ABBA single by single thread

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

  1. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    As a slightly alternate way of listening to ABBA, I found these ten mono sides to promo singles and compiled them onto a CD-R.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. cut to the chase

    cut to the chase Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    'One Night in Bangkok' is by far my favourite song from 'Chess'. There was a TV performance in 1984 with Frida, B & B singing backing vocals:

     
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  3. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Thank You for the Music (1983)

    [​IMG]
    B-side: Our Last Summer
    Released: November 6, 1983 (United Kingdom and Ireland)
    Charts: #33 (United Kingdom)
     
  4. edenofflowers

    edenofflowers Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    It was huge over here for a while, you couldn't escape it. I never knew at the time it was B&B behind it. I would love to have had an A&A vocal version from back then, I can almost hear it.

    Under Attack is one of my top 10 Abba tunes. I just love the chorus so bloody much and I can't quite put my finger on why. The production would have been nicer with a more traditional Abba sound but it's a cracking little song all the same.
     
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  5. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    At least the sleeve is an improvement this time...
     
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  6. If my understanding of the creative process behind Chess is correct, Tim Rice first met B&B in late 1981, with tapes being exchanged over the course of '82 and much of the following year as well. Although it's been documented that demos often featured placeholder vocals from Björn, we also know of at least one song - Every Good Man, which became Heaven Help My Heart - with a guide vocal by Agnetha. I suspect there are plenty of further tracks in the ABBA vaults from that last year they were active together (and perhaps even later) with at least three of the four members involved, but is there any place to release them? An expanded Chess soundtrack album would be the ideal opportunity, though I can understand why Benny especially would prefer to avoid some relatively obscure outtakes being promoted as the main draw of such a thing. Similarly, he's been quite determined to keep the Gemini version of Just Like That as the definitive statement, even if most people consider the two earlier complete ABBA recordings vastly superior and worthy of finally being released...

    P.S. Until just now, I had no idea that television performance with 3/4 of ABBA as background singers existed!
     
  7. John Adam

    John Adam An Introvert In Paradise

    Location:
    Hawaii
    ABBA's first really theatrical song/single, and this is the perfect way to cap things off. As I mentioned a couple posts ago we got One Of Us as our last official single from the group. This is one of my favorite ABBA songs because it's easy and fun to sing along to, I like "The Girl With The Golden Hair" literally and she just doesn't look an cuter than is this video clip. (Not that this has anything to do with the music!) This song still works outside the context of the mini-musical, whereas the other songs sound like more a part of something.......which they are! Epic waited a long time to release this last single, but I imagine it was a monetary decision........to have an ABBA album for the holiday season available, plus Agnetha and Frida were all of 1983 with their solo ventures. Perfect b-side, a look back of why ABBA were so great at what they did. :) So long ABBA for now!

    So I say
    Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
    Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
    Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
    What would life be?
    Without a song or a dance what are we?
    So I say thank you for the music
    For giving it to me............. (Thank you Haristar!)
     
  8. tin ears

    tin ears Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland UK
    A bit too musical theatre for my personal taste but Thank You For The Music was a fitting final single. The fact it managed to reach number 33 in the charts in '83 really surprised me. I can only imagine what it's chart placing would have been had it seen a release in '78.

    I still remember listening to it for the first time when I got The Album and thinking it was a cover version. It's one of those songs that you think you've known all your life from the first time you hear it.

    Anyway, thanks Haristar for all your work. It's been a pleasure reading everyones thoughts and opinions throughout this thread. I've learned things I never knew, so cheers to everyone.
     
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  9. John Adam

    John Adam An Introvert In Paradise

    Location:
    Hawaii
    You also tin ears! :cheers:
     
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  10. David G.

    David G. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Unfortunate that this is being lip-synced instead of sung live. It would have been cool to hear Frida, Benny, and Björn actually singing the backing vocals, but it's great to see them, at least.
     
