Super Trouper
ABBA - Super Trouper (Polar).jpg
Studio album by
Released3 November 1980
Recorded4 February – 15 October 1980
StudioPolar Studios, Stockholm
GenrePop
Length41:53 (Swedish original release)
Label
Producer
ABBA chronology
Gracias Por La Música
(1980)
Super Trouper
(1980)
The Visitors
(1981)
Singles from Super Trouper
  1. "The Winner Takes It All"
    Released: 21 July 1980
  2. "On and On and On"
    Released: September 1980
  3. "Super Trouper"
    Released: 3 November 1980
  4. "Happy New Year"
    Released: 15 December 1980
  5. "Andante, Andante"
    Released: February 1981
  6. "Lay All Your Love on Me"
    Released: 3 July 1981

Super Trouper is the seventh studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA, released on 3 November 1980. It features the No.1 singles "The Winner Takes It All" and "Super Trouper". The album became the biggest-selling album of 1980 in the UK.[1]

Overview

Led by the international hit "The Winner Takes It All", Super Trouper was the group's sixth chart-topping album in the UK. It was also the best-selling album in Britain for 1980. Super Trouper was first released on CD in 1983 by Polar Music International, in the early 1980s by Polydor, and in the late 1980s by Atlantic Records for the US. The album has been reissued in digitally remastered form four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, again in 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set and as a Deluxe Edition (containing a bonus DVD) in 2011. The previous year's divorce between Björn and Agnetha was explored in "The Winner Takes It All", and the members' lives in Stockholm high society circles coloured the lyrics for "On and On and On". Other well-known songs on the album include the hit single title track "Super Trouper", as well as the electro-dance of "Lay All Your Love on Me".

Probably due to the disco backlash at that time, the album saw ABBA returning to a more straightforward pop sound,[2] as opposed to the preceding (and noticeably more dance-oriented) Voulez-Vous album. The album closed with "The Way Old Friends Do", which was recorded live a year earlier during their 1979 concert tour. Although not released as a single with this album, the song was later released as a single in 1992 to promote the compilation More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits.[3] The song was later covered by The Alexander Brothers, The Kingston Trio, Philomena Begley and Faryl Smith. On some European vinyl issues, the cheering and applause at the end of "The Way Old Friends Do" is recorded up to the run-out groove, playing in an endless loop on manual turntables.

Album cover and title

Super Trouper is a registered trademark owned by Strong Entertainment Lighting, for their brand of followspots, i.e., directional spotlights used to follow a performer on stage. Album cover designer, Rune Söderqvist, decided to use the spotlight theme and photograph the group, surrounded by circus performers, at Piccadilly Circus, London. After discovering that there was a law preventing any entertainers or animals appearing in central London, they instead invited the members of two local circuses to Europa Film Studios, Stockholm to take the photograph there. Several of ABBA's friends were also invited to take part and the following also appear on the cover: Görel Hanser (vice-president of Polar Music who subsequently married the band's photographer Anders Hanser), Berka Bergkvist (another Polar Music employee), Tomas Ledin, and Anders Anderson (ABBA's manager's son).[4] At the same time, Lasse Hallström also filmed scenes that were eventually used in the videos for "Happy New Year", "Felicidad" and "Super Trouper" even though the latter had not even been composed at the time.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[2]
Blender[5]
The Daily VaultA−[6]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]
rollingstone.de[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
Smash Hits5/10[10]

The album received favorable reviews from music critics. William Ruhlmann from AllMusic website, gave the album four out of five stars and noted that "Super Trouper found ABBA, always trend-conscious, taking account of the passing of disco and returning to the pop/rock sound typical of their early albums" and that it includes "an unusual amount of what sounded like real unhappiness into their pop music".[2]

Douglas Wolk from Blender gave the album four out of five stars and wrote that although it shows some "dark side" of the group like "being sick of show business", the Agnetha and Björn divorce, it has a "lot of joy" like the song "Lay All Your Love On Me".[5]

Christopher Thelen, from The Daily Vault gave the album an A- and wrote that "whatever was happening to the band, internally or externally, they were able to take it and put the best creative spin on it. The result was possibly their best album".[6]

The German counterpart of Rolling Stone magazine and The Rolling Stone Album Guide both gave four out of five stars, while Smash Hits magazine and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music gave the album mixed reviews.

Track listing

All tracks written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Super Trouper"4:13
2."The Winner Takes It All"4:55
3."On and On and On"3:41
4."Andante, Andante"4:38
5."Me and I"4:53
Side two
No.TitleLength
1."Happy New Year"4:24
2."Our Last Summer"4:18
3."The Piper"3:25
4."Lay All Your Love on Me"4:33
5."The Way Old Friends Do" (live)2:53
Total length:41:53
1997 CD edition bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
11."Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"4:53
12."Elaine"3:44
13."Put On Your White Sombrero"4:34
2001 CD edition bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
11."Elaine"3:44
12."Put On Your White Sombrero"4:34
The Complete Studio Recordings bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Elaine" 3:45
12."Andante, Andante" (Spanish version)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Buddy McCluskey
  • Mary McCluskey
4:40
13."Felicidad" (Spanish version of Happy New Year)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
4:24
2011 deluxe edition (The Superlative Album) bonus tracks[11]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."Elaine" 3:45
12."On and On and On" (full length version; stereo mix) 4:15
13."Put On Your White Sombrero" 4:34
14."Andante, Andante" (Spanish version)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
4:40
15."Felicidad" (Spanish version of Happy New Year)
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • B. McCluskey
  • M. McCluskey
4:24
2011 deluxe edition DVD[11]
No.TitleLength
1."ABBA on German TV" (Show Express, ZDF) 
2."Happy New Year" (SVT) 
3."Words and Music" (documentary) 
4."Somewhere in the Crowd There's You – On Location with ABBA" (Featurette: Making of Super Trouper Album Sleeve) 
5."Super Trouper" (remastered promo clip) 
6."Happy New Year" (remastered promo clip) 
7."Super Trouper TV Commercial I" (UK) 
8."Super Trouper TV Commercial II" (UK) 
9."International Sleeve Gallery" 

