fashion was loaded up with16 not very well mastered previously released ABBA hits. Two later versions were tried elsewhere . In late 1982 K-Tel somehow managed to get 20 edited ABBA tracks onto one Lp for the Aussie version of "THE MAGIC OF ABBA".. At some point in the early eighties , the K-Tel-ians of Canada released the Story of ABBA which has the similiar cover as the American version ,but a different title, and a updated track listing...

The Winner Takes It All(Agnetha)/*Elaine
Super Trouper(Frida)/The Piper

ABBA-Super Trouper November 1980 Available worldwide on CD

ABBA is mature and self assured here. On this album they dont try too go to much into one direction -we find, a little disco, a little theatre, a little whimsy, a little rock, a little folk, as well as some topical music here.Yet, the whole thing is a cohesive if perhap sa slightly bland record.
Björn by now ,is finally writing consistently good lyrics. His lyrics are finally reflecting his and the groups' own personal experiences. On the album and it's sister THE VISITORS . Abba addresses their own maturity, and personal heartaches. Pete Townsend has noted that ABBA were one of the few rock acts to address middle age. On this album the group moves away from unison lead singing. Though there is still some unison singing by Aggie & Frida,it tends to be just in the chrorus or the backings not in the whole song. "The Winner Takes It All" was the biggest hit from the album, it features a virtuoso performence from Agnetha. It's a remarkably well written if simpl e song . That said, the song is slightly understated and bland. "Super Trouper" featuring the lovely Frida was ABBA's last # 1in Great Britain. A song about stage lighting, I dont know... This song is not overwhelming but it's endearing. It's features a monster hookin the chorus.
The music obliquely reflects the influence of the Beach Boys ,one of Benny's favorite groups. On x 3 was coupled on a 12 inch single in Great Britain with "Lay All Your On me" a better dance record than anything on VOULEZ-VOUZ. These two were a hit in American dance clubs but like some any of ABBA's later 45's flopped on the American single chart. Strangely,this single wasn't really pushed in most territories.The rest of the songs are uniformly intelligent, and non-objectionable. I like "Our last Summer" a lot.The lyric ( according to the PALM book)is based on actual romance Björn had in Paris in the 1960's."Paris Restaurants ,"Morning croissants" is one of the most evocative couplets inthe ABBA repertoire. This is an ABBA song where you can actually get a mental picture from the lyrics.
"ME and I' is a rather cheerful song about multiple personalities. LALOM and "Winner Takes It all " notwithstanding ,it's seems that Frida finally is getting her due when it comes to vocal opportunities.

"Happy New Year" -ABBA never did a Christmas song-instead we get this, and the darn thing was already a year old when it came out. Still despite such qualms, this is good song.

"The Piper" has a chorus singing on it-that almost sounds like it's not A&F but if so-they are not credited."The Piper" has some word's in Latin .Is there a language that Björn doesn't know? It's not a fact that jumps out at you,but Agnetha sang lead (when there was a solo lead vocal) on more of ABBA's biggest hits than the Frida. This was probably simply because on record she tends to use a higher sweeter tone than Frida. Super Troper closes with "The Way Old Friends Do." There was always something lacking in the song for me, which is shame because it's got a great melody and seemsa much better signature song than "Thank You For The Music".Super Trouper is often regarded as ABBA's best all around album though most fans are more passionate about other albums.

1. Super Trouper; 2. The Winner Takes It All; 3. On And On And On; 4. Andante, Andante; 5. Me And I; 6. Happy New Year; 7. Our Last Summer; 8. The Piper; 9. Lay All Your Love On Me; 10. The Way Old Friends Do;

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster

11. Elaine; 12. Put On Your White Sombrero

 

ABBA- Magica De ABBA 1981 Venezuela Lp

The K-tel compilation album was even released in the Venezuelan market.

