Monday, 1 September 2014

The Archivist: ABBA - Arrival

I know what you're thinking? Why is an Americana, Folk, Prog loving roughneck picking an album by those Swedish Mega Purveyors of Pop to grace The Archivist section of my blog?

Simple - next to The Beatles, ABBA are probably the best writers of a perfect pop song.

Back in 1976, the teenage Macwood was already a fan of the Super Swedes.

They had already released 3 hit albums and had 5 hit singles in the UK before Arrival really sealed the deal.

The album opens with the non-single and now very non pc 'When I Kissed The Teacher' - and it's a killer track.

As with most ABBA albums, there is a mixture of awful bubblegum pop and some of the best songwriting ever to be released on an adoring public.

Arrival contains some of ABBA's best singles. Back when ABBA were starting to get huge - the release of EVERY single was an event. You had to be there at the time to realise what a big deal it was - the radio built up the release for months before the event - playing snippets from the song.

It was from this album that indications of the boys Bjorn & Benny's musical future really started to blossom. They were born to write musicals and it is an enigma that they haven't done more work in this field. Songs such as My Love, My Life can easily be the stuff of musicals. 

It also contains an instrumental title track. Covered by Mike Oldfield, no less.

And, it contains one of the more identifiable songs ever released. A song which has grown to be almost as big as the band. And I dare you not to sing along. The staple of every Wedding Disco since 1976.

So, go out and get a copy - don't feel the shame - just accept the fact that it is probably one of the most imperfect pop albums ever to hit the turntable.

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