A (Agnetha Fältskog album)

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A
Studio album by Agnetha Fältskog
Released 10 May 2013 (2013-05-10)
Recorded January–October 2012
Genre Pop, easy listening
Length 38:37
Label Universal
Producer Jörgen Elofsson, Peter Nordahl
Agnetha Fältskog chronology
My Very Best
(2008)
A
(2013)
Singles from A
  1. "The One Who Loves You Now"
    Released: 11 March 2013 (2013-03-11)
  2. "When You Really Loved Someone"
    Released: 11 March 2013 (2013-03-11)
  3. "Dance Your Pain Away"
    Released: 15 July 2013 (2013-07-15)
  4. "I Should've Followed You Home"
    Released: 18 November 2013 (2013-11-18)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (6.2/10) [1]
62/100, 8 critics
Review scores
Source Rating
Aftonbladet 3/5 stars link
Allmusic 3/5 stars 2013
Attitude 3.5/5 stars link
Evening Chronicle 9/10 stars link
Expressen 3/5 stars link
The Independent 4/5 stars link
Q 3/5 stars link
Rolling Stone Germany 3.5/5 stars link
Svenska Dagbladet 4/6 stars link
The Press 5/5 stars link
The Telegraph 3/5 stars link
The Times 4/5 stars link

A is the fifth English language studio album by Swedish recording artist Agnetha Fältskog, formerly a member of the group ABBA. It is her eleventh studio album overall, not including her work with ABBA or the two albums she released with her daughter and son respectively.

A is Fältskog's first album since 2004's My Colouring Book, an album of cover versions of her favourite songs from the 1960s, and the first original material she has recorded since I Stand Alone in 1987. It also includes her first self-penned track in nearly 30 years, "I Keep Them On The Floor Beside My Bed" .

Album information[edit]

As Agnetha was not an active recording artist at the time, the album happened in a round about way. "The project came about through a good friend of mine," she explains. "She called me up and told me that Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl wanted to play me some music. They came to my house and played me three songs and I thought, 'Oh my God, I have to do this'. It felt like a challenge."[1]

Ten tracks were recorded for the album, all of which were written or co-written by Jörgen Elofsson.

Song information[edit]

The lead single from the album is a "When You Really Loved Someone", which was released worldwide on 11 March 2013 as a digital download, with a CD single following on 15 April after demand from fans. A video clip for the song was filmed in late 2012, with Max Fowler and Camilla Rowling co-starring with Agnetha.

In Germany and Austria, the lead single was "The One Who Loves You Now", also released on 11 March 2013.

The track "I Should've Followed You Home" is a duet recorded with Gary Barlow of the British group Take That. Both artists recorded their vocal parts separately, as Agnetha was on holiday at the time of Barlow's recording session. Nevertheless Agnetha stated, "I think our voices work so well together."[1] The song had its radio premiere on 21 April on a Dutch radio station.[2]

"I Was a Flower" is a dramatic string-attached piano ballad, produced and performed in a theatrical way. On 22 April, the song was made available for download only through Amazon.co.uk.

"I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed" is the first track Agnetha has written herself that has been released since "I Won't Let You Go"—the lead single from her 1985 album Eyes of a Woman—and its B-side "You're There". Agnetha commented, "Jorgen kept saying 'You have to write a song for this record'. I hadn't written any music for a long, long time. But I sat at the piano and suddenly it was there. A friend of mine said a lovely thing: 'It's in your spine. Even if you feel tired, when it's time, it will be there'."[1]

Other tracks on the album include the contemplative "Bubble", a song that encapsulates Agnetha’s attitude to fame, the rollercoaster disco ride of "Dance Your Pain Away", the sugar-rush pop of "Back on Your Radio", and the tender, piano-led "Past Forever".[1]

Promotion[edit]

Personal appearances[edit]

Agnetha appeared on stage at G-A-Y in London on Saturday, 4 May to promote the album. Although she did not perform, ten fans had the chance to meet her backstage after the appearance. On August 1, Agnetha appeared on stage at Stockholm Gay Pride, where she was presented with her Gold record award for sales of the album in Sweden.

  • In the same week of the announcement of her album release, Agnetha was a guest on the Norwegian-Swedish television talk show Skavlan. The show was filmed on 14 March and aired the next day.[3][4]
  • The Seven Network in Australia aired a special edition of the programme Sunday Night at 6:30pm on Sunday 5 May 2013 focussing on Agnetha and including new interview material shot in Sweden in late April. In addition, a television commercial for the album was shown as well. Due to popular demand, the programme showed other unaired portions of the interview on 12 May 2013.
  • Agnetha filmed a documentary for the BBC in the middle of April, entitled "Agnetha: Abba and After", which aired in the UK on 11 June.[5] This had the effect of sending the album back into the UK Top 40, w/e June 16, 2013, to its peak position of 6, and to a new high of number 9 on the UK Album Download Chart. This special was also aired on the Nine Network in Australia in prime time on 2 July 2013, sending the album back up to number 5 in Australia.
  • Whilst in London in late April/early May, Agnetha was interviewed by Patricia Schäfer for German TV station ZDF. On May 2 the interview was broadcast on several TV programs, most prominently the society report Leute Heute.[6]

Press and print media[edit]

The May edition of UK gay publication Attitude magazine featured an extensive new interview with Agnetha. The German gay publication Exit also featured an interview with Agnetha in April. In the UK and Ireland The Big Issue featured Agnetha on the cover of their June edition along with an interview about her life.