ABBA- THE MUST OF ABBA Early 1981? French LP (other sources says this album released in in late 1980 or early 1982)

Here you go -a kind of early 1980's version of ABBA GOLD that takes a strange journey from France to Germany , Brazil, The Netherlands and South Korea. Very similiar to Dez Anos and A Wie ABBA..

The same 16 songs that can found on the German album A Wie ABBA.-...

Super Trouper /Knowing Me, Knowing You
/Waterloo /Take A Chance On M/e/ Mamma Mia /I Have A Dream/The Name Of The Game ./ Fernando The Winner Takes It All
Dancing QueenS.O.S.Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do/Money, Money, Money
Summer Night City/Chiquitita

ABBA-DEZ ANOS Brazilian LP 1981

Yes that's Portuguese for-10 years , Ok it had only been nine, years but who's counting...

Dez Anos , is similiar to Must of ABBA. In the Brazilian only version it is a compilation of 14 songs ranging from "Waterloo "to ""Super Trouper". The Brazilian version is missing two tracks-The Name Of the Game and Mamma Mia that are found on Must of ABBA" . Some of tracks on this album were edited versions.. Brought to you by the fine folks at the Somlivre label.

ABBA- A WIE ABBA German Lp 1981 /ABBA-A VAN ABBA Dutch Lp Spring 1981

Same track listing as THE MUST OF ABBA .German and Dutch versions of the same album-. Yet another compilation with a track listing very similiar to Brazil's Dez Anos. The German/Dutch version though, has two additional tracks-The Name Of the Game and Mamma Mia. The Koreans also released a cassette version of this album...This album has a very 1980-ish yellow cover....

ABBA-VERY BEST OF ABBA Japanese LP set summer 1981

This set features 24 ABBA songs ranging in time from "Hasta Manana to "Lay All Your Love on me" One b-side is included -"Happy Hawaii".This is different album then the 1976 German ABBA collection with a similiar name. Like, in Latin American , ABBA became big in Japan only in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

 

ABBA-Anniversario Los 10 Anos De ABBA September 1981 Mexico Lp

Yes yes title means -"The Anniversary of Ten Years of Abba." Ok it had really only been nine years but who's counting.This set seems suspiciously like Gracias Por La musica, but has this LP has both English and Spanish recordings....This album Went to #1 in Mexico.

Super Trouper /Knowing Me, Knowing You
/Waterloo /Take A Chance On Me/ Mamma Mia /I Have A Dream/The Name Of The Game ./ Fernando /The Winner Takes It All
Dancing Queen/S.O.S./Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do/Money, Money, Money
Summer Night City/Chiquitita

One Of Us(Agnetha)/*Should I Laugh Or Cry

The Visitors November 1981 Available worldwide on CD

THE VISITORS is a often somber record. Look at the cover,for the first time there are four separate people, No smiles, but at least for once they look like real people. It also is quite a beautiful cover.
This album though successful was the start of ABBA's quick commercial decline.
This was their studio album since RING RING that did not have two solid worldwide hits.
THE VISITORS ,despite it's mixed commercial success (and e mixed reviews) was a culimination, something that wouldn't perhaps have seemed possible in the days of "Waterloo. something to be proud of .Recording an album like
THE VISITORS significantly enhanced
the ABBA ouvre. Yet, it was easier to appreciate
THE VISITORS because ABBA had previously
did more accessible ,more commercial work.


All the songs on THE VISITORS have clearly distinquishable lead vocalists.Four songs are sung by Frida, four by Agnetha, and one by Björn.


