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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut album has some great songs
Nobody could claim that this is the best Abba album, but it is much better than some would have you believe. Indeed I prefer it to a couple of their later albums.

The title track was a hit in several European countries but not the UK, so this album never got a British release on vinyl. That is a pity, because the songs here are of a remarkably high quality...
Published on 23 Feb 2003 by Peter Durward Harris

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Abba Album That's Not Really Abba...Yet.
The Deluxe Edition series for Abba's catalogue of eight studio albums commenced in 2004 with "Waterloo: +DVD" to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Abba's victory at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton.Now after nearly 10 years we return to where it all began.Benny,Björn & Agnetha,Frida...People needing...
Published 8 months ago by DJ Control


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut album has some great songs, 23 Feb 2003
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
Nobody could claim that this is the best Abba album, but it is much better than some would have you believe. Indeed I prefer it to a couple of their later albums.

The title track was a hit in several European countries but not the UK, so this album never got a British release on vinyl. That is a pity, because the songs here are of a remarkably high quality. Five of them appeared on the first Greatest hits album - Ring ring, Another town another train, People need love, Nina pretty ballerina and He is your brother - every one of them superb. It might all have been different if Ring ring had been Sweden's entry in the 1973 Eurovision song contest. It came third in the qualifying contest. The Swedish public thought it should have been their entry. Voting rules were changed and Abba won for Sweden a year later with Waterloo.

Benny and Bjorn both started in Swedish folk groups, while Agnetha and Frida were Swedish pop stars, although Frida was actually born in Norway. At the time of its original release in Sweden, the name Abba had not been invented. This album provides a fascinating insight into the early development of the band. She's my kind of girl just features Benny and Bjorn. People need love features Benny and Bjorn with Svenska Flicka, but Svenska Flicka are actually Agnetha and Frida, so this (it would seem) was the first recording featuring all the Abba members, before the name existed.

This is a great album for Abba fans to have, but anybody not already familiar with their music should try some of their later albums first - I particularly recommend Arrival, The Album and Super trouper - before worrying about this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their first album, 14 July 2007
By 
Mikhail Manuilov (Yekaterinburg, Russia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
Ring Ring was first released in Sweden on March 26, 1973. This re-issue of this album makes it possible for us to get back for that time. The song which is widely recognized as the first ABBA's song is People Need Love and it was the time when the group called themselves Bjorn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. Ring Ring was performed at the Swedish selections of the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest but finished only third. However it became hit in Sweden. They became famous in their country and it was not so far for their wide popularity all over the world. But this doings were waiting around the corner.
This 2001 re-issue of Ring Ring contains remastered versions of all original tracks and in addition 3 bonus tracks which were B-sides of ABBA's singles. New liner notes for this album by Carl Magnus Palm tell us about creation of the album and are completed with many interesing photos
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than it's given credit for, 23 Aug 2007
This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
This album is often voted least favourite Abba album by the fans, which is a little unfair. True, it doesn't have the Abba "sound" familiar on later albums, and doesn't have any major UK hits on it, but this is of little relevance.

At the time, Abba weren't even yet called Abba. The album was credited to the rather long name of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida. The remaster replaces this with the later Abba logo. Not released in the UK until the late 1980's (and even then not under the Ring Ring name or artwork), this album provides the opportunity to find out how Abba started.

Then a part-time group, many of the early songs were performed by Bjorn and Benny with Agnetha and Frida taking more of a back seat. The girls do have lead vocals on some songs, and on others there is a constant switch between male and female vocals (People Need Love, He Is Your Brother, Love Isn't Easy). There is a great line in Love Isn't Easy, where the boys say how well they treat the girls, and they respond with "Now listen to that, just look at that cat, you'd think he was an angel but he's talking through his hat!"

There are some awkward moments on this. Another Town, Another Train is basically a goodbye note from a man to his partner, unable to have the guts to say it in person but trying to justify it; I Am Just A Girl is very sexist - "It's an evil world, that has only made me a girl," and People Need Love is a bit heterosexualist (if there is such a word!), but on the whole this is an enjoyable album.

Bonus tracks are the b-sides Merry Go Round and Santa Rosa, tracks that were mythical to Abba fans in the UK in the 1970's and almost impossible to get hold of, but they are now part of their parent album. The Swedish version of the title track is also added.

Better to explore the later, classic Abba albums first (Arrival, The Album, Voulez-Vous), but if you have the others and still want to hear more, then this won't disappoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 31 Jan 2000
This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
This album, though different from the usual ABBA sound is really very good. Almost all the tracks are very good. 'People Need Love', 'Dissilution', 'She's my kind of girl', 'Rock and Roll Band' and 'I am just a girl' are my personal favourite. A brilliant debut album!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Abba Album That's Not Really Abba...Yet., 21 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
The Deluxe Edition series for Abba's catalogue of eight studio albums commenced in 2004 with "Waterloo: +DVD" to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Abba's victory at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton.Now after nearly 10 years we return to where it all began.Benny,Björn & Agnetha,Frida...People needing love,ballerinas,towns,trains,mirrors,brothers,girls,rock'n roll bands,some more love that isn't easy,waiting for that telephone call and of course a little Disillusion.

