One of Us (ABBA song)

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"One of Us"
ABBA - One of Us.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album The Visitors
B-side"Should I Laugh or Cry"
Released7 December 1981 (Sweden)
4 December 1981 (UK)[1]
February 1983 (US)
Format7" single
Recorded21 October 1981
at Polar Music Studios
GenrePop, europop
LabelPolar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Producer(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Lay All Your Love On Me"
"One of Us"
"When All Is Said And Done"
Music video
"One Of Us" on YouTube

"One of Us" ("En av oss" in Swedish) is the first single from Swedish pop group ABBA's final studio album The Visitors, their eighth for Polar, and their seventh for Epic and Atlantic. It was released in December 1981. The song is also included on the compilation albums Gold: Greatest Hits and Number Ones.


"One of Us"—which had the working titles "Number 1" and "Mio Amore"—was one of the last songs recorded for ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors, and features a lead vocal by Agnetha Fältskog. It was one of a number of tracks that explored the darker territory of Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson's songwriting, as the two men's divorces were beginning to influence their musical output. Indeed, the message of the song was about a woman trying to revive a relationship she had ended. Despite misgivings on the part of manager Stig Anderson, and its somewhat depressing lyric, "One of Us" was released as the first single from The Visitors, coupled with the non-album track "Should I Laugh or Cry". Ulvaeus had favored releasing it as the first single from the new album and the majority of the record companies agreed with him; it proved a wise move as it would become ABBA's final No. 1 single of their career. The decision to release "One of Us" as a single was made so late that it did not become available in Swedish shops until after The Visitors had been released.

In the United Kingdom, "One of Us" was issued in a different sleeve. Whereas the sleeve used in most countries repeated the album cover photo, Epic Records wanted a different image for the British release, and used separate photos of the group members together with a large ABBA logo. Agnetha and Frida appeared on the front cover, with Björn and Benny on the back. The photos were actually out-of-date, as Frida was depicted still with her frizzy perm, while Björn was beardless. A limited-edition picture disc using very similar artwork was also issued.

The B-side, "Should I Laugh or Cry", included a spoken count-in (in Swedish) from Benny. This count-in appeared on the British and South African releases, but not internationally. The master tapes supplied to Epic contained the error, but were not picked up in time, and so appeared on the single release. In the early 2000s, Epic's rights to ABBA's music in the UK had long since expired; however they still owned all the UK master tapes for the singles. These were then returned to Polar Music (itself owned by Universal Music) in Stockholm, who later issued the error count-in version as a "rarity" on The Complete Studio Recordings box-set, thereby making it available to a worldwide audience (and on CD for the first time). This count-in version is also available on the special "Deluxe Edition" of The Visitors (released on 23 April 2012).


"One of Us" was the first official single release in which both couples within the band had divorced. It would become ABBA's last major hit, and the last No. 1 single of their career. It topped the charts in Belgium, Germany, Ireland[2] and the Netherlands, and was also ABBA's 13th and final No. 1 on the Eurochart. "One of Us" proved a successful hit in Austria, France, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland, reaching the Top 10 in all of these countries.

In the United Kingdom, "One of Us" debuted at No. 11 on the singles chart on 12 December 1981 and peaked at No. 3 the following week, where it stayed for three weeks; it remained in the chart for 10 weeks. Upon exiting the Top 10 of the chart on 16 January 1982,[3] "One of Us" would become ABBA's final appearance in the UK Top 10 to date.[4]

"One of Us" was not released as a single in the United States until February 1983, and proved to be ABBA's worst-ever performing charting song in that territory, reaching a high of No. 107,[5] though it should be pointed out this came more than a year after its release elsewhere and ABBA had disbanded by that time.

Music video[edit]

In November 1981, a music video for "One of Us" was filmed, directed by Lasse Hallström.[6] It sees Agnetha Fältskog playing a woman who is moving into a new house, presumably after a divorce or break-up with her partner, in reflection of the lyrics. This is interspersed with individual shots of the ABBA members in a studio standing against a wall of mirrors.


  • Agnetha Fältskog - lead vocals
  • Anni-Frid Lyngstad – backing vocals
  • Björn Ulvaeus – guitar
  • The Three Boys - mandolins
  • Benny Andersson – keyboards, synthesizer

Chart performance[edit]

Pandora's version[edit]

"One of Us"
One of Us by Pandora.jpg
Single by Pandora
from the album Tell the World
ReleasedJune 1995
FormatCD Single
CD Maxi
LabelVirgin Records
Songwriter(s)Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
  • Huma
  • Peka P.
  • Martin Ankelius
Pandora singles chronology
"The Naked Sun"
"One of Us"
"A Little Bit"

In June 1995 Swedish eurodance singer Pandora released a cover version of the song. The track was included on the Japanese edition of her second studio album Tell the World (1995). The song peaked at No. 13 in Sweden, but did reach the top spot in neighbouring Finland.

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]

A-Teens version[edit]

The A-Teens released a version on their debut album The ABBA Generation in 1999.

As an attempt to promote the A-Teens a bit more, Universal Music Group released a one-track promo single of "One of Us" on radio in late 1999. The song was promoted in Scandinavia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Japan.

A special music video was filmed for a TV special in Sweden. It was not used as an official video. It shows parts of shows in Sweden and behind-the-scenes footage of the band having fun, waiting in a room at Stockholm Records' building.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again version[edit]

"One Of Us" 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 Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) and Dominic Cooper (Sky) and it was produced by Benny Andersson.


