Gracias por la música Deluxe Edition - The Details

Published January 12, 2014

THE HISTORY OF THE GRACIAS POR LA MÚSICA ALBUM

The Gracias por la música album was first released in Sweden in June 1980 (certain other countries had already issued it in May). Using ABBA's original backing tracks, Agnetha and Frida joined forces with sound engineer Michael B. Tretow to record the Spanish language vocals in January 1980, while Björn and Benny were on Barbados writing songs for the Super Trouper album. Of course, 'Chiquitita' and 'Estoy soñando', which had already been recorded and released in 1979, were also included on the album.

The recording of the album, and indeed the entire Spanish-language project, was instigated by Buddy McCluskey of RCA Records in Argentina, who felt that it would be easier to achieve a breakthrough in Latin America if ABBA recorded one of their songs in Spanish. The first result was 'Chiquitita', which, upon release in April 1979, went on to become a massive success; reportedly, it was the biggest hit in Latin America in 25 years.

The Gracias por la música album was also quite successful. Only three months after release, the album was certified 4 x Platinum in Argentina, also going Platinum and reaching number two on the charts in Spain.


PUTTING TOGETHER THE DELUXE EDITION

The Deluxe Edition of the Gracias por la música album is the ninth release in the series of ABBA Deluxe Editions (the tenth if you count the 30th Anniversary Edition of Waterloo, released in 2004). The format is the same as for previous Deluxe Editions: one disc a CD of the original album plus bonus tracks, one disc a DVD of television material relevant to the period when the album was first released.

The bonus selections on the CD are simply ABBA's remaining Spanish-language recordings: 'Ring ring' (recorded in 1973, but not released until the mid-Nineties); 'Andante, Andante' and 'Felicidad' ('Happy New Year'), originally included on the Super Trouper album in Spanish-langauge territories; and 'No hay a quien culpar' ('When All Is Said And Done') and 'Se me està escapando' ('Slipping Through My Fingers'), originally featured on The Visitors in Spanish-language territories.

On the DVD, there are three items from Spanish television: two performances of 'Chiquitita' from 1979, and an interview from 1980, which includes a bizarre sitting-down-with-lyric-sheets-in-hand performance of '¡Dame! ¡dame! ¡dame!'. All official, Sweden-produced promo clips of ABBA's Spanish-language songs have also been included on the DVD.

For the liner notes, I interviewed Buddy & Mary McCluskey: Buddy was a driving force in ABBA's Spanish project and also, together with his wife Mary, wrote all the lyrics (except the 'Ring Ring' lyrics, which were written by Doris Band). I also spoke to Ana Martinez del Valle, who helped Agnetha and Frida with the Spanish pronunciation during the recording sessions. Since Gracias por la música was more an Agnetha & Frida project rather than something Björn & Benny were heavily involved in, I asked for interview quotes from the two women of ABBA. While Agnetha declined, Frida suggested that she should write a personal greeting instead, which I agreed was a much better idea, so that's what you will now be able to read in the booklet. Note: Frida's greeting a well as my liner notes have been included in both English and Spanish.

Gracias por la música Deluxe Edition was co-ordinated by Mia Segolsson. The CD was mastered by Masters of Audio, the DVD was put together by Filmtech, Fredrik Hurtig designed the package, Wouter Timmers, Fabio Deluca and Pepé helped us with the single and album sleeves, and much of the memorabilia in the digipak and booklet was supplied by Pepé and Enrique Fernando Manfredi. 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.


Gracias por la música Deluxe Edition. Projected release date: November 10, 2014. Catalogue number: Polar 00602537865734.

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