Abba - Voulez-Vous. Is it an underrated album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bobby Morrow, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’ve always felt it is. After Arrival and The Album, Voulez-Vous seemed like a dip before Super Trouper came out a year and a half later. It’s certainly true VV was a big album in the UK... It spent 4 weeks at number one from May 1979. Eventually racking up a 43 week chart run. It ended up as the 5th biggest selling UK album of the year.

    4 hit singles came from it, Chiquitta (#2), Does Your Mother Know (#4), Angel Eyes/Voulez-Vous (#3) and I Have A Dream (#2). As well as these did, none reached the pole position like singles from the last 4 albums had. It’s also fair to say there’s no Winner Takes It All, The Name Of The Game, S.O.S or Dancing Queen here, yet it’s still material most bands would kill for. Perhaps people were starting to take the group for granted? The previous year’s single, Summer Night City, had peaked at #5. Practically a flop for Abba after the incredible run they’d just had. It was due for inclusion on Voulez-Vous in an elongated version, but Benny and Bjorn dropped it claiming they never got the song absolutely ‘right’.

    If It Wasn’t For The Nights was another song they were initially excited about and prepping for lead single. It never happened as they chose the classy, if a bit draggy, Chiquitta instead. It certainly did the business, though it’s a song I’ve never been over fond of.

    So, do you feel the album was weak in comparison to their others? Do you like the more ‘disco’ feel and wish they’d continued in this vein? Abba actually broke up the single releases for VV with a new song, Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight), which was used to promote their just released Greatest Hits Volume 2 compilation. I’ve always felt this would have sat perfectly on Voulez-Vous. Even improved it’s tracklisting.

    This thread is kind of an homage to Voulez-Vous, which is rapidly approaching it’s 39th birthday. Tell us how you feel about the album. Your memories of hearing/buying it etc.
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  2. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter



    It’s true Abba spent months recording and perfecting their sound. Alas, their sleeve artwork was often a rushed affair.:) Nice colours, but very 70’s-cheap comp looking.
    gja586, Mbe, Marble Index and 3 others like this.
  3. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    It's a strong album chocked full of ABBA classics.
  4. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I hate "I Have a Dream", so that doesn't help. Aside from that, finishing the album with its two weakest songs ("Dream" aside) wasn't a good idea.
  5. Hokeyboy

    Hokeyboy Nudnik of Dinobots

    No. No it is not.
    Michael Rose likes this.
  6. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    That Barcode on the back shows how ahead of their time they were:biglaugh:

    You feel ABBA artwork looks "rushed"? Hmmmm.... I actually love their designs, the early Swedish folk look, the cab, the helicopter, the pyramid, the circus and the library. Even the pseudo-naive drawings. But maybe I simply have seen them so often, they feel quite natural and part of my history.

    Is it "underrated"? I guess the main problem is that it is sandwiched between two very strong albums. Plus the fact that it has strong disco elements. And also "Does Your Mother Know", which I love. But doesn't seem to sit well with every fan.
    gja586, MultiMan, Jarleboy and 5 others like this.
  7. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I bought it a few months ago out of a dollar bin, but it was in sub par condition, so I'm without again, and will remain so unless I happen upon a minty copy at a similar price.
  8. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    I love this album. Like the cover too.
    Jarleboy and sathvyre like this.
  9. Ron2112

    Ron2112 Forum Resident

    It sold like 2M copies worldwide. This was during the point where ABBA was one, long, ubiquitous blur, where albums didn't even matter. It was just like, "oh yeah, here's a few more songs to saturate the radio waves with......"

    So no, I don't think it was under-rated.
    Mr. Even B and ribonucleic like this.
  10. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    In 1977 I was a big Abba fan got GH and Arrival for Christmas, and got The Album early in 78. Bought Summer Night City when it came out and thought it was OK but started getting into other music and kind of left Abba behind me, so never got Voules Vous. A friend lent me Super Trouper on cassette and I kept if for ages but never bothered to get my own copy. So for aboout 20 years that was my Abba collection. Then one day I was in Woolworths and they had a CD sale on and I saw Arrival and Voulez Vous and bought them.

