12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

If there’s a single definitive ABBA album, it may well be 1977's Arrival: a brilliant synthesis of everything the Swedish foursome did well. The group’s fourth album is at once ambitious and immediately ear-catching, filled with irresistible pop hooks and stirring rhythms. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus exceed their typically high melodic standards here, whether they’re whipping up frothy Europop (“When I Kissed the Teacher,” “Dum Dum Diddle”), veering into Teutonic cabaret sounds (“Money, Money, Money”) or introducing a Celtic folk element (the title tune). Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyngstad’s twin lead vocals have plenty of room to shine, especially on richly sculpted ballads like “My Love, My Life” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Most of all, Arrival is remembered for “Dancing Queen,” one of the great pop singles of the '70s, as well as ABBA’s only No. 1 hit in the States. Beyond its individual tracks, Arrival radiates a confidence and joyful spirit that transcends its near-flawless sense of craft. ABBA were sailing high when they made this album, and it shows. (The 2001 reissue adds the band’s Spanish-tinged international hit “Fernando” and the breezy B-side “Happy Hawaii.”)

EDITORS’ NOTES

If there’s a single definitive ABBA album, it may well be 1977's Arrival: a brilliant synthesis of everything the Swedish foursome did well. The group’s fourth album is at once ambitious and immediately ear-catching, filled with irresistible pop hooks and stirring rhythms. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus exceed their typically high melodic standards here, whether they’re whipping up frothy Europop (“When I Kissed the Teacher,” “Dum Dum Diddle”), veering into Teutonic cabaret sounds (“Money, Money, Money”) or introducing a Celtic folk element (the title tune). Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyngstad’s twin lead vocals have plenty of room to shine, especially on richly sculpted ballads like “My Love, My Life” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Most of all, Arrival is remembered for “Dancing Queen,” one of the great pop singles of the '70s, as well as ABBA’s only No. 1 hit in the States. Beyond its individual tracks, Arrival radiates a confidence and joyful spirit that transcends its near-flawless sense of craft. ABBA were sailing high when they made this album, and it shows. (The 2001 reissue adds the band’s Spanish-tinged international hit “Fernando” and the breezy B-side “Happy Hawaii.”)

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