Waterloo (album)

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Waterloo
Studio album by ABBA
Released 4 March 1974 (1974-03-04)
Recorded 24 September 1973 – 20 February 1974 at Metronome Studios, Stockholm
Genre Pop music
Europop
Disco music
Length 38:10 (original release)
44:47 (reissue 2001)
Language English and Swedish (in reissued ed 2001, with Swedish versions of the songs "Waterloo" and "Honey, Honey"
Label Polar
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US original release)
Producer Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA chronology
Ring Ring
(1973)
Waterloo
(1974)
ABBA
(1975)
Singles from Waterloo
  1. "Waterloo (Swedish version)"
    Released: 4 March 1974
  2. "Waterloo (English version)"
    Released: 12 March 1974
  3. "Honey, Honey"
    Released: April 1974
  4. "Hasta Mañana"
    Released: 1974
  5. "King Kong Song"
    Released: 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Waterloo is the second studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA, and the first released internationally. It was originally released in Sweden on 4 March 1974 through Polar Music. The album's title track won ABBA the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and became a worldwide smash-hit, launching the group's career.

Overview[edit]

Recording sessions for Waterloo began on 24 September 1973 with the track "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)". This song was unusual in that it is the only ABBA track not to feature member Benny Andersson on keyboards, but instead featured American pianist John Rabbit Bundrick who was in Sweden at the time.[2] Bundrick however was not credited on the album. Three weeks later the next two songs ("Suzy-Hang-Around" and "My Mama Said") went into the studio. A recording sheet from the day credits the artist as "ABBA", the first time the name was ever used, the group until now being called "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid". The former of these songs marks the only time Benny Andersson sang lead on a track. 17 October saw the recording of two more tracks; "What About Livingstone" and "Honey Honey" - the latter being the second single released from the album in most countries. "King Kong Song" was recorded on 14 November, a song which members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus today single out as one of their weakest tracks.[2] This was also the date in which it was announced that ABBA were to appear at the Swedish selection for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. From that point, recording sessions speeded up and the rest of the tracks were recorded. Two songs were up for consideration for their Eurovision entry; "Waterloo" and "Hasta Mañana". The group preferred the former but felt the latter was a more safe bet. Ultimately they chose "Waterloo" as it was more the direction they wished to take the group. "Waterloo" and "Watch Out" were recorded on the same day - the songs that made up the lead single and its B-side.[2]

"Waterloo" swept to victory at the Swedish heats and the group represented Sweden in Brighton for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. ABBA won the contest and "Waterloo" became not only a massive hit in Europe but all over the world (peaking at No.6 in the US for example). In Sweden, the album had already been released as topped the Swedish album charts for 12 weeks, becoming one of thie biggest-selling Swedish albums ever to that point. In the UK the album made No.28 - the first time a foreign Eurovision act had charted an album and it performed well in the rest of Europe.[2]

Reviews of the album were positive with Phonograph Record's Greg Shaw stating that it "might just turn out to be one of the classic debut LPs of the '70s". Rolling Stone also gave the album a favourable review.[2] In a 3-star review, Allmusic said that it was "a beautiful album".

Waterloo was first released on CD in Sweden in 1988; a West German CD release followed in 1990 (later released internationally). The album has been reissued in digitally remastered form three times; first in 1997, then in 2001 and again in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set. It was also released as a special 30th Anniversary edition in 2004, celebrating 30 years of the group's victory in the Eurovision Song Contest. The album was released yet again in 2014 as 40th anniversary edition with bonus tracks and bonus DVD. This version of the album re-entered the UK album charts.