The Frida songs are all adventurous, sometimes weird tracks, The remaining tracks except for "Soldiers" are more
conventional ,but still very intelligent. Like SUPER TROUPER this album is blessed with very stronglyrics and a refreshingly adult approach.
The title track seems to about a person
who is anxious about being visited by
Secret Police. The lyric itself doesn't
explicitly state that and the "Cracking Up"
chorus tends to obscure the meaning of the song a little. Indeed the verse and the chorus are almost two diferent songs.
Like many 80's ABBA songs"The Visitors"
has some sublime synthesizer work by Benny.
"One of Us" was this albums hit single.
The mandolin introduction performed by The Three Boys (Björn,Lasse and Rutger) is so good that it almost outshines the rest of song-which is nevertheless a solid song. "Head Over Heels" was also released as
a single in a few places but shouldn't
have been. It's failure as a single in Great Britain broke ABBA's streak of 18 top ten hit singles. "Head Over Heels" comes
off sounding spiteful. The entertaining video for "Head Over Heels" has Frida portraying the headstrong woman described in the song.
In a few places "When All is Said and Done" was released as a single.IT was ABBA's very last Top 40 hit in America. It has quite a vigorous backing track ,the song islightened up a little by "munchkin' style background vocals. It has an extremely evocative lyric. "I let The Music Speak" is a little known ABBA song but certainly seems to presage
Björn and Benny's post ABBA work.
Once again the lyric is just as good as
the exquistite musical backing.
"Soldiers" another topical political song
of uncertain political leaning is made
even more interesting by new drummer's Per Lindvall drum part.
"Slipping Through My finger" is perhaps
more interesting becasue it is clearly written
about Björn's and Agnetha's personal experience with not being able to spend as much time with their children as they
would like, but at the same time, it was a lyric that many people
could relate to.
The album closes with "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room'. The song
just has Benny playing and Frida singing
on it and yet is so evocative. Frida's
high notes towards the end really bespeak
wistfully of a ending of something,
in way it is surprising that ABBA went on
one more year but they did.

Many of the songs on THE VISITORS were recorded digitally making this one of the first
digital pop albums.

The Visitors is ABBA' s most artistic album, but
it is only a so-so pop album.

1. The Visitors; 2. Head Over Heels; 3. When All Is Said And Done; 4. Soldiers; 5. I Let The Music Speak; 6. One Of Us; 7. Two For The Price Of One; 8. Slipping Through My Fingers; 9. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room;

BONUS TRACKS ON 2001 Remaster: 10. Should I Laugh Or Cry; 11. The Day Before You Came; 12. Cassandra (new bonus track) 13. Under Attack

Head Over Heels(Agnetha)/The Visitors

ABBA-Slipping Through My Fingers 1981 Japanese promo lp..

This promo lp is famous for having a bizarre cover that features the four members of ABBA standing on a huge vinyl record that says Coca-Cola.

The record is also unusual in having a unique edited medley of four ABBA's songs.

The original edition of this among the most expensive ABBA collectables..

ABBA-ABBAantogiABBA 1982 Spanish Lp

Cool titlle ! Espana's Carnaby label put out this 11 track compilation...cos they had nothing else to do that week.

ABBA-The BEST of ABBA (The Readers Digest Box). Austrailia, Germany 1982 5-LP set. No longer available

Among the first ABBA box sets. Haven't seen this but it's supposed to be a five LP box set with previously released material, including hits , album tracks, and 3 or so b-sides.Somehow

upon it's release in South Africa it became a 6 lp set...There is also a German box set called "Die Story" out there...which may or may nor be similiar...

ABBA-THE MAGIC OF ABBA 1982 Australian LP

In 1982 K-Tel somehow managed to get 20 mostly edited ABBA tracks onto one Lp for the Aussie version of "THE MAGIC OF ABBA".. One source says this was released in March 1982 and another said it was released in Late 1982..

ABBA-POR SIEMPRE 1982 Argentine Lp

An Argentinian compilation album that somehow rather strangely
contains the only official appearance on record of the live recording of ABBA's" Hole In'
Your Sole". The rest of the track selection is equally surprising. All of the songs are preety much album tracks except for the b-side "Should I Laugh or Cry" which appears here for the first time on a album.

