TITLE: Ring, Ring
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: Not in the US or UK
SINGLES: At least nine tracks were singles in some country or another – no hits in the US or UK at the time.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The title track has made it to a couple of compilations.
LINEUP: Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: What started out as sessions designed to help Benny & Bjorn’s songwriting and producing career morphed into a group, and an album proper, when Ring Ring and a couple of earlier singles became hits in Scandanavia.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s true that these four never set out to become a group. They had a lot of projects going on and Bjorn and Benny invited their wives to sing on their productions (they had their own careers). The songs trickled out, were hits, and then when Ring Ring became a European hit their manager said, “let’s make an album”. And so they did. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for the album itself, it’s produced nicely, though it sounds a little less polished and ornate as ABBA albums would become. Many of the songs have earworm choruses but the actual songs themselves weren’t that great and hearing Benny or Bjorn sing lead on so many is odd. They did cobble this one together, though.
There’s just a couple of songs that I’ll keep around. The rest are fillers, even if they were singles in other countries.
NOTES & MINUTAE: The singles and the album were released as Bjorn and Benny with Agnetha and Anni-Frid (or some variation) as the name ABBA didn’t get coined until after the album came out..
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. A couple of them exist, with B-sides, Swedish songs and a song in German, if you care.
GRADE: C: ABBA junkies will eat it up – well most of it. The rest of us can pass.
EXILED for the most part.