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Super Trouper (album)

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Super Trouper
Studio album by
Released3 November 1980
Recorded4 February – 15 October 1980
StudioPolar, Stockholm, Sweden
Length41:53 (Swedish original release)
ABBA chronology
Gracias Por La Música
Super Trouper
The Visitors
Singles from Super Trouper
  1. "The Winner Takes It All"
    Released: 21 July 1980
  2. "On and On and On"
    Released: September 1980
  3. "Super Trouper"
    Released: 3 November 1980
  4. "Happy New Year"
    Released: 15 December 1980
  5. "Andante, Andante"
    Released: February 1981
  6. "Lay All Your Love on Me"
    Released: 3 July 1981

Super Trouper is the seventh studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA, released on 3 November 1980. It features the No.1 singles "The Winner Takes It All" and "Super Trouper". The album became the biggest-selling album of 1980 in the UK.[1]


Led by the international hit "The Winner Takes It All", Super Trouper was the group's sixth chart-topping album in the UK. It was also the best-selling album in Britain for 1980. Super Trouper was first released on CD in 1983 by Polar Music International, in the early 1980s by Polydor, and in the late 1980s by Atlantic Records for the US. The album has been reissued in digitally remastered form four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, again in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set and as a Deluxe Edition (containing a bonus DVD) in 2011.

The previous year's divorce between Björn and Agnetha was explored in "The Winner Takes It All", and the members' lives in Stockholm high society circles coloured the lyrics for "On and On and On". Other well-known songs on the album include the hit single title track "Super Trouper", as well as the electro-dance of "Lay All Your Love on Me".

Probably due to the disco backlash at that time, the album saw ABBA returning to a more straightforward pop sound,[2] as opposed to the preceding (and noticeably more dance-oriented) Voulez-Vous album. The album closed with "The Way Old Friends Do", which was recorded live a year earlier during their 1979 concert tour. Although not released as a single with this album, the song was later released as a single in 1992 to promote the compilation More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits.[3] The song was later covered by The Alexander Brothers, The Kingston Trio, Philomena Begley and Faryl Smith. On some European vinyl issues, the cheering and applause at the end of "The Way Old Friends Do" is recorded up to the run-out groove, playing in an endless loop on manual turntables.

Album cover and title[edit]

Super Trouper is a registered trademark owned by Strong Entertainment Lighting, for their brand of followspots, i.e., directional spotlights used to follow a performer on stage. Album cover designer, Rune Söderqvist, decided to use the spotlight theme and photograph the group, surrounded by circus performers, at Piccadilly Circus, London. After discovering that there was a law preventing any entertainers or animals appearing in central London, they instead invited the members of two local circuses to Europa Film Studios, Stockholm to take the photograph there. Several of ABBA's friends were also invited to take part and the following also appear on the cover: Görel Hanser (vice-president of Polar Music who subsequently married the band's photographer Anders Hanser), Berka Bergkvist (another Polar Music employee), Tomas Ledin, and Anders Anderson (ABBA's manager's son).[4] At the same time, Lasse Hallström also filmed scenes that were eventually used in the videos for "Happy New Year", "Felicidad" and "Super Trouper" even though the latter had not even been composed at the time.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Daily VaultA−[6]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
Smash Hits5/10[10]

The album received favorable reviews from music critics. William Ruhlmann from AllMusic noted that "Super Trouper found ABBA, always trend-conscious, taking account of the passing of disco and returning to the pop/rock sound typical of their early albums" and that it includes "an unusual amount of what sounded like real unhappiness into their pop music".[2]

Douglas Wolk from Blender gave the album four out of five stars and wrote that although it shows some "dark side" of the group like "being sick of show business", the Agnetha and Björn divorce, it has a "lot of joy" like the song "Lay All Your Love On Me".[5]

Christopher Thelen, from The Daily Vault gave the album an A− and wrote that "whatever was happening to the band, internally or externally, they were able to take it and put the best creative spin on it. The result was possibly their best album".[6]

The German counterpart of Rolling Stone magazine and The Rolling Stone Album Guide both gave four out of five stars, while Smash Hits magazine and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music gave the album mixed reviews.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus except where noted.

