Voulez-Vous (song)

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"Voulez-Vous"
VoulezVous.jpg
Single by ABBA
from the album Voulez-Vous
B-side"Angeleyes"
Released1979
Studio
GenreDisco[1][2]
Length
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Does Your Mother Know"
(1979)
"Voulez-Vous"
(1979)
"Angeleyes"
(1979)
Music video
"Voulez-Vous" on YouTube
12-inch disco single
Voulez-Vous - 12 in.jpg

"Voulez-Vous" (pronounced [vule vu] voo-lay-voo; French for "Do you want?") is a 1979 song by the Swedish group ABBA, written and composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad shared the lead vocals.

The song is the second track on the group's 1979 album of the same name. In the UK and Ireland, "Voulez-Vous" was released as a double A-side, though nearly everywhere else, "Voulez-Vous" was a single A-side. The double A side single is, as of September 2021, ABBA's 13th-biggest song in the UK, including both pure sales and digital streams.[3]

The song also features on the album Gold: Greatest Hits, first as a 4:21 edited version when the compilation was first released in 1992 and then in its full 5:09 version from 1999 onwards. "Angeleyes" is featured on the More Gold: More Hits compilation. "Voulez-Vous" was re-released as a single in 1992 to promote Gold: Greatest Hits.

"Voulez-Vous" is also the only ABBA song to have been officially released as an extended dance remix – albeit only as a promo. The 6:07 version of the track, released as a double A-side 12-inch single by Atlantic Records in the United States in 1979, was included as a bonus track on the 2001 compilation The Definitive Collection.

A songwriting trip to the Bahamas saw the birth of this melody, and the proximity to Miami made it convenient to record the backing track at Criteria Studios with members of the disco group Foxy. Criteria Studios is where the Bee Gees made their disco-era records. "Voulez-Vous" is the only ABBA song (other than live recordings) to be recorded outside of Sweden.

Reception[edit]

Billboard described Voulez-Vous as one of ABBA's "most dynamic tracks", stating that it contains "almost Russian sounding musical accents".[4] Cash Box said the song was "a return to shimmering Euro-pop with a chirpy disco beat and bright horns," and praised the vocal performance.[5]

Compared to ABBA's hits both before and after, "Voulez-Vous" was not a major hit for the group. It did top the charts in Belgium, while reaching the Top 3 in Great Britain, Ireland and The Netherlands. It also peaked at No. 9 in France, Spain and Switzerland.

Track listings[edit]

  • 7-inch vinyl[6]
A: "Voulez-Vous"
B: "Angeleyes"
  • 12-inch vinyl[6]
A: "Voulez-Vous"
B: "Does Your Mother Know"
  • 1992 CD re-issue[6]
  1. "Voulez Vous"
  2. "Summer Night City"

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
France 100,000[25]
Portugal 9,500[26]
United Kingdom (BPI)[27]
digital sales since 2004
Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Live performances and appearances in other media[edit]

"Voulez-Vous" is one of the numbers performed in the Mamma Mia! musical.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Voulez-Vous – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. ^ Tobler, John (2011). Abba – Uncensored on the Record. Coda Books Ltd. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-90853-823-9.
  3. ^ Copsey, Rob (2 September 2021). "ABBA's Official Top 20 biggest songs". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Billboard's Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 18 August 1979. p. 67. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Singles Reviews > Feature Picks" (PDF). Cash Box. Vol. XLI, no. 14. 18 August 1979. p. 20. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Oldham, Andrew Loog; Calder, Tony; Irwin, Colin (1995). ABBA: The Name of the Game. Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 224.
  7. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  8. ^ "ABBA – Voulez-vous" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4725b." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Voulez Vous". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 32, 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  13. ^ "ABBA – Voulez-vous" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  14. ^ "ABBA – Voulez-vous". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  16. ^ "ABBA – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 11.
  18. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending SEPTEMBER 8, 1979". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Record World Singles" (PDF). Record World. 13 October 1979. p. 25. ISSN 0034-1622. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – ABBA – Voulez-vous". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1979" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1979" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1979" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  24. ^ Music Week. January 1980. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Fabrice Ferment (ed.). "TOP 45 Tours – 1979". 40 ans de tubes : 1960–2000 : les meilleures ventes de 45 tours & CD singles (in French). OCLC 469523661. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2022 – via Top-France.fr.
  26. ^ Tenente, Fernando (8 September 1979). "ABBA the World > Portugal". Billboard. Vol. 91, no. 36. p. ABBA-30. ISSN 0006-2510.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – ABBA – Voulez-Vous". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 October 2020.