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  11. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    "Thank You for the Music"

    The boy's first dalliance with writing theater music makes a nice farewell UK single.

    Appropriate and tasty B side as well ("Our Last Summer"), although I take it people really didn't notice the song until Mamma Mia.
     
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  12. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    You do realize you could've saved yourself some trouble and made folds in Audacity or the digital audio workstation of your choice?
     
  13. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    You know what, I just remembered that I thought the same thing too, especially the "Mother said I was a dancer before I could walk, she said I began to sing long before I could talk." bit.
     
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  14. torcan

    torcan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I've often wondered...do sales of Oldies Series singles count towards sales of the original for certification purposes? The reason I ask is because, I remember reading in Billboard during the '80s sometimes about singles that "were just certified gold after 20 years", or something to that effect. They used to run an RIAA list periodically of gold and platinum singles, and I remember quite a few that were certified after first being released over a decade previously (for example, I think at least one Beach Boys hit was among them). Was it the sales of the Oldies Series single that finally put it over the top? If so, do they count the sale for both sides of the record (since they usually contained two hits)? Or, were there just enough copies of the original still out there that when they sold thru that's what was counted?
     
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  15. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    That's a great question. I only know the answer in certain situations.

    If the same two sides stayed in print but with a new "oldies" number (Elvis Presley singles, for example), they probably count 100 percent toward the total. Sometimes, certain labels didn't ask for certifications (the Motown family, for example); when they became part of a major label, many 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Motown hits were certified retroactively.

    My guess? Oldies singles with two hits are counted half for one side and half for the other. That might be enough to push a song close to gold over the top.
     
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  16. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Even though it was older, "Thank You for the Music" is a great farewell song, right up there with "Someday We'll Be Together," the last Diana Ross and the Supremes single. I kind of wish it had been a single in the U.S., but it likely would have been treated as yesterday's news. We had moved on from ABBA -- until it became cool to like them again in the 1990s.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  17. kiefer2

    kiefer2 Eastern European knockoff Mr. Potato Head

    Location:
    Brookhaven, Pa.
    Steve Hoffman forums lesson #213-Mono versions of songs are not always simple fold downs of existing stereo tracks.
     
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  18. cut to the chase

    cut to the chase Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Big thanks to Haristar and to everyone else for their great contributions to this amazing thread! I especially enjoyed tim_neely's posts about the way Atlantic Records handled ABBA's singles in the US, very informative to read!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  19. Dan Steely

    Dan Steely Your Mother Should Know

    Would they spend time and money to get the multitracks and mix these songs to mono just for the promo's, though?
     
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  20. sathvyre

    sathvyre formerly known as ABBAmaniac

    Location:
    Europe
    I think they used the stereo mix and reduced it to mono (-3db of the center information to get it sound right). The only dedicated ABBA mono mix is the Dick Cavett concert.
     
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  21. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Thank you. I learned a lot as I researched the Atlantic (and Playboy) singles, too. Things are rarely as straightforward as they seem; that was definitely true with ABBA's U.S. singles.
     
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  22. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    You never know about mono mixes. I had them, as released by the record company, and have learned that it's never a 100% guarantee of a fold-down. I recently conversed with Rupert Holmes via email and he informed me that back in the 70s, there WAS an effort to do individual mono mixes. He described the extra efforts that he a Jeffrey Lesser went through for those early mono mixes. Later singles at Epic he recalled they used some sort of CBS gizmo to make a mono mix. His description almost sounded like a CSG type of deal.

    I know that Carpenters records in the 70s had dedicated mono mixes on the promos. Articles quoting Richard Carpenter on the process have been unearthed. So, given that these mono recordings were pressed onto vinyl, knowing of Benny and Bjorn's fussiness over their recorded sound, I just figured it would be more accurate to digitize what was available in mono, rather than simply fold down stereo recordings.

    If I'm wrong, and these are simply folds, then it was a waste of perhaps a 10-cent CD-R.
     
