Gracias Por La Música

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Gracias Por La Música
Compilation album by
Released5 April 1980 (Spain)
10 May 1980 (Argentina)
23 June 1980 (Sweden)
21 July 1980 (Japan)
RecordedMarch 1979, August 1979, & January 1980
2014 deluxe edition additions: July 1973, October 1980, November 1981
StudioMetronome Studios, Stockholm
Mike's Studio, Sollentuna
Polar Studios, Stockholm
GenrePop
Length43:00
LabelSeptima (Scandinavia)
RCA Victor
Producer
ABBA chronology
Greatest Hits Vol. 2
(1979)
Gracias Por La Música
(1980)
Super Trouper
(1980)

Gracias Por La Música is a Spanish-language album by Swedish pop group ABBA, released in Spain on 5 April 1980 and Latin America on May 10. Gracias Por La Música was originally released due to the unexpected surge in popularity for the group in Latin American countries such as Mexico and Argentina after the release of the Spanish-language versions of "Chiquitita" and "I Have a Dream" in 1979. These tracks were both released as singles and went on to become big hits. Encouraged by this success, the band therefore decided to record another eight tracks in Spanish and release a full-length album especially for the Latin American market. The album was also released in ABBA's native Sweden on June 23, and in Japan on July 21 after ABBA played eleven successful concerts earlier in March.

Background and production[edit]

In 1978, the couple Buddy and Mary McCluskey (working for CBS Records at the time), met Stig Anderson, ABBA's manager by chance at a convention in Miami, Florida. According to the McCluskeys,[1] after ABBA performed "Chiquitita" at the Music for UNICEF Concert in January 1979, Buddy McCluskey called Anderson to encourage him to allow ABBA to record the song in Spanish. Anderson agreed and the McCluskeys wrote the Spanish lyrics in Pinamar, Argentina.[1] The following day, they flew to Stockholm to aid the recording of the song at Polar Studios.[1] The song was released in Spanish-speaking countries to great success. In September 1979, the McCluskeys encouraged ABBA to record "I Have a Dream" in Spanish as "Estoy Soñando";[1] the song was recorded on 30 August 1979 at Metronome Studio in Stockholm.[2] The success of the Spanish versions of "Chiquitita" and "Estoy Soñando" in Latin America led to the decision to record further ABBA songs in Spanish to create a full-length Spanish language album. According to the McCluskeys, they selected the songs to be translated into Spanish and completed the translations during the latter half of 1979.[1] An interview the McCluskeys gave in 2010 suggests that Ulvaeus advised the McCluskeys on at least one occasion as they struggled to translate the title words of "Thank You for the Music" into phrasing that would fit the song's melody, that the phrasing should be translated in order to "respect the music" rather than retaining the original phrasing entirely.[1] The phrasing was thus translated to "quire dar las gracias a las canciones" [I want to thank the songs].[1] The album's title is the literal Spanish translation of the song's title.

Recording sessions for the eight new Spanish tracks took place in January 1980 at Stockholm's Polar Music studios. Swedish/Spanish journalist Ana Martinez del Valle assisted Lead vocalists Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad with pronunciation.[3] The McCluskeys also provided phonetic lyric sheets.[1] As Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were in Barbados writing songs for the upcoming album Super Trouper,[4] production responsibilities were left to the group's sound engineer Michael B. Tretow, who recorded the new Spanish vocal overdubs onto existing backing tracks at his home studio (named "Mike's Studio" in the album liner notes).[3]

The absence of Andersson and Ulvaeus is most apparent on "Al Andar" (the Spanish version of "Move On") where the original opening speech from Ulvaeus was replaced by a more conventional opening verse sung by Agnetha.[5] Meanwhile, some of Tretow's new Spanish mixes were significantly different from their English counterparts, reflecting his own personal preferences regarding the handling of drum sounds as well as the significant time gap between the two versions, with some tracks being revisited up to six years after their original completion. According to ABBA historian Carl Magnus Palm, the recording of "Dancing Queen" (as "Reina danzante") is the most different sounding to the original version due to new piano overdubbing probably recorded by Andersson on return from Barbados at Polar Music Studio in Stockholm.[3] Andersson claims to have listened to Gracias Por La Música only once, to approve the album once it was completed.[6]

The songs included on the 2014 deluxe edition release were recorded in October 1980 ("Andante, Andante", "Felicidad"), for inclusion on for inclusion on the Spanish and Latin American versions of Super Trouper[7] and in November 1981 ("No hay a quien culpar", "Se me está escapando"), for inclusion on the Spanish and Latin American versions of The Visitors.[8] The Spanish version of the song "Ring Ring" had been recorded in July 1973, with Spanish lyrics by Doris Band; this recording was however first released in 1994 for the compilation album ABBA Más Oro: Más ABBA Exitos.[9]

Releases and commercial reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic[10]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[11]

Gracias Por La Música saw numerous CD issues in the 1980s including releases in Japan in 1986 (on Polydor), Spain in 1989 (on RCA), and a rare CBS Records issue of an unknown date. The album was deleted in most territories after the compilation CD ABBA Oro: Grandes Exitos, which contained the ten tracks of Gracias Por La Música, was released in 1992, rendering this album obsolete. However, the original version of the album continued to be available in Japan and Argentina until the late 1990s.

