There’s a meme going around on Facebook where someone tags you and for the next 10 days you’re suppose to post an album cover without an explanation. The album is to depict your musical tastes and how you were influenced over the years. You’re then suppose to tag someone else and they do the same thing. I won’t do that part. I’m not really a fan of these types of memes, as they bring up the same angst I encountered when I would get a chain letter when I was a kid. Mean.
Nevertheless, last night I posted the album cover for “The Visitors”, by ABBA. While a little Frida heavy on the vocals for my taste (no offense to Frida or her fans), I have always enjoyed the move to more synthesizers with this album and the theatre style of some of the tracks presented. The title and opening track, “The Visitors” has musical complexities that I find quite delightful.
I listened to the album while working out this morning. Apparently the streaming services have added two tracks not originally found on the album, “The Day Before You Came” and “Under Attack”. These two tracks were to be part of the album that would come after “The Visitors”, but tired of their working conditions and the relationships of the group at the time, ABBA decided to abandon that album and release a two record “Greatest Hits” set instead. The two tracks were tacked onto the end and “Under Attack” was the last original single ever released by ABBA. It didn’t chart very much. At the end of the music video, the four members of the group are seen walking off the set, out of the video, and out of ABBA. A year or two later, Frida would come along with “I Know There’s Something Going On” and Agnetha would release “The Heat Is On” and “Can’t Shake Loose”. Benny and Björn would work on “Chess” and other esoteric musical adventures.
While it didn’t get the appreciation it deserved in 1982, I find “Under Attack” the be a very enjoyable track, especially when consumed through quality headphones. Like all ABBA tracks of the time, it’s rather synth heavy. The vocal layers on the chorus are amazing. As a musician it’s interesting for me to hear the individual vocal parts; they don’t exactly follow what I would call “standard music theory choral arrangements”. The magic of recording in a studio.
I’ll continue to do this meme if I remember but I’m not going to tag anyone. Like the end of the “Under Attack” music video, I’ll just walk away and out into the sunlight.