  23. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    ABBA loose ends, Part 2:

    U.S. singles in the PolyGram years

    In 1989, Stig Anderson sold Sweden Music, the holding company that included Polar Music and thus ABBA's masters, to PolyGram International. That eventually made all the various worldwide deals with numerous record labels, including Atlantic in the U.S., null and void. Atlantic wasn't exactly moving a lot of ABBA product by 1989 anyway.

    All the oldies 45s mentioned in the first "loose ends" post went out of print. They were replaced with -- nothing. Once the back stock of the 45s was gone, that was it.

    In the early 1990s, PolyGram got out of the oldies 7-inch single business. (Its last new series was the 1989 "Timepieces" reissue set, the most prominent of which was "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers, which re-charted in 1990 -- mostly on airplay, because 45s were getting hard to find at retail -- thanks to its use in the movie Ghost.) Instead, PolyGram worked out a deal with Collectables Records, located just outside Philadelphia, for 45 rpm oldies reissues. As part of this deal, Collectables released hundreds of PolyGram-affiliated 7-inch singles, including a whole set of Elton John 45s, both on colored vinyl and black vinyl, when his back catalog ended up on PolyGram. It's a shame that a similar series couldn't have been arranged for ABBA singles.

    As far as I know, only two singles of ABBA music were issued in the States after 1990, and neither was on 45.

    In conjunction with the U.S. release of ABBA Gold, a 12-inch single containing both of the group's biggest hits in the States, "Dancing Queen" and "Take a Chance on Me," was released on Polydor 859 789-1. It had a black cardboard cover with gold print, similar in style to the ABBA Gold cover. The songs were the remastered LP versions. As ABBA Gold came out a year later in the U.S. than in the rest of the world (1993), this 12-inch is from the fall of that year. To date, this is the only commercial ABBA 12-inch single in the U.S. A promo pressing, more or less identical to the stock copy, was issued with the catalog number 859 789-1DJ.

    The other PolyGram-era ABBA single in the U.S. was pictured earlier in this thread: a CD single of "Dancing Queen"/"Waterloo" that was issued in 1998. It was part of a series with the title "A&M Digital Memories," inspired by the old "A&M Memories" 45 rpm reissue series. The label as given on both the back cover and CD was Polydor, however. The catalog number is 31456 7798 2. Once again, these are the standard versions.

    U.S. singles on Epic? Sort of

    During the 1970s, the UK sometimes found itself with a lack of pressing-plant capacity, especially when faced with multiple mega-hits at the same time. As a result, UK record labels were known to farm out production to other countries to meet demand. The first choice was to use facilities elsewhere in Europe. But sometimes, UK labels resorted to using pressing plants in the U.S. to meet demand. These records were pressed exclusively for export and were rarely seen in the States.

    During 1977 and 1978, some copies of two ABBA singles on UK Epic were pressed in the U.S. -- "The Name of the Game"/"I Wonder (Departure)" on Epic S EPC 5750, and "Take a Chance on Me"/"I'm a Marionette" on Epic S EPC 5950.

    They both have the orange Epic labels with concentric white circles, which was standard in this era. They have small center holes and were pressed on vinyl, possibly by the CBS Santa Maria plant (as I don't own either, and listings on both Discogs and 45cat are vague, I don't know the location for sure). Some copies do have large, U.S.-style center holes, but I don't know if they were dinked at the plant or afterwards by jukebox operators.

    These look like regular UK editions of these singles, including the same perimeter print, with one big exception: Above the Epic logo on both sides are the words "MADE IN U.S.A."
     
  24. John Adam

    John Adam An Introvert In Paradise

    Location:
    Hawaii
    Yes, thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. Lots of dedicated ABBA and music lovers. :)
    Tim, we learned right along with you! I see you most another post above. Thanks for all your extra work. It made the thread even more enjoyable for us!
     
  25. Gill-man

    Gill-man Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Under Attack - Mamma Mia 1999 Original Cast Recording

     
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