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Abba - Ring Ring Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Rickey Wright

Not issued in the U.S. until an early-'90s rerelease program, Abba's first album points toward the world-dominating pop of their later years. While the title cut has some vroom, others call for fine-tuning. The New Seekers-style anthem "People Need Love" offers the bizarre insistence that "People need love to make a good living"--at what?--and "Nina Pretty Ballerina" could be a pop song for toddlers. Not a bad thing, but not quite "Dancing Queen." And no, "Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother" isn't a Springsteenian saga of felonious misadventure, but a jingling remembrance of playground days. The 24-bit remastered sound of this edition (which includes a Swedish version of "Ring Ring" among its three bonus tracks) does suggest the care Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were already taking with production. Their discs, however, would soon achieve the truly Abba-esque.

By Everett True

ABBA was originally called Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida--the name with which the title track of this, their 1973 debut album, was entered into the Swedish heat of the Eurovision Song Contest. The tune didn't get picked, but the resultant public outcry was such that ABBA's future was assured. Both Bjorn and Benny had already been Swedish rock icons in the '60s--Benny, most notably, in the Hep Stars, better known as "the Swedish Beatles," while Bjorn sang in a folk-rock combo. Anni-Frid, meanwhile, had won several national talent contests and Agnetha had topped the Swedish singles chart by the age of 18. Ring Ring, although lightweight, does contain some poignant rumblings of albums to come. Mostly, though, it is along the lines of the winsome "She's My Kind of Girl" and fun-time "Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother"--music that reflected the group's past, not its future.

Tracks
1. Ring Ring9. He Is Your Brother
2. Another Town, Another Train10. She's My Kind of Girl
3. Disillusion11. I Am Just a Girl
4. People Need Love12. Rock'n'roll Band
5. I Saw It in the Mirror13. Merry-Go-Round [*]
6. Nina Pretty Ballerina14. Santa Rosa [*]
7. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)15. Ring Ring [In Swedish] [*] [*]
8. Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother

 

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MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Abba

Released: July 2, 1973

Availability: CD, Vinyl

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