The Singles contains 40 7 inch vinyl singles, 40 singles for 40 years. It includes replicas of all 31 singles released by Polar Music in Scandinavia, from ‘People Need Love’ in 1972 to ‘Under Attack’ in 1982, including the Swedish language singles of ‘Ring Ring’ and ‘Waterloo’. For those singles that were released in Sweden, they appear here as they were originally released. As not all Polar singles were released in Sweden, the Danish or Norwegian singles were the template for the rest.
The other nine singles come from all over the world. The German singles of ‘Ring Ring’ and ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Honey, Honey’ (though in English, but it includes the 1974 ‘Ring Ring’ remix on the B side); The French single of ‘Waterloo’; Argentinean singles of the Spanish versions ‘Chiquitita’ and ‘Estoy Soñando’; plus ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ (from the UK), ‘Happy New Year’ (Portugal) and ‘When All Is Said And Done’ (Australia).
Also in the box set are a set of cards with Bjorn telling stories behind the six of the songs. These are fascinating insights into both the lyrics and the circumstances around the creation of the songs, and I would have loved to have seen more of these – not necessarily one for every song, but maybe 12 or 15.
A couple of things could have been done differently. Personally, I would have liked to have seen the additional 9 singles have modern style labels, rather than matching the contemporary Polar labels. And perhaps it could have included a different ‘Estoy Soñando’, for a different sleeve image and B side. As I was honoured to have helped with the selection of singles, I could have suggested a different single. But those are just minor quibbles.
The Singles is limited to 4,500 (unnumbered) sets. It’s beautifully made, with each single reflecting its original release, right down to the label style, hole size and quality of paper used for the sleeve. It’s a lovely collector’s item.