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December 9, 2016

Abba – The Visitors (1981) – Lp

by Record Facts

ABBA (stylised ᗅᗺᗷᗅ; Swedish pronunciation: are a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982.

abba-the-visitors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Abba
Title:  The Visitors
Year:  1981
Format:  LP
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog# 2311122

The Visitors is the eighth and final studio album by Swedish pop group ABBA, released on 30 November 1981.
With The Visitors, ABBA took several steps away from the “lighter” pop music they had recorded previously and the album is often regarded as a more complex and mature effort. The opening track, “The Visitors“, with its ominous synthesizer sounds and the distinctive lead vocal by Frida, announced a change in musical style. With Benny and Frida going their separate ways, the pain of splitting up was explored yet again in “When All Is Said and Done“. The major hit single on the album, “One of Us” also depicted the end of a love story. Elsewhere there were current Cold War themes—highly topical at the time—and further songs of isolation and regret.

ABBA‘s final album was recorded during a period of major personal shakeups, principally in the decision by Benny Andersson and Frida to follow the same route to divorce that had already been taken by Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog. Both male members of the group would soon remarry, but at the time, despite all of these changes in their circumstances, The Visitors was never intended as ABBA‘s swan song — they were to go on recording together. That may explain why, rather than a threadbare, thrown-together feel, The Visitors is a beautifully made, very sophisticated album, filled with serious but never downbeat songs, all beautifully sung and showing off some of the bold songwriting efforts. The title track is a topical song about Soviet dissidents that also manages to be very catchy, while “I Let the Music Speak” sounds like a Broadway number (and a very good one, at that) in search of a musical to be part of, and “When All Is Said and Done” is a serious, achingly beautiful ballad with a lot to say about their personal situations — even “Two for the Price of One,” a lighthearted song sung by Björn Ulvaeus about answering a personal advertisement, offered several catchy hooks and beautiful backup singing. “Like an Angel Passing Through My Room” ended the original album on a hauntingly ethereal note, but not as any kind of larger statement about the quartet’s fate.

 

Side one
1.  The Visitors   (5:49)
2.  Head Over Heels   (3:45)
3.  When All Is Said And Done   (3:20)
4.  Soldiers   (4:38)

Side two
1.  I Let The Music Speak   (5:20)
2.  One Of Us  (3:55)
3.  Two For The Price Of One   (3:36)
4.  Slipping Through My Fingers   (3:51)
5.  Like An Angel Passing Through My Room   (3:25)

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