ABBA single by single thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Haristar, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Franklin, TN
    I completely agree that they figured it out by the third album,for the most part, by having the male vocals become relegated to the Ringo-eqse one cut or so per album. But Bjorn's "Man In The Middle" and "Rock Me" on their third album are not even close to his only song that is listenable (and quite good) "Does Your Mother Know".
  2. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I really like Ring Ring and thought it was a good in-the-same-vein follow up to Waterloo. Sadly, it got to something like #32 in the UK.
    John Adam likes this.
  3. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    I don't know how much I'll be contributing, considering that I've posted daily in the Rolling Stones single-by-single thread daily since it started. That one is maybe a week and a half from wrapping up, so I'll chime in here when I can. I'll be looking at things from a U.S. perspective.

    The first U.S. single was "People Need Love" backed with "Merry-Go-Round," both in English. Both the stock copies and white-label promos had both songs on them. They hadn't yet cone up with the name ABBA, at least not officially, so the first single was released in the States under the name "Björn & Benny (with Svenska Flicka)"; the B-side was credited simply to "Björn & Benny."

    This, and a couple more singles, were licensed by Polar Music to the upstart Playboy Records label. Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, had wanted to start a record label as part of his diversification efforts. A short-lived Playboy label had one 45 in 1960. Hefner's second attempt at a label released its first records in February 1972; the first two singles were by Hudson (later known as The Hudson Brothers) and Pat Upton (lead singer of Spiral Starecase of "More Today Than Yesterday" fame). Poor distribution and a lack of focus plagued the label early on; not until Playboy's 56th single release, "Room Full of Roses" by Mickey Gilley, did it finally have a big hit (#1 country in 1974). Playboy's biggest pop hit was "Fallin' in Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, a #1 in 1975. After a short-lived distribution deal with CBS that started in 1977, Playboy Records folded in 1978.

    "People Need Love" came out in September 1972 on Playboy P-50014 and did receive some industry attention. It was mentioned in the Billboard singles review column in the September 16, 1972 issue, and in Cash Box, it made the "Looking Ahead" chart, the equivalent of the Billboard Bubbling Under chart, and spent two weeks at #114.

    It's a very collectible 45; promos are easier to find than stock copies.
  4. Off topic, I know and I apologize, but I have never seen this picture of ABBA before and wanted to post it. Growing up I always had a thing for Agnetha and this picture of her just knocks me out. In all her pictures she looks so innocent, but in this picture...........she looks anything but innocent.

    Wow. I love this picture of Agnetha Fältskog.


  5. Paul Rymer

    Paul Rymer Forum Resident

    A lot of photos from this session were found in Leeds of all places by an ABBA fan called Andrew Casey who got them to Polar Music in the early 90s.
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  6. Cool. Are there other photos from this session online?
  7. John Adam

    John Adam An Introvert In Paradise

    Thank you Tim, that filled in a lot of blanks. Hopefully you will have time to share your knowledge about the early ABBA singles on "Playboy." :) I think there are 4 total?
  8. RichC

    RichC Forum Resident

    Oh of course not.... and "Does Your Mother Know" is probably a Top 20, Top 30 ABBA track anyway. As strong as their strongest material.
    I think Bjorn's second best song is actually "Why Did It Have To Be Me?" (Arrival, I believe?) The female counterpoint really makes that one too.
    But the less said about "Two For The Price Of One," the better......
    ralph7109 likes this.
  9. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Franklin, TN
    Couldn't agree more - I love my version of the visitors where I remove "Two For the Price of One" and replace it with "The Day Before You Came" to complete a very somber, but adult sounding album from start to finish.
  10. MCT1

    MCT1 Forum Resident

    Worcester, MA
    Being only a casual ABBA fan, I didn't have much familiarity with this early material, which prompted me to spend some time digging around at Wikipedia, Discogs and 45cat in an attempt to understand its history, particularly with regard to the U.S. and U.K.. If it's helpful to frame the discussion for anyone else, here's what I've found:

    ABBA's big international breakout, "Waterloo", is the fifth track on The Definitive Collection. The first four tracks are songs the future members of ABBA recorded and released in 1972-73, prior to "Waterloo". At this point, they had not yet adopted the name ABBA; the original issues of these songs were credited under some variation of their individual first names, e.g., "Bjorn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid".

    The first three songs on The Definitive Collection ("People Need Love", "He Is Your Brother" and "Ring Ring") were released as singles in the group's native Sweden, and may have been released as singles in other Scandinavian countries as well. According to Discogs, the fourth song ("Love Isn't Easy") wasn't released as a single in Sweden, but was elsewhere in Scandinavia; both Discogs and 45cat show a single release in Denmark, at least. Somewhere along the way, the group also recorded a full-length album called Ring Ring, which included all of these singles.

    In the U.S., this material was licensed to the small Playboy Records label, as discussed earlier. Playboy released four singles in the U.S., the first of which came out in late 1972. None of these singles were particularly successful. Two of Playboy's singles matched the Swedish singles included on The Definitive Collection, while two did not. The Swedish single that wasn't released by Playboy, "Ring Ring", ended up coming out as a single in the U.S. later, after Playboy was out of the picture (after the success of "Waterloo", "Ring Ring" was pulled out of the archives and released/re-released in a number of countries, including the U.S.). Playboy never released the Ring Ring album. While some of the songs from the album were made available in some other form, the Ring Ring album itself was never released in the U.S. until it came out in 1995 as part of a Polydor reissue program.

