Fans have been mystified that an alternate mix of ‘Head Over Heels’ has appeared on The Visitors Deluxe Edition CD, released in late April.
There are slight variations in the vocals in the first chorus, and most obvious is the drum triplet (three beats played in quick succession) missing at 1.09, immediately after the line “she’s a girl with a trace for the world”. This triplet is present in the second and third choruses.
The mystery has been discussed around fan circles for quite some time, even before The Visitors Deluxe was released. Late last year it was found on an East German EP from 1983, though at the time to many ears it just sounded like a dull, flat vinyl pressing. A few months later it was found on a download from a then-unknown vinyl source, later identified as The Visitors LP from The Vinyl Collection box set (2010). Once the differences were pointed out it was obvious to all.
It has since been found on the original VHS releases ABBA Music Show 3 (Polar Bonnier, Sweden 1983) and More Video Hits (Pickwick, UK 1988).
The original 1981 Polar LP of The Visitors (and presumably every other LP pressing around the world) had what is now being called the standard version, as does every previous CD release. Apparently the second chorus was “flown in” to replace the first chorus, for some unknown reason.
But why has this alternate version surfaced now, and why has it appeared on some releases and not others?
(Thanks to Lex Corbach, Carl Magnus Palm and especially Rudolf Ondrich for information)