The original 1974 Polar Music edition of the album opens with the Swedish version of the title track and closes with the English-language version. The American version of the album, released through Atlantic Records, closes with a 1974 remix of "Ring Ring". In the United Kingdom/Ireland and several other European markets, the original 1973 version of "Ring Ring" was added as track 6 on side 2. The cover features the sub-title "Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida" although some editions replaced 'Agnetha' with 'Anna' – by which Agnetha Fältskog was known in some countries.[3]

Track listing[4][edit]

All songs written and composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Waterloo" (Swedish version) (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 2:45
2. "Sitting in the Palmtree"   3:39
3. "King Kong Song"   3:14
4. "Hasta Mañana" (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 3:05
5. "My Mama Said"   3:14
6. "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)"   3:05
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Honey, Honey" (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 2:56
2. "Watch Out"   3:46
3. "What About Livingstone?"   2:54
4. "Gonna Sing You My Lovesong"   3:35
5. "Suzy-Hang-Around"   3:11
6. "Waterloo" (English version) (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 2:46
Total length:
38:10
  • (P) 1974 Polar Music International AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The original album release of Waterloo in 1974 with Polar.

CD Version[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Waterloo" (English version) (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 2:45
2. "Sitting in the Palmtree"   3:39
3. "King Kong Song"   3:14
4. "Hasta Mañana" (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 3:05
5. "My Mama Said"   3:14
6. "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)"   3:05
7. "Honey, Honey" (Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus) 2:56
8. "Watch Out"   3:46
9. "What About Livingstone?"   2:54
10. "Gonna Sing You My Lovesong"   3:35
11. "Suzy-Hang-Around"   3:11
Total length:
34:59

CD re-issues, bonus tracks[edit]

  • Waterloo was remastered and reissued in 1997 with the same track listing as the original vinyl records. Note that the original Polydor CD issued in 1990 swapped the tracks "Watch Out" and "What About Livingstone?". The 1997 remaster followed this anomaly.
  • Waterloo was remastered and reissued in 2001 with two bonus tracks not found on previous releases. It also swaps the respective versions of the title track so that the CD begins with the English version. The track listing goes (in order):
  • Waterloo – 30th Anniversary Edition contained several bonus tracks and a bonus DVD that included the following tracks (in order on disc):
  • Waterloo was remastered and reissued again in 2005 as part of the box set of The Complete Studio Recordings with several bonus tracks, including (in order on disc):
  • Waterloo was reissued once again in 2008 as part of the box set of The Albums, but without any of the previously released bonus tracks.
  • Waterloo – 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition was released on 7 April 2014 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the group's victory at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The track listing is as follows:

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians
Production
  • Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus – producers
  • Michael B. Tretow – engineer
  • Ola Lager – photography
  • Ron Spaulding – original album design
  • Jon Astley; Tim Young; Michael B. Tretow – remastering for the 1997 Remasters
  • Jon Astley; Michael B. Tretow – remastered for the 2001 Remasters
  • Henrik Jonsson – remastering for The Complete Studio Recordings box set

Chart positions[edit]

Album

Year Chart/Country Position
1974 UK Album Chart 28
U.S. Billboard 200 145
Norway 1
Germany Album Chart 6
Finland 4
Zimbabwe 6
Sweden 1
1976 Australia 18
New Zealand 38
40th Anniversary Edition
Year Chart/Country Position
2014 UK Album Chart 71
Singles
Year Single Chart Position
1974 "Waterloo" UK Singles Chart 1
Norway Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
RPM Top 100 7
"Ring Ring (1974 Remix)" UK 32
"Honey, Honey" Billboard Hot 100 27
Billboard Easy Listening (AC) Chart 27
RPM 18

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[6] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[7] Gold 25,035[7]
Germany (BVMI)[8] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[9] 349,938[6]
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Silver 60,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ a b c d e Sleeve notes, Waterloo re-issue, Carl Magnus Palm, 2014
  3. ^ Abba The Book. Aurum Oress Ltd. 2000. p. 9. ISBN 1-85410-698-8. 
  4. ^ http://www.abbasite.com/discography/album/waterloo/
  5. ^ a b c d Scott, Robert (2002) 'ABBA: Thank You for the Music – The Stories Behind Every Song', Carlton Books Limited: Great Britain, p.38
  6. ^ a b ABBA The History. Billboard. 8 September 1979. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
  8. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (ABBA; 'Waterloo')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 09 May 2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  10. ^ "British album certifications – ABBA – Waterloo". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 09 May 2014.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) Enter Waterloo in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]