Non-album tracks

A song recorded in 1980 and released as B-side "The Winner Takes It All" single.

A song based on waltz with a Latin American sound recorded in 1980 with lead vocal by Lyngstad. The track was replaced at a late stage by this album's title track, "Super Trouper". The arrangement of "Put On Your White Sombrero" was later remodelled into a new ABBA song, "Cassandra", which became the B-Side to "The Day Before You Came". The song remained unreleased until 1994.

Personnel

ABBA

Additional personnel

Charts

Sales and certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina 170,000[35]
Australia (ARIA)[36] Platinum 50,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[37] Gold 100,000*
Canada 400,000[38]
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[39] Gold 10,000double-dagger
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[40] Diamond 50,552[40]
France 250,000[41]
Germany (BVMI)[43] 2× Platinum 1,000,000[42]
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[44] Platinum 20,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 219,000[18]
South Africa 50,000[45]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[46] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[48] Platinum 1,250,000[47]
United Kingdom (BPI)[49]
video
Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[50] Gold 500,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References

  1. ^ "Year by year, the best-selling albums of the past 50 years | NME". NME. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Ruhlmann, William. "Super Trouper". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  3. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 75. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  4. ^ Magnus Palm, C: "Bright Lights, Dark shadows", page 432-433. Omnibus Press, 2001
  5. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (21 December 2004). "ABBA: Super Trouper". Blender. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b Thelen, Christopher (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Super Trouper". dailyvault.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th Concise ed.). United Kingdom: Omnibus Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-84609-856-7.
  8. ^ "Abba Super Trouper". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  9. ^ Berger, Arion (2004). "ABBA". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ Hillier, Beverly (27 November – 10 December 1980). "Albums". Smash Hits: 29.
  11. ^ a b Ice (23 February 2011). "Super Trouper Deluxe Edition CD (+DVD) – Updated with tracklist | icethesite – Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus news site". icethesite. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – ABBA – Super Trouper" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. 24 January 1981. p. 98. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 0318". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – ABBA – Super Trouper" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  18. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
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  20. ^ a b "Norwegiancharts.com – ABBA – Super Trouper". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – ABBA – Super Trouper". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
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  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Super Trouper" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  26. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1980" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  27. ^ "Chart File – Top 100 Albums 1980" (PDF). Record Mirror. 4 April 1981. p. 38. ISSN 0144-5804 – via World Radio History.
  28. ^ "Austriancharts.st - Jahreshitparade 1979" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  30. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1981" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Album – Jahrescharts: 1981". charts.de. Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  32. ^ "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1981" [1981年アルバム年間ヒットチャート] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  33. ^ "Billboard.BIZ: Top Pop Albums of 1981". Billboard. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Bestenlisten - 80-er album" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  35. ^ "International Dateline - Argentina" (PDF). Cash Box. 17 January 1981. p. 36. Retrieved 4 December 2019 – via American Radio History.
  36. ^ "Scoring High" (PDF). Billboard. 9 May 1981. p. ANZ-23. Retrieved 5 December 2021 – via World Radio History.
  37. ^ Rondeau, José Emilio (9 August 1981). "Abba, adeus". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 30 March 2020. Only in Brazil their last album Super Trouper has already received a gold certification for 100,000 sold.
  38. ^ LeBlanc, Larry (28 March 1981). "Canada" (PDF). Record World. p. 40. Retrieved 10 May 2022 – via World Radio History.
  39. ^ "Danish album certifications – ABBA – Super Trouper". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  40. ^ a b "Abba" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  41. ^ Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Fabrice Ferment (ed.). "TOP – 1980". 40 ans de tubes : 1960–2000 : les meilleures ventes de 45 tours & CD singles (in French). OCLC 469523661. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2022 – via Top-France.fr.
  42. ^ Spahr, Wolfgang (8 August 1981). "DG Sales Stable In Declining Mart". Billboard. p. 60. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  43. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (ABBA; 'Super Trouper')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  44. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1982". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  45. ^ Bronkhorst, Joe (28 February 1981). "EMI honours top girls" (PDF). Music Week. p. 10. Retrieved 10 May 2022 – via World Radio History.
  46. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  48. ^ "British album certifications – ABBA – Super Trouper". British Phonographic Industry.
  49. ^ "British video certifications – ABBA – Super Trouper". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  50. ^ "American album certifications – ABBA – Super Trouper". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 3 March 2013.