ABBA Arrival Poll & Appreciation Thread.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bobby Morrow, Apr 16, 2018 at 4:42 PM.

  1. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA's most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: "Dancing Queen," "Money, Money, Money" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You." Upon its original 1976 release, "Fernando," released as a single earlier the same year, did not appear on Arrival, but it was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

    The album became a major seller all over the world, becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example. It housed three of ABBA's biggest hits; "Dancing Queen," "Money Money Money" and "Knowing Me Knowing You," and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of "Fernando" (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). "That's Me" was released as a single in Japan only.


    Arrival was the second ABBA album I bought. Greatest Hits (even though it actually featured very few UK hits) was the first. It was a massive success in the UK, spurred on by the latest ABBA singles, Mamma Mia, Fernando and Dancing Queen. The latter wasn’t included on the GH but helped the comp sell while the public waited for the new album. Arrival wouldn’t arrive until the end of 1976, but it goes without saying it was a smash hit when it did. I think Arrival was the best pop album I’d ever heard at that point... You could play it all the way through and not want to skip a single track. Everything was catchy. Dum Dum Diddle had ridiculous lyrics but no one cared! The instrumental title track was beautiful and might be the only track your dad would like. There were songs for everyone.

    There was something joyous about Arrival. A quality that would gradually fade from ABBA’s albums.:D It’s nigh on perfect pop. Yes, The Visitors is more mature, Voulez-Vous is more disco, but neither lift the spirits like Arrival.

    I’ve compiled a poll with the usual options. I’ve added the 2 main bonus tracks that would appear on later CD remasters. You can pick as many as you like. Feel free to share what Arrival means to you. Are you still searching for that perfect CD copy? Me too! Do you feel it’s ABBA’s best work? Or are you disappointed there’s nothing like Me & Bobby & Bobby’s Brother and King Kong Song on it?! Do tell.
     
  2. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 4:58 PM
  3. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    I am traveling and only on my mobile so will keep it short, but I have fantastic memories of this period.
    Abba where flying high at this point, nobody could have predicted this only 18 months previously. They were suddenly so glamorous and sophisticated, at least to us teenagers in the uk in the bleak mid 70's.
    Just look at the album covers. Rolls Royce cars, helicopters, fur coats, scandanavian good looks. It is a far cry from The Bay City Rollers, Kenny and The Rubettes.
    And of course the music was just majestic.
    Abba were simply unstoppable at this point, absolutely brilliant pop music...
     
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  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Great record. All of my Canadian Abba’s are really terrific sounding, but Arrival is the weakest of the lot. Looking for a stronger pressing.
     
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  5. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    I have to be in the right mood for it, but this really is a damn fine pop/dance record. Even some of the non-hits are insanely catchy.
     
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  6. extravaganza

    extravaganza Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    I have loved this album since I had it on 8-track back in the day. "Dancing Queen" is on my list as a contender as the greatest pop single by ANYBODY ... ever! "Knowing Me Knowing You" is pretty much perfect. A bunch of great music ... only a few "meh"s on this one for me. Even from ABBA fans there doesn't seem to be too much love for "Dum Dum Diddle" out there (and I get why) but this little throwaway is still one of my favorite tracks on the album and makes me happy every time I hear it starting up. My personal favorite ABBA album.
     
  7. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You can tell how strong Arrival is when Knowing Me, Knowing You was the THIRD single released from the album! Like it was an afterthought.:D
     
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  8. David G.

    David G. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I certainly enjoy Arrival, but it's not my favorite ABBA album; I tend to like ABBA's later albums a bit more. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" is a fantastic song, though.
     
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  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don't think Arrival was the phenomenon it was in the UK in the States... It seemed like every home had a copy in 1976/7..
     
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  10. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    Location:
    Finland
    It's a tough choice, but I think at the end of the day Arrival is my favourite ABBA album (The Visitors would be #2). It most certainly is the one I play the most. I agree, there is something "joyous" about the album that makes it so inviting. I love all of it, I can't pick a favourite track.
     
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  11. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norway
    At the time of release, it was certainly ABBA´s strongest album. Though the songs were different, there´s not a really weak track among them. The sequencing also works. The only weak track was a left-over from the sessions for the previous album, which was spruced up a bit and used as the B-side for the "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" single. Yes, "CRAZY WORLD", I am looking at you.

    The singles are high points, of course, but "TIGER", "WHEN I KISSED THE TEACHER", "THAT´S ME and "DUM DUM DIDDLE", silly lyrics aside, are all well produced and arranged numbers that most bands would give their right arms to have in their canon. For a long time, "MY LOVE, MY LIFE" was my favourite, and I still like it, but I agree with Bjørn and Benny that´s it´s a very good song looking for the perfect arrangement.

    All in all, this is the turning point for ABBA. They would no longer have albums that included their usual clunkers - clunkers that were charming and delightful, but not up to their usual standard. So, they produced more polished albums from now on, losing some of their freshness in the process. Nevertheless - the album was and remains just about perfect, and the albums to come were all great.

