Angeleyes

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This article is about the ABBA song. For other similarly titled uses, see Angel Eyes (disambiguation).
"Angeleyes"
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
B-side "Voulez-Vous"
Released 2 July 1979
Format Single
Recorded 26 October 1978 at Polar Music Studio
Genre Disco, pop
Length 4:20
Label Epic
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Certification Silver (UK)
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 1979 by Swedish group ABBA. Released as a double A-side with "Voulez-Vous", coming from the album of the same name, the lyrics and music were composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It is known as one of ABBA's most popular tracks in the United Kingdom, becoming a Top 40 hit that peaked at the country's number three spot.[2][3]

Lyrically, the track is a sentimental ballad in which the protagonist beseeches women to avoid the deceptively innocent looking gaze of a handsome yet deceitful man, warning them to beware the "game he likes to play".[4] The vocals came from Ulvaeus with Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The main working title for the song was "Katakusom".[citation needed] Over the years, it has appeared in various musical collections such as The Definitive Collection (2001) and The Albums (2008).[5][6]

History[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.

"Angeleyes" has been a part of numerous ABBA compilations over the years. Examples include More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits (1993) and The Definitive Collection (2001), as well as the 1994 four-CD boxed set Thank You for the Music. It also appeared on the group's 1979 'Greatest Hits Volume 2' album.[citation needed]

A planned version of "Angeleyes" in Spanish remains unrecorded.[citation needed]

No promotional video for the track was made. As ABBA had filmed one for "Voulez-Vous", it was this that was used to promote the AA side single.[citation needed]

The "Angeleyes"/"Voulez-Vous" single was the first ABBA single in the UK to feature a picture sleeve,[citation needed] although ABBA had previously issued picture sleeves in other countries. All of Epic's previous ABBA UK single releases were issued in plain company sleeves, which were yellow until 1976 when they changed to orange during a revision of Epic's label design. The single was also issued in several different colours of vinyl, and marked a change in Epic's presentation of their then most profitable act.[citation needed]

Reception and reviews[edit]

The double A-side peaked at number three in the UK.[2] There was some contemporary controversy of this success. Other charts compiled by amongst others Melody Maker, NME and Capital Radio listed the song peaking no higher than No.9 and in most, it failed to reach the top 10. Capital Radio DJ's remarked on air that the 'official' chart position of no.3 was a huge variance from other record keeping.[citation needed]

A notable coincidence occurred in which, at around the same time, the British art rock group Roxy Music released an unrelated song named "Angel Eyes". That track was composed by musicians Bryan Ferry and Andy Mackay. The two songs possess some lyrical similarities although the Roxy Music piece features a bouncier, more upbeat reminiscent of contemporary pop rock; both ended up becoming major UK hits almost contemporaneously.

In the United States, the individual "Angeleyes" single received some interest yet ultimately failed to climb that high in the charts, only scraping into the top 70 in October 1979. "Voulez-Vous" fared more poorly the month before, just making it into the top 80.[3][2] Compared to expectations, the songs' parent album only performed modestly in the US.[3]

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]

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.
  • American alternative rock band The Czars covered the song on their 2006 album Sorry I Made You Cry.
  • 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.[7]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
position
US Cashbox Top 100 Singles 76[8]
US Billboard Hot 100 64[3]

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.allmusic.com/album/the-definitive-collection-mw0000591451
  6. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-albums-mw0000805352
  7. ^ "Abbacadabra – Angeleyes – Almighty Records". Almightyrecords.com. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  8. ^ 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.