    I hadn't played Arrival in years and it was like meeting up with an old friend. I knew the singles off Voulez Vous, but was blown away by the entire album, loved it. Almost the next day I went down town again to see what other Abba albums I could find and only found Live. I then went to a local music store a little while later and ordered all the other original albums including this one called "Ring Ring" which I had never heard of before! (Knew the singles but it had never been released in the UK in the 70s).

    Pretty soon I had them all (Apart from Abba, which for some reason was being elusive and took me a few years and being introduced to the internet to find).

    Since being in Canada, I have bought most of their other albums on vinyl for a couple of dollars each usually.

    Voulez Vous though, is a bit of a favourite, it is pretty solid all the way through and was the album, I feel, where Abba became a bit "grown up", there was always a few songs on previous albums which although fun, could be considered a little corny or whatever, but this one stepped up a notch, and led the way to the more serious stuff on Super Trouper and culminated in The Visitors.
  11. edenofflowers

    edenofflowers Forum Resident

    It's a consistently enjoyable album, one of my favourites of theirs. That one-two of As Good As New & VV is one of the best opening sequences out there, perfect.
  12. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Abba vinyl is really common in charity shops here. Not so with the CDs. I’ve not seen the studio albums in years.
    Jarleboy and jamiesjamies like this.
  13. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    Yeah I can't recall seeing many CDs over here either. I even found a Gracias Por La Musica, wasn't in the greatest of shapes, but for a couple of dollars it was worth the risk.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  14. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You might see Abba Gold on a good day, but the studio albums just don’t show. Odd, considering how many times they’ve been remastered and reissued. Perhaps Music Magpie have bought them all up.:)
    Jarleboy likes this.
  15. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    I know they aren't forum favourites, but I did like those mid 90s reissues with the bonus tracks. I thought VV, ST and TV were really augmented with the tracks that were added in the form of non albums singles and Bsides. Kind of wish I still had them.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  16. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have the deluxe of Voulez-Vous and it’s a much better album with the likes of Summer Night City, Dream World, Lovelight and Gimme Gimme Gimme added. I say that as someone who normally hates long albums.
  17. SteveSDCA

    SteveSDCA Forum Resident

    San Diego
    I love 'If It Wasn't for the Night's'. It was originally supposed to be released as a single.
  18. Talisman954

    Talisman954 Forum Resident

    It’s good but it’s not Super Trooper good.
    That album is a masterpiece.
    That was ABBA at their peak.
  19. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    I think it’s their best, or at least it’s my favourite. Underrated? I’m not Abba fans, I think not.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  20. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Kisses of fire, burning, burning
    I'm at the point of no returning
    Kisses of fire, sweet devotions
    Caught in a landslide of emotions
    I've had my share of love affairs and they were nothing compared to this
    Oh, I'm riding higher than the sky and there is fire in every kiss
    Kisses of fire
    Kisses of fire
  21. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It’s not Smash Hits.:D
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  22. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A few photos from the album cover shoot.


  23. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Never knew there was a picture disc... It shouldn’t be a surprise as 1979 seemed to be the time when picture discs were everywhere.


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  24. Vagabone

    Vagabone Active Member

    Leeds, UK
    "As Good As New" and "If It Wasn't For the Nights" are masterpieces and surely among their best non-single tracks.

    Like all ABBA albums though (except the very strong "Arrival") it's a bit hit and miss for me. I hate "I Have A Dream" and "Chiquitita".
    The hook of "Kisses of Fire" is perilously close to "Pictures of Lily".
  25. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I picked up The Album the other day in a charity shop, but only because the lady behind the counter allowed me in the back. Since I chose only one CD, she asked me if it was worth it. It isn't really, but you never know what you will find. The only other CD of note was a Kyung Wha Chung classical CD. But I have two copies of it already. The ĺast charity shop Abba find of note was Greatest Hits Vol. 2, a few years ago. You just never see the early CDs.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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