Arrival (ABBA album)
|Studio album by ABBA|
|Released||11 October 1976|
|Recorded||4 August 1975 – 18 September 1976|
|Genre||Pop, euro disco|
French edition using the inner sleeve image
|Singles from Arrival|
Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA's most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: "Dancing Queen", "Money, Money, Money" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You". Upon its original 1976 release, "Fernando", released as a single earlier the same year, did not appear on Arrival, but it was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The album was first released on Compact disc in 1984 and then re-issued in digitally remastered form a total of four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set, and again in 2006 (as a special Deluxe Edition).
By the time ABBA began working on their fourth album in August 1975, they had achieved a modest level of success around the world. It was with Arrival however that they would achieve global superstardom to become the biggest name in the music business - a title they would hold for the rest of the decade. The first song to enter the studio was a track called "Boogaloo" on 4 August. Taking inspiration from the current disco sound (and in particular George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby") heavily present in the charts, the backing track was laid down. All four members remember hearing this for the first time and knew that they had something big on their hands, as member Agnetha Faltskog remarked: "We knew immediately it was going to be massive". With re-written lyrics, the song became known as "Dancing Queen", and would go on to be ABBA's biggest ever hit. Work on the song continued intermittently until December as the group's activities were increasing in the latter half of 1975 as they saw a sudden surge in popularity in the United Kingdom and Australia. During this time they also recorded a song for member Annifrid Lyngstad's solo album, "Fernando". Early in the new year, they decided to release it internationally as an ABBA song and with English lyrics the song became the group's next single in March 1976. "Fernando" became ABBA's biggest hit to date - hitting No.1 in many countries, including a 14-week stay at No.1 in Australia. Also around this time their Greatest Hits album was selling in huge amounts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK. In the midst of all this promotion, the group finally found time to return to the studio in late March. The next song they began working on was "Knowing Me, Knowing You", which was to become yet another major hit all over the world. Member Benny Andersson has said that it is "one of our five best recordings".
By the end of April two other songs had been laid down entitled "That's Me" and "Why Did It Have to Be Me". The latter of these then became reworked into "Happy Hawaii" before ultimately arriving back at its original title with completely different lyrics and member Bjorn Ulvaeus on lead as opposed to Faltskog and Lyngstad ("Happy Hawaii" would later be released as a B-side). A similar situation occurred with the next recording when a song called "Money Money Money" became "Gypsy Girl" and then back to its original title. "Money Money Money" would also be released as a single and become a major hit some months after the album's eventual release.
During June, the group were invited by Swedish television to make a TV special dedicated to the group The programme entitled ABBA-dabba-dooo!! was filmed around the same time they were recording a song called "When I Kissed the Teacher", which would become the opening track on their new album. Late July saw the next two tracks "Tiger" and "Dum Dum Diddle" go into the studio. Considered by biographer Carl Magnus Palm as the "complete antithesis" of each other, the former being a hard rocker against the pure pop of the latter, members Lyngstad and Ulvaeus have both expressed dissatisfaction for the latter, with Ulvaeus admitting that it was a nonsense lyric he'd come up with in desperation. The next song to be recorded for the album was a Faltskog lead titled "My Love My Life". Originally titled "Monsieur Monsieur" and more upbeat, the song soon became a lush ballad with backing harmonies inspired by 10cc's hit "I'm Not In Love". It was also around this time "Why Did It Have to Be Me" was completed as well as the album's lead single to be released internationally; "Dancing Queen".
The final track to be recorded was an instrumental song, "Ode to Dalecarlia". Featuring Andersson prominently on keyboards, the song was soon renamed "Arrival" - a word that had already been decided on as the title of their new album. By September 1976 work on the album was finished just as "Dancing Queen" was hitting No.1 all over the world. The album cover shots were taken of the group posing in and out of a helicopter (a Bell 47) at the Barkarby airfield, northwest of Stockholm. The now-renowned "mirrored-B" copyrighted ABBA logo, designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976 — and said to have been inspired by Benny — was also premiered on this album cover. Arrival was released on 11 October 1976.
In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ken Tucker panned Arrival as "Muzak mesmerizing in its modality" and wrote, "By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to matter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression". Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a "C", indicating "a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both."
In a review upon the album's 2001 reissue by Universal Records, Allmusic editor Bruce Eder gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars and found the material "brilliant". He complimented the reissue's "upgraded sound", as well as "those dramatic musical effects that this group played for maximum effect, which gave their music a raw power that their detractors usually overlooked; in the new edition, it's impossible to ignore." In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), music journalist Arion Berger gave Arrival four out of five stars and recommended its Universal reissue to consumers.
