1975’s ABBA LP was my very first ABBA record. I received it for Christmas 1975, having fallen in love with the song ‘Mamma Mia’ (a story I wrote about here in Still my favourite song).
There are times, particularly on a sunny summer morning, when listening to the album brings that feeling of my 12-year-old self hearing the album for the first time.
I still love this album. To me this is everything that ABBA is. Ring Ring and Waterloo showed signs of a group under development. With this, the group’s third album, they finally found their signature sound. ‘Mamma Mia’ is, of course, my favourite of all ABBA songs. But there are so many classic moments – pure ABBA brilliance in ‘SOS’, ‘Bang-A-Boomerang’, Mamma Mia’ and ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’, a little light social commentary in ‘Hey, Hey Helen’ and ‘Man In The Middle’, a touch of reggae and whimsy (and Benny’s accordion) in ‘Tropical Loveland’, a bit of nostalgia in ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, contemporary glam rock in ‘Rock Me’ and ‘So Long’, and Benny gets a showcase of his classical influences in the instrumental ‘Intermezzo no 1′.
That was the summer of the ABBA album in Australia. I remember riding my bicycle around the neighbourhood and hearing ABBA songs blaring from stereos in house after house. A sure sign of the universal love that Australia had for ABBA in those years in the mid-70s.