. Should I Laugh Or Cry /My Love, My Life /If It Wasn't For The Nights Move On Arrival / Me And I
. L
ay All Your Love On Me/Lovers (Live A Little Longer)/dum Dum Diddle /Hole in Your Sole (live)
 
ABBA-DISCO SPECIAL-1
ABBA-DISCO SPECIAL-2
ABBA-DANCING SPECIAL
ABBA-LOVE SOUNDS SPECIAL - All Late Spring 1982 Japanese Lp releases

These are four separate compilation albums were all released concurrently during 1982 by ABBA's then Japanese label DISCOMATE. Each album has a strange mixture of tracks from various ABBA albums.Only one rarity was included- the 1979 b-side "Lovelight" Each album has ten songs. At least two of these albums were released on colored vinyl.

ABBA-OS GRANDES SUCESSOS DE ABBA 1982 Brazilan LP

Ten more ABBA hits rehashed in some new and not very interesting way. This compilation focuses on later hits. . The cover did not have ABBA's picture on it. Released on the Square label. In 1988 a CD with the same title was released in Brazil with four more songs ,but with butchered edits of many of the songs.

The Day Before You Came(Agnetha)/*Cassandra
Under Attack(Agnetha)/
*You Owe Me One

ABBA-The Singles-The First Ten Years November 1982 Released on CD but phased out

This was the end. Though we didn't know it at the time. ABBA's breakup was never announced, they simply never recorded again after this album. This collection of most of ABBA's A- sides was put together when it became clear that the group had no enthusiasm and not enough songs for an entire studio album of new material.

Sadly, however, that meant that the six new B&B compositions that were recorded got treated rather badly. Only two of the six songs ("The Day Before You Came" and "Under Attack") made it onto THE SINGLES collection along with the 21 previously released A-sides from 1972-1982. These two songs were also released as the A sides of ABBA last two singles .The six new songs recorded are all quite intriguing. ABBA's instrumentation had become overly synthesizer dominated, but much of ABBA's great vocal sound remains. Just spend some time listening closely to the backing vocals on any of these tracks and you'll be amazed at how much goes on.

TDBYC was a five minute laundry list of a person's day that is either boring or profound depending on your prospective.The song features Benny on the synthesizer and Aggie on vocals. Listen closely to the breathtaking "Ahhhhs" at the end of the song The video produced for the TDBYC features Agnetha and has the most story of any ABBA video clip.

The second A-side, "Under Attack" ,was actually a fairly good pop song -but the world was cooling on ABBA . The video for "Under Attack" is ominous, at the end the four members walk away grimly with their backs to the camera. Ominous, since this was the last ABBA video. "Under Attack" was ABBA's last original single. It is a surprisingly peppy number for a swan song.

Neither of the A-sides would do well in most places. Neither song hit the the Top 10 in Britain. Neither song even hit the Top 100 in America. However, one place remained loyal-In the Netherlands , TDBYC went to #1. The Low countries showed once again that have ABBA's most consistent fans.

Two of six songs, "Cassandra" and " You Owe Me One" were initially released only as B-sides and were left off THE SINGLES collection. " Cassandra" featured a intriguing lyric and a rich production. "Cassandra's "packing your bags" section is one the best 5 seconds in the ABBA ouvre. "You Owe Me" one sounds like a techno version of "Happy Hawaii". Dumping quality songs onto B-sides was a habit ABBA only got into during the latter part of their career. Prior to mid 1979 B&B had only dumped two of their non -LP English songs onto ABBA b-sides. But Five non-Lp B&B songs showed up on their post mid 1979 singles. .

The A&B side tracks would later be available on the BOX set and on other albums, and CD's. MORE ABBA GOLD, for example, has three of the four tracks. The 2001 remastered version of THE VISITORS is now the official home for the two A-sides as well as "Cassandra ". "You Owe Me One" had been on the prior remastered versions of THE VISITORS. "

However, the two other songs recorded ( "I Am the City" and "Just Like That" ) were left in the can at the time..
"I am the City" was a fine techno-pop song that finally surfaced in 1993 on MORE ABBA Gold. "Just Like That" would become the most sought after song in the ABBA vault. B&B would only allow a small snippet of "JLT" to be released on the box set. Longer versions exist. The main reason that ABBA's version of "JLT" was not released is that B&B regard their 1985 production of a version of JLT by Gemini to be definitive (SEE
GEMINI section.). Ironically, the Gemini version is as hard to find as the ABBA version anyway!

