In December 1977, Swedish pop group ABBA released its fifth album and its first film, showcasing their style in ABBA The Album.
Recording from May until November, this studio album included songs from the mini-musical The Girl with the Golden Hair as well as new songs that would become pop classics.
After the success of the previous album Arrival, ABBA decided to slightly alter their style, with longer songs yet still keeping those distinctly ABBA hooks and also including only nine songs, the least amount on any of their albums to date, all written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Included on this album are the Take a Chance on Me and the Name of the Game, both of which would become top 10 songs worldwide, and the popular European hit Thank You for the Music. The Name of the Game would be the album’s first single, released in October 1977.
Officially released by Polar on December 12, 1977, on EPIC in the UK and Atlantic in North America, ABBA The Album soared to the top of the charts in many countries, including debuting at number one in the UK and became the band’s bestselling album in the US.
Despite the Cold War and the discouragement of Eastern bloc nations to support western music, this album sold 1 million copies in Poland and millions more in the USSR despite the official release of 200,000 copies. The album was certified platinum in Canada, US, UK Germany, Finland and Hong Kong.
At the same time, the band released its first film/documentary: ABBA The Movie, which showcased their tour of Australia, directed by Lasse Hallestrom, who directed all the band’s music videos. Songs featured include Waterloo, Money Money Money, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and Fernando.
And just another bestselling album and a movie in the stream of ABBA’s domination of the pop charts for their devoted fans.