Internet and social media[edit]

In order to promote and accompany the album and its singles, several web appearances for Agnetha were created, namely a home page (http://www.agnetha.com[7]) as well as a Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AgnethaOfficial) and Twitter (@agnethaofficial) account. Likewise, a Vevo account (https://www.youtube.com/user/AgnethaVEVO) was created on YouTube.

Reception[edit]

The BBC called A a "tasteful and sumptuous" mid-tempo album[citation needed]. The disco song "Dance Your Pain Away" was marked as the only exception to the general tempo, its bassline reminiscent of ABBA's "Voulez-Vous".[8] In a review of the album, The Times in Britain gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, stating that "A is a triumphant return to form by a woman presumed lost to music forever".[9]

Other news services, such as the German newspaper Die Zeit, highlight Agnetha's voice, which still sounds young and fresh and "like a young Agnetha would sound today".[10]

The album has been certified with a Gold record award in Australia (35,000 copies), the UK (100,000 copies), Germany (100,000) and Sweden (20,000 copies).

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The One Who Loves You Now"   Jörgen Elofsson, Pär Westerlund 3:30
2. "When You Really Loved Someone"   Elofsson 3:31
3. "Perfume in the Breeze"   Elofsson, Fredrik Thomander 3:31
4. "I Was a Flower"   Elofsson 4:08
5. "I Should've Followed You Home" (with Gary Barlow) Elofsson, Barlow 4:04
6. "Past Forever"   Elofsson, Carole Bayer Sager 3:30
7. "Dance Your Pain Away"   Elofsson 4:10
8. "Bubble"   Elofsson 4:21
9. "Back on Your Radio"   Elofsson 3:43
10. "I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed"   Agnetha Fältskog, Elofsson 4:06

Commentary for each track by Agnetha and producer Jörgen Elofsson was made available with the release of A on Spotify.

Personnel[edit]

Credits for A

Production crew[edit]

  • Jörgen Elofsson – producer, recording engineer, vocal arrangements
  • Peter Nordahl – producer, arranger and conductor (orchestra)
  • Jess Sutcliffe – mixing
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Janne Hansson – recording engineer
  • Micke Herrström – recording engineer
  • Lasse Nilsson – recording engineer
  • Michael Dahlvid – assistant engineer
  • Gustaf Berg – assistant engineer

Musicians[edit]

  • Mattias Torell – guitars
  • Peter Nordahl – piano
  • Max Lorentz – organ
  • Gunnar Nordén – bass, guitars
  • Per Lindvall – drums

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Per Wästerlund – keyboards and programming
  • Simon Petrén – keyboards and progamming
  • Fredrik Thomander – keyboards and programming, guitars
  • Jesper Jacobson – keyboards, guitars
  • Niklas Sunden – accordion
  • Stefan Ohlsson – guitars
  • Gary Barlow – vocals on 5

Background vocals[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[34] Gold 35,000^
Germany (BVMI)[35] Gold 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[36] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Australia[38] 10 May 2013 Universal Music
Germany[39]
France[40] 13 May 2013
Sweden[41]
United Kingdom[42] Polydor Records
United States[43] 14 May 2013 Verve Records
Poland[44] Universal Music
Italy[45] 21 May 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography Agnetha Fältskog". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Home | Schiffers.fm | AVRO
  3. ^ Skavlan.com - The SKAVLAN Talk show
  4. ^ ABBA on TV - Skavlan
  5. ^ Agnetha has been filming an exclusive documentary for the BBC. - Agnetha Fältskog | Agnetha Fältskog
  6. ^ Leute heute - ZDF.de
  7. ^ agnetha.com
  8. ^ "Abba's Agnetha comes out of retirement". BBC News. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog: A". Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Nach den Sternen". Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "TOP50 Prodejní: FÄLTSKOG AGNETHA – A" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Danish). danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Agnetha – A" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog, A" (in German). charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 100 Artist Album, Week Ending 16 May 2013". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Agnetha – A". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Agnetha – A". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży". OLiS. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "2013 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "2013 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – Chart history: Billboard 200". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2013 – Albums" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  32. ^ "Album Top-100 2013" (in Danish). Hitlisten.NU. IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Årslista Album – År 2013" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Swedish Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Agnetha; 'A')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  36. ^ "Veckolista Album – Vecka 24, 14 juni 2013" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Swedish Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Agnetha Faltskog – A". British Phonographic Industry. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.  Enter A in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  38. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog Store – A". Getmusic. Universal Music Australia. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  39. ^ "AGNETHA FÄLTSKOG | A" (in German). Universal Music Germany. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  40. ^ "A – Agnetha Faltskog" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "A – Album – Fältskog Agnetha" (in Swedish). CDON.se. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  42. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog | A". Universal Music UK. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  43. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". Verve Music Group. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  44. ^ "A – AGNETHA FÄLTSKOG" (in Polish). Universal Music Poland. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  45. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Italian). Internet Bookshop Italia. Retrieved 9 January 2014.