The songs on the 1982 sessions would be dubbed the Opus 10 sessions by a Swedish journalist even though ABBA never had a working album title. Supposedly,according to this journilist Opus 10 would have been ABBA's 10th album up to that time but, in actuality, it would have been ABBA's ninth studio album . It would be the tenth if only if you count ABBA's Spanish album Gracias Por La Musica, but their twelfth if you include their two Greatest Hits albums, and if you exclude RING RING which was not released in many places you get different numbers all together!

THE SINGLES -THE FIRST TEN YEARS would be phased out from the catalogue
when ABBA Gold was released,

TRACKS RECORDED. by ABBA during 1982 sessions..

You Owe Me One (Andersson-Ulvaeus)--A&F- first appeared as B-side Recorded May 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad , Lead Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wallender
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Per Lindvall

This b-side for the last orignal ABBA single was the first track recorded during the 1982 sessions, it seems like a Techno version of "Happy Hawaii". Lyrically it's the weakest of the 1982 tracks but vocally it still interesting to listen to....This track never really was released on any of ABBA's major releases other than the box set...

It also showed up temporarily on the first Remasters of THE VISITORS from the 1997 but not was retained on the 2001 remaster...


I am the City (Andersson-Ulvaeus)-A&F- first appeared on More Abba gold Recorded May 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad , Lead Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wallender
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Per Lindvall

"I am the City" was a fine techno-pop song that finally surfaced in 1993 on MORE ABBA Gold. " It's Hard to see why ABBA did not release back in the 1982 although it has been rumoured that it was being saved for a possible post-Chess ABBA album.

It was left off THE VISITORS remaster.


Just Like That (sax vers.) (Andersson-Ulvaeus first appeared in 1994 on THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC BOX SET

Just Like That (Full-sax vers.) (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Anna- unreleased
Just Like That (LA-LA versions) (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Anna- Unreleased.. all versions Recorded May 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Agnetha Faltskog,Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wallender
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Per Lindvall

Sax on some mixes-Raphael Ravenscroft

The holy grail of unreleased ABBA songs, since this song is perhaps the best completed ABBA song not to see a full uncut release . There were at least two versions of JLT. One version-the "La La" version of "Just Like That' is similiar to the later "Day Before You Came" -it features Agnetha's singing about yet another neglected woman, this version has a busy but laidback synthesizer arrangment. Another version is the peppier mix found in an abridged version on ABBA's boxset. This version features Raphael Ravenscroft on sax-and sounds more like hit single material, but B&B were unable a produce a mix that they were comfortable with.And so these versions remained in the vault 1982.

B&B would only allow a small snippet of "JLT" to be released on the box set.. The main reason given that ABBA's version of "JLT" has not been fully released is that B&B regard their 1985 production of a version of JLT by Gemini to be definitive (SEE GEMINI section.). Ironically, the Gemini version is out of print, anyway! The melody was borrowed again for use on a song in the 2002 Swedish language version of Chess.


Cassandra (Andersson-Ulvaeus)--Frida- first first appeared as B side Recorded August 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Janne Scaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
"Drums-Per Lindvall

Originally just a b-side. "Cassandra" features a intriguing lyric and a rich production. "Cassandra's "packing your bags" section is one of the best 5 seconds in the ABBA ouvre. (even if the swelled voices effect was originally used by the Beach Boys ) Some of the arrangement of the song is borrowed from the then unreleased 1980 ABBA recording-"Put On Your White Sombrero". loved this song at first-"the oh this is a cool b-side effect" But it's not a great song-just a very good one.. Probably a less tired ABBA would have made a great record out of this song... "Cassandra first showed up on some of the ABBA "love song" LP collections of 1983,but didnt really make it onto a wide release on CD till MORE ABBA Gold was released. It can now be found on THE VISITORS remaster and on the box set.