    ABBA's only pre-"Waterloo" single in the U.K. was "Ring Ring", which came out in the fall of 1973. By that time the group had begun using the ABBA name. The single was released by Epic, the label the group would stay with in the U.K. for the long haul. The original release did not chart, but a U.K. re-release with a remixed version would chart in the wake of "Waterloo". As in the U.S., the Ring Ring album itself was apparently never released in the U.K. until the 1990s.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    cut to the chase and John Adam like this.
  11. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    There are 3 for sure and possibly a fourth, though I have doubts about the authenticity of the fourth. My mind remains open on that single, but I need more data points to say for sure.
    John Adam likes this.
  12. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    Ring, Ring (1973)

    B-side: Åh vilka tider (Swedish version), Rock'n Roll Band (English version)
    Released: February 14, 1973 (Swedish version), February 19, 1973 (English version)
    Charts: #1 (Sweden - Swedish version), #2 (Sweden - English version)
    #32 (United Kingdom - 1974 re-release)
    #92 (Australia), #7 (Australia - 1976 re-release)
  13. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    In my opinion this is the first single with the classic ABBA sound. It's a great song and it has the style that would later be reused with "Waterloo". It's a taste of what's to come.
    gja586, John Adam, willy and 3 others like this.
  14. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    Fabulous track, why it wasn't a bigger hit I don't know, love that "wall of sound", the version in that video is different from the version on GH from 1976, some additional sax lines I think, also more reverb. Definitely the Abba signature sound though.
    RickH and Haristar like this.
  15. Luxury_Liner

    Luxury_Liner Forum Resident

    Paradise City
    What a great thread! There's something about listening to their singles in chronological order that I find quite satisfying. Which might explain why my favorite collections are The Singles The First Ten Years (except for the sound) The Definitive Collection (except for the sound) and maybe even the Thank You For The Music box set (except for the presence of a few unfortunate edited versions) Therefore I assembled my own version of the Definitive Collection using my favorite sounding things and using the Australian import as template (it includes Hasta Mañana and Rock Me but, bizarrely, out of the chronological sequence at the end of disc 1...)

    Because I arrived to this planet later than some of you who first heard the early singles on 1976's Greatest Hits comp, my first exposure to People Need Love was a mid 80s cassette compilation called I Love ABBA that my parents bought for me because of my school grades that term (awwww! kleenex please...)

    When People Need Love was about to be released it seems B&B locked horns with Stig because he didn't want to credit the women. (Apparently what really bothered Stig was the group's name at this stage as he wanted a shorter, more "marketable" name...)

    He Is Your Brother has the particular distinction of being the only track off that first album to make it to the 1977 tour set list and it was also used as a singalong at the end of the Music For Unicef Concert (where they premiered Chiquitita) There's a short clip of that on Youtube,
    gja586 and John Adam like this.
  16. Remington Steele

    Remington Steele Forum Resident

    Saint George, Utah
    Fun Fact:
    Two of ABBA's US hits, Honey Honey and Does Your Mother Know, feature at least partial lead vocals from the guys in the group.
    So don't say it's a totally female dominated vocal affair.
  17. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    ABBA did a promotional tour of Australia around the time of SOS. One of the songs they did in the TV special (which is included in the deluxe edition of ABBA) was Rock Me. Although it had already made #3 on the charts as the B side of I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do it re=entered the charts and made #3 again as a double sider.
    Luxury_Liner likes this.
  18. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    The Ring Ring album was released in Australia in it's original form (it's so rare I've never seen a copy)


    then during ABBAmania it was reissued with the 'jeans' cover

  19. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    B side of the Swedish Ring Ring. Benny and Bjorn hate it so much it's not on the deluxe edition of Ring Ring (It is on the blue singles box and the blue complete box, so if you've got a spare hundred bucks and really, really need it .... )
    greelywinger and John Adam like this.
  20. Mylene

    Mylene Forum Resident

    This is from the Ring Ring deluxe but they've edited out Benny's comments. In the full video he's at the mixing desk listening to the stems.
  21. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    The intro on that reminds me a little of The Beach Boys and then I kissed her.
    Mylene likes this.
  22. RichC

    RichC Forum Resident

    Love this song. It creates the sonic template for "Waterloo" to use later.
    There's three different versions in English, all somewhat different:
    • "Ring Ring" (English Version)
    • "Ring Ring" (English Version) - (1974 Remix, UK Single Version)
    • "Ring Ring" (English Version) - (U.S. Remix 1974)
    The UK remix adds some additional saxes in the breakdowns where the guitar fills go in the original. The U.S. version adds even MORE saxes throughout the chorus! And I feel like one of the versions runs faster (or slower) than the other two.... Can someone confirm that?
  23. David G.

    David G. Forum Resident

    Austin, TX
    I have all three on different CDs. Both of the remixes are quite a bit slower than the original English album version -- a good half-step lower in pitch. The UK remix is ever so slightly slower than the U.S. remix, too, but just barely.
  24. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    As I said before, this reissued as the UK follow-up to the #1 hit Waterloo. I do remember hearing it a bit on the radio at the time and liking it. I thought it was a strong follow up to Waterloo.. Even though it didn't sell.:) A couple of years later when I got the Greatest Hits album, Ring Ring was one of my initial favourites. I'm still fond of it all these years later.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    gja586 and Haristar like this.
  25. I love ABBA so much. From the first song off of the first album to the last off of the last album. Great stuff. Ring, Ring is my least favourite of the classics but still a damn fine song.
    gja586 likes this.

Share This Page