Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition - the details

Published May 12, 2010


THE HISTORY OF VOULEZ-VOUS

Voulez-Vous was first released in Sweden in April 1979. Although sessions had begun more than a year earlier, the recording period resulted in a number of unreleased tracks in various stages of completion, and half the album was actually written and recorded in a burst of creativity in the last few months before the release. Featuring hit singles such as ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Does Your Mother Know’, ‘Voulez-Vous’ and ‘I Have A Dream’, it was not an all-out disco album, although several of the tracks featured an insistent dance beat and funky rhythms, and the sleeve was shot at the Alexandra’s discotheque in Stockholm.


PUTTING TOGETHER THE DELUXE EDITION

Following on from the Deluxe Editions of Arrival and ABBA – The Album, work on the Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition began back in 2008. Although much was accomplished back then, for various reasons the project was put on the back-burner and not revived until the autumn of 2009. 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 rare and previously unreleased television material relevant to the Voulez-Vous era.

All tracks on the CD have been remastered especially for this release, all in an effort to further improve the sound quality on ABBA releases. The bonus track ‘Dream World’, recorded during the Voulez-Vous sessions but not released until 1994, should be of special interest to completists. When this track was first issued on the Thank You For The Music box set, it was faded in to conceal a damage on the master tape. For the Voulez-Vous Deluxe Edition release we managed to locate a tape without the damage, meaning that ‘Dream World’ now appears “in full” for the first time on CD.

Previous Deluxe Editions have featured Spanish versions relevant to the particular album, but on this release there are none. The simple reason is that there was no room for them on the disc: there were so many other bonus tracks that better highlighted ABBA’s creative process in 1978–1979 that we made them our priority.

The main attraction on the DVD is perhaps the ABBA In Switzerland television special, featuring no less than five songs from the Voulez-Vous album along with a number of earlier songs. For contractual reasons, the television special has been edited down to only feature ABBA themselves and not any guest artists. Also, to preserve the live atmosphere and some unique mixes featured in the television special – the most notable of which being the “rock” version of ‘Does Your Mother Know’ – the original soundtrack from the BBC broadcast has been used. The same goes for the performance of ‘If It Wasn’t For The Nights’ on the Mike Yarwood Christmas Show, featuring a unique mix not available in the Polar Music archives, which means that we had to use the BBC sound. Finally, the long version of the live promo of ‘I Have A Dream’, also features the original soundtrack on the video master located in the archives. However, the performances of ‘Chiquitita’ from the UNICEF gala and the Christmas Snowtime Special have been synchronised with the latest stereo remaster of the track.

I wrote a 5,400 word essay on the making of Voulez-Vous for the 28-page illustrated booklet. I really enjoy writing these essays that allow me to go in-depth on the story behind a particular album, and this time I was especially delighted to get the input from both Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who contribute a few personal memories and fresh insights on this era. ABBA’s personal friend Claes af Geijerstam was also interviewed, along with singer, Swedish Mamma Mia! lyricist, and former disc-jockey Niklas Strömstedt. What they had to say? Read the liner notes and find out!

The Voulez-Vous - Deluxe Edition project 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 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.