    And you have to love that cover!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 2:49 AM
  12. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I don't think there IS a perfect cd copy. It's a very flawed recording imo. A lot of expermentation was going on by Michael Tretow on that album that for me fell flat. It's thin and shrill with little real fidelity, a far cry from previous and post efforts as aside from Arrival, their stuff was generally very well recorded right out the gate, including their first album. I even tried the Abbey Road half speed 45rpm remaster and nope, still bad. I really wish he had experimented on something older because I'm totally with you on the songs themselves, which of course is what matters most. They are so good that I can ignore the recording. When I Kissed The Teacher is just a fantastic, fun listen and how I wish you could really crank it up but it's just an ear bleeder. Dancing Queen is compressed to the max, though I think for that one song it is a subjective choice and I'm not critical of it, it just wouldn't have been my choice. It likely sounded much better on the radio that way, and the other songs were processed much differently to the point that I wonder if it was even recorded in the same studio...I doubt Fernando was either. Tiger has never been a favorite but I don't skip it either. It's a very fun, light hearted album and I have always enjoyed it very much. Not a fan of Happy Hawaii but I don't consider it part of the album but still, it's a fun track and a freebie, so why not! We didn't get Fernando on our vinyl copy but I too had the hits album so it didn't matter. I believe it also was my first ABBA album, unless it was the S/T with SOS, another fun album. Things started going in another direction with The Album, but Arrival was still in their fun period. I am a huge fan, was from day one, and was with them for the entire fun ride even though it was far from cool for a high school guy to like them. Great thread as always.
     
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  13. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Sorry....doesn't exist...I've tried 'em all. Just enjoy the music and save your money for great pressings of all their other albums. I think this was the last 16 track album they did before going to 24, and I think they really overloaded the limitations of what they had to work with. Buy hey, Tretow tried...props for that...I have great respect for what he could do with what equipment he had to work with, and most of his work with them before and after was superb. A lot going on with most of the tracks. The opening of Money Money is great and shows when there are fewer elements, it sounds fine. He clearly learned his lesson because The Album is much better.
     
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  14. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    It didn't used to be mine either, but in the last 20 years it has moved up a few rungs for me and I play it pretty regularily now.
     
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  15. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I quite like Crazy World... One of their corny ‘story’ songs.:)

    For me, it’s hard to separate what I feel about it now from what I did in 1976. At that time I’d never owned a pop album like it. As you say, they certainly progressed in terms of songwriting, though the sense of fun would become more forced over the years.

    I agree that it’s got a great sleeve too. I’m not always complimentary about ABBA artwork.:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 4:09 AM
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  16. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    Location:
    Finland
    Happens to us all, I guess... That's why I'm eternally grateful to music and its uncanny ability to take us out of time, so to speak, and provide us with glimpses of unadulterated joy and fun-as-we used-to-know in happier times. ABBA do this particularly well... Thank you for the music, indeed!
     
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  17. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Wow, interesting post but I'm glad I am not an audiophile.
     
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  18. DesertHermit

    DesertHermit Forum Resident

    This was yet another LP that my parents owned and played a lot. Of course, our copy also included ‘Fernando’. As a kid we loved ABBA - infectious melodies, easy to learn lyrics and great to dance to- what’s not to love?!

    I have not actually heard the record in many, many years. I have a greatest hits CD that gives me my ABBA fix whenever I need it so have never bothered purchasing ‘Arrival’. I voted for ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Knowing Me and Knowing You’ as my favourites. The artwork is so of its time and nothing really to write home about, in my humble opinion.
     
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  19. Hermes

    Hermes Forum Resident

    I love the "clunkers" of the early albums - like King Kong Song, Watch Out and Man in the Middle. It's great fun and gives variation. But still this is one of my favorite Abba albums. As you say: the joyful times before they grew older and bitter.

    When I was young I only had cassette tapes, and this was my fourth - after Abba Greatest, Beatles 67-70 and A Hard Day's Night. When I grew up, I felt ashamed about this preference, but then I grew some more - and eventually rediscovered the group and bought the Complete Studio Recordings (2005).
     
  20. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This was the week Arrival entered the UK chart at #6. 27th November 1976. It actually didn’t hit #1 until early 1977, which seems incredible now!

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  21. stagnation

    stagnation Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bridlington UK
    Took me years to realise what they were sat in on the Cover...
     
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  22. Basenote66

    Basenote66 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Jointly my favourite ABBA album with "The Visitors" - though you couldn't get two more different albums in terms of mood.

    Mostly upbeat, the album is consistently strong. Agnetha and Frida both on great form throughout.

    Standouts for me, other than Dancing Queen and Knowing Me Knowing You, are probably My Love My Life (for the 1occ style harmonies and Agnetha's wonderful vocal), When I Kissed The Teacher (for setting the mood for the album so well) and Tiger (for signalling the way to some of their later singles with a more 'adult oriented' sound).

    The only slight reservations I have are with That's Me and Dum Dum Diddle as the lyrics are twee, but they're strong tunes nonetheless.

    Love the cover - I think this was the first release I saw with the reversed B logo - and I thought it was very cool (I was only 10 when it came out).
     
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  23. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It’s interesting that Arrival in its first week entered the charts at #6. The Stevie Wonder album to one side, the other albums in the top 5 are fairly routine titles. Very different to today when anything can easily debut at #1 but be off the top 100 a month later.

    Arrival went on to spend 92 weeks in the UK chart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 8:44 AM
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  24. paolo

    paolo Forum Resident

    I got the cassette the week of release when I was 10. It was the most expensive album I’d ever bought. I think it was 3.49 when most other albums were about a pound less.

    Never regretted the investment for a second. Pure joy from start to finish.
     
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  25. npc210

    npc210 Forum Resident

    Their best album, IMO.
     
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