Eagle (song)

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Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA: The Album
B-side "Thank You for the Music"
Released May 1978
Format Single
Recorded 1 June 1977
at Marcus Music Studio
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 5:51 (Album version)
4:25 (Single version)
3:33 (Radio edit)
Label Polar Music
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Take a Chance on Me"
"Summer Night City"
Music video
"Eagle" on YouTube

The song "Eagle" was recorded in 1977 by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was the first track on the group's fifth album, ABBA: The Album and the longest track they ever recorded (at 5:51, 1 second longer than "The Day Before You Came" at 5:50). This was the third and last official single from ABBA: The Album, and was released only in a limited number of territories with "Thank You for the Music" as the B-side. The song was not released as a single in the UK or US.


"Eagle" was written and composed by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, with Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sharing the lead vocals. The recording, which commenced on 1 June 1977, had the working titles of "High, High" and "The Eagle". Lyricist Ulvaeus was inspired by Richard Bach's novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull when he wrote the lyrics for this song.[citation needed] In later years, music critics have hailed "Eagle" as one of ABBA's more outstanding tracks in terms of lyrics.


"Eagle" was not a major success on the charts. One reason was that the song was already available on The Album, another was the limited release only in countries like Australia, Austria, Belgium (where it did top the charts), France, West Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland. To make the song more radio-friendly it was heavily edited down from 5:51 to 4:25 by omitting an instrumental break and the 3rd chorus. Australia and France even got an edit from the edit, with the song fading shortly after the 2nd chorus making it last just 3:33, 2:18 shorter than the album version. It was released then withdrawn as a single in the US [1]

The single was released in May 1978 to fill the gap between the previous single, "Take a Chance on Me" and the next, a completely new track, eventually called "Summer Night City". The B-side of "Eagle", "Thank You for the Music", was later released as a single outright in a few countries after the group had disbanded, namely in the UK, where "Eagle" had not been released as a single.

Music video[edit]

The single was promoted with a music video directed by Lasse Hallström, while an earlier, much more interesting video in terms of special effects was included as a part of ABBA: The Movie.

1999 re-edit[edit]

The original 4:25 single edit was issued on CD for the first time in 1993 on the compilation More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits. However, for the 1999 re-release of this album, plus subsequent releases, a new version based on the 1978 edit was created. Unfortunately this edit missed out a vital instrumental-only section at the end of the second chorus prior to the closing instrumental, thereby sounding disjointed. The original edit (or at least an exact re-creation of it) was finally issued again on the deluxe version of ABBA: The Album in 2007.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Position
Australian Singles Chart 82
Austrian Singles Chart 17
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Singles Chart 4
French Singles Chart 36
German Singles Chart 6
South Africa 2
Swiss Singles Chart 7

Cover versions[edit]

  • Swedish ragga/dancehall artist Papa Dee recorded a cover of the song for the 1992 compilation ABBA: The Tribute.
  • English punk rock band Leatherface released a cover of the song as a single in 1992.
  • The song was covered by ABBA tribute pop group Arrival on their 1999 album First Flight.
  • Christian heavy metal musician Rob Rock recorded a rendition of the song for his 2000 album Rage of Creation.
  • The song was covered by German heavy metal band Sargant Fury on their 1993 album Little Fish & also included on the 2001 tribute album ABBAMetal (also released as A Tribute to ABBA).
  • Finnish rock band YUP included a cover of the song as a hidden track on their 2001 greatest hits compilation Hajota ja hallitse 1993–2001.
  • Almighty Records released a dance version of the song by Abbacadabra in the late 1990s. It was most recently included on the 2008 compilation We Love ABBA: The Mamma Mia Dance Compilation. Audio samples can be heard on the official Almighty Records website.[2]
  • Swedish heavy metal band BlackMountain Projects recorded a cover of the song. An audio sample can be heard on their official MySpace page.[3]
  • British ABBA heavy metal tribute group Abbatoir recorded a cover of the song. An audio sample can be found on their official MySpace page.[4]
  • American Indie-Gospel band Danielson recorded a cover version on their 2009 7 inch single, Moment Soakers.[5]

Appearances in other media[edit]


External links[edit]