25th May – The Number One Album In The UK – 1979 (ABBA – Voulez-Vous)

ABBA_-_Voulez_Vous album

The Number One Album in the UK on the 25th May, 1979 was the sixth studio longplayer from Swedish pop group ABBA – Voulez-Vous.

Formed in Stockholm in 1972, ABBA comprised of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad; the name is an acronym of the initial letters of the band members’ first names (Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid).

ABBA topped the charts worldwide – the band resonated with Australian audiences to such an extent that the Arrival album went 18 x platinum – and in the history of pop music became one of the most commercially successful acts ever selling over 370 million albums and singles.

Voulez-Vous, was written, composed and produced by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus; and was recorded between 13 March 1978 – 29 March 1979 at Polar Music Studios in Stockholm.

This Europop record was the latest in a string of incredibly successful studio album releases released throughout their career until their demise in 1982 [see below].

There were 4 singles from Voulez-Vous:

1. Chiquitita – Released January 1979

The first single from the Voulez-Vous album was Chiquitita – a term of endearment in Spanish meaning “little girl”.

The track If It Wasn’t for the Nights had originally been planned to be the album’s lead single – those plans were altered and it remained an album track after Chiquitita had been completed.

2. Does Your Mother Know – Released April 1979

Originally entitled I Can Do It, Does Your Mother Know was recorded in February 1979 and released two months later – the B-side Kisses of Fire which also appeared on the Voulez-Vous album – it is one of the few ABBA songs that features Björn Ulvaeus on lead vocals.

3. Voulez-Vous / Angeleyes – Released July 1979

A disco track with the original working title Amerika, Voulez-Vous (Do you want to … in French) saw lead vocals shared between Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

Of note it is the only ABBA song to have been officially released as an extended dance remix.

4. I Have a Dream – Released December 1979

Of note is it is the only ABBA song that has vocalists other than the four band members – it features a children’s choir from Stockholm.

ABBA – Studio Albums:

Ring Ring  – 26 March 1973

Waterloo – 4 March 1974

ABBA – 21 April 1975

Arrival – 11 October 1976

The Album – 12 December 1977

Voulez-Vous – 23 April 1979

Super Trouper – 3 November 1980

The Visitors – 30 November 1981


Voulez-Vous – Tracklisting:

Side A:

1. As Good As New – 3’22”

Arranged By [Strings] – Rutger Gunnarsson

Lead Vocals – Agnetha Fältskog

2. Voulez-Vous – 5’11”

Bass – Arnold Paseiro

Drums – Joe Galdo

Guitar – George Terry, Ish Ledesma

Piano – Paul Harris

Tenor Saxophone – Halldor Pálsson, Johan Stengård

Trombone – Nils Landgren

3. I Have A Dream – 4’44”

Backing Vocals – International School Of Stockholm Choir

Directed By [Choir] – Kerstin Feist

Lead Vocals – Frida

4. Angeleyes – 4’20”

Arranged By [Strings] – Anders Eljas

5. The King Has Lost His Crown – 3’30”

Arranged By [Strings] – Anders Eljas

Drums – Rolf Alex

Oboe – Jan Risberg

Lead Vocals – Frida

Side B:

1. Does Your Mother Know – 3’13”

Lead Vocals – Björn Ulvaeus

Tenor Saxophone – Kajtek Wojciechowski, Lars O. Carlsson

2. If It Wasn’t For The Nights – 5’13”

Arranged By [Strings, Horns] – Anders Eljas

Percussion – Malando Gassama

3. Chiquitita – 5’26”

Banjo – Björn Ulvaeus

Lead Vocals – Agnetha Fältskog

4. Lovers (Live A Little Longer) – 3’28”

Arranged By [Strings] – Rutger Gunnarsson

Percussion – Malando Gassama

Lead Vocals – Frida

5. Kisses Of Fire – 3’16”

Lead Vocals – Agnetha Fältskog

All songs written and composed by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus.


Arranged By, Written by, Producer – Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus

Bass – Mike Watson (tracks: A4, B1, B2), Rutger Gunnarsson (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B3 to B5)

Design [Album] – Rune Söderqvist

Drums – Ola Brunkert (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1 to B5)

Engineer – Michael B. Tretow

Guitar – Björn Ulvaeus (tracks: A2 to A5, B2 to B5), Janne Schaffer (tracks: A1 to A4, B2), Lasse Wellander (tracks: A5, B1, B3, B4, B5)

Keyboards – Benny Andersson (tracks: A1, A4 to B5)

Photography By – Ola Lager

Synthesizer – Benny Andersson

℗ & © 1979 Polar Music International AB, Stockholm.

Recorded and mixed at Polar Music Studio, Stockholm.

Backing track of “Voulez-Vous” (A2) was recorded at Criteria Studios, Miami.
Backing track of “Lovers (Live A Little Longer)” (B4) was recorded at Marcus Music Studio, Stockholm.

Album cover was photographed at Alexandra Disco, Stockholm.


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