Gracias Por La Música was certified Platinum in Spain, and stayed on the Spanish Album charts for twenty-one weeks.[12]

A two-disc CD/DVD deluxe edition release of the album was released worldwide on 10 November 2014. The Yorkshire Evening Post described the performances on the deluxe version of the album as "uniformly immaculate".[13] Classic Pop magazine described the album as "less of a throwaway and more of a collectable remix album."[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus with Spanish lyrics by Buddy & Mary McCluskey except where noted.

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Gracias por la Música" ("Thank You for the Music") 3:48
2."Reina Danzante" ("Dancing Queen")Andersson, Stig Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey4:02
3."Al Andar" ("Move On")Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey4:44
4."¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!" ("Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)") 4:45
5."Fernando" (Spanish version)Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey4:15
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Estoy Soñando" ("I Have a Dream") 4:44
2."Mamma Mia" (Spanish version)Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey3:32
3."Hasta Mañana" (Spanish version)Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey3:05
4."Conociéndome, Conociéndote" ("Knowing Me, Knowing You")Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey4:02
5."Chiquitita" (Spanish version) 5:26

2014 re-release bonus tracks

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Ring Ring" (Spanish version)Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, Doris Band3:00
12."Andante, Andante" (Spanish version) 4:39
13."Felicidad" ("Happy New Year") 4:24
14."No Hay a Quien Culpar" ("When All Is Said and Done") 3:13
15."Se Me Está Escapando" ("Slipping Through My Fingers") 3:52
2014 re-release bonus DVD
  1. "Chiquitita" (300 millones, TVE)
  2. "Chiquitita" (Aplauso, TVE)
  3. "Estoy Soñando" (Promo Clip)
  4. ABBA on Spanish TV (Especial Aplauso 100, TVE)
    1. "Conociéndome, Conociéndote" (Promo Clip)
    2. "Gracias por la Música" (Promo Clip)
    3. "¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!"
  5. "Felicidad" (Promo Clip)
  6. "No Hay a Quien Culpar" (Promo Clip)
  7. International Sleeve Gallery
  • All songs in Spanish translation by Buddy and Mary McCluskey, except where noted.
  • The Spanish version of "Dancing Queen" was originally titled "Reina Danzante", but was retitled "La Reina del Baile" for the 1993 ABBA Oro CD release.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
position
Argentinian Albums (CAPIF)[15] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[16] 28
Japanese Albums 26
Spanish Albums (AFE)[12] 2
2014 deluxe edition
Chart (2014) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[17] 106
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[18] 47

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[12] Platinum 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Smirnov, Oscar Alejo (29 August 2010). The Spanish lyrics. Official International ABBA Fan Club Magazine (100 ed.). Roosendaal, The Netherlands: Official International ABBA Fan Club.
  2. ^ Palm, p. 342
  3. ^ a b c Palm 2017, p. 349
  4. ^ "In Focus: The Making Of Super Trouper". ABBA. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2023-07-02.
  5. ^ Palm 2017, p. 350
  6. ^ Palm 2017, p. 365
  7. ^ Palm 2017, p. 373
  8. ^ Palm 2017, p. 399
  9. ^ Palm 2017, p. 82-83
  10. ^ "Gracias Por la Musica ABBA". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th Concise ed.). United Kingdom: Omnibus Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-84609-856-7.
  12. ^ a b c Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  13. ^ "Albums round up: Kings & Queens of the Underground by Billy Idol; Queen Forever by Queen; Big Music by Simple Minds; Gracias Por La Musica by Abba". Yorkshire Evening Post. Johnston Publishing Ltd. 21 November 2014. Archived from the original on 21 November 2014.
  14. ^ "ABBA Gracias por la musica Universal". Classic Pop (December/January 2014-2015). Anthem Publishing. Bath, UK.
  15. ^ "Cash Box - International Best Sellers" (PDF). Cashbox. 14 June 1980. p. 72. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  16. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "ABBA". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 8. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Gracias Por La Música" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – ABBA – Gracias Por La Música". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2022.

References[edit]

  • Palm, Carl Magnus (2017). ABBA: The Complete Recording Sessions (2nd Revised and Expanded ed.). United Kingdom: CPI Group. ISBN 978-91-639-2656-3.