Ring Ring bonus tracks and master tapes

Published September 30, 2013

With about two weeks to go before the scheduled release of Ring Ring Deluxe Edition, I thought I'd address some questions that always seem to arise whenever a new Deluxe Edition is released.


All the tracks credited to ABBA (or Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida, as they called themselves in the 1972-73 era) speak for themselves, of course: various-language versions of some of the album tracks, single B-sides, and the new-to-CD 'En hälsning till våra parkarrangörer'. However, some have questioned the logic behind the inclusion of the so-called Extra Bonus Tracks. My logic, as always, is to figure out the following: Given that the former ABBA members won't allow the inclusion of any previously unreleased material, how can I find stuff that's interesting but which hasn't been released on CD before? Sometimes that's not possible, but in this particular case there were a few opportunities.

I'd long had in the back of my mind that if we ever did a Deluxe Edition of Ring Ring, it would be fun to add the original versions of 'I Am Just A Girl' (the single A-side 'Jag är blott en man' by Jarl Kulle) and 'I Saw It In The Mirror' (a Billy G-son single B-side), so those tracks were at the top of my list. And then, as I was putting the list together, I thought, "well, if we have the B-side of the Billy G-son single, why not go for the A-side as well?" So there you have 'There's A Little Man'.

The next thought was that the inclusion of 'There's A Little Man' is primarily motivated by Agnetha's backing vocals contribution to a track written and produced by Björn and Benny, so we should try to balance that with something equivalent from the Frida catalogue. Her début recording of a Björn and Benny tune, 'Peter Pan', wasn't available to us because it's owned by EMI, and I also got an indication that the former ABBA members weren't so keen on its inclusion (if you want to own 'Peter Pan', it's available on the double-CD Frida 1967-1972). So then I thought that Frida's hit single A-side 'Man vill ju leva lite dessemellan', which was produced by Björn and Benny and featured backing vocals by all three of Frida's future ABBA colleagues, would be a nice replacement.

Once I had arrived at that theme of "pre-ABBA collaborations by the ABBA members", 'Hej gamle man!' was an obvious candidate, seeing as it is the first recording to feature the combined voices of Björn, Benny, Agneth and Frida. Finally, to showcase the forceful backing vocals of all four members, I thought the Björn & Benny-written & produced 'Välkommen till världen' by Lill-Babs could add further shades to the theme of "what they did before and during the years that ABBA were formed".

So, in conclusion, the idea was a) to bring some ABBA-related tracks into the digital format and b) to give a view of how Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida collaborated in various ways before they became ABBA.


I don't have too much insight into this, but I believe the original album was mastered from the original Polar vinyl master tapes. I also believe most of the bonus tracks were taken from the relevant single masters etc.

For a while it looked like we would have to resort to vinyl for the Billy G-son tracks as well as 'En hälsning till våra parkarrangörer'. Those tracks simply weren't available in the archives. However, one of the advantages of having been involved in ABBA-related matters for 20 years is that you acquire information about the location of certain items that aren't exactly where they should be (the tapes hadn't been stolen, if you're wondering, they were just not in the Universal Music archives; that's about all I can reveal here). Incredibly, I had good leads for all of those tracks and so was able to find them for this project. In other words, no cleaned-up vinyl, but pristine master tapes all around!

Last but not least: if you plan to purchase Ring Ring Deluxe Edition I hope you will enjoy it. Click here for more information and to pre-order your copy.