I do not. Think with they sound so dated. So trapped in the 1980s. Only the single IKTSGO seems fresh today. Still don’t understand why it was not Top 5 in the UK. 1982 was not a good year for anything Abba related. Think the girls singles would have charted better a year or 2 years earlier. Think WYAAM would have been a better lead single than THIO. Shine was a brave attempt at something new but even with Steve and Kirsty on board, it just disappointed me. And Slowly was very lacklustre. The other 2 Agnetha albums and singles were also a bit disappointing. Maybe The Pet shop boys could have produced better albums for the girls. By contrast I love the 2 Latest Agnetha albums especially ‘A’. If only Frida could give us one this century.
I actually don't. I mostly listen to songs through my phone and now and then a song like I Keep Turning Off Lights or To Turn The Stone will pop up. I enjoy them when they do but as time cracks on many sound more and more dated. Or rather, stuck in an 80's bubble instead of being a timeless classic.
I listen to the Shine album quite often. Start to finish, no skips. I really love it. I think the title track sounds fresh enough today and, although I'm sure they haven't listened to it, I can hear some of its sound/influence in bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Temper Trap. Twist In The Dark is a tour de force. I'm not mad about Chemistry Tonight, but I tend not to skip it.
I listen to Something's Going On occasionally, sometimes I skip a track or two. I still rate IKTSGO and Tell Me It's Over. And YKWIM is still beautiful. I have even grown fond of Here We'll Stay.
My favourite Agnetha album has always been Wrap Your Arms Around Me and I still play it occasionally. I tend to skip The Heat Is On and I Wish Tonight Would Last For Ever, but I love the title track, Can't Shake Loose, Mr. Persuasion and, best of all, Man. It's lovely.
I never play Eyes Of A Woman. I have never managed to like the album. I still like and play I Keep Turning Off Lights and, to a lesser extent, The Angels Cry.
I haven't played I Stand Alone from start to finish in years. I love the title track, The Last Time and Maybe It Was Magic (I think it could have been a big hit in the States). They get the odd spin if I'm in the mood. But the rest of it leaves me cold, I'm afraid.
I simply can't listen to either of Benny's 80s solo albums.
Chess remains a favourite and it's a treat to play it in its glorious entirety.
I listen to Something’s Going On and I Stand Alone sometimes, but the others not. I tend to think a lot of 80s stuff (particularly from the first half of the decade) hasn’t dated well. 1970s stuff has dated, but in a much nicer way. ABBA themselves escaped most of the 80s thankfully.
I liked all of the albums back in the day, but find them a hard listen these days. Then again, I haven’t listened to “A” for years either.
I tend to think a lot of 80s stuff (particularly from the first half of the decade) hasn’t dated well. 1970s stuff has dated, but in a much nicer way.
I completely agree. A hell of a lot of 1980s music sounds older/tinnier etc than 1970s music and even quite a lot of 1960s stuff, to the point of being virtually unlistenable. It's different with movies, though - there's nothing so dated as a late 1960s film (especially with one of those obligatory 'party' scenes). They somehow feel 'older' and less familiar than stuff produced in the 1950s and even the 1940s and 1930s. Strange but true.
Ooooh, them's fightin' words, Josef! I love the '80s. For me, the period 1980 to 1986 was a golden era. Music was diverse, fashion was too. Yes, there were tribes and fads, but there was a place for the individual and the freak which was new and, despite everything, has not really continued. Pop came from a much wider palette than before and so much of it influences modern pop. (I must post on the favourite music thread elsewhere to illustrate my point a bit).
Musical nostalgia seems to pick up things from 20 years before. In the 1980s, there was a big rediscovery of 1960s music and the stylings and arrangements were borrowed/updated/repurposed. In the 1990s, there was a revival of 1970s music and style (although, stylistically, I think the 1970s was an ugly decade. An entirely personal view, of course). The 70s has a definite sound and style when it comes to music: intricate chord structures, shifting time signatures. Then came the noughties and, right on cue, came the 80s revival. But it seems to have hung around a few years longer than expected. I reckon that's because it was a rich decade of new styles and ideas. The 90s revival is starting to edge in now but, for me, it was a dull period. Techno was tuneless, boybands from the era are virtually interchangeable, and then there was grunge. As for 90s fashion? Cargo pants, soul patches and ironed hair, anyone? It was a decade of beige.
