ABBA: The Album (or just The Album) is the fifth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA, and was released sporadically between 1977 and '78.
You can think of this album as the official movie soundtrack for their mockumentary movie ABBA: The Movie that was released to cinemas throughout the two years as well, which documented how popular and well-received the band had become between this album and the Arrival album two years before. Most of the songs on The Album made a cameo on the film, as well as a debut of a mini-musical that Benny and Björn wrote when the band toured most of Europe and Australia; some of the musical's songs are featured on the album as well.
- "Eagle" (5:51)
- "Take A Chance On Me" (4:05)
- "One Man, One Woman" (4:25)
- "The Name Of The Game" (4:54)
- "Move On" (4:42)
- "Hole in Your Soul" (3:41)
- "Thank You For The Music" (3:48)
- "I Wonder (Departure)" (4:33)
- "I'm A Marionette" (3:54)
2001 CD re-release bonus track
- "Thank You For the Music (Doris Day version)" (4:03)
- Benny Andersson keyboards, vocals, backing vocals, composer and songwriter
- Agnetha Fältskog vocals, backing vocals
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad vocals, backing vocals
- Björn Ulvaeus acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals, backing vocals, composer and songwriter
- Ola Brunkert drums
- Lars O. Carlsson flute and saxophone
- Malando Gassama percussion
- Rutger Gunnarsson bass
- Roger Palm drums
- Janne Schaffer lead guitar
- Lasse Wellander lead guitar
- Michael B. Tretow engineer
- Rutger Gunnarsson string arrangements
- Rune Söderqvist design
- Barry Levine photography
- Björn Andersson and Rune Söderqvist illustrations
- All Just a Dream: "Eagle"
- Animorphism: Implied in "Eagle".
- Cerebus Syndrome: "I Wonder" and "I'm A Marionette". Considering the mini-musical was about a singer struggling to stay calm in the height of her fame, it's not surprising.
- Day in the Life: The narrator of "Hole in Your Soul" describes what her friends like to do.My friend Sam is a chauffeur, Annie goes to schoolJerry works at the office, Sue lies by the pool
- 15 Minutes of Fame: The premise of the mini-musical on the concert/arena tours.
- Gaussian Girl: Agnetha and Frida during the "Take a Chance on Me" video.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Take A Chance On Me" is about a crazy stalker, but due to the cheerful music, most people don't realize it.
- Heroic BSoD: "I Wonder".
What really makes the difference between all dead and living things?The will to stay alive?
- "Move On" can be seen as this, seeming how it's heavily implied that the narrator is depressed and having suicidal thoughts.
- "I Am" Song: "Eagle" is sort-of like this, for the narrator has turned into a eagle...maybe.
- "Thank You For the Music".
- "I Am Becoming" Song: "I Wonder".
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: The narrator throughout the "The Name Of The Game".But I am here talking to you,No wonder I get excited!
- Informed Loner: The narrator in "The Name Of The Game", long before the other person came along.I have no friends — no one to see,And I am never invited...
- Light Is Not Good: The girls donning white clothes and blonde wigs while singing "I'm A Marionette".
- Love Triangle: Implied in "Take A Chance On Me".If you change your mind, I'm the first in line.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "One Man One Woman". An uplifting and joyous song with a cheerful chorus - a story of a woman who lives in a heavily abusive relationship and cannot escape from it, forgiving her man every time in the name of love 'worth the pain and the suffering'.
- 'Move On' is a song trying to deter someone from committing suicide.
- 'Hole in your Soul' cheerfully states that we all have an emptiness inside that must be filled by rock'n roll.
- 'Thank you for the Music' doesn't sound terribly grateful. The tone of it is that of someone dutifully writing a thank-you note.
- 'I Wonder' is the calmest tone you'll ever hear the phrase and message "it's frightening" in.
- 'I'm A Marionette' sounds upbeat, but is about someone feeling trapped in and strangled by a situation were people are only using her.
- No Plot? No Problem!: "The Name Of The Game" has literally no plot; doesn't stop it from being one of ABBA's best videos.
- Power of Rock: The narrator in "Hole In Your Soul" is highly convinced that the reason the person they're talking to is moody is because they're listening to boring music, like silly love songs, whereas rock music will cure them of the lowliness.
- Rearrange the Song: The live version of "I'm a Marionette", performed on their 1977 tour of Europe, the UK and Australia, is starkly different to the version recorded later on for this album. The tempo is much faster (probably closer to 200 BPM while the album version is around 110), Benny's piano is more prominent, Agnetha and Frida's singing conveys more strain and panic, and the whole song has a more urgent feel.
- Rock & Roll: Apparently, "it's gotta be rock 'n' roll to fill the Hole In Your Soul".
- Sanity Slippage Song: "I'm A Marionette".
- Slave to PR: "I'm A Marionette".
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Even though the narrator of "Eagle" doesn't show signs of this, they understand other eagles.They speak strangely, but I understand.
- Spoken Word in Music: The opening of "Move On", in which Björn tries to tell the suicidal person that things will get better.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Take a Chance On Me" is about a female stalker telling the object of her adoration that she has the patience to wait for him while he sees other women. (Read the lyrics.) Agnetha and Frida sing the chorus together, but alternate singing solos in the verses. In the video, Agnetha plays it straight while Frida occasionally mugs and gyrates, possibly with the intent of portraying mental instability.
- Thanking the Viewer: "Thank You For The Music" wasn't originally supposed to be this, but it did when it was re-released as a single in 1983 to promote the label's cash-in compilation of the same name. It's erroneously thought to have been released to thank the fans for sticking by them.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: "One Man, One Woman", in which the man leaves the house for work in anger (presumably after an argument with his lover), and he returns to the house and they both realise that they need to change their ways.
- White Void Room: The music video for "Take a Chance on Me".