Arrival (ABBA album)

Studio album by ABBA
Released 11 October 1976
Recorded 4 August 1975 – 18 September 1976
Genre Pop, euro disco
Length 33:16
Label Polar
Producer Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA chronology
Greatest Hits
ABBA: The Album
Alternative cover
French edition using the inner sleeve image
Singles from Arrival
  1. "Dancing Queen"
    Released: 16 August 1976 (Sweden), 21 August 1976 (UK), 12 November 1976 (US)
  2. "Money, Money, Money"
    Released: 1 November 1976
  3. "That's Me"
    Released: 1977 (Japan only)
  4. "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
    Released: 14 February 1977

Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA's most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: "Dancing Queen", "Money, Money, Money" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You". Upon its original 1976 release, "Fernando", released as a single earlier the same year, did not appear on Arrival, but it was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album was first released on Compact disc in 1984 and then re-issued in digitally remastered form a total of four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set, and again in 2006 (as a special Deluxe Edition).


By the time ABBA began working on their fourth album in August 1975, they had achieved a modest level of success around the world. It was with Arrival however that they would achieve global superstardom to become the biggest name in the music business - a title they would hold for the rest of the decade. The first song to enter the studio was a track called "Boogaloo" on 4 August. Taking inspiration from the current disco sound (and in particular George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby") heavily present in the charts, the backing track was laid down.[1] All four members remember hearing this for the first time and knew that they had something big on their hands, as member Agnetha Faltskog remarked: "We knew immediately it was going to be massive". With re-written lyrics, the song became known as "Dancing Queen", and would go on to be ABBA's biggest ever hit. Work on the song continued intermittently until December as the group's activities were increasing in the latter half of 1975 as they saw a sudden surge in popularity in the United Kingdom and Australia. During this time they also recorded a song for member Annifrid Lyngstad's solo album, "Fernando". Early in the new year, they decided to release it internationally as an ABBA song and with English lyrics the song became the group's next single in March 1976. "Fernando" became ABBA's biggest hit to date - hitting No.1 in many countries, including a 14-week stay at No.1 in Australia. Also around this time their Greatest Hits album was selling in huge amounts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK. In the midst of all this promotion, the group finally found time to return to the studio in late March. The next song they began working on was "Knowing Me, Knowing You", which was to become yet another major hit all over the world. Member Benny Andersson has said that it is "one of our five best recordings".[1]

By the end of April two other songs had been laid down entitled "That's Me" and "Why Did It Have to Be Me". The latter of these then became reworked into "Happy Hawaii" before ultimately arriving back at its original title with completely different lyrics and member Bjorn Ulvaeus on lead as opposed to Faltskog and Lyngstad ("Happy Hawaii" would later be released as a B-side). A similar situation occurred with the next recording when a song called "Money Money Money" became "Gypsy Girl" and then back to its original title. "Money Money Money" would also be released as a single and become a major hit some months after the album's eventual release.[1]

During June, the group were invited by Swedish television to make a TV special dedicated to the group The programme entitled ABBA-dabba-dooo!! was filmed around the same time they were recording a song called "When I Kissed the Teacher", which would become the opening track on their new album. Late July saw the next two tracks "Tiger" and "Dum Dum Diddle" go into the studio. Considered by biographer Carl Magnus Palm as the "complete antithesis" of each other, the former being a hard rocker against the pure pop of the latter, members Lyngstad and Ulvaeus have both expressed dissatisfaction for the latter, with Ulvaeus admitting that it was a nonsense lyric he'd come up with in desperation.[2] The next song to be recorded for the album was a Faltskog lead titled "My Love My Life". Originally titled "Monsieur Monsieur" and more upbeat, the song soon became a lush ballad with backing harmonies inspired by 10cc's hit "I'm Not In Love".[1] It was also around this time "Why Did It Have to Be Me" was completed as well as the album's lead single to be released internationally; "Dancing Queen".

