Abba / Arrival 1976


I have an extensive range of vinyl. My first purchase with the generosity of my Mother’s expansive purse strings (and a little coercion) was ABBA®’s fourth studio album ‘Arrival’ back in October 1976 (RCA Victor, VPL1-4034).

This recording was a sumptuous aesthetic journey and ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ (total-work-of-art) in sound, design and packaging. Even today I have listened to it and my enjoyment is heightened by its purity and melodic prowess; complete with the “inverted-B” copyrighted ABBA® logo in a (News Gothic) sans serif font. This led to my everlasting connection to purchasing music on vinyl and curating a large archival collection. Unfortunately it has taken a good percentage of my income over the years and restricted my worldwide travel plans.

Sadly the original first pressing went missing from an over zealous and misguided art-school colleague that thought ABBA® was a “kitsch” proposition in 1987. You know who you are Kylie. I brought the 40th Anniversary Edition (Abbey Road Studios, Half-Speed Remaster, 2LP, Polar, 4794565) in all it’s aeronautical jumpsuit gatefold replica sleeve glory in 2016. One of things that made it so special is that it’s cover and interior told a story of ABBA® in full-flight. My next destination (purchase) would see me traverse to the southern German city and “creative hub of Europe” Munich, where Giorgio Moroder’s Eurodisco synchronisations would drastically alter the direction in sound design for future generations, but that’s another story. To be continued.

Rating: Five Stars. The dark masterpiece of the album was the ultimate underground ABBA® track; the haunting ‘Arrival’. One for the intellectuals. Nordic-cool. Archie