Ring Ring Deluxe Edition - The Details

Published July 01, 2013


THE HISTORY OF THE RING RING ALBUM

The Ring Ring album was first released in Sweden in March 1973. Sessions for the album began in March 1972 and concluded in March 1973. ABBA's début album was originally credited to Björn Benny & Agnetha & Frida, the somewhat unwieldy group name under which they operated during their first year together (the name ABBA came into use during 1973). Indeed, the album was almost something of a side-project when sessions first started, since Agnetha and Frida were both solo artists recording for other labels, and Björn and Benny were primarily busy producing records at Polar and releasing the odd single as a duo. The album shows a band trying to find their voice and figuring out what they can do together, and as such features a couple of milestones in ABBA's history: 'People Need Love', which was the very first ABBA song, and 'Ring Ring', a groundbreaking recording that constituted the first step towards the multi-layered ABBA sound.


PUTTING TOGETHER THE DELUXE EDITION

The Deluxe Edition of the Ring Ring album is the seventh release in the series of ABBA Deluxe Editions (the eighth if you count the 30th Anniversary Edition of Waterloo). 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 previously unreleased television material relevant to the the album.

The number of bonus tracks on the CD actually outnumber the tracks on the original album. In addition to the relevant non-album single sides from the era (the exception being 'Åh vilka tider', the B-side of the Swedish 'Ring Ring' single, which was vetoed by the former ABBA members) we've also included a few tracks that will hopefully add to the understanding of this period in ABBA's recording career, when the group didn't actually exist but still contributed to the recordings they each released and were generally trying their hands at this, that and the other in the music business.

Two of the Extra Bonus Tracks - the 1970 recording 'I Saw It In The Mirror' by Billy G-son, and the 1972 single 'Jag är blott en man' by Jarl Kulle - are the original versions of two tracks featured on the Ring Ring album (the latter title became 'I Am Just A Girl' on the album), both of which were written and produced by Björn and Benny. The inspiration for their inclusion came from a Deluxe Edition of Marvin Gaye's 1973 album Let's Get It On, which features two alternate versions of a song called 'Just To Keep You Satisfied', recorded by Motown groups The Originals and The Monitors, although the song was written by Marvin Gaye and then finally recorded by him for the Let's Get It On album. Since the former ABBA members usually won't allow alternate mixes and previously unreleased tracks on these Deluxe Editions, I thought it would be a nice touch to include these recordings, both of which are very rare and have never been released in a digital format.

There are two other bonus tracks that have never been released on CD before: the ultra-rare 'En hälsning till våra parkarrangörer' ("A Greeting To Our Park Arrangers"), a 1973 spoken-word single on which ABBA promote their upcoming tour of the Swedish folkparks, and 'There's A Little Man' by Billy G-son (the A-side of the 'I Saw It In The Mirror' single) which features Agnetha on backing vocals - her first contribution to a Björn and Benny production.

Finally, we also have the Björn & Benny 1970 hit single 'Hej gamle man!', famously the first recording to feature all four ABBA members; the 1972 Frida hit 'Man vill ju leva lite dessemellan', featuring backing vocals by her friends in ABBA; and 'Välkommen till världen' by Lill-Babs, a 1971 hit single written and produced by Björn and Benny, and featuring all four ABBA members promintently on backing vocals.

On the DVD, all items are previously unreleased, and both 'People Need Love' and 'Ring Ring' have been synchronised with stereo sound.

Ring Ring 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, and Wouter Timmers and Pepé helped us with the single and album sleeves. 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.