I actually think the last 10-15 years has been another interesting pop era, a bit more diverse than the preceding years.
I still listen to all of them from time to time. Not too often, as I have a lot of music I'd like to listen to but extremely small amount of time I can devote to it. Something's Going On is probably the one I play the most.
I listen to the 80s solo albums (Agnetha, Frida and Benny's) perhaps once every few months. I like the first English-language album the best from both Frida and Agnetha. Benny's albums paved the way for BAO and I am probably more into that these days.
Still listen occasionally to WYAAM and Something going on... Still think WYAAM is pure pop, very much of its day but good and the title track is one of my Favourites of all ABBA/related. It would be in my all time top 10.
As for the others not so much, but should revisit, as listened to The Angels Cry the other day and thought more of it than I previously thought.. The Last Time, I won't Let You Go also pretty good for the time....
I’ve been thinking more about this and I wonder if it’s because most of those albums are quite impersonal?
Something’s Going On was perhaps Frida’s most personal album. She didn’t write any of it but that doesn’t matter. She’d apparently listened to Phil Collins’ Face Value album every day for months, and one of the songs on it (You Know What I Mean) she recorded for her album. Plus she got Phil himself as producer, apparently going against Stig’s wishes.
The result is a drum-heavy and dated album but with plenty of Frida in it. Tell Me It’s Over, the (sort of) title track, You Know What I Mean. All reflected her marriage break-up and Phil sympathised with her as the injured party. It means this album is still listenable today as you can still feel the pain that went into it. It may be a long time ago, but she went through this.
Shine and all three of Agnetha’s 80s albums, on the other hand, show an appalling lack of any personal qualities. I could quite believe that they would each have sang anything that was put in front of them as long as it suited their voices. Yes, both wrote the odd song but even those don’t really give us any glimpse at what was going on in their lives at the time.
We’d have to wait until My Colouring Book to get a personal English album from Agnetha (all cover versions but songs she had grown up with and therefore personal to her. Plus “Past, Present and Future” was so linked to the image we had of Agnetha at the time, they could easily have been her words).
So yes, a mix of dated production and a lack of sincerity makes the 80s albums (with the exception of Something’s Going On) a difficult and very dull listen.
I think you've actually hit on something there, Alan. At the time, I loved Something's Going On, I still do, and that was partly because I honestly felt Frida put her heart and soul into it and some of the songs I felt were definitely related to her break up with Benny. I'm always drawn to music that has that truly personal input and you can hear that. Although I like individual songs from all the albums released by our gals during the 80s, there's a definite lack of that 'personal' touch. 'Shine' has grown on me over the years and I will set aside some time soon to give all these fossils from the 80s another listen.
I think it was Agnetha who admits that some of her choices weren't ones she'd necessarily choose now but you go for it at the time and do your best or maybe she was talking about the ABBA years.
Last Edit: Jun 17, 2019 17:47:57 GMT by josef: Typos
For all that SGO supposedly addressed Frida's personal situation, it feels less Frida-ish than Shine. That's my own view anyway. For me, Shine handles the same landscape with a bit more subtlety. Kirsty MacColl marvelled that nobody had spotted that the album was about abandonment. Even the upbeat and sparky title track includes a plea not to let the sun go down, with the love interest "walking away." From one angle, the final four songs even track the beginning and end of a rebound relationship. With a closer-knit writing team than 1982, and far less genre hopping, it feels more cohesive. The downside is that Frida's vocal range wasn't explored to the same extent. Even so, I find it a more satisfying album. Her three Swedish albums are totally Frida, though.
What I especially like about WYAAM is that is mostly skipped that tear-sodden maudlin streak that seems to be the Agnetha stereotype. It covered so many parts of her personality and she was in fabulous vocal form. I Stand Alone was slick but the Wronged Woman theme was a teensy bit "Agnetha from Central Casting." It had a nice feel to it and it was interesting to see Agnetha through an American filter (I don't know if I'm making sense here). I think the singles were oddly chosen, though.
I Stand Alone was slick but the Wronged Woman theme was a teensy bit "Agnetha from Central Casting." It had a nice feel to it and it was interesting to see Agnetha through an American filter (I don't know if I'm making sense here). I think the singles were oddly chosen, though.