 

Under Attack (Andersson-Ulvaeus)- first appeared on THE SINGLES Recorded August 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Janne Scaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Per Lindvall

 

ABBA's last original single and the second A-side, pulled from "THE SINGLES' "Under Attack" ,was actually a fairly good pop song -but the world was cooling on ABBA .This record is unusual for ABBA song in that it is really hard to make out some of the words in the chorus.... The video for "Under Attack" is ominous, at the end the four members walk away grimly with their backs to the camera. Ominous, since this was the last ABBA video. "Under Attack" was ABBA's last original single. It is actually a surprisingly peppy number for a swan song. (But this is the mature ABBA so even when the music is peppy-the lyrics are depressing!) But it was one ABBA's least successful singles.

"Under Attack"can now be found on THE VISITORS remaster and on the box set.

Interestingly,ABBA brought back Lead Guitarist Janne Schaffer for this session,he had been there in 1972 when it all started...He had not been available for THE VISITORS sessions but appeared on every other ABBA album on at least some of the songs...

 

The Day before You Came (Andersson-Ulvaeus) first appeared on THE SINGLES Recorded August 1982

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Agnetha Faltskog ,Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Synthesizers & drum machine -Benny Andersson
Snare Drum -Ake Sundqvist

This was the last studio track ABBA ever made. IT came 10 years and five months after ABBA's first recording -People Need Love". It was leadoff single for THE SINGLES collection. TDBYC was a five minute laundry list of a person's day that is either boring or profound depending on your prospective.The song features Benny on the synthesizer and Aggie on vocals. Listen closely to the breathtaking "Ahhhhs" at the end of the song The video produced for the TDBYC features Agnetha and has the most story of any ABBA video clip. This song was covered by the British act-Blancmange. " Bjorn and Benny deserve some respect for taking chances with this their the last recording they made for ABBA...

The Day before You Came"can now be found on THE VISITORS remaster and on the box set

TRACK LISITING FOR THE SINGLES

  Side A

Ring Ring-Ring Ring

Waterloo-Waterloo

So Long-Abba

I Do, I Do, I Do. I Do, I Do-Abba

SOS-Abba

Mammia Mia-Abba

Fernando-Greatest Hits

Side B

Dancing Queen-Arrival

Money, Money, Money-Arrival

Knowing Me, Knowing You-Arrival

The Name of the Game-The Album

Take A Chance On Me-The Album

Summer Night City-Greatest Hits 2

 Side C

Chiquitita-Voulez-Vouz

Does Your Mother Know-Voulez-Vouz

Voulez-Vous-Voulez-Vouz

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!-Greatest Hits 2

I Have A Dream-Voulez-Vouz

 

Side D

The Winner Takes It All- Super Trouper

Super Trouper-Super Trouper

One of the Us-The Visitors

The Day Before You Came-new song

Under Attack-new song

ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS 1982 2 picture Lp set vinyl release Britain only. (The Cardboard Box Version)

A boxed version of ABBA-The Singles. a followup of sort to Epic Super Trouper box this was catalagoued as ABBOX 2.This was released by Epic in Britain. The black box features 2 picture Vinyl albums, a booklet,
a poster and a reproduction of tickets to the1974 Eurovision Contest . Of course, if you play the picture discs they produce lousy sound but you probably don't want to play them , since
this is a collectible worth over 100 dollars.

 ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS 1982 2Lp Argentina vinyl release

Same album , but this version of ABBA-The Singles, has six of the Spanish language versions of ABBA's hits in place of the English versions .

ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS Volume 1&2 1982 French CD's

Supposedly ,The French split this album up into two parts...I have never seen this version..