Angeleyes

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"Angeleyes"
Abba Angel Eyes Cover.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
A-side"Voulez-Vous"
Released2 July 1979
FormatSingle
Recorded26 October 1978 at Polar Music Studio
GenreDisco, pop
Length4:20
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Voulez-Vous"
(1979)
"Angeleyes"
(1979)
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"
(1979)

"Angeleyes" (also known as "Angel Eyes")[1] is a pop song written and recorded in 1978 by the Swedish group ABBA, and is featured on their sixth studio album, Voulez-Vous. Released as a double A-side with the title track of the album in July 1979, the lyrics and music were composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. As one of ABBA's most popular tracks in the United Kingdom, the song was a successful hit, peaking at No. 3 on the singles chart.[2][3]

History[edit]

"Angeleyes" (which had the working title "Katakusom")[citation needed] is a song in which the protagonist beseeches women to avoid the deceptively innocent looking gaze of a handsome yet deceitful man, warning them to beware of the "game he likes to play."[4] The vocals came from Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

Reception and reviews[edit]

In the United Kingdom, "Angeleyes" was released as a double A-side with "Voulez-Vous", this being an unusual move for the group.[2] ABBA and the personnel at Epic, the group's British record label, believed that with its classic ABBA arrangement, "Angeleyes" would be considerably popular with the record buying public. No promotional video for "Angeleyes" was made; as ABBA had filmed one for "Voulez-Vous", this was used to promote the double A-side single.[citation needed] The double A-side peaked at No. 3 in the UK in August 1979.[2]

Coincidentally, ABBA's "Angeleyes" was in the UK Top 20 at the same time as another unrelated song called "Angel Eyes" by the British rock group Roxy Music.[5] The latter track was composed by musicians Bryan Ferry and Andy Mackay, and although the two songs possess some lyrical similarities, Ferry and Mackay's song is more reminiscent of contemporary pop rock.

In critical terms, when the track was featured on the BBC's popular TV series Juke Box Jury, the panel (which featured Alan Freeman, Johnny Rotten, Joan Collins and Elaine Paige) unanimously voted the song a "miss", predicting that it would not be a hit for the group. Oddly enough, only "Angeleyes" was mentioned on the show, with no reference made to "Voulez-Vous".[citation needed] A retrospective review of the Voulez-Vous album by AllMusic critic Bruce Eder gave "Angeleyes" a citation as an 'Album Pick' while praising the work as a whole.[3]

In the United States, the individual "Angeleyes" single failed to climb that high in the charts, reaching No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1979. "Voulez-Vous" fared even worse a month before, peaking at No. 80.[3][2] Compared to expectations, the songs' parent album only performed modestly in the US.[3]

In October 1979 (three months after the single release), "Angeleyes" was included on the group's compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 2. It was not featured on ABBA's 1982 double-album compilation The Singles: The First Ten Years.

"Angeleyes" has also been a part of numerous other ABBA compilations over the years, including More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits (1993); the four-CD box-set Thank You for the Music (1994); The Definitive Collection (2001), and The Albums (2008).[6][7]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[8] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 64
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[9] 37
US Cashbox Top 100 Singles[10] 76
Chart (2018) Peak
position
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[11] 91

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again version[edit]

"Angel Eyes" was released on 13 July 2018, alongside the soundtrack of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, by Capitol and Polydor Records. The song is performed by Julie Walters (Rosie), Christine Baranski (Tanya) and Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) and it was produced by Benny Andersson.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[12] 61

Other cover versions, appearances in other media, etc.[edit]

  • German Eurodance group E-Rotic covered the song for their 1997 ABBA tribute album Thank You for the Music. It was featured on Dancemania's 1998 compilation Dancemania 8..
  • Various Eurodance cover remixes by Abbacadabra were released by Almighty Records during the late 1990s. A version was included on the 2008 compilation We Love ABBA: The Mamma Mia Dance Compilation. Audio samples can be heard on the official Almighty Records website.[13]
  • American indie rock band The Czars recorded an acoustic studio version of the song, which appeared on their 2006 b-sides and out-takes album Sorry I Made You Cry (stylized as 'Angel Eyes'). Former lead vocalist John Grant (a self-confessed obsessive ABBA fan) still routinely performs piano / keyboard based cover versions of the song during live sets and radio session appearances. As an openly gay performer with many songs focusing on homosexual themes Grant changes the line 'When I saw him together with a young girl' to 'When I saw him together with a young boy' amongst other such changes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Examples include the books The Best of ABBA (Songbook) and The Sound Of The Crowd: A Discography of the '80s among others.
  2. ^ a b c d Davis, Sharon (2012). 80s Chart-Toppers: Every Chart-Topper Tells a Story. Random House. ISBN 9781780574110.
  3. ^ a b c d e Eder, Bruce. Review of Voulez-Vous at AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  4. ^ The Best of ABBA (Songbook). Hal Leonard Corporation. 2009. ISBN 9781458447661.
  5. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/singles-chart/19790812/7501/ UK Official Singles Chart Top 75; August 1979. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  6. ^ William Ruhlmann (6 November 2001). "The Definitive Collection - ABBA | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  7. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (24 November 2008). "The Albums - ABBA | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 330–1. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 11.
  10. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7.
  11. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Abbacadabra – Angeleyes – Almighty Records". Almightyrecords.com. Retrieved 14 January 2012.