ABBA - The Album Deluxe Edition - the details

Published April 07, 2010


ABBA - The Album was first released in Sweden on December 12, 1977. The album had been completed just a month prior to that date, and most other countries, where local licencees needed more lead time, had to wait until the first few months of 1978 before they could release it.

Recorded between May and November, 1977, ABBA - The Album saw ABBA leave behind their more innocent days of catchy hits in the vein of 'Waterloo' and 'Mamma Mia'. Instead, they tried to explore their possibilities as a musical entity, resulting in multi-structured songs such as 'The Name Of The Game', pensive and progressive creations such as 'Eagle' and even a mini-musical in the shape of The Girl With The Golden Hair, which spawned 'Thank You For The Music', one of their best-loved songs.


The success of the 2006 Deluxe Edition of Arrival (see link under More info), made it possible to consider further Deluxe Editions of ABBA albums. Although the Deluxe Editions aren't necessarily tied to any anniversaries, the 30th "birthday" of ABBA - The Album in 2007 made it a natural candidate for the next such release. Again, the format was a CD featuring the original album plus bonus tracks, with a companion DVD featuring unreleased television performances and news reports from the time of the album's conception and release.

As was the case with the Arrival - Deluxe Edition, it was my job to put together the track listing. The CD has been expanded with single versions, single B-sides and Spanish versions of songs from ABBA - The Album. Of particular interest for the collector should be the first CD release of the alternate mix of the 1979 live version of 'Take A Chance On Me'. Click Track listing under More info to read more about it.

ABBA didn't do too many television appearances or interviews in conjunction with ABBA - The Album, but I still think we managed to come up with an exciting DVD. The news reports provided by Swedish television are quite charming, giving us a glimpse of what the world could be like back in 1977-1978. The actual song performances are of course the highlights on the DVD - my personal favourite is 'Take A Chance On Me' from the Am Laufenden Band show. I like the intimate way the performance has been staged and filmed, with ABBA and their musicians standing together as one big group. Click Track listing under More info to read more about the contents on the DVD.

I was particularly happy that we managed to get the very rare performance of 'The Name Of The Game' from Japan. Except for the Lasse Hallström-directed promo clip, this 1978 performance, filmed in conjunction with a Japanese television special, is the only time 'The Name Of The Game' has been captured on video tape. It's not always so easy to license these performances from the concerned parties, and much credit must go to Mia Segolsson at Polar Music International who refused to give up on that particular performance. Note 1: This performance of 'The Name Of The Game' has since been released again on the DVD ABBA In Japan (see DVD section on this site). Note 2: The DVD included with ABBA - The Album - Deluxe Edition is in NTSC format for the entire world.

A 5,300 word essay on the making of the album, written by yours truly, is featured in the 28 page colour booklet, which also features photographs from the recording sessions, along with other memorabilia.

The ABBA - The Album - Deluxe Edition project was co-ordinated by Mia Segolsson. The DVD was put together by MPEG Production, Fredrik Hurtig designed the package, Wouter Timmers helped us with the single and album sleeves, and Thomas Nordin contributed memorabilia for the booklet. Ian Cole helped out with additional comments and suggestions, and, along with Paul Carter, was an invaluable sounding-board and proof-reader when I wrote my liner notes.

Note: If you want to know more about the hows, whens and whys of the ABBA Deluxe Editions, please click the "About the Deluxe Editions" link in the More Info menu.