"Just a Notion"
Single by ABBA
from the album Voyage
Released22 October 2021 (2021-10-22)
Recorded1978, 2021[1]
Genre
Length3:31
LabelPolar
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"I Still Have Faith in You" / "Don't Shut Me Down"
(2021)
"Just a Notion"
(2021)
"Little Things"
(2021)
Lyric video
"Just a Notion" on YouTube

"Just a Notion" is a song by the Swedish pop music group ABBA that was released as a single on 22 October 2021. Originally written and produced for the group's 1979 album Voulez-Vous, it was released over forty-three years later. "Just a Notion" was the second single to be released from ABBA's 2021 album Voyage following the dual single of "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down" released in September 2021. The recording retains its vocals from 1978 but includes re-recorded instrumentation added much later, during the reunion.[2]

Background and recording

"Just a Notion" was initially recorded in September 1978 during sessions for the album Voulez-Vous. Although progressing beyond the demo stage, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus became unsatisfied with it, deeming it to be "unmixable" and therefore leaving it unreleased. However, a snippet of a rough mix by ABBA’s engineer Michael B. Tretow was ultimately released on the box set Thank You for the Music in 1994. Carl Magnus Palm has also confirmed that the verse included in the "ABBA Undeleted" medley is the second verse of the song.[3][4]

After ABBA reunited, and despite Andersson and Ulvaeus’ prior criticism, "Just A Notion" was revisited for the reunion album Voyage. Benny Andersson recorded a new backing track with drums and guitars for the Voyage version, but it retains the vocals from the original 1978 version.[5] "Just A Notion" was released as a single on 22 October 2021, before the November 5th release of Voyage.

Prior to the full release of ABBA’s partial re-recording, a complete version was recorded by cover band Arrival, which occasionally featured original ABBA bass player Rutger Gunnarsson as a special guest, and was included on their 1999 album First Flight. While the full version of the song had not yet been released, it still featured the same lyrics as ABBA’s original, even though much of the song remained unheard and unreleased at that point.

Lyric video

ABBA released a lyric video on YouTube for "Just a Notion" to accompany its release. The video is directed by Mike Anderson and produced by Nick Barratt of the production company Able.

The video received 583,000 views in its first 24 hours on YouTube.[6] A brief teaser video on TikTok earned over a million views in its first few days.[7]

Critical reception

Emily Zemler of Rolling Stone calls "Just a Notion" "buoyant" and a "hopeful, upbeat song."[8] Devon Ivie of Vulture writes that the song is "a ridiculously happy romp that finds Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid harmonizing about the joys of flirting while a power piano noodles in the background."[9]

Charts

Chart performance for "Just a Notion"
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 36
Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard Japan)[11] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 73
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[13] 27
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 22
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 60
UK Singles (OCC)[16] 59

Release history

Release history for "Just A Notion"
Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various 22 October 2021 Polar [17]
Italy 12 November 2021 Contemporary hit radio Universal [18]

References

  1. ^ Brandle, Lars (22 October 2021). "ABBA Unleashes 'Ridiculously Happy' Song 'Just A Notion': Stream It Now". Billboard. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  2. ^ Peacock, Tim (22 October 2021). "ABBA Share Exuberant New Song, 'Just A Notion'". Udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  3. ^ Palm, Carl Magnus: ABBA – Människorna Och Musiken, page 178. Tiden Stockholm (1996). ISBN 91-88876-25-X.
  4. ^ Palm, Carl Magnus: ABBA – The Complete Recordings Sessions, page 79. Verulam Publishing Ltd (October 13, 1994). ISBN 0-907938-10-8. ISBN 978-0-907938-10-1.
  5. ^ Gallagher, Alex (22 October 2021). "Listen to ABBA's "ridiculously happy" new single 'Just A Notion'". NME. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  6. ^ Views in ABBA's YouTube channel in 24 hours.
  7. ^ Daga, Doris (21 October 2021). "Just A Notion: ABBA is releasing a new single". Vogue Scandinavia. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  8. ^ Zemler, Emily (22 October 2021). "Hear ABBA's Buoyant New Single 'Just A Notion'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  9. ^ Ivie, Devon (22 October 2021). "Now This Is What We Wanted From ABBA". Vulture. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Abba – Just a Notion" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas". Billboard Japan. 10 November 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Abba – Just a Notion" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  13. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 1 November 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Veckolista Singlar, vecka 45". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Abba – Just a Notion". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  17. ^ "ABBA - Just A Notion". Retrieved 16 November 2021 – via Amazon.
  18. ^ "ABBA "Just A Notion" | (Radio Date: 12/11/2021)". radiodate.it (in Italian). Retrieved 16 November 2021.