The final track to be recorded was an instrumental song, "Ode to Dalecarlia". Featuring Andersson prominently on keyboards, the song was soon renamed "Arrival" - a word that had already been decided on as the title of their new album. By September 1976 work on the album was finished just as "Dancing Queen" was hitting No.1 all over the world. The album cover shots were taken of the group posing in and out of a helicopter (a Bell 47) at the Barkarby airfield, northwest of Stockholm.[1] The now-renowned "mirrored-B" copyrighted ABBA logo, designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976 — and said to have been inspired by Benny — was also premiered on this album cover. Arrival was released on 11 October 1976.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ken Tucker panned Arrival as "Muzak mesmerizing in its modality" and wrote, "By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to matter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression".[5] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a "C",[6] indicating "a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both."[7]

In a review upon the album's 2001 reissue by Universal Records, Allmusic editor Bruce Eder gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars and found the material "brilliant". He complimented the reissue's "upgraded sound", as well as "those dramatic musical effects that this group played for maximum effect, which gave their music a raw power that their detractors usually overlooked; in the new edition, it's impossible to ignore."[8] In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), music journalist Arion Berger gave Arrival four out of five stars and recommended its Universal reissue to consumers.[9]

The album became a major seller all over the world,[10] becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example.[11][12] It housed three of ABBA's biggest hits; "Dancing Queen", "Money Money Money" and "Knowing Me Knowing You", and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of "Fernando" (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). "That's Me" was released as a single in Japan only.

The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing

Vinyl album

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

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "When I Kissed the Teacher"   3:00
2. "Dancing Queen" (Andersson, Stig Anderson, Ulvaeus) 3:50
3. "My Love, My Life" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus) 3:52
4. "Dum Dum Diddle"   2:50
5. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus) 4:02
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Money, Money, Money"   3:05
2. "That's Me" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus) 3:15
3. "Why Did It Have to Be Me?"   3:20
4. "Tiger"   2:55
5. "Arrival"   3:00
Total length:



Side one

  1. "When I Kissed the Teacher"
  2. "Dancing Queen"
  3. "Dum Dum Diddle"
  4. "My Love, My Life"
  5. "Tiger"

Side two

  1. "Money, Money, Money"
  2. "That's Me"
  3. "Why Did It Have to Be Me"
  4. "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
  5. "Arrival"

CD re-issues

Arrival was re-released a number of times on Compact disc with varying numbers of bonus tracks, as follows:

1996 issue

  1. "Fernando" (Andersson, Ulvaeus) – 4:12

2001 issue

  1. "Happy Hawaii" (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus) – 4:25

2005 (as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set)

  1. "Fernando"
  2. "Happy Hawaii"
  3. "La reina del baile" (Spanish version of "Dancing Queen") (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, Buddy McCluskey, Mary McCluskey) – 4:03
  4. "Conociéndome, conociéndote" (Spanish version of "Knowing Me, Knowing You") (Andersson, Anderson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey) – 4:04
  5. "Fernando (Spanish version)" (Andersson, Ulvaeus, McCluskey, McCluskey) – 4:17

2006 Deluxe Edition issue

  1. "Fernando"
  2. "Happy Hawaii"
  3. "Fernando (Spanish version)"
  4. "La reina del baile"
  5. "Conociéndome, conociéndote"
  6. "Fernando" (Frida's Swedish solo version) - 4:14


  1. ABBA-DABBA-DOOO!! (One-hour television special, SVT)
    1. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (filmed song)
    2. "When I Kissed the Teacher" (filmed song, includes an early mix of the song different from the one of the album)
    3. "Dum Dum Diddle" (live performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
    4. "My Love, My Life" (filmed song featuring only Agnetha)
    5. "Money, Money, Money" (playback performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
    6. "Dancing Queen" (filmed song)
    7. "Tiger" (filmed song)
    8. "Why Did It Have to Be Me" (live performance at television studios of Sveriges Radio)
  2. "Dancing Queen" (Musikladen, Radio Bremen)
  3. "Fernando" (Top of the Pops, BBC), an alternate version with live vocals over prerrecorded sound
  4. "Happy Hawaii" (Cartoon, Fremantle Media)
  5. "Dancing Queen" Recording Sessions (Mr. Trendsetter, SVT), includes every bit available of the recording sessions with the "lost verse" of the song.
  6. ABBA in London, November 1976 (Young Nation, BBC)
  7. ABBA's 1976 Success – News Report (Rapport, SVT)
  8. Arrival Television Commercial I (UK)
  9. Arrival Television Commercial II (UK)
  10. International Sleeve Gallery


