Monday, October 10, 2016

116. ABBA - The Album

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On this work the  album's front and back  covers are placed  side by side with  each other and part of the white  background  has been  converted to black.

ABBA The Album  was released in Scandinavia  on 12 December 1977  through Polar Music,  but due to the massive  pre-orders the  UK pressing plants were
not able to press sufficient copies  before Christmas 1977  and so it was not released in the UK until January 1978.  The album was released in conjunction
with ABBA: The Movie, with several of the songs featured in the film.

Polar's official cover featured an entirely white background,  and is the basis for current CD versions.  However,  Epic Records'  original UK release of the LP
featured a blue background on the front cover, fading to white at the bottom. It also featured a gatefold sleeve. The back cover was altered, incorporating
a similar photo of ABBA to that used  elsewhere in the world for the inner sleeve,  and referencing tracks included in  ABBA: The Movie.  The inner gatefold
was designed to look like an air mail envelope,  similar to the style later used for  Gracias Por La Música  and even had a photo of ABBA incorporated into a
stamp in the corner. wikipedia

We had a vinyl copy of this album as part of our family's record collection in 1978.

Photo by Barry Levine/Mirage, album design by Rune Soderqvist, illustrations by Rune Soderqvist and Bjorn Andersson.
Album produced by Bjorn Andersson & Benny Ulvaeus. Polar, Epic (UK), Atltantic (US) 1977. 

ABBA's fifth album was a marked step forward for the group, having evolved out of Europop music into a world-class rock act over their previous
two albums,  they now proceeded  to absorb and assimilate  some of the influences  around them,  particularly the laid-back California sound of
Fleetwood Mac  (curiously,  like ABBA,  then a band with two couples at its center),  as well as some of the attributes  of progressive rock.  That
they did this without  compromising their  essential virtues  as a pop ensemble  makes this album seem even  more extraordinary,  though at the
time nobody bothered to analyze it -  The Album was simply an incredibly popular release, yielding two British number one singles in "The Name
of the Game" and "Take a Chance on Me" (which made the Top Five in America, their second-best showing after "Dancing Queen"),  and achieving
the quartet's highest-ever showing on the U.S. LP charts, reaching the Top 20 and selling a million copies in six months.
AllMusic review by William Ruhlmann

ABBA: The Album  reached number 1 in many territories.  In the UK it debuted at the top and remained  there for seven weeks,  ending up as the
third biggest selling album of the year  (behind the movie soundtrack LPs of  Saturday Night Fever and Grease).  In the US it became their highest
charting album,  where during 1978 ABBA undertook a big  promotional campaign.  Due to the Cold War,  Western music was actively discouraged
throughout Eastern  Europe at the time.  Despite this,  ABBA: The Album sold an unprecedented one million copies in Poland in 1977,  exhausting
the country's entire  allocation of foreign currency.  In Russia,  only 200,000  copies  were permitted to be pressed;  however,  demand within the
USSR indicated they could have sold 40 million copies. wikipedia

(A) Eagle - Take a Chance on Me - One Man, One Woman, The Name of the Game

(B) Move On - Hole in Your Soul - The Girl with the Golden Hair: Three Scenes from a Mini-Musical: Thank You for the Music - I Wonder (Departure) - I'm a Marionette

"Eagle" live from Superstellina2012 on YouTube.


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