The CD/DVD package includes the original 9-track album from 1981, the non-album b-side of the first single released from the album (‘Should I Laugh Or Cry’), five of the six tracks recorded the following year (both sides of the two 1982 singles, plus ‘I Am The City’, not released until it was featured on More ABBA Gold in 1993). The accompanying DVD includes two songs from the 1981 television special Dick Cavett Meets ABBA (one of ABBA’s few group TV appearances during 1981), the original promotional clip for ‘When All Is Said And Done’ (with an alternate version of the song), some of ABBA’s final TV appearances from late-1982, TV commercials and sleeve gallery.
Most exciting to fans is the news that it will also include previously unreleased ABBA music, the first time any “new” material has been allowed out of the so-called vaults since the Thank You For The Music box set in 1994.
The intrigingly-titled ‘From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel’, described as “a medley of demos”, hints at unheard versions of the albums closing track “Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’. It is known that there were several different attempts at recording the song (thanks to Carl Magnus Palm’s book ABBA – The Complete Recording Sessions) before the final version was recorded just a few weeks before the album’s release. One of those early versions had the working title ‘Twinkle Twinkle’.
The world’s media has picked up on the “unreleased track” news, with the story spreading like wildfire to seemingly every news outlet in the world over the last few days. Perhaps unsurprisingly as the news spread it started to morph into stories of “a new song”, “a new single”, even hints of a group reformation.
Fans of course lament the non-inclusion of the sixth song recorded in 1982, the legendary ‘Just Like That’, the rest of the Dick Cavett TV special, ABBA’s appearance on Show Express in November 1982 (when they performed three of the four songs released that year), and other potential inclusions from the period. There are, no doubt, valid reasons that may become clearer later.
The Visitors is the sixth ABBA studio album to receive the deluxe treatment, after Waterloo 30th Anniversary Edition (2004), Arrival (2006), ABBA – The Album (2007), Voulez-Vous (2010) and Super Trouper (2011).