Additional musicians


Chart positions

Weekly charts

Chart (1976–79) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report[13] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 12
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[15] 3
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[16] 1
French SNEP Albums Chart [17] 9
Italian Albums Chart[18] 11
Japanese Oricon LP Chart[19] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[20] 1
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[21] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[22] 1
UK Albums Chart[23] 1
U.S. Billboard 200 [24] 20
West German Media Control Albums Chart[25] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1976) Position
Australian Albums Chart[13] 8
French Albums Chart[26] 47
Chart (1977) Position
Australian Albums Chart[13] 17
Austrian Albums Chart[27] 17
Canadian Albums Chart[28] 27
Italian Albums Chart[18] 36
Japanese Albums Chart[29] 37
UK Albums Chart[11] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[30] 34
West German Albums Chart[12] 1
Chart (1978) Position
Japanese Albums Chart[31] 28
UK Albums Chart 38
Chart (1979) Position
Japanese Albums Chart[32] 8

Decade-end charts

Chart (1970–79) Position
Japanese Albums Chart[19] 14
UK Albums Chart[11] 7

Sales and certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA) 18× Platinum 900,000[33]
Canada (Music Canada)[34] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[35] 1× Platinum 86,420[35]
France (SNEP Charts) 200,000
Germany (BVMI)[36] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[37] Gold 10,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 645,000[19]
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[39] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Carl Magnus Palm Arrival deluxe edition, 2006 liner notes
  2. The Guardian - Benny and Bjorn interview
  3. Eder, Bruce. "Arrival – Abba". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  4. Goddard, Simon. "Arrival – Abba". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  5. Tucker, Ken (7 April 1977). "ABBA: Arrival : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  6. Christgau, Robert (6 June 1977). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  7. Christgau, Robert (1980). "CG 70s: The Grades". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  8. Eder, Bruce. "Arrival [Import Bonus Tracks 2001] - ABBA". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  9. Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard, ed. (November 2, 2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. Liner Notes, CD Edition
  11. 1 2 3 "1970s Albums Chart Archive". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  12. 1 2 "Album – Jahrescharts: 1977". Media Control Charts. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. " ABBA - Arrival". Hung Medien (in German). Archived from the original (ASP) on 5 November 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  15. "RPM: Top Albums/CDs - Volume 27, No. 3, April 16, 1977". RPM Canada. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  16. " ABBA - Arrival" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  17. "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : ABBA". Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  18. 1 2 "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1977" (in Italian). Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  19. 1 2 3 Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  20. " ABBA - Arrival" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  21. " ABBA - Arrival" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  22. " ABBA - Arrival" (ASP). Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  23. "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  24. "allmusic ((( Arrival > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  25. "Album Search: ABBA - Arrival" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  26. "Les Albums (CD) de 1976 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  27. " - Jahreshitparade 1977" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  28. "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1977". RPM. 1977-12-31. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  29. "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1977" [1977年アルバム年間ヒットチャート] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  30. "Top Pop Albums of 1977". Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  31. "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1978" [1978年アルバム年間ヒットチャート] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  32. "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1979" [1979年アルバム年間ヒットチャート] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  33. Glen Baker (8 November 1979). Billboard Magazine Volume 91, No. 36. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  34. "Canadian album certifications – ABBA – Arrival". Music Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  35. 1 2 "ABBA" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  36. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (ABBA; 'Arrival')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  37. "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1977". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  38. "British album certifications – ABBA – Arrival". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 31 October 2012. Enter Arrival in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  39. "American album certifications – ABBA – Arrival". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 31 October 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links

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