Notes on the contents

Published April 05, 2010


One of the main attractions of The Complete Studio Recordings should be to get all the studio recordings collected in one place - no more chasing compilations only released in limited markets to get one elusive track. Apart from that, however, the box set does include a number of bona fide rarities. They are:

Waterloo (Alternate Mix). This mix was the very first version of the English-language version of Waterloo to be released. Apparently, it was mistakenly released as a single A-side in Sweden, before being withdrawn and replaced by the regular version. The mix has several noticeable differences, the most blatant being additional "oh yeah!" outbursts in the verses. This mix is so rare and so unknown that it could almost count as a previously unreleased recording. Note: It appears the master tape for this mix was destroyed when the mistake was discovered, so the version on the CD box set has been mastered from a vinyl single.

Summer Night City (Full Length Version). This original full length version was originally released on the 1994 Thank You For The Music box set. However, by the sound of it, it appears sound engineer Michael B. Tretow took the beginning of the track and spliced it onto the regular single version of the track. For The Complete Studio Recordings, I managed to track down the original full length mix, created back in 1978. In my opinion, it sounds better than the "glued-together" version released in 1994, having a slightly less "drastic" volume increase after the strings-piano-and-vocals introduction.

On And On And On (Full Length Version) This full-length mono mix, containing an extra verse, is available as the video soundtrack for the song on the DVD The Definitive Collection. However, prior to this box set it had never been released on CD. Since then, the stereo mix of the full-length version has been located and released as a bonus track on Super Trouper Deluxe Edition, and also synchronised with the version of the video included in The Essential Collection.

Should I Laugh Or Cry (Intro Version). Nothing earth-shattering here, but when this B-side of the 'One Of Us' single was released in the UK and South Africa back in 1981, a count-in had been accidentally left on the recording. Just for fun, we decided to include this version in this box set. It had never been available on CD before, and apparently, a large number of UK ABBA fans have been wanting such a release for years.


If you're an ABBA fan who's been around for a while, you are probably aware that
the so-called Folk Medley was released twice during ABBA's heyday: first in 1975 on a German charity album under the title 'Pick A Bale Of Cotton - On Top Of Old Smokey - Midnight Special', and then, in 1978, as the B-side of the 'Summer Night City' single. On the single, the word "medley" was added to the title: 'Medley: Pick A Bale Of Cotton - On Top Of Old Smokey - Midnight Special'.

The two issues of the medley sound just slightly different, and at one point, around the time of the writing of my book ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, I was led to believe that they were two different mixes. This was supported by the fact that the original 1975 recording had been transferred from the original 16-track tape to a 24-track tape around the time when the 'Summer Night City' single was prepared, indicating that Björn, Benny and Michael Tretow were planning to remix it for the single.

When The Complete Studio Recordings was put together, I and the mastering engineer tried to determine whether it actually was two different mixes. The conclusion was that it probably was and so both versions were included in the box set. However, since then it's finally been determined that they are one and the same mix, the difference being that the 1978 "version" was subjected to a lot more compression, presumably to make it sound more like the highly compressed 'Summer Night City' A-side of the single. So, as far as I've been able to determine, Björn, Benny and Michael never did a new mix back in 1978, they just fiddled a bit with the original 1975 mix.

This means that one of the different "mixes" of the Folk Medley included in the box set should have been left off since it's not, in fact, a different mix. Well, consider it another bonus, folks!

Mystery, hopefully, resolved...

The Complete Studio Recordings. Released November 7, 2005. Catalogue number: Polar Music 0602498723272. Out of print.