Ring Ring Original recording remastered, Import
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This collection of the earliest ABBA sides didn't see a Stateside release until 1995, and it appears here with three bonus tracks including the Swedish-language version of Ring Ring ! Also here: Disillusion; People Need Love; Nina Pretty Ballerina; Rock 'N' Roll Band , and more. 15 tracks!
Abba's first album, Ring Ring, 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 Springsteen-ian 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. --Rickey Wright
Top Customer Reviews
There are two versions of "Ring Ring" here, the Swedish language version and the English language version, the former which at one time, topped the Swedish charts while its English counterpart, with English lyrics contributed by Neil Sedaka, was at #2 and the album being at #3. (Note: I don't know if it's that way still now, but back then, Sweden's chart was of singles and albums combined.) Both versions though have the infectious pop melodies, harmonies by Agnetha and Frida.
Not all of ABBA's songs were the cheery danceable pop songs like the later "Waterloo" or "Mamma Mia." Bjorn sings lead on the sad farewell of "Another Town, Another Train", while the chirpy mellotron contributes to the melody. "Disillusion," the only song with an Agnetha co-contribution, proved their worth at sad "the love is gone" songs, with only the guitar or keyboards to accompany them. Surprisingly, any expected swirling of strings don't come.
"People Need Love," with a peppy beat and "la la la" that recalls Elton John's "Take Me To The Pilot" features all four on harmonies or trading verses and has some silly yodeling by the ladies at the end.Read more ›
The title track was a hit in several European countries but not the UK, so this album never got a British release on vinyl. That is a pity, because the songs here are of a remarkably high quality. Five of them appeared on the first Greatest hits album - Ring ring, Another town another train, People need love, Nina pretty ballerina and He is your brother - every one of them superb. It might all have been different if Ring ring had been Sweden's entry in the 1973 Eurovision song contest. It came third in the qualifying contest. The Swedish public thought it should have been their entry. Voting rules were changed and Abba won for Sweden a year later with Waterloo.
Benny and Bjorn both started in Swedish folk groups, while Agnetha and Frida were Swedish pop stars, although Frida was actually born in Norway. At the time of its original release in Sweden, the name Abba had not been invented. This album provides a fascinating insight into the early development of the band. Two tracks were actually recorded before Agnetha and Frida came along. She's my kind of girl just features Benny and Bjorn, while People need love has those two plus a female singer who is otherwise unknown to me - Svenska Flicka.
This is a great album for Abba fans to have, but anybody not already familiar with their music should try some of their later albums first - I particularly recommend Arrival, The Album and Super trouper - before worrying about this.
Overall, this is easily the worst of Abba's original albums. The band recorded plecnty of exellent music, but little of it is featured here.
"ring ring" however shows their grasp of the english pop idiom, somewhat amateurish. the same cannot be said of their production techniques - phil spector's legendary "wall of sound" and the beach boy-esque vocal harmonies make for a very interesting mix.
the title track is the first and last song to be co-written by persons outside the group (phil cody and neil sedaka). judging by the staggering success they'd achieve in the following 8 years, it seems they didn't have to get outside help in the first place.
Most recent customer reviews
Ring Ring [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] [EXTRA TRACKS]
~ Abba is their first album and it defenitely shows. It is cheesy, stupid and irreverant. Read more
There is a lot of bubblegum on this album, but even the Beatles started with bubblegum. If you're really into Abba, get this one! If you're not, get something else.Published on May 27 2003