Arrival Deluxe Edition - the details

Published April 06, 2010


When Arrival was first released in Sweden in October 1976, it marked the peak of ABBA's first era of straightforward pop, rooted in the innocence of the early 1960s, albeit with the sophisticated sheen and hi-fi aesthetics of the 1970s. Featuring hit singles such as 'Dancing Queen', 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' and 'Money, Money, Money' - 'Fernando' was also recorded during the same era - Arrival is in many respects the ultimate ABBA album, capturing the group when they were still caught up in the sheer fun and excitement of becoming one of the world's biggest recording acts.


Given Arrival's special status in ABBA's history, I had the idea around 2003 that it would be great to release a Deluxe Edition of this album at some point. I had become quite enamoured with the series of Deluxe Editions recently begun by Universal Music and had bought the expanded 2-CD reissues of Marvin Gaye's classic What's Going On, Let's Get It On and I Want You albums.

Since the former ABBA members will not allow the release of previously unissued material, I thought that the second disc on an Arrival Deluxe Edition could be a DVD of television material from the era, the most obvious inclusion being the television special ABBA-dabba-dooo!!, which contained performances of no less than eight of the ten tracks on Arrival. Perhaps a release in 2006 would be appropriate, since that would mark the 30th anniversary of the original issue. I brought this up with my associates at Universal Music, and they seemed to like the idea. But since we had just reissued all eight original ABBA studio albums in 2001, we all agreed that we should indeed wait for the 30th anniversary.

Flash forward to late 2003 when I happened to mention the Arrival idea quite casually to Karin Häggblom, who was the temporary replacement for Mia Segolsson as the label manager at Polar Music. Our discussion resulted in the idea to release a 30th Anniversary Edition of the Waterloo album in 2004. (Click the link under "More info" to read more about this release.)

By December 2005, the decision was finalised to go ahead with the Arrival project. I put together a track listing for the CD and started researching possible inclusions for the DVD. The ABBA-dabba-dooo!! television special was self-evident and for the rest of the list I thought it would be appropriate to include alternate television performances of a few Arrival-related songs. To broaden the picture and to really convey a feeling of "ABBA in 1976", I felt we should also have news reports from the time of the Arrival album. I had a look at the Polar Music International archives and made a few interesting discoveries there. I'm pleased to say that with one or two exceptions, all my suggestions made it onto the DVD. Note: The DVD included with Arrival Deluxe Edition is in NTSC format for the entire world.

For my liner notes, I interviewed producer Leonard Eek and reporter Per Falkman about their memories of making the ABBA-dabba-dooo!! special. The story behind the TV programme is interweaved with the making of the Arrival album in the 5,200 word essay (available to read here; click on Liner notes under "More info"). And if you want to know more, there is a special section on this site, devoted completely to the making of ABBA-dabba-dooo!! Click the link under "More info".

The Arrival Deluxe Edition project was co-ordinated by the tireless Mia Segolsson at Polar Music International. 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.

Click the links to the right to read more about the track listing, to view some packshots and to order the album.


After all the hard work that went into putting together Arrival Deluxe Edition, I'm pleased to report that the reviews and reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Click the Reviews link under "More info" to read a few review excerpts.


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.