Like an Angel Passing Through My Room

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"Like an Angel Passing Through My Room"
Song by ABBA from the album The Visitors
Released Nov 1981
Recorded May-Nov 1981
Label

Polar (original release) PolyGram (1992 - 1997)

Universal Music (1998 - )
Writer Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Producer Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
The Visitors track listing
Side one
  1. "The Visitors"
  2. "Head Over Heels"
  3. "When All Is Said And Done"
  4. "Soldiers"
Side two
  1. "I Let The Music Speak"
  2. "One Of Us"
  3. "Two For The Price Of One"
  4. "Slipping Through My Fingers"
  5. "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room"

"Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" by ABBA is the closing track from the group's final studio album, The Visitors. It was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

History[edit]

Work began on this track on 26 May 1981 in Polar Music Studios.[1] The first demo recording of the melody was made with Björn Ulvaeus sining a lyric with the title "Twinkle, Twinkle". Then the track was given the title "Another Morning Without You". In later recording sessions it was re-titled "An Angel Walked Through My Room", "An Angel's Passing Through My Room". At one point the song was turned into a disco track but this idea was eventually abandoned as the group felt it sounded too similar to "Lay All Your Love on Me".[2] Initially the track featured vocal parts from both Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad but the final version of the song featured Anni-Frid as soloist. It is the only ABBA song to feature just one vocalist.[3]

The opening thirty seconds of " Like An Angel Passing Through My Room," featuring the tick-tock of Benny’s synthesiser

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Unlike many other ABBA songs, the final mix of the track was sparsely produced - the entire track consisting of the soloist's treated vocals, synthesized strings, and a music box melody (also synthesized). The sound of a ticking clock, also heard throughout the track, was produced by Andersson's MiniMoog.

The designer of the album sleeve for The Visitors, Rune Söderqvist, was partly inspired by this song's theme when he conceived the idea of photographing the group standing before Julius Kronberg's painting of an angelic-looking Eros.[4]

In 2011 BBC Radio 4 in the UK broadcast a drama documentary, Like An Angel Passing Through My Room. It featured a rare interview with Frida talking about her life and the song. The piece was a meditation on being a fan, love and loss through the prism of pop music.

From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel[edit]

On April 23, 2012 a Deluxe version of The Visitors was released. One of its bonus tracks was a demo medley of 'Like an Angel Passing Through My Room' called 'From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel' put together by Benny Andersson, who feels that the song is one of the best that he and Björn wrote during the ABBA years, but is uncertain whether the final version is the ultimate one. His view is shared by Agnetha Fältskog who described listening to the song as waiting for something that never comes. The compilation showed the experimentation of ABBA with the track, ranging from a full-tempo version (featuring the famous ABBA harmonies) that was later abandoned because it sounded too much like something ABBA had already recorded, to a rather sober synthesized version close to the version that was eventually released. Early lyrics resembled the traditional 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', although these lyrics were meant as temporary to accompany the melody. Benny was also involved in Anne Sofie von Otter's version of this song which was released on her album with Elvis Costello, "For the Stars" in 2000.

Cover versions[edit]

  • The melody featured in the 1983 London version of the musical Abbacadabra and was re-titled "When Dreamers Close Their Eyes" with new lyrics by David Wood and Don Black.
  • German singer Nina Hagen performed the song live on a TV special.
  • In 1996, British singer Hazell Dean recorded a version for her album The Winner Takes It All: Hazell Dean Sings Abba.
  • In 1999, William Orbit recorded a version of the song with Madonna for her album Music but it was never released. It was leaked onto the Internet in August 2008.[5]
  • In 2000, Benny Andersson returned to this track when he was invited to play piano on Anne Sofie von Otter's cover version, which appears on the album For the Stars.
  • In 2006, Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø included a version on her album Into Paradise.
  • In 2011, Swedish soprano Myrra Malmberg included a version on her album Another World.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Magnus Palm, C: "ABBA The Complete Recording sessions", page 110. Century 22 Ltd, 1994
  2. ^ Magnus Palm, C: "ABBA The Complete Recording sessions", page 113. Century 22 Ltd, 1994
  3. ^ Like An Angel Passing Through My Room
  4. ^ Magnus Palm, C: "Bright Lights, Dark Shadows", page 445. Omnibus Press, 2001
  5. ^ "williamorbit.com". williamorbit.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

External links[edit]