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Abba – The Album Reviews

Abba – The Album

The Album‘s closing trilogy, “The Girl with the Golden Hair: 3 Scenes from a Mini Musical,” was Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’s most ambitious work yet. But despite “Thank You for the Music,” a more humble “I Write the Songs,” and the barely veiled complaint “I’m a Marionette,” it wasn’t the 1977 LP’s best stuff. That came in two great singles: “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Name of the Game,” which continued the two Abba couples’ string of growing-up-in-public heartache songs. (“Knowing Me, Knowing You,” from the previous Arrival, inaugurated the tradition.) “The Girl,” though, hinted that the Bjorn-and-Benny writing team was bent on storming the musical stage, as it did by the mid-’80s with Chess. –Rickey Wright

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3 Responses to Abba – The Album Reviews

  • L. S. Philip says:
    1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One man, one woman, July 14, 2005
    By 
    L. S. Philip (Hong Kong) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/167-3159992-8202052', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: Abba – The Album (Audio CD)
    Already own most of the songs on this CD via Abba’s best collection dics but I still have to buy this one because of 1 track : One man, One woman. It’s in my opinion, the most unjustly left out song by Abba. Good enough to be a single and beautifully crafted in all respect, the poor track not only failed to make it as a single but left out from from ALL best collection dics as well (only available as MV on definitive collection’s DVD). Bjorn and Benny, you guys are genius but your call on this poor baby of yours is truly suspect.
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  • E. Valero says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Little Gems Not Found on “Best Of” Compilations, November 21, 2005
    By 
    LG (Saint Louis, MO USA) –
    Verified Purchase(https://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/167-3159992-8202052', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: Abba – The Album (Audio CD)
    Three songs that I don’t have on other “Best Of” compilations (One Man One Woman, Move On, and the Doris Day Version of Thank You For The Music) are worth the price of this CD all on their own.
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  • Anonymous says:
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    ABBA on Top of Their Form. One of Their Best Studio Albums., October 13, 2006
    By 
    E. Valero (Woodbridge, Ontario Canada) –
    This review is from: Abba – The Album (Audio CD)

    By 1977, ABBA was one of the best selling bands world-wide. Both of their previous records; “Greatest Hits” and “Arrival” were world-wide smashes selling several million copies each. ABBA would repeat that phenomenal success with the release of “ABBA-The Movie” (which did well in Europe) and their 5th original album titled “ABBA-The Album”.

    By the time ABBA released their 3rd album in 1975, Bjorn and Benny had finally decided to let the 2 girls take centre stage since they were the better singers. This turned out to be a great move because a large part of the “ABBA sound” and their success was due to the combination of Agnetha’s and Frida’s contrasting voices. By 1976, Bjorn and Benny had perfected their sound, their technique and the use of their 2 most powerful weapons; Agnetha and Frida. The end result was one of their most polished original albums- “Arrival”. “ABBA-The Album” takes it one step further. It pretty much follows the typical ABBA formula; beautiful melodies, strong harmony singing, and attention to detail but this time around the majority of the songs are longer with meaningful lyrics. The opening track is the under-rated “Eagle” which boasts a soaring melody, interesting lyrics, outstanding vocals and exquisite guitar work. This song has appeared on several other compilation albums but in edited form. This is one of the few albums where you can hear it the way it was intended- uncut. “Eagle” is followed by “Take a Chance on Me” which features yet again, extraordinary vocals and intricate harmonies (Agnetha is especially delightful during her 2 solos in this song). Frida is given her moments to shine as well in “One Man One Woman” and “I Wonder (Departure)”. The latter song showcases her talents as a vocalist proving what us ABBA fans knew all along, that these women were more than just eye candy, they had great vocal talent. “I Wonder” doesn’t sound like a typical pop song. It sounds more like a theatre piece and that’s the way it was intended to sound since it was part of Bjorn and Benny’s mini-musical “The Girl with the Golden Hair” which was performed during their 1977 concerts.

    Pop soprano Agnetha takes the lead in the interesting, undeniably lovely “Move On” and “Thank You for the Music” (also from the mini-musical). “Move On” is an interesting piece because it has a brief introduction by Bjorn and the inspirational lyrics are very poetic. The song comes to life however, when Agnetha takes the lead in the verses and her “La-la-la-la-la-la-la’s” during the song’s climax is riveting. “Thank You for the Music” is another famous ABBA tune with a gorgeous melody that is enhanced by Agnetha’s powerful voice.

    Another major highlight in “The Album” is “The Name of the Game”. This song may not grab the listener immediately like ABBA’s earlier hits but repeated listening (with good quality earphones) will convince you this is one of the finest songs ABBA ever produced. Several have called it a “masterpiece”. It offers beautiful vocals by the girls. They start off singing in unison then they branch off with Agnetha having the first solo in the song which perfectly showcases the texture and delicacy of her instrument. Then all members dig into the chorus in perfect harmony before Frida takes the lead. They adorn this part of the song with some creative orchestrations, vocal tricks and harmonies. This song also clearly showcases the differences between the 2 vocalists. Agnetha’s solos are always in a much higher register since it’s her upper notes that hold her magic while Frida’s sultry lower register is her trademark. One of Bjorn and Benny biggest talents (aside from writing perfect pop songs) was how they skillfully used these womens instruments. They really knew how to display their vocal beauty.

    “ABBA-The Album” was a commercial hit world-wide. The album reached #1 in the UK, the Top 10 in Canada and the Top 20 in the US achieving platinum status. The 2 singles that were released in these territories were also major hits. It has been said that “Dancing Queen” was ABBA’s biggest selling single in the US since it was certified Gold and it reached #1 on the charts but it has since been stated that “Take a Chance on Me” actually sold more copies in America. Whether this is true or not it was still a big hit climbing to #3 and achieving Gold status in the US. The single also reached #1 in the UK and #7 in Canada. “The Name of the Game” reached #1 in the UK, #12 in the US and #15 in Canada. “Thank You for the Music” has always been regarded as one of ABBA’s hits and it was even included in their “ABBA Gold” CD. The song was never released as a single in the UK until 1983 after the groups’ breakup peaking just outside the Top Thirty.

    “ABBA-The Album” was the turning point in ABBA’s career. From this point forward, their albums would mature both musically and lyrically. They would become more sophisticated offering not just pretty melodies but…

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