I’d disagree here and say that the single choices from that album were good ones. In the early 2000s, I bought Agnetha’s “That’s Me” compilation and I remember being surprised at the fact that the three songs that stood out best were the three singles from I Stand Alone. Back in the day I really wasn’t enamoured by that album and was a bit disappointed with it compared to the previous two. The West Coast sheen on it also didn’t go down too well with me. But with That’s Me, those three tracks (none of which I’d heard in over a decade) suddenly became my favourite Agnetha songs ever! I did then check out the album but I don’t think the other seven tracks really match up.
However, I’ll still listen to I Stand Alone over the other two Agnetha 80’s albums as somehow it’s dated better. Maybe it’s because it’s from the second half of the decade, or maybe because of the American sound, but in the 80s I’d have probably ranked Eyes of A Woman the best, Wrap Your... second and I Stand Alone third. Nowadays I’d rank them in reverse of that order.
One thing I will say about Wrap Your... is that Agnetha does sound quite sensual and indeed sexy on some of it. The title track (the spoken dialogue in the instrumental break) and Stay especially. I’m a sucker for double-layered vocals and the chorus of Stay does them brilliantly. The spoken, sexy Agnetha and her usual higher vocals running simultaneously (especially when both of them launch into the chorus with a synchronised “Stay”). That song was probably my least favourite when the album came out but now I’d rank it one of the best.
Post by The Rubber Ball Man on Jun 17, 2019 23:31:56 GMT
So, I love and listen to the whole of Something's Going On and Shine with the exception of Heart Of The Country, The Face and Chemistry Tonight. I especially love the themes that are present in both of those albums as pointed out earlier. I love the fact that nearly all of the songs were ahead of it's time which makes them listenable for me.
But Agnetha's albums are a mixed bag in my opinion. While there's songs that I love on Wrap Your Arms Around Me such as The Heat Is On, Wrap Your Arms Around Me and Take Good Care Of Your Children, a lot of the songs on the albums are out of date, substandard and don't keep me going through the album. Also, there's something about the backing vocals which sound off-putting. I do love all the bonus tracks on the 2005 reissue though. I listen to those songs more. The first side of Eyes Of A Woman is awesome and I can listen through it with no problem. But the enjoyment wanes off just as We Should Be Together starts but doesn't return until the last two songs on the album. Similarly, on I Stand Alone, I only listen to The Last Time and I Wasn't The One on the first side of the album but I love the whole of the 2nd side. Agnetha's albums are like rice and chips: half and half. I shouldn't have said that because I quite fancy that now with curry sauce.
For me, the ISA singles should have been The Last Time (its 12" is particularly excellent), an edit of the title track and then Maybe It Was Magic. I have never liked Let It Shine. The Bright Remix that was a bonus cut on the 12" redeemed it for me but even that has not aged well.
As for the sensuality of WYAAM, it seemed to me that there was a concerted effort overall to play up the whole sex-kitten thing. I love the talky bits and, while the translation of what's being said on the title track is fairly tame, the delivery was pretty Jane Birkin. Even the artwork had steam. Very unAgnetha, really, but it all worked so well.
Note:I tried editing Alan's quote but the whole thing disappeared. Tried pasting in the salient parts but nothing worked. Just in case anyone needs to inform the tech department
These worrying and strange times we’re in have coincided with a renewed interest in Agnetha’s post-ABBA solo work. Aside from “A” which has so far completely been excluded from this, Agnetha’s English solo albums have all had an airing recently.
I took this a stage further by buying her “It‘s So Nice To Be Rich” single off eBay, to complete my 7” collection (it wasn’t released in the UK and as possibly the worst Agnetha single ever, I had little interest in getting it until now). And to add to that I’ve also ordered the 2005 remaster of Wrap Your Arms Around Me.
I watched her interview with Nick Ross on Breakfast Time from 1983 recently and it gets more cringeworthy each time. No way could a TV presenter get away with that behaviour now. Thankfully the late Mike Smith’s comment, “we’ve sent Nick Ross off for a cold shower” helped to ease the embarrassment.
Back in 1983, things seemed so simple, didn’t they? Yes, we had the threat of nuclear war but even that seems something to be nostalgic about compared to what we’ve dealt with (and are dealing with) now and in the last 12 years or so.
Those 80s solo albums suddenly represent more innocent and happier times. At the time of release they paled when compared to ABBA’s work and just reinforced the fact that ABBA was over.