The album became a major seller all over the world, becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example. It housed three of ABBA's biggest hits; "Dancing Queen", "Money Money Money" and "Knowing Me Knowing You", and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of "Fernando" (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). "That's Me" was released as a single in Japan only.
The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
|1.||"When I Kissed the Teacher"||3:00|
|2.||"Dancing Queen" (Andersson, Stig Anderson, Ulvaeus)||3:50|
|3.||"My Love, My Life" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus)||3:52|
|4.||"Dum Dum Diddle"||2:50|
|5.||"Knowing Me, Knowing You" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus)||4:02|
|1.||"Money, Money, Money"||3:05|
|2.||"That's Me" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus)||3:15|
|3.||"Why Did It Have to Be Me?"||3:20|
- "Fernando" was released in the original track listing for the Australian and New Zealand version of the original record, after "Why Did It Have to Be Me?" and before "Tiger".
- "When I Kissed the Teacher"
- "Dancing Queen"
- "Dum Dum Diddle"
- "My Love, My Life"
- "Money, Money, Money"
- "That's Me"
- "Why Did It Have to Be Me"
- "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
Arrival was re-released a number of times on Compact disc with varying numbers of bonus tracks, as follows:
- "Fernando" (Andersson, Ulvaeus) – 4:12
- "Happy Hawaii" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus) – 4:25
2005 (as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set)
- "Happy Hawaii"
- "La reina del baile" (Spanish version of "Dancing Queen") (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, Buddy McCluskey, Mary McCluskey) – 4:03
- "Conociéndome, conociéndote" (Spanish version of "Knowing Me, Knowing You") (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey) – 4:04
- "Fernando (Spanish version)" (Andersson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey) – 4:17
2006 Deluxe Edition issue
- "Happy Hawaii"
- "Fernando (Spanish version)"
- "La reina del baile"
- "Conociéndome, conociéndote"
- "Fernando" (Frida's Swedish solo version) - 4:14
- The album also came with a bonus DVD with the following clips:
- ABBA-DABBA-DOOO!! (One-hour television special, SVT)
- "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (filmed song)
- "When I Kissed the Teacher" (filmed song, includes an early mix of the song different from the one of the album)
- "Dum Dum Diddle" (live performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
- "My Love, My Life" (filmed song featuring only Agnetha)
- "Money, Money, Money" (playback performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
- "Dancing Queen" (filmed song)
- "Tiger" (filmed song)
- "Why Did It Have to Be Me" (live performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
- "Dancing Queen" (Musikladen, Radio Bremen)
- "Fernando" (Top of the Pops, BBC), an alternate version with live vocals over prerrecorded sound
- "Happy Hawaii" (Cartoon, Fremantle Media)
- "Dancing Queen" Recording Sessions (Mr. Trendsetter, SVT), includes every bit available of the recording sessions with the "lost verse" of the song.
- ABBA in London, November 1976 (Young Nation, BBC)
- ABBA's 1976 Success – News Report (Rapport, SVT)
- Arrival Television Commercial I (UK)
- Arrival Television Commercial II (UK)
- International Sleeve Gallery
- Benny Andersson – synthesizer, piano, accordion, chimes, keyboards, marimba, vocals
- Agnetha Fältskog – vocals
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad – vocals
- Björn Ulvaeus – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
- Ola Brunkert – drums, strings
- Lars Carlsson – saxophone
- Anders Dahl – strings
- Malando Gassama – percussion, rhythm
- Anders Glenmark – electric guitar
- Rutger Gunnarsson – bass
- Roger Palm – strings, drums
- Janne Schaffer – electric guitar
- Lasse Wellander – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
- Benny Andersson – producer, arranger
- Björn Ulvaeus – producer, arranger
- Michael B. Tretow – engineer
- Sven-Olof Walldoff – arranger
- Rutger Gunnarsson – string arrangements
- Ola Lager – cover design, photography
- Rune Söderqvist – cover design
- Jon Astley – remastering (1997 re-issue and 2001 re-issue)
- Tim Young – remastering (1997 re-issue)
- Michael B. Tretow – remastering (1997 re-issue and 2001 re-issue)
- Henrik Jonsson – remastering (The Complete Studio Recordings box set)
|Japanese Albums Chart||14|
|UK Albums Chart||7|
Sales and certifications
|Australia (ARIA)||18× Platinum||900,000|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|Finland (Musiikkituottajat)||1× Platinum||86,420|
|France (SNEP Charts)||200,000|
|Germany (BVMI)||2× Platinum||1,000,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Gold||10,000*|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||645,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Carl Magnus Palm Arrival deluxe edition, 2006 liner notes
- The Guardian - Benny and Bjorn interview
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