Waterloo (album)

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ABBA - Waterloo (Original Polar LP).jpg
Studio album by
Released4 March 1974 (1974-03-04)
Recorded24 September 1973 – 20 February 1974
StudioMetronome Studios, Stockholm
Length38:10 (original release)
44:47 (reissue 2001)
LanguageEnglish and Swedish
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US original release)
ABBA chronology
Ring Ring
Singles from Waterloo
  1. "Waterloo (Swedish version)"
    Released: 4 March 1974
  2. "Waterloo (English version)"
    Released: 12 March 1974
  3. "Honey, Honey"
    Released: June 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Waterloo is the second studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA, and the first released internationally. It was originally released in Sweden on 4 March 1974 through Polar Music. The album's title track won ABBA the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and became a global hit, launching the group's career.[2]


Recording sessions for Waterloo began on 24 September 1973 with the track "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)". This song was unusual in that it is the only ABBA track not to feature member Benny Andersson on keyboards, but instead featured American pianist John Rabbit Bundrick who was in Sweden at the time.[3] Bundrick, however, was not credited on the album. Three weeks later the next two songs ("Suzy-Hang-Around" and "My Mama Said") went into the studio. A recording sheet from the day credits the artist as "ABBA", the first time the name was ever used in writing, the group until now being called "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid", although their manager Stig Andersson had informally been calling them ABBA with the media for some time. The former of these songs marks the only time Benny Andersson sang lead on a track. 17 October saw the recording of two more tracks; "What About Livingstone" and "Honey Honey" – the latter being the second single released from the album in most countries. "King Kong Song" was recorded on 14 November, a song which members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus today single out as one of their weakest tracks.[3] This was also the date in which it was announced that ABBA were to appear at the Swedish selection for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. From that point, recording sessions speeded up and the rest of the tracks were recorded. Two songs were up for consideration for their Eurovision entry; "Waterloo" and "Hasta Mañana". The group preferred the former but felt the latter was a more safe bet. Ultimately they chose "Waterloo" as it was more the direction they wished to take the group. "Waterloo" and "Watch Out" were recorded on the same day – the songs that made up the lead single and its B-side.[3]

"Waterloo" swept to victory at the Swedish heats and the group represented Sweden in Brighton for the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. ABBA won the contest and "Waterloo" became not only a massive hit in Europe but all over the world (peaking at No.6 in the US for example).[2] In Sweden, the album had already been released and topped the Swedish album charts for 12 weeks, becoming one of the biggest-selling Swedish albums ever to that point. In the UK the album made No.28,[2] the first time a foreign Eurovision act had charted an album and it performed well in the rest of Europe.[3]

Reviews of the album were positive with Phonograph Record's Greg Shaw stating that it "might just turn out to be one of the classic début LPs of the '70s". Rolling Stone also gave the album a favourable review.[3] In a 3-star review, AllMusic said that it was "a beautiful album".

Waterloo was first released on CD in Sweden in 1988; a West German CD release followed in 1990 (later released internationally). The album has been reissued in digitally remastered form three times; first in 1997, then in 2001 and again in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set. It was also released as a special 30th Anniversary edition in 2004, celebrating 30 years of the group's victory in the Eurovision Song Contest. The album was released yet again in 2014 as 40th anniversary edition with bonus tracks and bonus DVD. This version of the album re-entered the UK album charts.[4]

The cover features the sub-title "Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida" although some editions replaced 'Agnetha' with 'Anna' – by which Agnetha Fältskog was known in some countries.[5]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
1."Waterloo" (Swedish version)
2."Sitting in the Palmtree" 3:39
3."King Kong Song" 3:14
4."Hasta Mañana"
  • Andersson
  • Anderson
  • Ulvaeus
5."My Mama Said" 3:14
6."Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)" 3:05
Side two
1."Honey, Honey"
  • Andersson
  • Anderson
  • Ulvaeus
2."Watch Out" 3:46
3."What About Livingstone?" 2:54
4."Gonna Sing You My Lovesong" 3:35
5."Suzy-Hang-Around" 3:11
6."Waterloo" (English version)
  • Andersson
  • Anderson
  • Ulvaeus
Total length:38:10


  • The international LP edition omits the Swedish version of Waterloo and moved the English version to the start of side one.
  • The American LP edition utilises the international tracklisting but added the US remix of "Ring Ring" to the end of side two.
  • The UK LP edition utilises the international tracklisting but added the original English version of "Ring Ring" to the end of side two.
  • The 1990 edition issued by Polydor swapped the tracks "Watch Out" and "What About Livingstone?"
  • The 2001 edition swaps the respective versions of the title track so that the CD begins with the English version.


Additional musicians


  • Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus – producers
  • Michael B. Tretow – engineer
  • Ola Lager – photography
  • Ron Spaulding – original album design
  • Jon Astley; Tim Young; Michael B. Tretow – remastering for the 1997 Remasters
  • Jon Astley; Michael B. Tretow – remastered for the 2001 Remasters
  • Henrik Jonsson – remastering for The Complete Studio Recordings box set


Weekly charts[edit]

Original release
Chart (1974) Peak
Australia Albums (Kent Music Report)[8] 18
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 74
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 38
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[12] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 49
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 28
US Billboard 200[15] 145
40th Anniversary Edition
Chart (2014) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 83
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 59
UK album charts[18] 71


Year Single Chart Position
1974 "Waterloo" UK Singles Chart 1
Norway Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 6
Canada RPM Top 100 7
"Ring Ring (1974 Remix)" UK 32
"Honey, Honey" Billboard Hot 100 27
Billboard Easy Listening (AC) Chart 27
RPM 18


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[19] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[20] Silver 25,000[21]
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[22] Gold 25,035[22]
Germany (BVMI)[23] Platinum 500,000^
Sweden (GLF)[24] Diamond 349,938[19]
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ a b c Rees, Dafydd; Crampton, Luke (1991). Guinness Book of Rock Stars. Enfield: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 0-85112-971-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sleeve notes, Waterloo re-issue, Carl Magnus Palm, 2014
  4. ^ "waterloo | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  5. ^ Abba The Book. Aurum Oress Ltd. 2000. p. 9. ISBN 1-85410-698-8.
  6. ^ "ABBA Omnibus – Songs – Who sings?". www.abbaomnibus.net.
  7. ^ a b c d Scott, Robert (2002) 'ABBA: Thank You for the Music – The Stories Behind Every Song', Carlton Books Limited: Great Britain, p.38
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – ABBA – Waterloo" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – ABBA – Waterloo" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – ABBA – Waterloo". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – ABBA – Waterloo". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – ABBA – Waterloo". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "Abba | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  15. ^ "Abba Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Waterloo" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Waterloo" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  18. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  19. ^ a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (8 September 1979). ABBA The History. Billboard. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Copenhagen Awards". Billboard. 21 December 1974. p. 56.
  21. ^ "Gold/Silver Record Chart". Billboard. 26 December 1974. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Abba" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  23. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (ABBA; 'Waterloo')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Polarization". Billboard. 2 November 1974. p. 50. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  25. ^ "British album certifications – ABBA – Waterloo". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 May 2014. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Waterloo in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]