ABBA The Singles – new box set

ABBA The SingleAmong the many new releases commemorating the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision triumph, one of the big ticket items (mainly due to its size and its price) is the box set ABBA The Singles.

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.

Singles:

People Need Love/Merry-Go-Round
He Is Your Brother/Santa Rosa
Ring Ring (Swedish Version)/Åh, vilka tider
Ring Ring (English Version)/She’s My Kind of Girl
Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)/I Am Just A Girl
Ring Ring (German Version)/Wer Im Wartesaal der Liebe steht
Waterloo (Swedish Version)/Honey, Honey (Swedish Version)
Waterloo (English Version)/Watch Out
Waterloo (German Version)/Watch Out
Waterloo (French Version)/Gonna Sing You My Lovesong
Honey, Honey/King Kong Song
Honey, Honey (German single)/Ring Ring (remix)
So Long/I’ve Been Waiting For You
I Do, I Do, I Do/Rock Me
S.O.S./Man In The Middle
Mamma Mia/Intermezzo no. 1
Fernando/Hey, Hey Helen
Dancing Queen/That’s Me
Money, Money, Money/Crazy World
Knowing Me, Knowing You/Happy HawaiiThe Name Of The Game/I Wonder (Departure)
Take A Chance On Me/I’m A Marionette
Eagle/Thank You For The Music
Summer Night City/Medley: Pick A Bale of Cotton–On Top Of Old Smokey–Midnight Special
Chiquitita/Lovelight
Chiquitita (Spanish Version)/Lovelight
Does Your Mother Know/Kisses of Fire
Voulez-Vous/Angeleyes
Estoy Sonando/Does Your Mother Know
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)/The King Has Lost His Crown
I Have A Dream/Take A Chance On Me (live)
The Winner Takes It All/Elaine
Super Trouper/The Piper
Happy New Year/Andante, Andante
Lay All Your Love On Me/On And On And On
One Of Us/Should I Laugh Or Cry
Head Over Heels/The Visitors
When All Is Said And Done/Soldiers
The Day Before You Came/Cassandra
Under Attack/You Owe Me One

 

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