Ring Ring is ABBA's debut album and was released in 1973. It was recorded and developed at the time when the band were officially coming together: the creator couples were hooking up (one of them already married with a child), the members had other commitments with solo projects and the music groups in Sweden that they already had, and they were throwing ideas over what songs to pick.
When the album was first released, the artist was credited as their original band name, "Björn, Benny & Agnetha, Frida". The name of the group hadn't been officially chosen at the point, but was fixed after they became worldwide success. On top of this, the album was released only in certain countries.
The places where ABBA had been successful the most in their career (the UK, the USA and Australia) didn't get an official release until years after the band dissolved. One could argue that it was probably due to the Old Shame factor because Björn and Benny have expressed embarrassment in the later years over many songs included on this album. Nevertheless, it spawned several hit singles, most notably the Title Track, which hit the top ten in five countries, topping the charts in their native Sweden.
- "Ring, Ring" (3:04)
- "Another Town, Another Train" (3:12)
- "Disillusion" (3:04)
- "People Need Love" (2:46)
- "I Saw It In The Mirror" (2:34)
- "Nina, Pretty Ballerina" (2:51)
- "Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)" (2:53)
- "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother" (2:50)
- "He Is Your Brother" (3:18)
- "She's My Kind Of Girl" (2:44)
- "I Am Just A Girl" (3:01)
- "Rock 'N' Roll Band" (3:09)
2001 CD re-release bonus tracks
- "Merry Go Round" (3:24)
- "Santa Rosa" (2:59)
- "Ring Ring (Bara du slog en signal)" (3:08)
- Benny Andersson piano, keyboards, vocals, mellotron, songwriter, producer and composer
- Agnetha Fältskog vocals, songwriter for "Disillusion".
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad vocals
- Björn Ulvaeus acoustic guitar, guitar, vocals, songwriter, producer and composer
- Ola Brunkert drums
- Rutger Gunnarsson electric bass
- Roger Palm drums
- Janne Schaffer acoustic guitar, electric guitar
- Mike Watson electric bass
- Michael B. Tretow - engineer
- Björn Almstedt; Lennart Karlsmyr; Rune Persson - assistant engineers
- Sven-Olof Walldoff - string arrangements on "I Am Just a Girl"
- Lars Falck and Bengt H. Malmqvist - photography
- Peter Wiking - original album design
Tropes, why don't you give me a call?
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: This album wasn't released in the UK during the band's lifespan, resulting in many people being unaware of its existence. Their Greatest Hits compilation of 1975, therefore, was the first UK release of a number of singles from the album. This was resolved by simply omitting the information of them being from an album, which led buyers to think they were new songs. To make matters more confusing, the song "Ring Ring" appeared as a bonus track on the UK release of Waterloo.
- A Day in the Limelight: Björn and Benny's lead vocals are more prominent here on this album than any other ABBA album.
- An Aesop: In "He Is Your Brother", the two horrible characters learn from a voice in their heads that they should treat others how they want to be treated.Treat him well — he is your brother!
Love him! That's the only way!
We depend on one another, [and] you might need his help one day.
- But Now I Must Go: The narrator of "Another Town, Another Train" sneaking out of a woman's house early in the morning and leaving her a letter behind.
- Childhood Friends: The narrator of the song in "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother" with Bobby and his brother.
- Dancing Is Serious Business: The boy in "Rock 'N' Roll Band" towards the shy girl who doesn't want to be there.Let's go, girl! It's a beautiful place, this world
Come on, baby, let's dance to the rock 'n' roll band.
- Declaration of Protection: In "I Am Just A Girl".But today, I can't believe it's true
When you smiled and whispered "I love you."
Darling, I could see I was meant to be your girl.
- Disposable Vagrant: The begging man the self-centered woman passes in "He Is Your Brother".
- "Double, Double" Title
- The Drifter: The narrator of "Another Town, Another Train".
- "I Am" Song: "I Am Just A Girl".
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: In "She's My Kind Of Girl".She's just my kind of girl; she makes me feel fine!
Who could ever believe that she would be mine?
- In-Series Nickname: Bobby's brother is only known as "Bobby's brother" (although in defense of the song, the woman's memory of her childhood is so long ago, she probably doesn't remember his name, or Bobby's brother never told her).
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: Implied in "I Saw It In The Mirror", and the narrator is rather concerned that his reflection is acting strangely.
- Kids Are Cruel: Subverted with "Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother". Though they had a few fights
- Laser-Guided Karma: Subverted in "He Is Your Brother".
- The first story is of a wind-up merchant that likes arguing with strangers, making himself a public pariah with no friends. When he gets into another fight, a voice in his head tells him that he should be nice to people, because they might turn his back on them in the future during a time of need.
- The second story is of a self-centered woman that never cared about others, making herself a lonely woman. When she turns down a begging homeless man, she hears a voice telling her to be nice to him otherwise he won't help her at her time of need.
- Long Title: "Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)" and "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother", as well as Ring Ring's Swedish version, "Ring Ring (Bara Du Slog En Signal)".
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother".
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Ring Ring". A cheerful sounding song about a woman waiting by her phone all night for her neglectful boyfriend to call her.
- No Ending: The two stories in "He Is Your Brother". (See the stories in Laser-Guided Karma.) We never find out whether the two horrible characters ever changed their ways, or apologized for their mistakes.
- Officially Shortened Title:
- "She's My Kind Of Girl". The actual quote from the song is "she's just my kind of girl", so this is a minor case of the trope because the title only takes out one word.
- Outside Sweden, "Ring Ring (Bara Du Slog En Signal)" is more widely known as "Ring Ring (Swedish version)". In addition, "Ring Ring (Engelsk Version) [English Version]" is simply known as "Ring Ring".
- One of the Boys: The narrator as a little girl in "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother".They would take me out for football games and such; they liked to play
And I guess I didn't like it very much — but anyway,
I was happy and proud to be with the boys, being a little girl...
- The Power of Love: Most of the songs on this album arguably have this theme. Considering this album took about two and a half years to make throughout the early 1970s, it might explain the late-'60s hippie feel.
- Rock & Roll: The band in "Rock 'N' Roll Band".
- Scare Chord: How "Rock 'N' Roll Band" starts.
- Shrinking Violet: The girl at the party in "Rock 'N' Roll Band" who's sitting at the back behind flowerpots.You've been sitting there for hours,
Trying to hide behind the flowers...
- Step Up to the Microphone: Björn and Benny for "She's My Kind Of Girl", "I Saw It In The Mirror", "Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)", "Another Town, Another Train" and "Rock 'N' Roll Band".
- Stood Up: The narrator of "Ring, Ring", who waits for hours by the telephone hoping for her lover to phone her.
- Title Track: "Ring, Ring".
- Two Guys and a Girl: The childhood friends in "Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother".
- "When I'm Gone" Song: "Another Town, Another Train".
- White Void Room: The video for "Ring Ring".
Won't you please understand the need in me?