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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Abba - One Of Us

'One of Us' from 1981 was the first single from Swedish pop group ABBA's final studio album The Visitors, their eighth for Polar, and their seventh for Epic and Atlantic. The song is also included on the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits compilation.

'One of Us,' which had the working titles 'Number 1' and 'Mio Amore', was one of the last songs recorded for ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors.

It was one of only a handful of tracks that explored the darker territory of Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson's songwriting as the two men's divorces were beginning to influence their musical output. Indeed, the message of the song was about a woman trying to revive a dead relationship. Despite the somewhat depressing context and reservations by manager Stig Anderson, 'One of Us' was released as the 1st single from The Visitors, coupled with the non-album track 'Should I Laugh or Cry'.

Ulvaeus had favored releasing it as the 1st single from the new album and was vindicated when the majority of the record companies agreed with him. Indeed, it proved to be a wise move as it was ABBA's last number 1 single.

In the United Kingdom, this single was issued in a different sleeve. The official sleeve depicted the album cover photo, and was used in most countries. Epic Records wanted it different for the British release, and used separate photos of the group members together with a large ABBA logo. Agnetha and Frida appeared on the front cover, with Bjorn and Benny on the back. The photos were actually out-of-date, as Frida was depicted still with her frizzy perm, while Bjorn was beardless. A limited edition picture disc using very similar artwork was also issued, Epic Records again making up for their earlier poor presentation of ABBA singles up until mid-1979.

The B-side, 'Should I Laugh or Cry', included a spoken count-in (in Swedish) from Benny. This count-in appeared on UK and South African releases, but not internationally. The master tapes supplied to Epic contained the error, but were not picked up in time, and so appeared on the single release. In the early 2000s, Epic's rights to ABBA's music in the UK had long since expired. However, they still owned all the UK master tapes for the singles. These were then returned to Polar Music (itself owned by Universal Music) in Stockholm, who later issued the error count-in version as a "rarity" in The Complete Studio Recordings boxed set, thereby making it available to a worldwide audience (and on CD for the first time).

'One of Us' was ABBA's last major hit, and their last No. 1 single in many countries. It topped the charts in Ireland, Belgium, West Germany and the Netherlands, and reached the Top 3 in ABBA's native Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and the UK. It also hit the Top 10 in South Africa, Norway, Spain and France.

The track debuted at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart on December 12, 1981 and peaked at number 3 the following week, where it stayed for 3 weeks. At the time of the weekly charts publication at Christmas that year, there was a publishers strike. When sales figures were calculated following the strike, they showed that the song would have been the Christmas Number 1 single for 2 weeks. After 10 weeks in the charts, it exited on February 13, 1982.

When 'One of Us' was released as a single in the United States in February 1983, it proved to be ABBA's worst ever performing charting song in that territory, reaching a high of number 107, though it should be pointed out that the song was released over a year after its release elsewhere and ABBA had disbanded by this time. Nevertheless, 'One of Us' was ABBA's swansong in terms of their hit-making career.

The music video was shot in a studio with mirrors. The group has also started to give the impression that Agnetha is closer to Benny while Frida is closer to Björn as seen in video.

Click the link below to download the following:
Single Version

Instrumental Version
Should I Laugh or Cry - B-Side (Count In Version)

Should I Laugh or Cry - Without Count In
Should I Laugh or Cry - Remix


Abba - One Of Us - Video

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