Abba - Ring, Ring

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Music video by Abba performing Ring, Ring.

(C) 1973 Polar Music International AB

"Ring Ring" is a 1973 single by ABBA, which gave the group their big break in several European countries (although the rest of Europe, North America and Australia would be introduced to ABBA the following year). The song was written in Swedish by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, along with their manager Stig Anderson, and the translation into English lyrics was helped by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody. The Swedish version reached #1 in the Swedish charts.

"Ring Ring" tells of a lover waiting all alone by the telephone for the object of her desire to call.

Though "Ring Ring" did not get the opportunity to represent Sweden in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, the subtitled Swedish Version ("Bara Du Slog En Signal") performed extremely well in the Swedish charts, giving the quartet their first #1 hit. The English version did almost as well, peaking at #2 in Sweden, Norway and Austria, and reaching the Top 10 in the Netherlands, South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) charts. (On the official South African year-end chart for 1974, "Ring Ring" was placed 13th; while its successor "Waterloo" was placed as the 14th best selling singles for that year). It did, however, top the charts in Belgium, becoming the first of 16 chart-toppers for ABBA in that country. It was the group's first release in the UK in October 1973, but failed to chart, selling only five thousand copies. A remixed version of the song, later described by Carl Magnus Palm as having a "superfluous saxophone solo and leaden sound", reached #32 in June 1974, with "Rock'n Roll Band" issued on the B-side (after the #1 success of "Waterloo"), and would later hit #7 in Australia during the height of "ABBAmania". A second remixed version, different than but based on the one released in the UK, was included as a bonus track on the original U.S. and Canadian release of the Waterloo album. A German-language version of the song was also recorded, and was released in what was then West Germany, but failed to chart. A Spanish version was also recorded (with lyrics by Doris Band), but this was not released until the 1993 CD compilation Más ABBA Oro in selected countries, and internationally on the 1999 edition of ABBA Oro: Grandes Éxitos.

The master tapes of the 1974 remix were presumed missing, or at least unobtainable, for some years. For this reason, it did not appear on the 1994 4-CD box-set Thank You for the Music. In 1999, a CD box-set of singles was released. The 1974 single remix was included, but had been mastered from a vinyl single as the master tape was still not available.

However, in 2001, The Definitive Collection was released which finally included the 1974 single remix sourced from the master tape. It was later revealed on Carl Magnus Palm's website that Polar Music had acquired the single master tapes from Epic Records in the UK. This had presumably occurred between 1999 and 2001.
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Artist: Abba
Video title: Ring, Ring

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Category: Pop
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