|Single by ABBA|
|from the album The Album|
|A-side||"Thank You for the Music"|
|Released||18 May 1978|
|Recorded||1 June 1977|
at Marcus Music Studio
|Genre||Progressive rock, art rock|
|Length||5:51 (Album Version)|
4:25 (Short Version)
3:36 (7' Edit)
|Songwriter(s)||Benny Andersson |
|ABBA singles chronology|
"Eagle" is a song that was recorded in 1977 by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was the first track on the group's fifth album, ABBA: The Album, in terms of the album's sequence of songs, and the longest track they ever recorded (at 5:51, 1 second longer than "The Day Before You Came" at 5:50). The third and last official single from ABBA: The Album, it was released only in a limited number of territories as a single and in France as a double A-side with "Thank You for the Music." "Eagle" was not released as a single in the United Kingdom. It was intended to be a U.S. single, but was withdrawn.
"Eagle" was written and composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who provided its music and its lyrics respectively, as a kind of tribute to a band that the two men admired at the time, the Eagles. The recording, which commenced on 1 June 1977, had the working titles of "High, High" and "The Eagle." Lyricist Ulvaeus was inspired by Richard Bach's 1970 novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull when he wrote the lyrics for this song. In later years, music critics have hailed "Eagle" as one of ABBA's more outstanding tracks in terms of lyrics.
"Eagle" was not a major success on the charts. One reason was that the song was already available on ABBA: The Album; another was the limited release only in countries like Australia, Austria, Belgium (where it did top the charts), France, West Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. To make the song more radio-friendly it was heavily edited down from 5:51 to 4:25 by omitting an instrumental break and the third chorus. Australia and France got a further edit, with the song fading shortly after the 2nd chorus making it last just 3:33, 2:18 shorter than the album version. It was withdrawn as a single in the United States.
The single was released on 18 May 1978 to fill the gap between the previous single, "Take a Chance on Me" and the next, a completely new track, eventually titled "Summer Night City." The B-side of "Eagle," "Thank You for the Music", was later released as a single outright in a few countries after the group had disbanded, namely in the UK, where "Eagle" had not been released as a single.
The single was promoted with a music video directed by Lasse Hallström, while an earlier, much more interesting video in terms of special effects was included as a part of ABBA: The Movie.
The original 4:25 single edit was issued on CD for the first time in 1993 on the compilation More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits. However, for the 1999 re-release of this album, plus subsequent releases, a new version based on the 1980 edit was created. Unfortunately, this edit left out a vital instrumental-only section at the end of the second chorus prior to the closing instrumental, thereby sounding disjointed. The original edit—or at least an exact re-creation of it—was finally issued again on the deluxe version of ABBA: The Album in 2009.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||82|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||17|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||7|
|West Germany (Media Control Charts)||6|