Side one
1."Super Trouper"4:13
2."The Winner Takes It All"4:55
3."On and On and On"3:41
4."Andante, Andante"4:38
5."Me and I"4:53
Side two
1."Happy New Year"4:26
2."Our Last Summer"4:18
3."The Piper"3:25
4."Lay All Your Love on Me"4:33
5."The Way Old Friends Do" (Recorded live at the Wembley Arena, London, November 1979)2:53
Total length:41:53
1997 CD edition bonus tracks
11."Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"4:53
13."Put on Your White Sombrero"4:34
2001 CD edition bonus tracks
12."Put on Your White Sombrero"4:34
The Complete Studio Recordings bonus tracks
11."Elaine" 3:45
12."Andante, Andante" (Spanish version)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Buddy McCluskey
  • Mary McCluskey
13."Felicidad" (Spanish version of Happy New Year)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
2011 deluxe edition (The Superlative Album) bonus tracks[11]
11."Elaine" 3:45
12."On and On and On" (full length version; stereo mix) 4:15
13."Put on Your White Sombrero" 4:34
14."Andante, Andante" (Spanish version)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
15."Felicidad" (Spanish version of Happy New Year)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
2011 deluxe edition DVD[11]
1."ABBA on German TV" (Show Express, ZDF) 
2."Happy New Year" (SVT) 
3."Words and Music" (documentary) 
4."Somewhere in the Crowd There's You – On Location with ABBA" (Featurette: Making of Super Trouper Album Sleeve) 
5."Super Trouper" (remastered promo clip) 
6."Happy New Year" (remastered promo clip) 
7."Super Trouper TV Commercial I" (UK) 
8."Super Trouper TV Commercial II" (UK) 
9."International Sleeve Gallery" 

Non-album tracks[edit]

  • "Elaine"

A song recorded in 1980 and released as B-side "The Winner Takes It All" single.

  • "Put On Your White Sombrero"

A song based on waltz with a Latin American sound recorded in 1980 with lead vocal by Lyngstad. The track was replaced at a late stage by this album's title track, "Super Trouper". The arrangement of "Put On Your White Sombrero" was later remodelled into a new ABBA song, "Cassandra", which became the B-Side to "The Day Before You Came". The song remained unreleased until 1994.



Additional personnel

  • Ola Brunkert – drums (2-9)
  • Lars Carlsson – horn (3)
  • Rutger Gunnarsson – bass (3-9), guitar
  • Janne Kling – flute (8), saxophone (3)
  • Per Lindvall – drums (1)
  • Janne Schaffer – guitar
  • Åke Sundqvist – percussion
  • Mike Watson – bass (1, 2)
  • Lasse Wellander – guitar
  • Kajtek Wojciechowski – saxophone (3)
  • Producers: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
  • Engineer: Michael B. Tretow
  • Arranger: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
  • Design: Rune Söderqvist
  • Mastering for 1980's USA Atlantic CD version by Zal Schreiber of Atlantic Studios, NYC
  • Remastered for the 1997 Remasters by Jon Astley and Tim Young with Michael B. Tretow
  • Remastered for the 2001 Remasters by Jon Astley with Michael B. Tretow
  • Remastered for the 2005 Complete Studio Recordings Box Set by Henrik Jonsson


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina 170,000[38]
Australia (ARIA)[39] Platinum 50,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[40] Gold 100,000*
Canada 400,000[41]
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[42] Gold 10,000
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[43] Diamond 50,552[43]
France 250,000[44]
Germany (BVMI)[46] 2× Platinum 1,000,000[45]
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[47] Platinum 20,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 219,000[20]
South Africa 50,000[48]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[49] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Platinum 1,250,000[50]
United Kingdom (BPI)[52]
Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[53] Gold 500,000^
Worldwide 8,000,000[54]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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  4. ^ Magnus Palm, C: "Bright Lights, Dark shadows", page 432-433. Omnibus Press, 2001
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  6. ^ a b Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Super Trouper". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
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  10. ^ Hillier, Beverly (27 November – 10 December 1980). "Albums". Smash Hits: 29.
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  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Super Trouper" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
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External links[edit]