The Winner's Gonna Take It All: The final...

A fun bop, but I believe in my heart that @TrueBeliever gave this an 11 for reasons largely unrelated to the song's relative merits. Gurl, I understand and wonder how many of us have similar life associations with specific Abba songs? Also, I'm sorry about your mother.

I actually praised the song for its joyous tone, harmonies, and instrumentation; and then included a personal anecdote. The song has merit up the wazoo, as far as I'm concerned.

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I don't understand the hostility directed toward poor "Does Your Mother Know"....could someone enlighten me?

It's a Bjorn vocal. The end.

So who the fuck is Carrie?!


...not the kind of girl you'd marry.
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37. - a tie

'...Was it me or was it you? Tell me, are we really through? Won't you hear me cry and you will know that my heart is breaking...'
- Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Ring Ring -


Just look at how happy they all look...

Average: 7.8478
Highest score: 8 *
10.00 - @constantino @idratherjack @tylerc904 @WhatKindOfKylie? @Mikey1701 @P'NutButter @SecretsOfFatima @Hudweiser
Lowest score: 1 * 4.00 - @Filippa
My score: 7.50


This piece of history that tells of a girl begging her lover to give her a ring ring bows out at #37.

In 1972 both couples decided to get together to record People Need Love. As you already know Benny and Björn already had formed a duo together, tentatively called Björn & Benny, and to record the aforementioned song they enlisted the vocal talents of their fiancées, who had both had success as solo artistes before and during that time. It's because of this fact that the group decided not to form a permanent quartet, because both of the girls had a lot of promotional activities lined up for their solo work. Their manager decided they should go on calling themselves (and you've heard all this before...) Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid...

After the succes in their native country of singles People Need Love and He Is Your Brother, Stig got them an invitation to compete in the selection process for the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. It was in January of that year that Benny, Björn and Stig came up with the concept for Ring Ring and wrote the song that same month. The song was written in Swedish (as were the rules back then) and was called Ring Ring (Bara Du Slog En Signal). It was their full intention to write something very pop-orientated, because the ECS was known for its slow winners back then.

As was done back then, the song was re-written in English to make it more accessible outside of Sweden and the song was renamed Ring Ring, with lyrics provided by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody.

Their sound manager Michael B. Tretow had read and heard of a producer named Phil Spector, who had created the Wall of Sound technique, where he let a whole bunch of the same instruments be played at the same time, creating a bombastic sound. Michael realized this was way too expensive for them, so he simply let the backing track play twice. Queen of efficiency.

Now, there is no televised performance of this, like, anywhere, so the only thing I can give you is this...

As we already know, they didn't win and finished third, but the song went on to be a huge hit in Scandinavia and outside and the group began to realize that going on as a quartet was something feasible (and bankable)...

The Swedish version topped the charts in Sweden, while the English version hit #2 over there, which was the same chart position it reached in Norway and Austria and became a top 10 hit in The Netherlands, Austria and South Africa, where it spent a whopping year and a half in the charts. It even placed above Waterloo in the year-end charts of 1974... It did, however reach the top of the charts in Belgium (queens of taste!) where it became one of many chart toppers for them from then on.
In Australia, the song received a single release in too, with it only reaching the nether regions of the top 100, but during the height of ABBAmania over there, the song got a second single release in 1976, reaching the top 10, but the Australians would lap up everything the band shat out back then, so of course it became a hit...
It was released as their first single in the United Kingdom, but flopped miserably and was eventually remixed and re-released in 1974 when the rest of the world got Honey, Honey instead... It only reached the top 40 though, so it didn't exactly set the charts alight either.

I can appreciate it for its classic status, but musically it's never been a favourite of mine. For me, it's way too loud and although the girls' harmony is technically perfect, they're drowned out in places because of the huge instrumental.

But who am I, eh? Let's hear what you lot had to say about it.

tylerc904 says it's "Their first proper “smash” sounding single, though I do love the cheesefests that preceded it." in which he's referring to People Need Love and He Is Your Brother, but we've said goodbye to those two a long time ago, seaux...

This was Mikey1701's first bit of commentary he sent in and let me tell you... It was quite a 'moment'.
"The first big ABBA “moment” in terms of their sound. People Need Love may have been their debut single but this was when ABBA really sounded like the ABBA we have all come to know and love. The girls are serving those harmonies and vocals perfectly, the early wall-of-sound production is tight and on point and there is a familiar melancholy laced throughout it. I would say that I probably prefer the 1974 US Remix for the added sax, but the original is just as incredible. It would take them three albums for them to really nail the formula on a regular basis (the parent album, Waterloo and ABBA are all hit and miss)- but this was the first time the group felt like the behemoth that they were to become. And is it sacrilegious to say that I prefer this to Waterloo?"...

Well, I directly thought of someone who prefers a lot of songs to Waterloo... VivaForever doesn't understand "how this lost Melodifestivalen tibb. Also, it should be better known that Tina Arena sang this at her audition for Young Talent Time. (Here's baby Tina's recording. She also did When I Kissed the Teacher.)". Sadly these clips weren't available in my country... I searched the internet for clips of her Tiny Tina and Little John days, but didn't find any of the relevant clips for this rate though...

SecretsOfFatima defines this as "Sweet, pure pop and the melody in the “…and I sit all alone impatiently” bit snatches me every time. The US Remix is even better in my opinion. If only the whole album was as good as the title track." and there were others who thought the exact same.
idratherjack thinks "The album starts so well with this bop but it's all downhill from here... This song stops my average for this album being in negative figures.", while kalonite says it's "A good start, then the album all just went downhill from here.". CasperFan loves this song too, but calls it "a promising start to an utterly shit abum-almost as if it doesn’t belong here but a sign of the joys to come.".
"Given how naff the first album/2 albums are in general," Weslicious states that "as their semi-ish debut single this song has nothing to be ashamed of (and should have made ABBA Gold tbqh).".

Giving it quatre points is Filippa, yet follows it with "One of the first songs that sounds like ABBA.", while TrueBeliever gives it five points more, calling it a "Classic that manages to sound more modern than it should.". I know whose team I'm on.

Proving the children really don't even know is poor ol' Sprockrooster... "I did not know this preceded Waterloo. And even more surprised it was released and successful before they snatched ESC with Waterloo. I thought they were unknown to Europe.". Speaking of Waterloo, WhatKindOfKylie? thought "it sounds very, very similar to Waterloo, and so should have been a big smash here in the UK, I love it! Who hasn't longed for their beloved to give them a call when they have been missing them? It's a tale literally as old as time.".
Well, