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John Bernhardt & ABBA-The Albums presents...A complete ABBA Discography..ABBA -THE SCROLL PART 1 ! An ABBA Career Overview

ABBA PART ONE (1972-1982 ) Reviews of 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 on CD, LP,DVD or cassette. Bootlegs are not included,solo material and VHS tapes are covered elsewhere on the site..

The more important ABBA albums are also covered more fully in their own pages. Albums are listed by era. The major international 45 rpm single releases are listed too, here just to be complete.....

Releases are listed chronologically as much as possible, though often the exact month of release is not known, The date listed is the earliest release of a particular album, but albums and singles are often were released at dramatically different points in time in different territories.

Click on an era....

 ABBA's early albums 1972-1975

ABBA's middle period 1976-1979

 ABBA's later period 1980-1982

Go to our All Abba Albums 1983-2006 page for the remaining ABBA albums...

 

A short introduction /How many songs were recorded/How many records has ABBA sold...

How do we judge the merits of ABBA? It is generally assumed that ABBA is one of the commercially successful pop groups of all time.*SEE NOTE BELOW They have sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 to 370 million records. They were highly successful in most 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? Universal has said ABBA have sold 360 million singles, LP's,CD's , and cassettes.

 

 According to Wikipedia , 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 released only eight studio albums and because ABBA sold relatively few records (14 to 20 million) in the key US market ,it could be questioned whether ABBA could have sold as many as the 370 million albums and singles worldwide that has been claimed by their record labels. When you add up all of ABBA's official sales certifications you have trouble coming up with more than 150 million to 200 million total units..

In Great Britain, for example, you add up their all their sales and you do not get any more than 30 million sales in total.In the small Australian market, I only came up with something like 8 million units in total.. ...

There are 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 version tracks, a handful of alternate versions., and 20 or so official live recordings.

  ABBA's EARLY ALBUMS 1972-1975

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.

Björn Benny &Agnetha Frida-RING RING Swedish LP March 1973 and later
ABBA- WATERLOO March 1974 Available worldwide on CD
ABBA- Björn Benny &Agnetha Frida 1974? Czechoslovakia LP
ABBA- Honey Honey -Mid to late 1974 German LP
ABBA- Pop Power-The Fantastic ABBA 1975 Austrian LP
ABBA-ABBA released April 1975 ABBA's self-titled 1975 studio album

ABBA- Mamma Mia ABBA Mid to Late?1975 German LP
ABBA-I do I Do I Do I Do I Do ABBA Mid to Late?1975 South Africa LP
Various artists- -Stars Im Zeichen Eines Guten Sterns Mid to Late1975 German LP

ABBA-BEST OF November 1975 Australian LP
ABBA-Greatest Hits Swedish version November 1975 Released on CD in 2006

 

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 track sung mostly by Bjorn..."People Need Love" was also THE FIRST ABBA SONG ! Lyrically, the themes on "People Need Love" are laudatory if not very original. The vocal arrangements on on this song is really quite good. Hear how Benny is clearly singing along with Björn on "People Need Love" in the guy section. The interesting thing about having the two guys sing and then the two girls sing-is you immediately hear that while the guys do sing well enough together,-the girls sing incredibly well together-. the difference between great and good . "People Need Love' was the first track recorded for the Ring Ring album-as well the first single to be credited to all four ABBA members. Check out the novel yodeling at the end.

He Is Your Brother /Santa Rosa Swedish single November 1972

A unsuccessful second single by Bjorn,& Benny , Agnetha & Frida that once again featured all four members on lead vocals, the b-side was also a non-LP sung mostly by Bjorn.

Cliched lyrics,but again, cool vocals on this song. It is interesting that Benny never minded singing when called upon to do so....This song was featured effectively in the Music for Unicef concert in 1979. Agnetha's bottom was featured during the presentation of this song in ABBA -The MOVIE.

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

"Ring Ring" is a very peppy, Phil Spectorish/girl group/Europop concoction, 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 American songwriters Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody on the lyrics, the only time a outside writer heLPed on a English lyric for 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.

Bara Du Slog En Signal (swed-Ring Ring)/Ah Vilka Tider Swedish single February 1973
R
ing Ring was released in both English and Swedish single versions " The Swedish version of "Ring Ring" was ABBA's first number single in Sweden...Ah Vilka Tider " is a hard to find non-LP track sung mostly by Bjorn..

June 1973

Björn Benny &Agnetha Frida-RING RING Swedish LP March 26, 1973 available worldwide on CD 1990's

Hey kids, 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" for 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 , more rushed 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, today these mixes don't seem very well done... "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 English lyric for 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..

THE FIRST ABBA recording ! Lyrically, the themes on "People Need Love" are laudatory if not very original. The vocal arrangements on on this song is really quite good . Hear how Benny is clearly singing along with Björn on "People Need Love" in the guy section. The interesting thing about having the two guys sing and then the two girls sing-is you immediately hear how while the guys actually do sound pretty good-the girls sing incredibly well together-. the difference between great and good . i"People Need Love' was the first track recorded for this album. as well the first single to be credited to all four ABBA members. Check out the novel yodeling at the end.

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...

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 ,I like the "bings'! BING BING!!

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 already were becoming at a making cool records. This is a song which has good mixture of Bjorn's 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

An annoying 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. That would explain every thing...

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 again Cool vocals on this song. It is interesting that Benny never minded singing when called upon to do so....This song was featured effectively in the Music for Unicef concert in 1979. Agnetha's bottom was featured during the presentation of this song in ABBA -The Movie.

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

Bjorn Ulvaeus-Vocals, Guitar
Benny Andersson-Vocals, Keyboards Other musicians? -unknown

This is a peppy Late 1969 Bjorn and Benny recording that has some how found it's way onto various versions of the Ring Ring CD, it was not on the original 1973 album...It's possible but not likely the Agnetha or Frida are somewhere singing on the record. This song was featured in the SEDUCTION OF INGA motion picture.. It was breakout hit in Japan

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

Horns?

Stig heLPed with the lyrics-which might explain why he went back to counting the money...The "girl "theme continues...No,I am sorry this dreary ditty is a not very good song. This song originally had a totally different lyric that was written and recorded in Swedish by another artist. No Doubt would later unconsciously borrow the song title.This is another track that is in the running for the much sought after Worst ABBA song Ever! award along with "Santa Rosa", "I Saw It in The mirror",and "Crazy World",. (The snot-nosed kid gets a dishonorable mention.).. ...This song was acttually covered in 2006 by Annie Sofie Von Otter (geez-you think she would only have could two or three names like the rest of us....) thus giving the song's reputation a much needed shot of respectability..

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.

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 SVENSKA. 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 during RING RING sessions..

"Ah Vilka Tider" has never been made available internationally -it was B-side to The Swedish version of "Ring Ring" It showed up again in the 2005 Swedish hit 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.

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)

Love Isn't Easy (But it Is Sure Hard Enough)/Swedish single June 1973.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 already were becoming at a making cool records. This is a song which has good mixture of Bjorn voice with the girls.

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

ABBA- WATERLOO March 4, 1974 Available worldwide on CD

ABBA sung the title track to this album as their #1 prize winning entry at the Eurovision song contest in April 1974.

Released on the heels of ABBA's big Eurovision breakthrough in Spring of 1974, this album did little to solidify ABBA's commercial standing. ABBA would go through a short spell of
time after the success of "Waterloo" when
they would worry whether they would be just a one-hit wonder, in English speaking markerts like Great Britain and the US. . The Waterloo album was a sizable hit in Scandinavia but did not break the top ten in too many other places.

Although, WATERLOO is not a great album it still can be a fairly enjoyable listen if you can get beyond this album's bubble gum sensibilities. If you have open mind, you'll find that most of the songs are listenable, but most of songs ultimately are not that great .There is no doubt that all of ABBA's later studio albums are better than WATERLOO, indeed a case can be made that ABBA's prior album, RING RING, is actually a better album than Waterloo, simply because the RING RING album had more hit singles .

Where The WATERLOO album excels is that features a lot of great singing by A&F whether alone, in unison or singing along with Björn. Most of Björn's vocals on this album are fairly listenable, but no doubt having Anna & Frida sing more would have made more sense. Bjorn actually has more solo lead vocals than Agnetha on this album...
Björn's vocal presence on this album is substantial -he has three lead vocals on this album, and sings on many of the other tracks, but the girls sing on his songs ,sweetening the vocal tracks, and making for an interesting contrast. Björn is a lot more integrated into ABBA's vocal sound on the band's first three albums. On Arrival, he finally got down to his standard quota of one lead vocal per album.


The ABBA band is already in top form here, and B&B's arrangements are inventive. This album is generally fun and joyous ,sometimes innocently serious, but it also strays rather dangerously into stupidity. Most of the "Waterloo" album was recorded between October and December 1973, making it the fastest ABBA album to record. Unlike other albums, there was little alternation of the sideman used-all the lead guitar tracks are done by Janne Schaffer all the Drums are played by Ola Brunkert and all but one bass part is played by Rutger Gunnarsson...

WATERLOO's cover photograph was taken in a Swedish castle. One of the ABBA band's bass players (Mike Watson) plays the Napoleon standing at the window on the cover photos. The light coming in from the window on the cover is surprisingly evocative, I'd love to have a room like that!

 

1. Waterloo (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 2.46 Recorded December 1973 Lead Vocals-Agnetha, Frida

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

Tenor Sax-Christer Eklund

There are few more explosive pop records than the "Waterloo" single. It is easy to see how such a song would prove to be such a breakthrough track for the group throughout the world. Like many of ABBA's 1970's hits the song is sung in unison by Agnetha and Frida. Remarkably, using a female duo to carry a hit song had not really been done that much-prior to the 1970's, usually female groups combined one lead singer
with a backing group (example-The Supremes). ABBA was reminiscent perhaps of the Fifth Dimension or The Mamas and The Papas but neither of these acts focused solely on the female duo in the way ABBA did on many of their singles. ABBA's unison singing approach would
be copied but never equaled.
Annoyingly ,WATERLOO's title track stands above the other tracks here, since there really wasn't a second big single even though a few of the other songs were minor
hits. There are not any other ABBA albums where one song outclasses the others so much. Like most of ABBA's early hits the title for this song came from thge brain of Stig Anderson, and is actually appears to have written most of the lyrid for the both The Swedish and English versions.

* Historical footnote. The Battle of Waterloo occurred in Belgium in June 1815. It was a battle between Napoleon's French forces and Wellington's Allied forces (British, German,' Prussian and Dutch troops). Napoleon lost the battle and was permanently exiled from Europe. Stig spent six weeks in the battlefields researching for the lyrics for this song. Ok, no that's not true.

2. Sitting In The Palmtree (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.39 Recorded December 1973 lead vocals -Bjorn

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

Congas-Malando Gassama

A Bjorn vocal with the girls singing in the background -one of those early ABBA tracks that almost grows on you a little over time ...The girls backing vocals are of course, more interesting than Bjorn's lead vocal.

3. King Kong Song (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.14 Recorded November 1973 Lead Vocals-Bjorn, Agnetha, Frida ,maybe Benny , no not really...

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

"It's the King Kong Song, won't you sing along? " No i would rather not....Thank you, Bjorn for singing most of the leads vocals on this song but please let Aggie sing. Great scream Aggie! Warning-Very stupid lyric here, but it's fun song and there is no sign of Swedish angst here.

4. Hasta Mañana(Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.05 Recorded December 1973 Lead Vocals -Agnetha

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

"Hasta Manana" is a showcase for Agnetha's rich plaintive Connie Francis style crying vocals ."Hasta Manana' was a minor hit in a couple of places, notably Australia and was covered by Debbie Boone . Debbie's version of "Hasta Manana" was the B-side of "You Light Up My Life"( one of the biggest American hits of 1970's.) This song like "Honey Honey" seems awfully deriative, though in this case, it hard to pin down exactly who B&B were copying!

"Hasta Manana" was considered along with "Waterloo" as a possible 1974 Eurovison entry, but B&B decided to go with "Waterloo" because it was the more daring and original entry... "Hasta Manana " was actually a hit in Australia, but clearly was too dreary of a ballad to release throughout the world as a single.

5. My Mama Said (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.14 Recorded October 1973 Lead Vocals-Agnetha & Frida

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

An attempt perhaps, at a more serious number. "My Mama Said" has a good instrumental break, ABBA's skilled session band sometimes seemed a little above the material in the early years...

6. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On) (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.05 Lead Vocals Agnetha &Bjorn Recorded September 1973

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

"Dance (While the Music Goes On)" seems a bit derivative of the work of producer, Phil Spector . (Of course, Phil Spector is somebody usually worth copying)... Still, I don't really care for Björn's vocal interjections on "Dance", And, Björn's use of the word -"baby' seems. well that seems horribly dated now. Agnetha's vocal is mixed just below Björn and you wonder why they didn't just have her sing lead on the whole song. I mean why didn't you just go smoke a ciggie, Bjorn, and let the blonde sing!!!

7. Honey, Honey (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 2.55 Recorded October 1973 Lead Vocals-Agnetha, Frida, Bjorn

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

Strings arranged by S.O. walldoff

The second most obvious hit on the "Waterloo" was "Honey Honey". which was a hit in some markets. But it wasn't pushed by many of the ABBA's record companies as a single, perhaps because it did not sound enough like "Waterloo". Honey Honey"was actually covered by another group (Sweet Dreams )in Britain and became a hit. "Honey Honey" is ABBA's most anonymous sounding song, It sounds overly inspired by bubble gum classics like the Archies," Sugar Sugar". Perhaps that is why it was not as big of hit as it seems it should have been...I lot of the critics of the early ABBA thought ABBA were copying other groups.

8. Watch Out; (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.46 Recorded December 1973 Lead Vocals-Bjorn

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

"Watch Out" is a unconvincing rocker- (though it is probably the hardest rocker ABBA did) which nevertheless has an interesting ending. The lyrics to "Suzy Hang Around" and "Gonna Sing You My love Song " were supposedly written by Benny.

9. What About Livingstone (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.54 Recorded October 1973 Lead Vocals-Agnetha & Frida

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

A lot of the songs on the WATERLOO album have an element of fun -Most notably "Sitting on the Palmtree', "King Kong Song",and the charming , peppy "What About Livingston". Listen for the inventive half word harmonies at the end of "Livingston".

10. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.35 Recorded December 1973 Lead Vocals-Frida

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

This seems like another attempt at a more serious song-though it 's obvious both the lyric writer (Benny , in this case) and the singer (Frida) are working in a second language , so the song comes off a little more goofy than it should. It's perhaps the only ABBA love ode written by Benny for Frida.

11. Suzy-Hang-Around (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.11 Recorded October 1973 Lead Vocals-Benny

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

"Suzy Hang Around" is practically the only ABBA song to feature Benny on a solo lead vocal. It's not easy to tell that its' him. Benny's voice merely sounds like a bland version of Bjorn here.Sort of analgous to Nancy Wilson vs Anne Wilson. or perhaps Carnie Wilson to Brian Wilson or maybe Woodrow Wilson to ....or Mr Wilson to Dennis the Menace or Dennis Miller to Sandy Dennis...The lyrics to "Suzy Hang Around" and "Gonna Sing You My love Song " were supposedly written by Benny, the last time he wrote lyrics for ABBA.

I hate "Suzy's" lyrics ,but, I like Benny's keyboards & synths on "Suzy". Listen for the great choral vocal ending on "Suzy".

Or Miller beer to Molson beer.Or Barry Bonds to James Bond....

2002 CD Bonus tracks:

12. Ring Ring (US remix ) 3.00 Recorded January 1973, May 1974 Lead Vocals- Agnetha & Frida

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-Ulf Andersson

The 1974 version of" Ring RIng" was a remix with a sax added to make the song sound more like Waterloo. "Ring Ring" was also rereleased as as a single and placed on the WATERLOO album in many territories partly because the RING RING Album had not been released in most territories. and partly simply to improve the WATERLOO album.;

The orginal Swedish LP version of the album included both the English and Swedish versions of "Waterloo". The original Swedish album opened with the Swedish version and closed with the English version.

The title track from the RING RING was included on the WATERLOO LP in many territories.In Sweden , the Swedish version of Waterloo was included on the LP.

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. 1974 was the only year in ABBA career when no non-album tracks were issued.

13. Waterloo (Swedish language version) Recorded December 1973 Lead Vocals-Agnetha & Frida

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

Tenor Sax-Christer Eklund

This track was found on the original Waterloo album in Sweden and was released as a single in Sweden. The Swedish version wasn't avaiilable internationally till it was released on CD till 1994.

14. Honey, Honey (Swedish language version). Recorded October 1973Lead Vocals-Agnetha, Frida, Bjorn

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

Strings arranged by S.O. walldoff

This was the last of four ABBA singles to also be released in Swedish, although the girls would release solo Swedish versions of "SOS" and "Fernando". The Swedish versions of "Waterloo" and "Honey Honey" first saw worldwide release on the 1994 ABBA box set

Other tracks recorded during WATERLOO sessions..

A German, and a Spanish version of "Ring Ring" were recorded in July 1973, but there was not much in the way of finished unreleased tracks...

 

Waterloo/Watch Out (Bjorn) International single April 1974

fWaterloo was the breakout isingle for ABBA, it was also released in Frnch and German version

There are few more explosive pop records than the "Waterloo" single. It is easy to see how such a song would prove to be such a breakthrough track for the group throughout the world. Like many of ABBA's 1970's hits the song is sung in unison by Agnetha and Frida.

Honey Honey/Dance (While The Music Still Goes On) single April 1974

..The second most obvious hit on the "Waterloo" was "Honey Honey". which was a minor hit in America and Australia It was not a hit at all in Sweden, Great Britain . "The song has a prominent placement in the MAMMA MIA musical..

Ring Ring (English vers.) /Merry Go Round Swedish single Mid 1974

In a few places like the Uk "Ring Ring " was released as one of the followups to "Waterloo"" ,but it was unsucessful.....

Hasta Manana(Swed vers. )/King Kong Song Mid 1974

This was a successful single(#16) only in Australia, where ABBAmania was starting to take hold...

 

ABBA- Honey Honey -Mid to late 1974 German LP (Reissued in this form on CD in 1990)

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

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...

So Long/I've Been Waiting For You November 1974

This glam rock single was released a long time before the upcoming ABBA album...it was only a regional hit..but still sold a million copies according to one book.

 

ABBA- Pop Power-The Fantastic ABBA 1975 Austrian LP

Supposedly, the Austrians (that's right not-the Australians!) released their own special music club version of an ABBA studio album, in this case- the Waterloo album. For this version they dropped "Watch Out" and "Suzy Hang Around" and replaced them with "SOS", "So Long " and "Ring Ring". The cover also was different -this one features Frida's butt. Yes it's true, go look up it up!...

 A

1. Waterloo
2. Ring Ring
3. Sitting In The Palmtree
4. King Kong Song
5. My Mama Said
6. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)

 B.

1.Honey Honey
2. What About Livingstone
3. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
4. So Long
5. Hasta Mañana
6. S.O.S..

I've Been Waiting For You/King Kong Song Single April 1974

The Australians attempted to make a hit single out of this song but it did not work...It only went #49.

 

ABBA-ABBA released April 21, 1975 Available worldwide on CD (ABBA's self-titled 1975 studio album)

Just look at the back cover- those double exposed shoes, that sexy girl in the olive dress, the cane, Frida's elegant diffidence , Benny & Björn's well acted expressions of annoyance. Who said these people were devoid of style? Well....Ok I'll admit It i have no taste in clothes, so maybe I am not a good judge...

After the success of the "Waterloo" single Abba had a great success with singles between Mid 1974 and mid 1975 but not in every market. It wasn't till the release of the "SOS" single (drawn from this album) that they proved that they were not just a one hit wonder in the critical British market."Mamma Mia" and "I do, I do , I do ,I do" were along with "SOS" among the big worldwide hits on this album. "So Long" , "Rock Me" and "Bang-A Bomerang" were also hits in various places. Six of the songs from this album were hits somewhere (more hits than any other ABBA studio album). ABBA albums were always chock full of possible hit singles, but sometimes the group did not want to risk releasing singles that might not hit the top five,.

That ABBA was starting to be big in Scandinavia, Germany and Australia was not sufficient for ABBA and Stig, they wanted to be big in the UK, North America and even unconventional markets like Eastern Europe and Latin America.
ABBA's main commerical goal was to be the to become the first superstar act
.to emerge from a non-English speaking country to become major pop stars in the trend setting English-speaking markets.

ABBA manager's Stig Anderson's importance thus can not be underestimated-it was his vision,his planning that drove ABBA's unprecedented and all-encompassing commercial breakthrough. Also, Stig's catchy but simple approach to titles & lyrics would allow for ABBA to be easily understandable to the widest possible audience. Later acts would have ABBA to thank for opening the world music markerts to acts from places other than the US and the British Isles. For some reason,Stig Anderson played a heavier role in the lyric writing on this album... he heLPed with the writing of six lyrics,more than on any other ABBA album...

This, ABBA's third album, despite the presence of three major worldwide hits was not as big of a seller as the later albums in some markerts. The mixed commercial track record is one reason this album often tends to be less well appreciated than the later ABBA albums. As is the case with much of ABBA's pre-1977 work, critics found that the lyrics were not particularly good from a poetical perspective, although the lyrics often seem clever enough as pop song.

Björn and Benny obviously grew as songwriters both lyrically and musically, and their later growth made them, like some critics less enamored of their own early work. Still, there is freshness and sense of fun here that ABBA had a harder time capturing as they got older and more mature . This particular album finds ABBA just as they were rising to a level where they doing commercial pop music better than most of their competitors.

This is the album to get if you like ABBA's more uptempo numbers .This is the ABBA album with the highest concentration of effective rock n roll numbers. While ABBA may have not been totally convincing as a rock act ,one should make concessions for the fact that in 1975, rock and roll bands with female lead singers were not overly prevalent, so whatever attempts ABBA made at rock and roll were certainly to be welcomed by people who like to hear woman sing rock numbers.

At least, five of the songs on the ABBA album had significant elements of rock and roll, "So Long","Intermezzo No 1", " SOS" , "Rock Me", and "Hey Hey Helen". The other songs on the album certainly touch on rock as well. That this album is rock and roll, does make this album more appealing to rock fans than ABBA's later excursions into disco, theatre numbers and adult pop.

In Germany , this album was titled Mamma Mia in one edition.

Some of the 1980's and early 1990's European CD editions of this album rather oddly had five added tracks drawn from the RING RING and WATERLOO albums.

Recording dates and Musician credits sourced from original CD/album liner notes or from THE COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS by Carl Magnus Palm.

1. Mamma Mia (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.32 Lead Vocals-Agnetha, Frida & Bjorn Recorded March 1975

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus Guitar-Janne Schaffer Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus,, Bass-Mike Watson, Drums- Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers, Marimba-Benny Andersson, String arrangement-S.O. Walldoff

(please note its not always clear where Benny is singing backing vocals,so I dont usually list him as a backing vocalist - unless I am sure it is him.)

"Mamma Mia' would be ABBA's second #1 hit in Great Britain,but oddly only a minor hit in the USA. It's a little bubble-gummy perhaps, but still very original sounding, Used of course, as the title track for B&B's 1998 musical,though ironically the now out-of -favor- late ABBA manager, Stig Anderson seems to have been at least partly responsible for the lyric. Michael Tretow is quoted in the Palm book " as viewing Mamma Mia as the " the whole idea of ABBA in one track".

2. Hey, Hey Helen (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.16 Lead Vocals-Agnetha & Frida Recorded September 1974

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Guitar-Janne Schaffer ,Bjorn Ulvaeus, , Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson Drums-,Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

"Hey Hey Helen" is one of the great underated early ABBA songs. But for some reason Björn and Benny themselves never cared for it. Which is odd because the lyrics are better than the usual nonsense that pervaded many of their early singles. Bjorn and Benny have both said the he do not think that ABBA was effective as a rock group, and in two interviews Benny has said that "HHH " was something they should have left unrecorded. Bjorn thought the drum sound sounded very tame. But they miss the point-ABBA often failed as rock act because the lyrics were so awkward sounding,...1970's rock music always took itself very seriously,and the pre- 1977 ABBA did not take there lyrics seriously..

Mercifully , HHH 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. (The clavinet is a keyboard popularized by Stevie Wonder

3. Tropical Loveland (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3:05 Lead Vocals-Frida Recorded February 1975

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus,Guitar,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass- Mike Watson, Drums- Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

"Tropical Loveland' has stupid lyrics that were poorly pronounced by Frida, but the song is redeemed by some sublime but subtle backing vocals and organ work. Listen closely to this song on headphones.( ABBA harmonies from Day One were always incredibly inventive and many of the harmonies are buried so deeply in the mix that you have to hunt them down with your ears!)

4. SOS (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.22 Lead Vocals-Agnetha Recorded August 1974

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Guitar-Janne Schaffer Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass- Mike Watson, Drums-Ola Brunkert Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

.SOS' melds a keyboard backed verse with a guitar driven chorus. Agnetha's angst-tormented lead vocal is punctuated by some charming accented pronunciations of English words that tend to emphasize how European this record is. The Who's Pete Townsend has said that he thinks this is great rock record. It is certainly one of ABBA's most original sounding singles, and probably one of their five best recordings...

5. Man In The Middle (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.00 Lead Vocals-Björn' Recorded August 1974

Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Guitar-Janne Schaffer Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Mike Watson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers, Clavinet-Benny Andersson, Tenor Sax-Ulf Andersson, Sax arrangement-Bjorn J:son Lindh

I may be alone in thinking that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Björn's "Man In The Middle" Some people think it's bad version of Stevie Wonder . I enjoyed the clavinet and the horn work on it . and I find that the lyrics are not stupid. For some reason I view the song as a unconscious dig at the group manager ,Stig Anderson. (Stig was literally the man in the middle in Abba songwriting credits).

6. Bang-A-Boomerang (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 2.50 Agnetha & Frida Recorded January 1975

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Guitar-Janne Schaffer,Bjorn Ulvaeus, , Bass- Mike Watson, Drums- Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

"Bang-A-Boomerang" like "Tropical Loveland" and "Dum Dum Diddle" are the kind of songs that have the kind of lyrics that seem provoke disdain amongst ABBA's critics. Yet, "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!).

7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do; (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.15 Lead Vocals -Agnetha & Frida Recorded January 1975

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Guitar-Janne Schaffer Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Mike Watson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Alto Sax-Ulf Andersson

I doX5 " had a prominent placing in the weddings scenes of the Australian movie "Muriel's Wedding" and "Mamma Mia". Still, "I do X5 " is probably one of the least loved of ABBA hits. The song is supposed to be based either on European shlagers or 1950's Pat Boone records it depends on who you talk to....but Benny says it is based Billy Vaughan records. The song is also notable for the use of soprano saxophone, Early ABBA recordings had a fair amount of horn work on them....

8. Rock Me Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.03 Lead Vocals-Björn Recorded October 1974

Vocals-,Bjorn Ulvaeus,Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson,Guitar Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

"Rock Me' is ,if very fun,if not totally convincing rocker, with a run-of -the mill-lyric. On "Rock Me" Björn was let into the vocal booth,and Benny got to throw in the music hall piano. Admittedly, one has to give Björn a lot of 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 are so unlike Björn's other lead vocals. (ALSO since back in the seventies , I had no idea what Benny's vocals were supposed to sound like) In 1994 the box set lets us hear how our diva ,Agnetha would sing this song-and frankly Bjorn sings it as well or better than the great diva. A great accomplishment for our Bjorn.

9. Intermezzo no. 1; (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.48 Instrumental featuring Benny Andersson- Recorded October 1974

Guitar- Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, , Drums, Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, , String & Horn arrangement-Bjorn J:son Lindh

Like "SOS" , "Intermezzo No 1" , is a highly original classical/ rock fusions. " Intermezzo" was ABBA's first instrumental record -and was most certainly not a filler track.

10. I've Been Waiting For You;(Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.39 Lead Vocal-Agnetha ----Recorded September 1974

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad,Bjorn Ulvaeus Guitar-Janne Schaffer ,Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums- Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

Agnetha got another prime vocal opportunity on "I've Been Waiting For You", just catch her hitting the high notes on the word "ceiling". (I also find the guitar buried in the mix at the end interesting). This is rare early ABBA song that has a lyrics that hold up well and Agnetha sings the words convincingly. This live version of this song found in ABBA-The movie is also quite good.

11. So Long (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.06 Lead Vocals-Agnetha & Frida Recorded August 1974

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus , Guitar-Janne Schaffer Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Mike Watson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,Trumpet-Bruno Glenmark

The album's closer -the glam rocker,"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. One of the signs of a great group is that they often have lesser hits in reserve. The casual fan will say "Oh, I didn't know they did that". Six of the songs from this album were top 50 hits somewhere (more hits than any other ABBA studio album). ABBA albums were always chock full of possible hit singles.

BONUS TRACK ON CD VERSION

12. Crazy World (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal- Bjorn Recorded October 1974, Summer 1976

,Bjorn Ulvaeus,Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad,Benny Andersson, Guitar- Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Lasse Wellander, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, , Drums, Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

"Crazy World" is a Bjorn lead vocal with a stupid lyric but a stirring section on the "Baby why you did you do it"section'. It was left in the can in 1974 but reworked so as to become a B-side in 1977.

13. Medley: Pick A Bale Of Cotton/On Top Of Old Smokey/Midnight Special ((Traditional arr. Andersson-Ulvaeus) Recorded May 1975, August 1978

Lead vocals Agnetha, Frida, Bjorn and Benny

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson Guitar-Finn Sjoberg,Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Mike Watson, Drums-Roger Palm, Keyboards& Synthesizers-Benny Andersson,

Medley' was a medley of three folk songs in the Public domain that was recorded right after the ABBA album was released for use on an German charity album..(Stars Im Zeichen Eines Guten Sterns ) The songs were chosen to reflect ABBA's roots although it's doubtful Agnetha or Frida would ever have performed this songs before. "Medley" would also be dug up to become the B-side of "Summer Night City"in 1978. The medley does not really work- "Pick and Bale of Cotton" and Midnight Special" are recorded in a bizarre and inappropriate Stars on 45 pop /rock style and "On Top Of OLD Smokey" is dreary ballad edited in between the two pop numbers. Still ABBA's version of "Midnight Special" is certainly original and fun to listen.

OTHER TRACKS RECORDED

At least three other tracks were recorded for but not released on the original ABBA album.Three songs :("Baby' (an early version of "Rock Me') with an Agnetha lead vocal ,"Here Comes Rubie Jamie'(-a surprisingly spontaneous duet between Benny & Frida) and "Rikki Rock'n Roller' were finally released as part of "ABBA Undeleted ' on the Box Set.

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do/Rock Me single April 1975

Although it was certainly not the best song on the ABBA album, I DO X 5 was released as a single anyway, and went to #1 in Australia,but only to #38 in the Uk...I doX5 " had a prominent placing in the weddings scenes of the Australian movie "Muriel's Wedding" and "Mamma Mia". Still, "I do X5 " is probably one of the least loved of ABBA hits. The song is supposed to be based either on European shlagers or 1950's Pat Boone records it depends on who you talk to....The song is also notable for the use of soprano saxophone, Early ABBA recordings had a fair amount of horn work on them....

In australia during ABBAmania the b-side "Rock ME" was flipped over to create #4 chart hit in April 1976.

SOS /Man In The Middle single June 1975

"SOS' brought ABBA back to the top Five in Great Britain...ABBA notoriusly lip-synched to this song on American's TV -SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. in the fall of 1975 during that show's very first season...This was the record that where I discovered ABBA...

 

ABBA- Mamma Mia ABBA Mid to Late? 1975 German LP

Yet again the German's issued a alternate 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 Mid to Late?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. I am not sure what I had for lunch...

 

Various artists- -Stars Im Zeichen Eines Guten Sterns Mid to Late1975 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" in May 1975 for this obscure German charity album.They recorded these old folk songs because they had no new original material available.   But also because the charity album was meant to be collection of folk covers. Two of the ABBA songs are drawn from the repertoire of folk singer, Ledbelly. .

The "Medley" didn't really get released in territories other than Germany until it was released as the B-side to "Summer Night City" in 1978. The track can now 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

Mamma Mia/Intermezzo No.1 single September 1975

"Mamma Mia' would be ABBA's second #1 hit in Great Britain, and number one in Australia and Denmark... Oddly enough the song that followed "Mamma Mia' in the number one spot in Great Britain was Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" which was also features the phrase "Mamma Mia" in it's lyric...

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

Though not strictly part of the ABBA canon,
BEST OF 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 high market penetration in some other territories, most notably in Sweden itself...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 the Australian hit "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 reason 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 find "Fernando' on the GREATEST HITS album. This album was released biefly on CD in 1988, but oddly is currently out of print in Australia, despite it's iconic status.

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 , the cover for this album was a bizarre green/bluish drawing of the members of ABBA as animal life. The earliest versions of GREATEST HITS in Sweden didn't have "Fernando" ,but
all the later pressings did. It was the only new song on the album...

" . "Fernando was ABBA's first internationally successful ballad hit. It been originally written in Swedish for the late 1975 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)

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
ABBA- 16 ABBA hits 1976 or 1975 German LP
ABBA-All About ABBA- May 1976 Japanese LP
ABBA-GOLDEN DOUBLE ALBUM May? 1976 French 2LP set

ABBA -THE VERY BEST OF ABBA August 1976 German 2LP set
ABBA-Arrival October 1976 and laterAvailable worldwide on

ABBA-ABBA's Greatest Hits 24 -October1977 Japanese 2LP set.
Abba-Live 77 December 1977 Swedish Flexi-disc
ABBA-The Album Released December 1977 Sweden, Early 1978 International release

ABBA-El album- Early 1978 Argentina LP
ABBA-ABBA - The Movie August 1978 Japan Cassette Tape
ABBA-El Gran Show 1978 Peru/Uruguay 2LP set
ABBA-UM Novo Espaco Para Musica 1978 Brazil LP

ABBA -Non album single -Summer Night City/Medley September 1978 Vinyl 45 single
ABBA-Voulez vous April 1979 Available on CD worldwide

ABBA-Voulez- vous -1979 Spain (Argentina?)LP
Various Artists-A gift of Song-June 1979 Released on LP in some territories

ABBA & Stikkan Sång till Görel (private release 12 inch single ) June 1979
ABBA-Greatest Hits Volume II October 1979 Released on CD but phased out

ABBA-GRANDES EXITOS Volume 2 Late 1979 Released on LP

ABBA-Greatest Hits International version early 1976 Released on CD worldwide, 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 had featured a bizarre green/bluish drawing of the members of ABBA as animal life.
In the rest of the world record labels wanted something a little saner and instead 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

 Fernando(Frida)/Tropical Loveland single March 1976

This song was #1 in a dozen major territories.. and was one of ABBA's best selling singles..The 1976 single "Fernando' was included as a bonus track on the original Australian version of ARRIVAL and on some of the recent remastered editions" Fernando" was ABBA's first successful ballad hit. 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 on the first Greatest Hits album. The song seems both over exposed and fresh at the same time. The intro and flute still can bring chills to the spine.

 

The special 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 ersatz Mexican feel. Bjorn said about the song that
"
I was in my
summerhouse one starry evening and the words came, 'There was something
in the air that night' and I thought of two old comrades from some
guerrilla war in Mexico who would be sitting in the porch and
reminiscing about what happened to them back then and this is what it is
all about. Total fiction."
It almost sounds like a Spanish act recorded it-and reminds a one a little of the Spanish song-"Eres Tu.' The chorus to the song is probably the ABBA hit that is easiest to sing along to.

Hasta Manana()/So long Mid 1976

A hit two years after release! This was a successful single(#16) only in Australia, where ABBAmania was still brewing... The single has actually been issued with "so Long" on the A-side in 1974, but "so Long" bombed in Australia...

 

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/Mamma Mia- May 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....This album was reissued in 1978.

1. Mamma Mia
2. Honey, Honey
3. Another Town, Another Train
4. Waterloo
5. Ring Ring
6. Hasta Mañana
7. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)

8. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
9. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
10. What About Livingstone
11. S.O.S.
12. I Am Just A Girl
13. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother
14. People Need Love

 

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.

Dancing Queen/That's Me single single August 1976

This song was #1 in 13 major territories.. and is usually regarded as ABBA's most sucessful single.. The song had been recorded in the summer of 1975, and sat in the can waiting for "Fernando" and the Greatest Hits' to cool down.""Dancing Queen" was their first disco song, but other than "That's Me "ABBA did not make any other disco records till the "Voulez -Vous" sessions started in in the summer of 1978...

 

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 11, 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 . On a technical level, It's a nearly flawless production. ARRIVAL's major flaw is that most of the songs lack emotional or intellectual depth. Even pop songs require a little heart and soul, and many early ABBA records lack that. Most of ABBA's major pop rock contempories, (especially American artists) were at least able to fake emotional or intellectual depth. Bjorn and Stig were still largely writing weak lyrics that often lacked any real meaning.

This was the first of the ABBA studio albums to sell in large quantities in a every English speaking territory.

The prior studio albums sold exceedingly well variously in Scandinavia, Australia, Germany, and The Low Countries,but ARRIVAL was the first of the ABBA studio albums to sell in large quantities in a every English speaking territory. Indeed ARRIVAL was perhaps ABBA's most widely successful album, though their next three studio albums also did very well.

ARRIVAL did hit Number one in many territories,and the total worldwide sales of this album are thought to be in the ten million unit range , probably more than any of the other ABBA seven ABBA studio albums. ABBA first Greatest Hits album is also thought to have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and of course ABBA Gold has sold well over 20 million copies. .. Still, Unlike some other big acts of the 1970's and 1980's (Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, Carole King , the Bee Gees, Bruce Springsteen ) there isn't really one ABBA album studio album that substantially out performed the others, internationally speaking. ABBA's success was a constant .Of course, ABBA peaked differently in each market. But ABBA was like The Beatles, Billy Joel,or Garth Brooks-they had a long string of consistently successful albums,

ARRIVAL was released in most territories in the late 1976 to a world hungry for new ABBA product. It was probably the most anticipated ABBA album.The early 1976 to early 1978 period saw the release of a string of seven singles that resulted in six British #1's & and one #2 chart placing. Three of the songs were songs from ARRIVAL-"Dancing Queen' ,"Knowing Me, Knowing You" , and "Money,Money, Money",

ARRIVAL was the first album to feature ABBA's famous backwards "B" trademark. The trademark was designed by Rune Soderqvist, ABBA's album designer.

The Recording dates and some Musician credits listed below are sourced from original CD/album liner notes or from THE COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS by Carl Magnus Palm.

TRACK BY TRACK

1. When I Kissed The Teacher  (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.02 Recorded June 1976


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

The album opens with "When I Kissed The Teacher" an amazing example of B&B's and their band's ability to come up with original arrangements-12 string guitars, basses,keyboards all come at you from surprising places. Of course, the lyrics are shite. The song was actually made into one of ABBA's few story like filmclips for a TV special... This is one of those songs where you wonder-hey did Bjorn think up that guitar opening-is he actually that good...

2. Dancing Queen (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.50 Recorded August 1975

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Electric Guitar- Janne Schaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Roger Palm, String Arrangements-S.O. Walldorf

ARRIVAL featured three big hits."Dancing Queen' , ABBA's first nod
toward the then emerging Disco scene, was probably ABBA 's biggest hit ever worldwide -it hit # 1 in the most countries . "DQ' is one of ABBA's most flawless records-there is nothing that could done to improve the recording. 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.

"Dancing Queen" is probably ABBA's most famous song-but as well done as it is-it's certainly not a very important song-or a very meaningful song. That is certainly a weakness of ABBA-, ABBA simply does not compare well to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen. or other pop/rock acts that have managed to have recorded bodies of work that included a lot of vital and meaningful music.

The beat in "Danging Queen was actually inspired by George McCrae's 1974 hit "Rock You Baby".

3. My Love, My Life (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.52 Recorded August 1976

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

" My Love, My Life" was one of ABBA's sweetest ballads and best melodies.The lyrics are pretty good. Agnetha sings it well. Benny, was not totally happy with the overly busy production on this track-perhaps a recognition on his part, that sometimes he was not quite sure how to take his beautiful melodies and turn them into great records...

4. Dum Dum Diddle  (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.53 Recorded July 1976

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards, Accordion-Benny Andersson
Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
"Dum Dum Diddle" has quite a dumb lyric but also is incredibly hooky, one of the catchier songs on album on a filled with catchy songs. And yes there is an accordion in there....

5.Knowing Me, Knowing You  (Andersson- Anderson-Ulvaeus) 4.02 Recorded March 1976

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad,Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals, Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Guitar-LasseWellander , Janne Schaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassama
ABBA's first single (with the possible exception of "Fernando' ) that had lyrics that actually made any sense. The troubled relationship theme was one that would prove to be important theme for later ABBA songs.
The vocals of KMKY seemed derivative 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 dreamn't up by Europeans.Oh and did I mention the bass guitar...well I could go on and on ...KMKY is just a great record ! Perhaps even better than "Dancing Queen".

The video for KMKY was one of Lasse Hallestrom's homages to Swedish director -Ingmar
Bergman. (Lots of side profile angles!). Lasse Hallstrom, directed most of ABBA's videos (as well as ABBA-The Movie) ,he would later go onto direct films in Hollywood.

This song like so many other ABBA songs features the use of the vocal device -"a ha" which for some reason ABBA just loved to do. Apparently according to Bjorn -"a-ha" worked well as a short two syllable phrase when lrycis were put together to match music. In this case-it's done by Bjorn and what is probably one his most effective ABBA background vocals...Knowing Me, Knowing You
Some of the other ABBA songs to use the "A-Ha are -Hey, hey Helen, Honey Honey
"Angel Eyes, "Voulez Vous" ,", The King Has Lost His Crown" and "You Owe Me One".

6. Money, Money, Money   (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.05 Recorded May 1976

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad,Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals-Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Anders Glenmark
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert

ARRIVAL's third biggest single was "Money,Money, Money". It is not the kind of great single that "Fernando", "Dancing Queen" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" are. Björn admits that Money X3 uses a lyrical theme that had already been done one too many times, but Frida's jazzy cabaret singing brings it off with verve. And , this song has had some impact-
I often hear Money X3 used on American news programs when a musical theme for money is required. That's strange because here in America the song didn't even make the all important Top 40, "Money ,Money,Money" broke ABBA's American string of 8 top 40 hits . Yes, folks ABBA actually did get played on American radio. And, yes, the song too has the "A-ha" device.

7. That's Me  (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 3.15 Recorded March 1976

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Janne Schaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassa
ma

"That's Me" (also on the b-side to "Dancing Queen" ) is a great showcase for cool, smooth A&A harmonies. Released as an A-side in Japan. The arrangement on this track is slick....

8. Why Did It Have To Be Me  (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.20 Recorded August 1976

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

Sax-LArs Carlsson
"Why Did To Have to Be Me", is amongst the most enjoyable of ABBA's songs with Björn in the lead. It is almost 1950's style rocker, that had originally been recorded as "Happy Hawaii". In concert, the song featured Frida doing some of the lead vocals, bringing out the humour in the song.

9. Tiger  (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 2.55 Recorded July 1976  

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

Tiger" is a good rock number elevated by it lovely soft bridge. It's the kind of a song that you would almost think would make a good single, but on reflection you , say to yourself no probably not....Cool rock numbers would become scarcer in the ABBA repertoire from this point forward...The lyric is kind of stupid....so once again it was not a serious candidate from American radio...

10. Arrival  (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.00 Recorded August 1976

Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Synthesizers,Accordion,Keyboards-Benny Andersson String arrangments-Ruger Gunnarsson
Strings-Martin Bylund, Anders Dahl, Gunna Michols, Bernt Nylund, Bo Soderstrom Harry Teike, Lars Avinder, Alm Ersson

ARRIVAL's title track was also it's closing track , it's an instrumental though it does have backing vocals. It's very effective, even if to some it seemed out of place. British musician Mike Oldfield recorded a cover version,of "Arrival" and he even had a photograph of him in a helicopter taken for his record. "Arrival" is similiar to some of the Swedish accordion/ violin folk music on Benny's solo albums.

BONUS tracks:

11. 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.

The 1976 single "Fernando' was included as a bonus track on the original Australian version of ARRIVAL and on some of the recent remastered editions" Fernando" was ABBA's first successful ballad hit. 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 on the first Greatest Hits album. The song seems both over exposed and fresh at the same time. The intro and flute still can bring chills to the spine.

The special 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 ersatz Mexican feel. It almost sounds like a Spanish act recorded it-and reminds a one a little of the Spanish song-"Eres Tu.' The chorus to the song is probably the ABBA hit that is easiest to sing along to.

12. Happy Hawaii (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) Recorded April 1976

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Janne Schaffer . Lasse Wellander Steel Guitar-Janne Lindgren
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassama

Released as the b-side to "Knowing Me, Knowing You", this was the early version of "Why Did It Have To Be Me". It has the girls singing,and sounds quite Hawaiian. "Why did it have to be Me"is probably better.... "Happy Hawaii" was actually made into a cartoon video in Australia before it was actually released as a b-side. Sadly ,the video was thought lost-but appers to have been located.. This is good choice for a b-side, it was not bad enough to be left unreleased ,but it would have been out of place on the Arrival album.. This was first original ABBA song in four years to be relegated soley to be a b-side. .

"Happy Hawaii" did not make it onto a album till the late 1980's.

Other tracks recorded during the Arrival sessions....

"Monsieur Monsieur" was also recorded but not released . It is an "Our Last Summer" themed song with an Agnetha lead vocal "Monsieur" was done in a much higher key with different lyrics than,"My Love, My Life" the song that it would later become. It might have been interesting to record "Monsieur Monsieur" in French,

B&B also wrote a disco song that ABBA considered but apparently didn't record called "Funky Feet". "Funky Feet" ended up being given to Polar label mates Svenne And Lotta.

The B-side "Crazy World" released around this time was actually mostly recorded in the fall of 1974. Thus it was included on ABBA's 1975 self-titled album as a bonus track in recent remasterings.

Spanish vocal overdubs were recorded for "Fernando, "Dancing Queen" and Knowing Me, Knowing You" in 1980.

Money Money Money(Frida)/*Crazy World single 1977 November 1976

"Money,Money, Money". It is not the kind of great single that "Fernando", "Dancing Queen" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" are. Björn admits that Money X3 uses a lyrical theme that had already been done one too many times, but Frida's jazzy cabaret singing brings it off with verve The b-side was the non-album Bjorn lead vocal-"Crazy World"....a song that was certainly not album material..

Knowing Me, Knowing You/Happy Hawaii single February 1977

ABBA's first single (with the possible exception of "Fernando' ) that had lyrics that actually made any sense. The troubled relationship theme was one that would prove to be important theme for later ABBA songs. The vocals of KMKY seemed derivative 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 dreamn't up by Europeans.Oh and did I mention the bass guitar...well I could go on and on ...KMKY is just a great record ! Perhaps even better than "Dancing Queen".

The video for KMKY was one of Lasse Hallestrom's homages to Swedish director -Ingmar
Bergman. (Lots of side profile angles!). Lasse Hallstrom, directed most of ABBA's videos (as well as ABBA-The Movie) ,he would later go onto direct films in Hollywood.

.The Name Of The Game/*I Wonder live single October 1977

One of the more original sounding songs among ABBA's single..It was a number one in Great Britain...but in most places it did not continue ABBA's hot streak of #1 singles. It was one of favorite ABBA singles....


 ABBA-Greatest Hits including Fernando- 1977 Malaysia LP

 
This complilation features the famous Arrival era photo of ABBA wearing dark suits and white hats photo. Wearing hats with potatoes? .... The album was released with the same cover, but different track listing on cassette in Thailand...
 
Waterloo/Ring Ring/ Honey Honey /Mamma Mia/Nina Pretty Ballerina/I do I do I do I do I do/ SOS
 
Fernando/Money Money Money/ Why Did It have to be Me/Tiger/Dancing Queen/ Dum dum Diddle. Knowing Me Knowing You

....

ABBA-ABBA's Greatest Hits 24 -October 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.. No, in actuality it appears that this is called '24" because the album includes 24 songs......

I.
A.
1. Dancing Queen
2. What about Livingstone
3. Hey, Hey Helen *
4. Honey, Honey
5. Mamma Mia
6. Waterloo
B.
1. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
2. Another Town, Another Train
3. Nina, Pretty Ballerina
4. Ring Ring *
5. Suzy-Hang-Around
6. Bang-a-Boomerang

II.
A.
1. That's Me
2. Hasta Manna
3. My Mama Said *
4. I Am Just a Girl
5. Dance (while a Music Still Goes On)
6. Intermezzo No.1
B.
1. Fernando
2. SOS
3. Rock Me *
4. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
5. People Need Love
6. I've Been Waiting for You


Abba-Live 77 December 1977 Swedish Flexi-disc

Abba put out this this limited four song flexi-disc (essentially a floppy plastic 45)-for school children in Sweden only!

Five edited live tracks -Fernando, Rock Me, Why Did It Have to Be Me, Money Money Money and ,Waterloo are included...For whatever reason this particular live mix has not been rereleased, ..

ABBA-The Album Released December 12, 1977 Sweden, Early 1978 International release Available worldwide on CD

It is interesting to note that at the height of ABBA's worldwide popularity they ended up recording their first more "serious" album. THE ALBUM was released at the end of 1977 in Sweden and in early 1978 most other places.
ABBA-THE ALBUM was the album tied in with ABBA-THE MOVIE, ABBA's 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, has the richest and most colorful arrangements of all the ABBA albums. The songs vary considerably in subject, tempo, and instrumentation . alsmot to the point, where it's hard to listen to the album straight through because ,the songs are too disimiliar.

Where, THE ALBUM fares less well in any comparision to the albums that bookend it (ARRIVAL& VOULEZ-VOUZ) 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. Listeners also complain about how side two deviates too much from standard pop/rock music especially the mini-musical and the spoken prologue to "Move On'.

On this album, ABBA seem to do things that even they don't seem to realize were counter to the stereotypical view some had of them.

ABBA-THE ALBUM was highly successful but it did not build on ABBA's commericial success in most places. A major push as made to break ABBA into superstar status in the US market in 1978 and although they did was managed to a few hundred thousand extra copies of the album .... it was becoming clear to most that America would never be conquered by ABBA. ABBA was simply not cool by American standards...Not enough drugs-too many smiles...

ABBA, actually, even blew one big chance to break into the American market. The Bee Gees invited ABBA to record "If I Can't Have You" for the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER album, but ABBA declined since they never recorded songs by outside writers. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER turned out to be the biggest selling album of 1978 and "If I Can't Have You" as recorded by Yvonne Elliman went to #1 in the United States.

ABBA's momentum slowed in mid 1978. The sessions for the follow-up to THE ALBUM proved troublesome. A non-album single was released during the year and a half between albums. That song "Summer Night City" was a nod in the disco direction , Björn sings along with the girls on it, B&B and Micke Tretow had trouble getting a good mix of the song together, the mix that finally was released left out a elegant introduction.The more observant may notice the seeming repeated use of an obscenity in SNC's chorus towards the end of the song. "Summer Night City' would not be put on
a album till GREATEST HITS II came out. "Medley" which had recorded for a charity album in 1975 was used as the b-side of SNC.

Musician credits sourced from original CD/album liner notes or from THE COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS by Carl Magnus Palm.

 ABBA-THE ALBUM -SONG BY SONG

1. Eagle (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 5.51 Lead Vocals-Agnetha &FRida Recording begun June 1977

 

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Janne Schaffer, Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassama
Recorder-Lars Carlsson

"Eagle" is a daring opening song, it sounds like no previous ABBA record, at nearly six minutes it was ABBA's longest song up to this time. Agnetha & Frida sing above a majestic, if somewhat droning, Hendrix cum Morricone cum Spectre sound salad.
"Eagle" is not 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).

2. Take A Chance On Me (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 4.05 Lead Vocals- Agnetha &FridaRecording begun June 1977

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals-Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wallander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Roger Palm

"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 pop record. It's almost (but not quite) saved from sounding like a well oiled machine by Agnetha's bright singing and the very fresh sounding a Capella (voices only) introduction. Take A Chance " was the most successful single from this album.

3. One Man, One Woman (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 4.25 Lead vocals-Frida-Recording begun July 1977

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards& Back Vocals -Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Roger Palm
Percussion -Malando Gassama

Like many of ABBA's best lyrics -"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 don't really pay as much attention as you might to the rich backing vocals because your listening to Frida's dynamic lead vocal performance.

4. The Name Of The Game (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 4.54 Lead Vocals-Agnetha& begun May 1977

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

The lyric for this song was actually written for a scene in ABBA -The Movie. The "Name of the Game" is perhaps not a great song but it's a master work of arrangement.
You never know where they are going with this.There are elements of funk, at times rock, gospel, at times it's stately Europop ,and when the horns come in near the end you think of "Penny Lane". The best bit on the song again is once again the A Capella part. The Lasse Wellander guitar solo in middle of "Name...." has been badly butchered on some of the edited releases of this song. The lyric for this song was actually written for a scene in ABBA -The Movie.

5. Move On (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 4.42 Lead Vocals-Agnetha, Bjorn Recording begun August 1977

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

"Move On", puts some people off with Björn's spoken prologue , Some people also might not find Björn and Stig's searching lyrics convincing,either, but for ABBA lyrics they are pretty good. In "Move On" a powerful bass riff drives the song's stirring chorus. When A&F sing "Like a roller in the ocean"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.

6. Hole In Your Soul (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.41 Lead Vocals Agnetha & Frida &BennyRecording begun August 1977

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

"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 hearkens back to a similar 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.

7."The Girl With The Golden Hair" - 3 scenes from a mini-musical (Thank You For The Music,I Wonder, I'm A Marionette)

A novel three song "mini-musical" closes THE ALBUM. "The Girl with The Golden Hair" was tried out live on the 1977 tour. When performed live the mini-musical also included a narrator(Francis Matthews), incidental music, blonde wigs for the girls, and a fourth song appearing at the end called "Get on the Carousel". "Get on the Carousel" remained unreleased (indeed it was never finished in the studio) but it was no great loss not having it on THE ALBUM. B&B have shown little willingness to bring "Get On the Carousel" out of the vaults.

(Another song , that was not part of the mini-musical, the autobiographical "I Am An A " was also performed live in 1977 but it was obviously far too sardonically witty for B&B to release.)

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 performances.

a. Thank You For The Music (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.48 Lead Vocal-Agnetha Recording begun July 1977

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar, mandolin & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals-Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar, Mandolin -Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Roger Palm
Percussion -Malando Gassama

"Thank You For the Music" has somehow become the ABBA signature song even though it was never much of a hit single. It probably doesn't deserve such stature, but it sums up the spirit of ABBA better than something like "Dancing Queen". Benny, in particular, seems to have an irrational love for this song. It is certainly a well-constructed song with a solid melody and good lyrics Benny, in particular, seems to have an irrational love for this song. That said,this recording does has a great keyboard riff at 1:53 into the song, as well as another great Aggie vocal performance. When the box set came out -a second earlier version of the song was released which features Agnetha singing an impossibly bright Doris Day-style version of the song.

b. I Wonder (Departure) (Andersson-Anderson-Ulvaeus) 4.33 Lead Vocal-FridaRecording begun August 1977

Lead & Backing Vocals, Frida Lyngstad,Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Percussion -Malando Gassama
Recorder-Lars Carlsson
FRench horn-Bengt Sundberg
Also Oboe, Cellos, Violas, Violin

"I Wonder' was one of ABBA's more serious (some might say more boring) numbers.The arrangement for "I Wonder" is surprisingly orchestral (listen for what sounds like a harp!). "I Wonder" along with "Move On" and "Name of the Game" were the last lyrics Stig Anderson worked on for official release. All of the lyrics for ABBA's subsequent songs were written by Björn.

A fairly good live version of "I Wonder" was released of this on the b-side of "The Name of The Game" the harmonies at the very end of the live version of "I Wonder" are among the best five seconds in ABBA's live repertoire. But,For some reason, Michael Tretow hates the live recording of "I Wonder".

c.. I'm A Marionette (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.54 Lead Vocal-Agnetha & Frida Recording begun July 1977

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

"I'm a Marionette' has a theme that suggests there is something wrong with seeking music stardom, which is kind of ironic considering that conquering the world often seemed to be the only thing that ABBA (well Bjorn ) cared about.The opening bass riff and the two guitar solos add considerably to "Marionette's" impact. The ending track of THE ALBUM borders on being chilling.

extra track: 10. Thank You For The Music (Doris Day mix) (new bonus track) Recorded June 1977

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

This early alternate version of Thank You For The Music was made available first on the box set in 1994 and then also placed as a bonus track on the 2001 ABBA remaster. It would of course, been far more interesting to be able to hear "I am An A " or "Get On the Carousoul" .

Other tracks recorded

Seemingly no other finished released recordings emerged from The Album sessions. In addition to the live numbers mentioned earlier (Get On the Carousoul and I am An A ),there were other two unfinished tracks that were were sliced up for inclusion in the "Abba Undeleted" medley on ABBA's box set .The tracks included were a early instrumental working version of "Take A chance on Me " and instrumental called "Scaramouche".(the title was inspired by a line in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". In addition a nice eleant live version of "I wonder" was released as B-side. Other live tracks were also released from 1977 tour.

Take A Chance On Me/I'm A Marionette single January 1978

"Tacom" was very bright single, and number one in a lot of places..It is pure pop at it's finest...

Eagle/Thank You For The Music single May 1978

"Eagle" was a minor hit in a few places...But it was really more an album track type song, and the b-side was too cabaret- like for 1978 radio audiences...

ABBA-El album- Early 1978 Argentina LP

The Album was called El Album in Argentina....And yes, "El" does mean "The" in Spanish, but you knew that!!!!!

ABBA-ABBA -The Movie August 1978 Japan Cassette Tape

Although one might claim that ABBA-The Album served as aa soundtrack album, ABBA -The Movie did not really have a genuine soundtrack album-and so the Japanese attempted to rectify this by issuing a cassette with the name ABBA -The MOVIE.. OF course, it's just a compilation of ABBA songs, some of which are actually found in the found in the movie...Taiwan also tried something similiar...Of course, none of the live songs featured in the movie, made it onto either of these records.......

Side 1:

Hole In Your Soul/ Tiger /SOS /Ring Ring /Money, Money, Money/,He Is Your Brother/Intermezzo no. 1/Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)/Waterloo/Hasta Mañana /Rock Me

Side 2:

1. Happy HawaiiI/'ve Been Waiting For You/The Name Of The Game/Why Did It Have To Be Me/Fernando/Dancing Queen/Gonna Sing You My Lovesong/So Long/Thank You For The Music
Released on MC Japan 1978.

ABBA-El Gran Show 1978 Peru/Uruguay 2LP set

Down in deepest South America, they also put something of a soundtrack to ABBA-The Movie...

ABBA-Um Novo Espaco Para A Musica 1978 Brazil LP

Another 14 track collection of ABBA songs this one has tracks from 1973 to 1977.

-Summer Night City/Medley September 1978 Vinyl 45 single

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

ABBA-the Album did not really have a strong third single and so ABBA had gone a unusually long time without releasing a major 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, -probably a bad idea right there. 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....Still, because of pent up demand, "Summer Night City" set a record for advance orders in the Uk markert, but then proceeded to only chart at #5.
"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 single January 1979

"Chiquitita" was the first single of the Voulez-Vous album. The publishing rights to the song were given in to Music for Unicef (1979 was the International Year of the Child) (SEE review of The Music for Unicef Concert) ."Chiquitita" was the biggest hit of the five songs that were hits from the Voulez Vouz . The b-side was the non-album track "Lovelight" which is usually found in edited versions on most of the albums that it has shown up on..

Does Your Mother Know(Bjorn)/Kisses Of Fire single April 1979

"Does Your Mother Know ", has Björn singing the main lead vocal for the first and only time on a worldwide ABBA single. The lyric for DYMK is cleverer than it seems. It's not every day you hear a song about a older guy being hit on by a younger girl. but even so, I thought it was a poor choice for the first single from the album in a place like the USA...

ABBA-Voulez- vous April 23, 1979 Available on CD worldwide

This may be ABBA's most controversial album. No doubt, this is due to the high octane Euro- disco content found in many of the songs on this album. Some people wondered if ABBA were just following a trend rather then setting one. One tends to forget that ABBA was just one of many established artists turning part time to disco and that many of the resulting songs were actually fairly good. (ex. Rolling Stones,Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney...). Like some of those acts -ABBA only injected disco influences into about dozen of their songs, and rarely did pure disco tracks. Thus it is inaccurate that ABBA was a disco group.

The jump from THE ALBUM to VOULEZ -VOUS is a particularly jarring one. The two albums seem to have little in common. In a sense, one album is poetry, the other is motion! It's hard to find people who love both of these albums, they appeal to different kinds of people. Yet, both albums are ABBA, both have flaws and strengths.

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. Five songs from VOULEZ-VOUS were hits, (only the 1975 ABBA album had more), so it's clear that ABBA were still in sync with the music scene at this point.

It was not totally clear that ABBA had it in them to make a good dance album, after all, they were some of the whitest, yes, the whitest people in the music business. But an act that could make you believe they were Spanish (on "Fernando") was probably capable of anything.

To try to make a more legitimate dance track, they recorded the instrumental backing for Voulez-Vous' title track in Miami at the famous disco studios-Criteria using some of their house musicians . The title track is certainly ABBA's most unabashed disco track. This was the only time that a ABBA studio recording was made outside of Sweden. The rest of the tracks on the album were recorded in Stockholm ,mostly at their new Polar Studios.

The other disco" songs on this album are "If It Wasn't For The Nights""As A Good As New","The King has lost his Crown" and "Lovers Live a Little Longer'. Three other songs have some disco elements but are not really disco. "Does Your Mother Know ""Kisses of Fire" and "Angeleyes".

VOULEZ VOUS has two ballads, one on each side, one great song ("Chiquitita" ,one not so great-"I have A Dream".

VOULEZ-VOUS was the first album with songs written entirely by Andersson-Ulvaeus. All of B&B's previous albums had included heLP on the lyrics of some songs by Stig Anderson. But by,1979, Stig didn't have time to write lyrics and Bjorn had taken over the onerous task of coming up with words for the songs.

The early troublesome sessions for VOULEZ VOUS in 1978 left a whole pile of songs that were left off the album,amongst them were "Lovelight' which was released as the b-side to "Chiquitita" and the 1978 A side "Summer Night City". Five other songs were stuck in the vault for many years until they appeared on the box set -"Dreamworld", "Just a Notion", "Crying Over You" , "Free As A Bumble Bee" and "Hamlet III".

Abba also performed two never released songs on their 1979 tour (see GH II below). 

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

1.As Good As New (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 3.32 Lead Vocal Agnetha Recorded March 1979

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad ,Guitars-Janne Schaffer, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson String Arrangement-Rutger Gunnarsson.

Agnetha sings a juicy lead on "As A Good As New" this albums' opener. I find the classical intro jars too heavily with the rest of the song, but the chorus to the song is catchy. "

2. Voulez-Vous (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 5.11 Lead Vocals Agnetha& Frida Recorded February 1979

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog & Frida Lyngstad , Guitar-Ish Ledesma, George Terry, Janne Schaffer, Bass-Arnold Paseiro, Drums-Joe Galdo, Piano-Paul Harris , Synthesizers-Benny Andersson Tenor Sax-Halldor Palsson, Johan Stengard ,Trombone-Nils Landgren

To try to make a more legitimate dance track, ABBA recorded most of the instrumental backing for Voulez-Vous''s title track in Criteria Studios in Miami using some of Criteria's house musicians . The title track is certainly ABBA's most unabashed disco track. This was the only time that a ABBA studio recording was made outside of Sweden. his track seems very forced, very labored , and is not one of their better singles.. It does work pretty well as a live track on ABBA IN CONCERT check out oit there....

3. I Have A Dream 4.44(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocals Frida Recorded March 1979

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Guitar Sitar -Janne Schaffer Guitar-Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Choir Vocals-International School of Stockholm Choir.

VOULEZ VOUS has two ballads, one on each side, one great song ,one perhaps not so great. "The not so great ballad-"I Have a Dream" ,has an annoying children's choir on it, and the unoriginal lyrics seem a little insincere coming from somebody like Björn who is an agnostic bordering on being atheist. However, Frida manages to wring some honest emotion out of the song, (especially on the live version) and like "Chiquitita", IHAD has some crisp guitar and piano work. Trivia: the kids singing on the song actually were American and British kids studying in Stockholm.

4. Angeleyes 4.20 (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocals- Agnetha, Frida & Bjorn Recorded October 1978

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad & Bjorn Ulvaeus, Guitar-Janne Schaffer, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Mike Watson , Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Stringarrangment-Anders Eljas

I like "Angeleyes", a rare three part shared lead vocal between Björn and the girls , it provides a healthy dose of ABBA's trademark "a-ha's ". There is awful of lot high singing on this record...Perhaps not, a great record-but a great example of what good background singers Agnetha and Frida were with ABBA, especially in the last round of the chorus....

5. The King Has Lost His Crown 3.30(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida Recorded August 1978

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad, Guitars-Lasse Wellander, Bjorn Ulvaeus Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Rolf Alex , Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Oboe-Jan Risberg, String arrangment -Anders Eljas

"The King has lost his Crown" is sung by Frida and is a very elegant track with good lyrics. It is a song espeicially suited for Frida's lower vocal register.

6. Does Your Mother Know 3.13 (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Bjorn Recorded February 1979

Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad Guitar-Lasse Wellander, Bass-Miike Watson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Tenor Sax-LArs O. Carilsson, Kajtek Wojiechowski

"Does Your Mother Know ", has Björn singing the main lead vocal for the first and only time on a worldwide ABBA single. A part of the song was borrowed from unreleased (at the time) song- "Dream World". The lyric for DYMK is cleverer than it seems. It's not every day you hear a song about a older guy being hit on by a younger girl. but even so, I thought it was a poor choice for the first single from the album in a place like the USA.

7. If It Wasn't For The Nights 5.13(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha & Frida Recorded October 1978

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad, Guitars-Janne Schaffer, Bjorn Ulvaeus,Bass-Mike Watson Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Percussion-Malando Gassama String and Horn arrangment-Anders Eljas

The best of the disco numbers is perhaps the very listenable
"If It Wasn't For The Nights" which nevertheless, seems overly repetitive for an ABBA song, though not for a dance number.

8. Chiquitita 5.26 (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha Recorded December 1978

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad Guitar-Lasse Wellander, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Banjo-Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson

The great ballad Chiquitita" does seem a little out of place on this album , but this is clearly one of ABBA's best ballads. The song had started 'life with they lyric-"In the arms Rosalita' but the lyric evolved to where it actually works as on more than one level.-it could be a song sung to a child or to a friend.

"Chiquitita" is powerfully sung, has well executed lyrics, crisp guitar work and uplifting piano work. Listen for the great contrapuntal backing vocals on the chorus and the way the girls pronounce the last Chiquitita.""Chiquitita" is one of the few ABBA singles that tug a little on your heart. The publishing rights to the song were given in to Music for Unicef (1979 was the International Year of the Child) (SEE review of The Music for Unicef Concert) ."Chiquitita" was the biggest hit of the five songs that were hits from the Voulez Vouz .

9. Lovers (Live A Little Longer) 3.28 (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida Recorded April 1978

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad Guitar-Lasse Wellander, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson, Percussion-Malando Gassama String arrangment-Rutger Gunnarsson

Another Frida track-"Lovers Live a Little Longer' is probably sunk by a stupid lyric but it has some great rythems,and a virtuoso backing vocal performance by Agnetha (and Frida).

10. Kisses Of Fire 3.16(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha Recorded February 1979

Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad Guitar-Lasse Wellander, Bjron Ulvaeus Bass-Rutger Gunnarsson, Drums-Ola Brunkert, Keyboards & Synthesizers-Benny Andersson

I liked "Kisses of Fire" The B-side to DYMK better than DOES OUR MOTHER KNOW" "Kisses of Fire",is also the last song on the VOULEZ VOUS album. "Kisses" has a great intro sung by Aggie and the rest of the song is highly listenable (listen for the part where the girls sing"losing you") but, perhaps ,it lacks the kind of elegance you find on ABBA's classier songs and the cleverness of the sillier numbers.

Bonus tracks on 2001 remaster...

11. Summer Night City (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocals Bjorn, Agnetha, Frida Recorded May 1978

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog Lead &Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Lead & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals,Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
String Arrangement,Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert,Rolf Alex, Various Swedes-Strings

A non-album single that was released to heLP fill the the year and a half gap between albums. That song ."Summer Night City". was a nod in the disco direction , Björn sings along with the girls on it but B&B and Micke Tretow had trouble getting a good mix of the song together, the mix that finally was released left out a elegant introduction.The more observant may notice the seeming repeated use of a variation of the F-word in SNC's chorus towards the end of the song. Bjorn has denied that he is using a bad word."Summer Night City' would not be put on a album till GREATEST HITS II came out. It was released as bonus track for the first time on the 1998 remasters.

12. Lovelight (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocals- Agnetha & Frida Recorded April 1978

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

One of the songs rejected for the Voulez-Vous that was released as the b-side to "Chiquitita". The original unedited b-side mix is a cult favorite among some fans. Annoyingly, since it's original B-side release usually a shorter verson has been presented on most CD's..

13. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight ((Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocals -Agnetha Recorded August 1979

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards & Sythesizers-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert,Ake Sundqist -percussion,Lars Carlsson, Halldor Passon-Tenor Sax,Christer Danielsson-Bass Trombone

ABBA's sexy & entertaining 1979 Eurodisco single originally recorded for Greatest Hits Vol.2 This was added as bonus track on the 2001 remasters. (On the 1997 remasters it was found on Super Trouper!)

The song is carried by Benny's opening riff. Agnetha is notably great on this, it's seems amazing that those two girls recorded all those varied backing vocals... In 2005 the opening riffs of this song became reborn as a Madonna single called "Hung Up", which brought Madonna, Bjorn and Benny back to the US and British charts...

Voulez-Vous/Angeleyes single August 1977

Like "Does Your Mother Know" this single did not go #1 anywhere...

The single was double A side in Britain, and Angeleyes was also a minor hit in a couple of other places. "Dancing Queen" was a great innovative original record, this is not...

ABBA-Voulez-Vous -1979 Spain (Argentina?)LP

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

Various Artists-A Gift of Song-June 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. Gorel Hanser still serves in a mangement role for the former members of ABBA and is probably the only person that all four members of ABBA trusted totally with their affairs .. There is only one song on the record.... and it's very good song ,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 public on bootlegs..There is only one song on the record....

A word about Gorel: Gorel Hanser still serves in a limited management role for the former members of ABBA and is probably the only person that all four members of ABBA trust totally with their affairs ..

Gimme. Gimme Giimme (A man After Midnight) (Agnetha)/The King has Lost His Crown single October 1979

ABBA's sexy & entertaining 1979 Eurodisco single originally recorded for Greatest Hits Vol.2 This was added as bonus track on the 2001 remasters. The song is carried by Benny synth riff. Agnetha is notably great on this, it's seems amazing that those two girls recorded all those varied backing vocals... In 2005 the opening riffs of this song became reborn as a Madonna single called "Hung Up", which brought Bjorn and Benny back to the US and British charts...

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. This album inspired rock critic Robert Chistgau, to write "We have met the enemy and they are them".
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. It may seem strange that "Rock Me' appeared on here-but it was a hit in Australia...

"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 unreleased 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 Late 1979 Released on LP

This was Greatest Hits Volume 2 as it was released in some Spanish speaking markets. It uses the same ugly grey cover as Hits 2 but has the Spanish versions of "I Have A Dream" and "Chiquitita" instead of the "I wonder" and the English version of" Chiquitita"

The Spanish version of the two songs were recorded separatedly during 1979 and prior to the other Spanish tracks found on thge 1980 album GRACIAS POR LA MUSICA.
" Thus, this was perhaps, the first album to feature mulitple Spanish language ABBBA recordings.

 *Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!-single

* 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-Spanish version single

* Summer Night City-(single)

* The Name of the Game-THE ALBUM

* Estoy Sonado-Spanish version single

* Thank You For The Music-The ALBUM

I Have A Dream(Frida)/*Take A Chance On Me live single December 1979

The annoying children's choir on this record is an astonishing lapse in good taste, and the unoriginal lyrics seem a little insincere coming from somebody like Björn who has said that he is an agnostic bordering on being atheist. However , Frida manages to wring some honest emotion out of the song, (especially on the live version) and IHAD has some crisp guitar and piano work. The b-side is non album live track recorded on the 1979 tour. I was never sure whether this was the same mix of "take a Chance on Me" that is found on the 1986 live album...

 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.
ABBA-THE MAGIC OF ABBA 1980 American TV markerted LP
ABBA-Super Trouper November 1980 Available worldwide on CD
ABBA- Magica De ABBA 1981 Venezuela LP
ABBA- THE MUST OF ABBA Early 1981? French LP

ABBA-DEZ ANOS Brazilian LP 1981
ABBA-A VAN ABBA Dutch LP Spring 1981 ABBA- A WIE ABBA German LP November

ABBA-VERY BEST OF ABBA Japanese LP set Summer 1981
ABBA-Anniversario Los 10 Anos De ABBA September 1981 Mexico LP

ABBA-Slipping Through My Fingers Mid to Late 1981 Japanese promo LP..
The Visitors November 1981 Available worldwide on CD

ABBA- Fanfare for Ice hockey World Championship '81
ABBA-Gracias Por La Musica, April 1982
ABBA-ABBAantogiABBA -Late Summer 1982 Spanish LP

ABBA-The BEST of ABBA (The Readers Digest Box). 1982 5-LP set.
ABBA-THE MAGIC OF ABBA 1982 Australian LP
ABBA-POR SIEMPRE 1982 Argentine LP

ABBA-DISCO SPECIAL-1
ABBA-DISCO SPECIAL-2
ABBA-DANCING SPECIAL
ABBA-LOVE SOUNDS SPECIAL - All June 1982 Japanese LP releases\

ABBA-OS GRANDES SUCESSOS DE ABBA 1982 Brazilan LP
ABBA-The Singles-The First Ten Years November 1982 Released on CD but phased out

TRACKS RECORDED. by ABBA during 1982 sessions..
ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS 1982 2 picture LP . (Cardboard Box Version)
ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS 1982 2LP Argentina vinyl release
ABBA-THE SINGLES-THE FIRST TEN YEARS Volume 1&2 1982 French CD'
s

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

The title means Thank You For The Music...But you knew that!!!!

In 1979 ABBA made two special Spanish language recordings.

First of "Chiquitita " 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 soley 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 between 1974 to 1979. The songs were chosen for their appropriateness for the
Latin market so some non-hits were chosen.

The record proved to be successful reaching #5 in Sapin and selling well in Mexico and Argentina.

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 TROUPER and THE VISITORS albums. All of ABBA's 15 Spanish tracks are now on the revised ORO CD

Although some people like some of the mixes on this album, in general the English versions are better.

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 markerted LP

A not too exciting American K-Tel Mail order LP that in typical K-Tel fashion was loaded up with 16 not very well mastered previously released ABBA hits. At least three later versions were tried in other countries . In 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 Canadians released the Story of ABBA which has the same track listing and cover as the American version ,but a different title..

THE MAGIC OF ABBA is also the is name of Stephen Morris ' ABBA website, which focuses on the ABBA in America....

1. Dancing Queen
2. Take A Chance On Me
3. The Name Of The Game
4. Waterloo
5. Ring Ring
6. Does Your Mother Know
7. Angeleyes
8. S.O.S.

9. Fernando
10. Knowing Me, Knowing You
11. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
12. Mamma Mia
13. Honey, Honey
14. Money, Money, Money
15. Voulez-Vous
16. Chiquitita

The Winner Takes It All(Agnetha)/*Elaine single July 1980

"The Winner Takes It All" was the last of ABBA hits to be a top ten hit in most of the world's record makerts.. It was clear to anybody paying attention that the group had matured, by now... The b-side was a non album track...

Super Trouper(Frida)/The Piper single October 1980

"Super Trouper" was not a hit everywhere, but it was a #1 in few places....The song rather niceley features Bjorn and Benny on the low backing vocal..The b-side could be found on SUPER TROUPER album...

ABBA-Super Trouper November 3, 1980 Available worldwide on CD

Abba joins the circus here.? ABBA's yuppie record? No let's start over...

Super Trouper is regarded by some as ABBA's best album ,perhaps ,simply because for the first time Bjorn has stopped singing altogether, oops-no I meant to say he has stopped slouching on the lyrics. There are no weak tracks here. ABBA is mature and self assured here. On this album they don't try to go too 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 very cohesive, if perhaps a slightly bland record. Some have claimed that this was ABBA's best selling studio album, but if that's true that's probably because of market expansion.-On a whole,(prior to the era of file sharing) record sales tended to go up , rather than down due to increasing population and other factors such as increasing mass media exposure. ABBA certainly were not any more popular at this point ,indeed their popularity had probably already peaked but they were more broadly well known by more people throughout the world n 1980 than in 1976. .

Björn by now ,was finally, writing consistently good lyrics. His lyrics were finally reflecting his and the groups' own personal experiences. On this album and it's later sister, THE VISITORS . Abba begin to address their own maturity, and personal heartaches. Pete Townsend has noted that ABBA were one of the few rock acts to address middle age. Frankly it's a shame that Bjorn waited to now the write good lyrics, but apparently his command of the English lanugage imporved as time went by...

On this album, the Agnetha & Frida begin to do a lot more solo lead singing. Though there is still some unison singing by Aggie & Frida,it tends to be just in the chorus or the backings,not in the verses. The biggest hit from the album "The Winner Takes It All" is practically a solo vocal.

Musician credits sourced from original CD/album liner notes or from THE COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS by Carl Magnus Palm.

1. Super Trouper (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead vocal-Frida 4.11 Recorded October 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson, Lead Guitar-Janne Schaffer
Bass Guitar-Mike Watson Percussion-Ake Sundqvist
Drums-Per Lindvall

"Super Trouper" ,featuring the lovely Frida ,was ABBA's last British # 1 hit-and perhaps one of the least distinctive songs of their #1 hits. A song about stage lighting, I don't know...The lyric was written by Bjorn about his second wife Lena. This song is not overwhelming but it's endearing, likable....and most importantly, it has a monster hook in the chorus.

2. The Winner Takes It All(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead vocal-Agnetha 4.55 Recorded June 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Agnetha Faltskog,Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson ,Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Mike Watson Percussion-Ake Sundqvist
Drums-Ola Brunkert ,String arrangements-Rutger Gunnarsson

"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 simple, song. It touches gingerly but effectively on Agnetha 's divorce from Björn. It was not intentionally written about their divorce, but for obvious reason is associated with the divorce. For some reason, I tend to find it musically kind of boring-and thus it's not a personal favorite of mine.

3. On And On And On( Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida, Agnetha 3.40 Recorded February 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Lead &Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals-Keyboards-Benny Andersson Lead Guitar-Janne Schaffer
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Saxophones-Lars Carlsson,Katjek Wotjciechowki, Janne Kling Drums-Ola Brunkert

On and On and On" is a rare thing -a ABBA song with more interesting lyrics than music. The lyrics are a bit goofy but funny. Example- "So I took advantage of the fact that I am star, shook my hair ,and took a casual stroll up to the bar"! On the chorus vocals, Onx3 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" .

4. Andante, Andante (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal -Frida 4.39 Recorded February 1980

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

Frida sings "Andante, Andante' and I haven't been able to figure out what her style of singing is-but she sounds like Julio Iglelias, Eartha Kitt,or Roy Orbison she's doing a vibrato or something. This song was also recorded in Spanish. Like so many of ABBA 's non-hit album track it is very listenable. The backing vocals are unusual-they are very breathy and low...The song is rare in that Lasse's guitar carries most of the melody rather then Benny's keyboards.

5. Me And I (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida 4.54 Recorded September 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert. Percussion-Ake Sundqvist

"ME and I' is a rather clever & cheerful song about multiple personalities. Which Frida carries off quite efficiently. "LALOM" and "Winner Takes It all " notwithstanding,it's seems that by this album that Frida was finally getting her due when it came to vocal opportunities.

6. Happy New Year (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha 4.23 Recorded February 1980

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

"Happy New Year" -Well, ABBA was too uptight to ever do a Christmas song-instead we get this, and the darn thing was already a year old when it came out. It was released again at the end of 1999 in some markerts as a not very successful millenium single. Still like so many ABBA tracks "HNY" is just a simply beautiful song and a shimmering production. As usual-you need to listen to all the cool backing vocals-like on the " man-is a fool-dragging on feet of clay "section.This song would not be out of place among Aggie's songs on The Visitors.. This song was also recorded in Spanish.

7.Our Last Summer (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida 4.19 Recorded June 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar, Guitar solo., Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert, Percussion-Ake Sundqvist

I like "Our Last Summer" a lot. The lyric ( according to the PALM book)
is inspired on a actual romance Björn had in Paris in the 1960's.

"Paris Restaurants , Morning croissants" is the most evocative couplet in the ABBA repertoire. This is ABBA song where you can actually get a mental picture from the lyrics.That said there is still some awkwardness in the text. Frida sings the line ,"That was the time of the Flower Power", like she never met a hippie in her life. And how about ... "A family man, a football fan and your name is Harry". Augh.
But you know, I wouldn't have been paying attention if the lyric as a whole wasn't a very good one. Musically of course, the record is perfection , with dozens of cool l little riffs ( each different then the next following one after an other, and cool low hum somehow can be heard in the chorus . Hear also the way Frida raises her voice at the very end..

8. The Piper; (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha & Frida 3.26 Recorded February 1980

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Lead& Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar, Guitar solo -Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert ,Flutes-Janne Kling

"The Piper" is a pseudo folk tune. Though the idea for song came from the Stephen King book- THE STAND. This record has a chorus singing on it-that almost sounds like their not overdubbed A&F vocals,but that is how good A&F were. "The Piper" has some words in Latin . Is there a language that Björn doesn't know?

9. Lay All Your Love On Me (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha 4.33 Recorded September 1980

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

LAYLOM is a better record than anything on VOULEZ-VOUS. But is probably too hymnlike -to be considered a good dance club record..The single was a hit in many American dance clubs but like so many of ABBA's later 45's flopped on the American single chart. Strangely, this single wasn't really pushed in most territories.

10. The Way Old Friends Do (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Agnetha & Frida 2.57 Recorded live probably November 8 , 1979 Wembley Arena, London . Studio touchups October 1980.

Lead & Backing Vocals-,Frida Lyngstad ,Lead Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals, Accordion.Keyboards-Benny Andersson, Keyboards-Anders Eljas
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander, Guitar Mats Ronader
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola BrunkertPercussion-Ake Sundqvist

Super Trouper closes with "The Way Old Friends Do." The song always seemed a little contrived to me which is annoying because it's has a good melody and seems
like a much better anthem/signature song than "Thank You For The Music". On this album ,"Friends" is produced with a little much bombast. The gentle lyrics seem a little out of place in the bombast The liner notes say that "Friends' was recorded live,but the track was added to in the studio which detracts a bit from this songs 'spontaneity and sincerity. Perhaps should have done two versions-one version live with just A,B & F singing along to Benny's accordion and a different version in the studio with some of no-holds barred bombast. But B&B were probably trying to find a happy medium.. B&B obviously didn't have much faith in spontaneous heartfelt live recordings.

Extra tracks: 11. Elaine (Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida& Agnetha Recorded February 1`980

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

One non-album track from the Super Trouper sessions was used as the b-side to "The Winner Takes It all" . That b-side was "Elaine" a synth pop song about a slightly paranoid person-that was supposedly inspired by a relative of one the band members. . It's not a great song-but's it's fun to listen to, more fun than the depressing "Winner Takes It All" .ABBA's B-sides were finally getting interesting!

12. Put On Your White Sombrero(Andersson-Ulvaeus) Lead Vocal-Frida Recorded September 1980

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

"Put on Your White Sombrero" , a great Spanish flavored song with a awkward if interesting title &lyrics. The song was left of the Super Trouper album due to the lack of space-but oddly was not released even as an b-side. The singing on this song is absolutely phenomenal probably the best background singing of ABBA's 1980's recordings. Some of the song's arrangement was recycled for use in the 1982 B-side "Cassandra" . Sombrero finally saw official release on the 1994 box set.

OTHER tracks recorded

"Burning My Bridges' is a pseudo - country song sung by Björn.("Bridges' has a great guitar riff by Lasse Wellander ) "Bridges" would not be released officially till many years later when it showed up on ABBA's Box set .

In addtion. Spanish Versions were recorded of "Happy New Year "and "Andante, Andante "

ABBA-Super Trouper British LP 1981 Box set version

Strangely, the Brits released a limited boxed version of the Super Trouper LP. The box included 10-track vinyl LP, fold-out colour poster, 'For The Record' 96-page softback book which provides a complete account of the band's history and merchandise insert, all housed in a silver embossed 12" black box.

Naturally the Brits also released the standard LP and cassette versions. The album was given a catalogue # of ABBOX 1

ABBA- Magica De ABBA 1981 Venezuela LP

The K-tel people even released a ABBA compilation in the lucrative Venezuelan markert. There was very little dancing in Caracas...

On and On and On /Lay All Love One Me single Early 1981

Lyrically there were three main approaches to ABBA hit song titles...1)Cliche phrases like "When All is Said And Done' , 2) alliteration like "Mamma Mia' (which is also example of a cliche") or simply the repetition of the same word or words..."Honey Honey, "Ring Ring', I do X 5 ,Gimme X 3 . Well "On and On and On' was the last of the great repetitive word titles..The disco/hymn "Lay all Your Love on Me" was on this single too, both songs were a sides in various places, though this single should have probably been bigger than it was....

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. This album Very similiar to Dez Anos and A Wie ABBA..I honestly dont know what "must" means in French .

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 VAN ABBA Dutch LP Spring 1981 ABBA- A WIE ABBA German LP November 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....

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

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.

Record 1
1. The Winner Takes It All 2. Happy Hawaii 3. Chiquitita
4. The Name Of The Game 5. If It Wasn't For The Nights 6. Dancing Queen
7. Dum Dum Diddle 8. Knowing Me, Knowing You
9. That's Me10. My Love, My Life11. Money, Money, Money
12. I've Been Waiting For You
Record 2
1. Lay All Your Love On Me 2. Take A Chance On Me
3. Thank You For The Music4. Eagle 5. Hasta Mañana
6. I Wonder (Departure) 7. Angeleyes 8. One Man, One Woman
9. I Have A Dream10. Lovers (Live A Little Longer)
11. Hole In Your Soul 12. Kisses Of Fire

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

Yes, yes the 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 this LP has both English and Spanish recordings....This album Went to #1 in Mexico.

1. Chiquitita (Spanish version)
2. Fernando (Spanish version)
3. Waterloo
4. Hasta Mañana (Spanish version) 1
5. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
6. Conociendome, Conociendote 1
7. Money, Money, Money

8. Estoy Soñando
9. S.O.S.
10. Mamma Mia (Spanish version)
11. Take A Chance On Me
12. Dame, Dame, Dame
13. Reina Danzante
14. Summer Night City

 

ABBA-Slipping Through My Fingers Mid to Late 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.

Keep in mind, that ,it's s really hard to stand on a moving vinyl record...

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.The album also works as a Coke collectible...

One Of Us(Agnetha)/*Should I Laugh Or Cry single December 1981

In some places "One of Us" was, it was not quite up to ABBA's usual chart history, in most places it failed to hit #1. ABBA's commercial decline was beginning .The Visitors was the first ABBA album not to generate at least a # 2 hit in Great Britain (Aside from the RING RING album which had not been released in Britain.) Bjorn claims that it was number one in the last week of 1981, a week that no chart was issued.

The Visitors November 30, 1981 Available worldwide on CD

ABBA-THE VISITORS 1981 Available on CD worldwide

THE VISITORS is ABBA's most somber album.Look at the cover, for the first timethere are four separate people, No one is smiling on the cover ,Frida, Björn and Benny sit there gazing off in slightly different directions.Frida looks like Ingrid Bergman, Agnetha is wearing a green dress,-a darker echo of her dress on ABBA's 1975 album.
Oh, and by the way, Björn has a grown a beard...

This album ,though successful, was the start of ABBA's quick commercial decline that marred the end of their career.
This was their first studio album since the WATERLOO album that did not have at least two major worldwide Top ten hits.This album was rushed into to release in November 1981 so that sales would benefit from the Christmas markert, The amount of time between the release of The Visitors and Super Trouper was a only about a year , the shortest gap between ABBA studio albums since 1975. Critics of this album say it was rushed to the markert too quickly.

Great singles were what might expect from the ultimate pop group , but B&B no longer wanted to be limited to thinking in such terms. Bjorn and Benny were not as enthused as before about writing for ABBA,they wanted to try other things.

It, was becoming harder for
the group to work together after both of the couples in the group broke up. Being ABBA was no longer as much fun.

THE VISITORS, despite it's mixed commercial success (and mixed reviews) was a culmination, a piece of work that wouldn't perhaps have seemed possible in the days of "Waterloo" It was work of art to be proud of regardless of it's reception commercially. Still, withTHE VISITORS there was not a conscious intent to make serious music on ABBA's part, it was simply that there songwriting had become more mature and their musical direction less commercial .

Recording an album like THE VISITORS significantly enhanced
the ABBA ouvre. Yet, it's easier to appreciate THE VISITORS because it's
an interesting progression from their earlier sillier, lyrically simpler but more commercial records.

All the songs on THE VISITORS have clearly distinguishable lead vocalists. Four songs are sung by Frida, four by Agnetha, and one by Björn. This is one album where Frida significantly out points Agnetha .The Frida songs are all adventurous, sometimes weird tracks, The Agnetha & Björn tracks except for "Soldiers" are more conventional ,but all the lyrics are very intelligent. Like SUPER TROUPER this album is blessed with very strong lyrics and a refreshingly adult approach.

Many of The VISITORS songs were recorded digitally ,making this album one of the very first pop albums to include digital recordings. 2007 press releases by Phillips about the 25th annoversary of the CD indicate that THE VISITORS was also the first commericially released CD ever to be produced by Phillips in August 1982, but as far as I know the VISITORES CD was not commercially released until late 1982 or 1983.

THE SONGS -Note: Bjorn probably didn't play guitar on most of the tracks listed below-,but there is no way of knowing for sure.

Musician credits sourced from original CD/album liner notes or from THE COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS by Carl Magnus Palm.

1. The Visitors (Andersson-Ulvaeus) 5.49 Lead Vocals-Frida Recorded October 1981

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

The title track seems to about a person who is anxious about being visited by the secret police. The lyric itself doesn't explicitly state this and the "Cracking Up" chorus tends to obscure the meaning of the song a little,. Indeed ,the verse and the chorus are almost two different songs. Like many 80's ABBA songs, "The Visitors"has some sublime synthesizer work by Benny. The downside to Benny's synth dominating ABBA's 1980's records is that these later records are less dense, less collorabative, Björn often does not even play an instrument on most of ABBA's 1980's recordings.

2. Head Over Heels Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.45 Lead Vocals- Agnetha Recorded September 1981

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert

"Head Over Heels" was also released as a single in a few places but shouldn't have been . It broke ABBA's streak of 19 top ten singles in the UK. The song
tries to be fun but comes off as spiteful. Still typical of ABBA records of the 80's it is both musically and lyrically a solid record. There is an entertaining video for "Head Over Heels" which has Frida portraying the headstrong woman described in the song.

3. When All Is Said And Done Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.20 Lead Vocals- Frida Recorded March 1981

Lead & Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad-Agnetha Faltskog,
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert, Percussion-Ake Sundqyist

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 the USA. It has quite a vigorous backing track ,the song is lightened up a little by the etheral background vocals The song has an extremely evocative lyric. Though, somehow the line about still being young enough for sex comes off a little awkwardly. After all, even octogenarians have sex. T he song is supposedly obliquely about Benny and Frida's divorce...

4. Soldiers Andersson-Ulvaeus 4.38 Lead Vocals-Agnetha Recorded October 1981

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

"Soldiers" is a topical political song of uncertain political leaning which is made even more interesting by new Drummer 's Per Lindvall's inventive off-beat drum part, and Lasse Wellander's interesting electric guitar work..

 

5. I Let The Music Speak Andersson-Ulvaeus 5.20 Lead Vocals-Frida Recorded September 1981

Lead Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Vocals--Agnetha Faltskog
Guitar, Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
BackingVocals, Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wallander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert
Perscussion-Ake Sundqyist
Flute & Clarinet-Jan Kling

This song opened the original albums second side. "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 exquisite musical backing.

6. One Of Us Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.55 Lead Vocals-Agnetha Recorded October 1981

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Guitar, Mandolin & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar, Mandolin Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar,Mandolin -Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert

"One of Us" was this albums' biggest hit single . Still, it was not quite up to ABBA's usual chart history, in most places it failed to hit #1. ABBA's commercial decline was beginning .The Visitors was the first ABBA album not to generate at least a # 2 hit in Great Britain (Aside from the RING RING album which had not been released in Britain.) Bjorn claims that it was number one in the last week of 1981, a week that no chart was issued.

Director's Lasse Hallestrom filmed a clip of "One of Us" which was his last video done for ABBA.

I don't care much for this song but there some who like it. 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 if boring song. I dont care much for this song but there are some who like it. YES , I repeat again- I dont care much for this song but there are some who like it . Bjorn likes this song, Boris Putin likes this song, the Dalai Lama like this song, Paris Hilton likes this song....Bjorn's dog likes this song....

7. Two For The Price Of One Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.36 Lead Vocals-Bjorn Recorded March 1981

Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar -Bjorn Ulvaeus
Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog,Frida Lyngstad
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert, Percussion-Ake Sundqyist

This was Bjorn's only lead vocal released during the 1980's, though the box set soon revealed a few more 198o's Bjorn lead vocals that had gone unreleased. It's a fun song -with as usual a good heLPing of Agnetha/Frida backing vocals to make the song palatable to the ears... The marching band sound at the end foreshadows similar moments on the Chess album. Lindsey Lohan likes this song....no, but she would if she heard

8. Slipping Through My Fingers Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.51 Lead Vocals-Agnetha Recorded March 1981

Lead & Backing Vocals-Agnetha Faltskog Backing Vocals-Frida Lyngstad
Guitar & Backing Vocals-Bjorn Ulvaeus
Keyboards-Benny Andersson
Lead Guitar-Lasse Wellander
Bass Guitar-Rutger Gunnarsson
Drums-Ola Brunkert Perscussion-Ake Sundqvist

"Slipping Through My Fingers" is interesting because 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, it was a lyric that many people
could relate to. Martha Stewart likes this song.....no not really

9. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room Andersson-Ulvaeus 3.25 Lead Vocals-Frida

Lead Vocals Frida Lyngstad
Keyboards-Benny Andersson

The album closes with "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room'. This song inspired album designer , Rune Soderqvist to use a angel on the album cover (perhaps his best ABBA album cover).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 was surprising that ABBA went on one more year but they did. This track was recently covered by Anne Sofie Van Otter with Benny playing piano on her version. Theodore Roosevelt likes this song....no he's dead...

Extra tracks:

10. Should I Laugh Or Cry Andersson-Ulvaeus Lead Vocals-Frida Recorded 1981

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

The B-side "Should I Laugh Or Cry " was recorded during THE VISITORS sessions but left off the originl album 'cos B&B thought that it's chorus and verse
were too different ,which may have been the case, but it's still a great record, it's perhaps the best of ABBA's non-album b-sides, The song is dominated by some simply overwhelming synthesizer work by Benny, coupled with a powerful Frida vocal. "Should I laugh" was a bonus track on the remastered VISITORS CD .

The recent remastered versions of THE VISITORS include 3 bonus tracks drawn from the six songs recorded in 1982 by ABBA .(See 1982-The Singles-The First Ten Years and other 1982 sessions).

11. 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...Andersson-Ulvaeus

12. Cassandra (Andersson-Ulvaeus)--Frida- 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". To be honest, the song hasn't aged well for me...I loved this song at first-"the oh this is a cool b-side effect" But it's not a great song-just a good one.. "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.Andersson-Ulvaeus

 

13. 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 Schaffer
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 . 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. 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 some of the August 1982 sessions,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...

OTHER SONGS RECORDED

A few more songs were attempted' -"Giving A Little Bit More" showed up in a edited version on the Box set- The Song "I am a Seeker" was started but not recorded by ABBA but instead given to the makers of the ABRACADABRA musical...

Four other non-album rarities were recorded from around Early 1981 between the end of Super Trouper sessions and the beginning of THE VISITORS. Two of the songs were limited release tribute tracks that were recorded for Abba manager Stig Anderson's birthday. The Stig tribute featured a new song in Swedish by B&B called Hovas Vittne (Hova's Son) and the other was a instrumental version of a song written by Stig (in the 1950's ) called "Tividshambo". ABBA would later record a live vocal version of "Tividshambo" in 1986 for a Swedish TV tribute to Stig. ( ABBA's last recording.) Also recorded were two instrumentals-"Nationalsang' an unfinished track-
which was the original version of the 1984 song "Anthem" from CHESS. Secondly, a short FANFARE" was recorded for a 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships. The Fanfare was released as part of Polar Music Annual Report package, "Nationalsang" has never seen release. "Fanfare" is yet another an example of perfectly good song-that B&B have chosen not to release properly.

ABBA- Fanfare for Ice hockey World Championship '81

A short synthesizer fanfare written by B&B (perhaps just Benny) that was released only privately as part of a Polar Music Annual report ,but it also was used in the original Dick Cavett meets ABBA TV special as well in - yes it's really true -in a ice hockey championship. It was the first of at least three obscure pieces that Benny wrote for sport events..

Head Over Heels(Agnetha)/The Visitors single March 1982

There was no obvious second single to be drawn from the Visitors album...Abba had finally run out of commercial singles...They never would never hit the top ten again on the single charts in a mjor markert. The Agnetha vocal -Head Over Heels' was actuiallly on of the weaker songs on the Visitors...

When All is Said and Done/Should I Laugh Or Cry single 1982

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 the USA. I dont know if this is a commercial enough record, but this certainly on of the best lyrics to be found on ABBA single...

..ABBA- Gracia Por La muscica , April 1982 australian LP

Gracias Por La musica received a very belated release in Australia,though let's face there are not many Spanish speakers in Perth....

ABBA-ABBAantogiABBA -Late Summer 1982 Spanish LP

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

ISIDE A -Waterloo /Dancing Queen /Summer Night City
/I Have A Dream /Mamma Mia/ Fernando

SIDE B Thank You For The Music/ Chiquitita
Knowing Me, Knowing You /Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
Voulez-Vous

ABBA-The BEST of ABBA (The Readers Digest Box). Australia, 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". Apparently, the Argentine record essentially used the recording of the song found on the VHS version of ABBA in Concert...The song is actually listed as
"Debe Ser Rock And Roll". -but the recording is in English. 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. As sometimes occur on forei

. 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- LOVE SOUNDS SPECIAL  June 1982 Japanese LP Discomate DSP-3027
1. The Winner Takes It All 
2. Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
3. One Man, One Woman 
4. My Love, My Life
5. I've Been Waiting For You
6. Move On
7. Fernando
8. I Am Just A Girl
9. Chiquitita
10. Thank You For The Music
 

 ABBA- DISCO SPECIAL-1  June 1982 Japanese LP Discomate DSP-3024
 

Pressed on red vinyl
1. Summer Night City
2. Voulez-Vous
3. Angeleyes
4. Bang-A-Boomerang 
5. Waterloo
6. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
7. On And On And On
8. Intermezzo No. 1
9. So Long
10. Money, Money, Money
 

ABBA-DISCO SPECIAL-2  June 1982 Japanese LP  Discomate DSP-3025
 

Pressed on blue vinyl
1. Lay All Your Love On Me
2. Tiger
3. Kisses Of Fire 
4. Dum Dum Diddle
5. Take A Chance On Me 
6. As Good As New
7. Hole In Your Soul
8. Lovelight(edited version)
9. Super Trouper
10. My Mama Said
 
 
 ABBA- DANCING SPECIAL-June 1982 Japanese LP Discomate DSP-3026
 
 Pressed on yellow vinyl
 
1. Dancing Queen
2. Mamma Mia
3. What About Livingstone
4. He Is Your Brother
5. The King Has Lost His Crown
6. If It Wasn't For The Nights
7. That's Me
8. Does Your Mother Know
9. S.O.S.
10. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)
 
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.

l.

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 single October 1982

By this time nobody was paying attention and this adventurous if perhaps overly long single was prettry much ignored most places,. The -side was "Cassandra' one of the best of the non-LP ABBA b-sides.

BBA-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
by the time that 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...I deserve some respect for not eating the last donut,.,..

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

TRACK LISTING 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 the Epic Label's Super Trouper box. This was catalagoued as ABBOX 2. . The black box features 2 picture Vinyl albums, a booklet,
a poster and a reproduction of tickets to the 1974 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..

Under Attack(Agnetha)/*You Owe Me One single February 1983

This was the last single by ABBA as an active group-it bombed almost every where, except in Holland.. While it certainly a catchy enough pop song-it has the least interesting lyrics of the any of ABBA's 1980's b-sides... The non-album -side was ""You Own Me One' 'is relatively hard to find....since it can not be found on any of the remaster studio albums...

Go to All Abba Albums 1983-2006 for the remaining ABBA albums...

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 MONTIEF'S HANDY GUIDE TO ABBA THE ALBUMS!!!

  HOME-ABBA-THE ALBUMS  All ABBA Albums 1972-1982  All Abba Albums 1983-2006
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