Chart (2018) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[17] 60

Cher version[edit]

"One of Us"
Cher - One of Us - Single.png
Single by Cher
from the album Dancing Queen
Released21 September 2018
LabelWarner Bros.
Producer(s)Mark Taylor
Cher singles chronology
"One of Us"
Music video
"One of Us" on YouTube

"One of Us" was chosen as the third and final single from Cher's 2018 ABBA tribute album Dancing Queen, released by Warner Bros. Records on 28 September 2018.[18] The track was digitally released on 21 September 2018, at each country's individual midnight time.

Critical reception[edit]

Marc Snetiker from Entertainment Weekly gave the album a favourable review, calling it Cher's "most significant release since 1998’s Believe" and saying that "the album ender, 'One of Us,' is frankly one of Cher’s best recordings in years."[19] Billboard also noted that "while the original song is filled with funky melodies and rhythms to mix up the depressing lyrics, Cher trades them in for a piano and a few violins, making the already-melancholy song a bonafide heart-wrencher." Writing for Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos felt that "“One of Us” in particular sees the biggest musical shift of any of the songs; the original is a breezy, tropical, mid-tempo pop moment that almost disguises the sadness of the lyrics. But that sadness can never hide from Cher, who strips it down to strings, piano and vocals, making sure you can feel every bit of the ego-shedding on the track."[20]

Music video[edit]

On the same day as its release, an animated video of a blue vinyl's B-side playing along with the song was released on Cher's YouTube channel. The vinyl represents the Dancing Queen album while the B-side contains the songs "Mamma Mia", "Chiquitita", "Fernando", "The Winner Takes It All" and "One of Us".[21]

Live performances[edit]

Cher tweeted that after one of the shows of her Here We Go Again Tour she went into empty arena and sang "One of Us", claiming that it was "not ready....but it was pretty good" and that she was "working on it".[22]

Track listings and formats[edit]

Digital download[edit]

  • "One of Us" – 3:53

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Dancing Queen adapted from AllMusic.[23]


  • Published by Universal Songs of PolyGramInt., Inc. (ASCAP) and EMI Waterford Music Inc. (ASCAP)
  • Recorded by Mark Taylor and Paul Meehan at Metrophonic Studios, London
  • Mixed at by Matt Furmidge and Mark Taylor at Metrophonic Studios, London
  • Mastered by Sthephen Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, CA


  • Cher – primary vocals
  • Benny Andersson – songwriter
  • Björn Ulvaeus – songwriter
  • Ash Soan – drums
  • Adam Phillips – guitars
  • Hayley Sanderson – backing vocals
  • Andy Caine – backing vocals

Other cover versions[edit]

  • In 1982 schlager singer Marianne Rosenberg recorded the song, with lyrics in German, as "Ich Sah Deine Tränen". This version peaked at No. 66 on the singles chart in the former West Germany that year.
  • In 1989 Véronique Béliveau covered it on her album Veronique.
  • In 1993 French pianist Richard Clayderman recorded an instrumental version, together with 14 other ABBA songs, for his album Richard Clayderman Plays ABBA.
  • In 1996 British singer Hazell Dean recorded a cover of this song for her tribute album The Winner Takes It All: Hazell Dean Sings ABBA.
  • In 1997 the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus recorded a cover of the song for their album ExtrABBAganza!.
  • In 1998 German Dune recorded a slow, orchestral version of the song for their album Forever and Ever with The London Session Orchestra. Their version featured singer Tina Lacebal on vocals.
  • In 1999 a version by British pop duo Go West was included on the album ABBA: A Tribute – The 25th Anniversary Celebration.
  • In 2001 the compilation ABBAMetal (also released as A Tribute to ABBA) featured a rendition by German gothic metal band Flowing Tears.
  • In 2001 Spanish singer-songwriter Javier Álvarez included an English language rendition of the song on his album Grandes éxitos.
  • In 2001 a dance cover of the song by Donna Burke was included on the Japanese import ABBA Ibiza Caliente Mix compilation.
  • In 2002 Da Buzz, a Swedish eurodance/pop group, included a cover of the song as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of their album Wanna Be With Me. Their version slightly reworks the melody of the song, but keeps the original lyrics intact.
  • In 2004 the German ABBA Mania album included a cover of the song by pop group US5.
  • In 2006 a cover of the song by Finnish a cappella choral ensemble Rajaton was released on their ABBA tribute album Rajaton Sings ABBA With Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
  • In 2007 Pandora released a remixed version, credited to United DJ's vs. Pandora. It was included on her album Celebration. (2007)
  • In 2008 Scottish singer Julienne Taylor covered it on her album Time For Love.
  • The song is performed in the stage musical Mamma Mia! by the character Donna. It was one of the songs omitted from the 2008 film adaptation, as well as from its soundtrack, but was included in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Other uses[edit]


  1. ^ "search ABBA, release date and certification". BPI. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  2. ^ Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  3. ^ Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  4. ^ Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1998). Bubbling Under Singles & Albums. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 15. ISBN 0-89820-128-4.
  6. ^ ABBAsite - How the videos were made
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 2, 1982" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  8. ^ " – ABBA – One of Us" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  9. ^ The Irish Charts, 6 December 1981
  10. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 16 March 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 11.
  12. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1981" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  15. ^ " – Pandora – One of Us". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1995" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Snetiker, Marc (28 September 2018). "Cher sends ABBA into disco bliss on Dancing Queen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Review: Cher Lovingly Updates ABBA's Hits on 'Dancing Queen'". Rolling Stone. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  21. ^ Daw, Stephen (21 September 2018). "Cher Gets the Tears Flowing With Sentimental Cover of ABBA's 'One of Us:' Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Cher on Twitter". Twitter. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Dancing Queen - Cher".

External links[edit]