I loved this album when I was a much younger man...."Where I've Got All My Memories,Those Were My Happiest Days..",and I still love it for all the clichéd lines and awkward rhymes.The thing is,under all that gloss and shimmering sound,beneath the layers of multi-tracked voices and instruments it's full of great melodies.I really think Benny & Björn had a direct line to their respective muse for many years after the release of this album.Just a casual glance at Abba's history after "Ring Ring" reveals a song catalogue that any music fan or writer could only be envious of.A body of work that has forever shaped pop music as we know it today.Can you think of a world where "Dancing Queen" doesn't exist? I can't! I'm not about to give you a history lesson of how this group came to be.There's plenty of books and an official fan site where the more curious of you can find that out.Needless to say,it was pretty much a happy accident and not planned as some people believe.

Anyway,that's enough of my admiration,adulation and acknowledgement.What's the deluxe of "Ring Ring" like and why have I given it three stars? Forgive me for being non-biased and objective in regards to this particular release,which marks the fourth digital edition,but I'm afraid for long time Abba fans the pickings are very slim.
Firstly,the albums original 12 tracks,in their various incarnations depending on which part of the world you lived in when it was released,are all present.Including,most importantly,the original Swedish version of "Ring Ring (Bara Du Slog En Signal)".With careful programming of your cd player,or via a media player playlist,you can listen to the first vinyl release by placing the Swedish title track first and adding the English version towards the end.These 13 songs all sound great.I don't think there's been any re-mastering here.And that's a good thing.All ok so far.

Next up on the cd,the various alternate language versions and the single b-sides with one very glaring omission.The b-side for the Swedish single of "Ring Ring" was "h Vilka Tider".It has NOT been included. I'm not sure why,but it's absence is strange as it's such a massive part of the early Abba years. The only excuse I can come up with is Benny & Björn probably don't like it as they usually have the final say on what us fans can get from the vault.If you really want that track,it's on a compilation album called "Pa Svenska" which is out of print on cd but available digitally.It also had limited release as a bonus track on the Ring Ring cd inside "The Complete Studio Recordings [9CD + 2 NTSC DVD]" box set which is also out of print and commanding very high prices in the third party seller market. I took off a star because I think "h Vilka Tider" should be on this deluxe edition.

The next section of the cd,strangely,is devoted to recordings that members of Abba either made or participated in and a promotional track sent to concert venues as a preview of their upcoming tour.There's a track from Benny & Björn's only album as a duo,"Lycka",which features Agnetha & Frida on backing vocals.The first Abba track if you like.It's followed by various artists early recordings of future Abba songs.Think of them as Abba demos even though they are professional recordings including a few Swedish hit singles.The last track is a Swedish Frida solo single,produced by Benny & Björn and featuring Agnetha on backup vocals.Another early song from all four members.For me,this section of the cd,whilst interesting as a curiosity,seems to be purely for completists and seems out-of-place on an Abba album.

Now to the biggest disappointment of the set,the dvd. The audio,like previous deluxe edition dvd's,is in dolby 2.0 pro-logic. Please see other reviews of Abba deluxe editions I've written on my feelings re this poor choice for audio mastering and how to set your player to by-pass it and decode it into PCM.
If I'm being generous,the dvd runs for 14 minutes but that includes the sleeve gallery.There are two performances to playback,with remastered audio,from European TV (6 minutes).A very short 5min30sec excerpt from a Swedish TV documentary, "The Songs That Changed Music",features Benny telling us the studio tricks used during the recording of the song Ring Ring.It's mainly in Swedish but has English sub titles and is so brief it's over just as it starts getting really interesting.Add to that the International sleeve gallery of cover images and there you have it.That's the end of the Ring Ring deluxe experience.

I always knew by the time we got back to where it all started that we really would be scraping the bottom of the Abba barrel as far as deluxe reissues are concerned and the decision to include songs by other artists is strange.Some people are going to love these lost gems.I think they belong on a compilation album of their own,not here on an Abba album.Add to this the very skimpy dvd contents and dock another star.At the asking price that this set is retailing,I don't think it's good value.
For completist fans only.

"Love Isn't Easy But It Sure Is Hard Enough...."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ring Ring CD+DVD 2013 Deluxe Edition, 17 Oct 2013
By 
Mr J H (Notts, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
An ideal companion to the Lycka CD album, this 75min CD has 25 tracks including 4 by other artists (Billy G-son, Jarl Kulle & Lill-Babs) that perhaps don't really belong here.
The 14min DVD has the People Need Love SVT clip, an Austrian clip of Ring Ring with Inger Brundin standing in for Agnetha, a 2012 short feature about making the Ring Ring single and a vinyl sleeve gallery. Disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hummm, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
bit of an oddity this one - mostly their early stuff with songs that did not get much air time compared with the later ones - however still enjoyable - but then IMO they never wrote BAD songs - just a few that probably where "B" sides ( for younger readers a B side was the one on the "other " side of records - oh dont laugh - i know youngsters who have never seen let alone played real records )
whatever - if you aspire to a complete collection of abba's albums - still one to have
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before the acronym, 4 Feb 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
I came across a copy of the original vinyl Polar import version of this in 1980 in Virgin in Leeds and bought it for my girlfriend (now my wife), who has always been a total Abba nut. I paid around seven quid which was double the price of albums in those days. Although this reissue appears to contain three bonus tracks, the original version included both the Swedish and English versions of 'Ring Ring'. In the previous reissue, the Swedish track was dropped in favour of another track (possibly 'Disillusion'). I have always found this to be a charming, at times quaint album which, in common with their next two releases possesses an air of carefree innocence. That Bjorn Ulvaeus was still developing his ability to write English lyrics has something to do with that, but so have the simple pop production values and jaunty melodies. Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson were also handling more of the vocal duties than on later albums. This may be a legacy of their partnership on Lycka, which is worth hearing if you want to delve further and don't mind listening to Swedish lyrics. Certainly, they hadn't quite found their focus yet. 'Rock And Roll Band', for instance, opens with a fierce burst of guitars before settling into a light pop boogie which is markedly different from later recordings. 'I Am Just A Girl' is a an old-fashioned song with mellow brass and 'Disillusion' is, I believe, one of Agnetha's songs. She was already an accomplished songwriter who had penned her first solo hit when just seventeen. Whether you want this depends on how far you want to go with ABBA. If you like them for their feelgood melodies it's worth it. If you demand the production sheen of tracks like 'Dancing Queen', it probably isn't. As for that vinyl copy, my wife still has it, and if I tried to sell it, I'd soon be looking for my kneecaps (I am of course putting that politely).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No blue satin trousers ? - Not yet, Agnetha, not yet..., 12 Sep 2000
This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
I don't know what happened during the year between Ring Ring and Waterloo- but one thing is for sure: this first album is a nice attempt at getting a group sound. Ring Ring ( the song) is the first sign of it- it almost sounds like typical ABBA. The nice ballad Another Town, Another Train is quite beautiful but those lyrics....Then follows a disappointment or I'd better say a Disillusion. Agnetha's solo number sounds like an outtake from her previous solo albums. Where was Frida when they recorded it ? Shopping ? Anyway, People Need Love still sounds funny with those yodelling harmonies at the end of the song. I Saw It In The Mirror- tell me Björn, what did you see ? That it's bad song ? Obviously not or otherwise you wouldn't have included it on the album- unless, of course, you were a bit short of material. Nina, Pretty Ballerina is nice and so is Love Isn't Easy. He Is Your Brother to me is the best song on this album- great harmonies and a great melodies. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother is another uptempo song wich sounds very much like the Sixties. I Am Just A Girl (what a title- everytime I listen to that song I feel so sorry for Agnetha and Frida- how could they accept those lyrics...) is awful but the closing track Rock'n'Roll Band sounds very nice. During their live performances in the mid- Seventies Agnetha and Frida overtook the vocal duties from Björn- and it sounded much better. All in all- not a bad album.......
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A starting point, 19 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ring Ring (Audio CD)
The embryo album that had an unsure start to life, but is now recognised as the band's first, despite the fact that it didn't get released in the United Kingdom until 1992.

The original album was released not under the Abba name but that of the four group members Bjorn & Benny and Agnetha & Frida. Some of the lyrics are short of inspiration to say the least and the songs in general are not the smartly crafted pop that was to come later. There are still hints, however, of the joyous music to come although tracks such as "I Saw It in the Mirror" and the bubblegum pop of "He's Your Brother" have a very limited appeal.

Bjorn and Benny have their share of the vocals as if they are unsure about allowing the girls to take centre stage. Of course when they did the results were quite spectacular. It would of course take victory in the Eurovision Song Contest to bring them to prominence. Ironically some of the songs on here seem to come straight from the poppy annuls of Europop. Still songs like "Ring Ring" "Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother" and "Nina Pretty Ballerina" hinted quietly of the riches to come. Elsewhere there's plenty of hippy trippy pop. Inoffensive if unspectacular.
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Ring Ring by ABBA (Audio CD - 2013)
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