Q - 9/01, p.1264 stars out of 5
- "...With 'Mamma Mia' and 'SOS', Abba decisively find their feet..."
ABBA: Bjorn Ulvaeus (vocals, guitar); Benny Andersson (vocals, piano, Clavinet, synthesizer); Anni Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog (vocals).
Additional personnel: Janne Schaffer, Finn Sjoberg, Lassw Wellander (guitar); Ulf Andersson (alto & tenor saxophones); Bruno Glenmark (trumpet); Rutger Gunnarsson, Mike Watson (bass); Ola Brunkert, Roger Palm (drums).
Recorded at Glen, Metronome & Ljudkopia Studios, Stockholm, Sweden in 1974 & 1975. Includes reissue liner notes by Carl Magnus Palm.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Jon Astley.
ABBA's third album, released in 1975, finds the group at the end of the first phase of their career. Having scored massive worldwide success with the bubblegum classics "Ring Ring" and "Waterloo" in the previous two years, the Swedish foursome continued that streak with the sweet "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do," the silly "Tropical Loveland" and "Bang-A-Boomerang." However, "Mamma Mia" and the grandly-titled "Intermezzo No. 1" showcased a new compositional maturity somewhat reminiscent of Brian Wilson's 1964 productions.
Several songs, including the brilliant, enormous hit "S.O.S." and the excellent "Hey Hey Helen" (covered by Lush 15 years later), contained the first inklings of the melancholy that would become such a fundamental part of their later albums. ABBA's self-titled album is the first key turning point of their long and exceptional career.