ABBA The Singles - the details

Published March 11, 2014


ABBA The Singles features 40 vinyl singles released 1972–1982, the period when ABBA existed as a group. Out of these, 31 are the singles planned and conceived by ABBA’s Swedish record company, Polar Music, and issued in Sweden and/or the rest of Scandinavia: from the debut People Need Love, through legendary hits such as Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take A Chance On Me, Chiquitita and The Winner Takes It All, to the final single, Under Attack. (Of course, many of those 31 singles were released in much the same configurations in non-Scandinavian countries as well.) The remaining 9 singles were only released by ABBA’s local record companies around the world.

Five of the additional singles are the German versions of Ring Ring and Waterloo, the French version of Waterloo, and the Spanish-language versions of Chiquitita and I Have A Dream (Spanish title: Estoy Soñando). The West German single Honey, Honey / Ring Ring features a 1974 remix of Ring Ring, also featured as an A-side on singles in Great Britain and Australia. The remaining three selections are ABBA songs that have become very popular over the decades, yet were originally only released as singles in a few countries. They are the Portuguese ‘Happy New Year’ single; the UK 12-inch single ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ – presented here in 7-inch format – and the Australian release of ‘When All Is Said And Done’.

The sleeve and label of each single in the box set are exact replicas of the original issues. Only the 9 singles not originally released by Polar Music have been given new Polar labels, corresponding to the design used by Polar during the era when each single was released. The sleeves for these singles have also been slightly modified.


Polar Music International and Universal Music wanted to release a singles box set as part of ABBA's 40th anniversary celebrations in 2014. With the brief that the box set should feature 40 discs, I was given the task of selecting the singles to be included. The 31 Polar Music singles were a given, of course, but how to select the remaining nine? To cut a long story short I had a few ideas for inclusions, and fellow ABBA fans Ian Cole and Frank Axelsson provided further suggestions, so that we ended up with a box set that made some kind of sense.

We decided that tracks that had actually been conceived as single A-sides, rather than taken from an album, should take precedence. Ergo the non-English-language versions of Ring Ring, Waterloo, Chiquitita and I Have A Dream. The 1974 remix of Ring Ring also fit this brief, but instead of choosing, for example, the British single, we selected the West German release - where Ring Ring was the B-side - because it had a picture sleeve rather than a plain paper bag. 'Happy New Year', 'Lay All Your Love On Me' and 'When All Is Said And Done' were chosen as non-Polar singles with A-sides that have gained in stature over the decades.


ABBA The Singles. Projected release date: May 5, 2014.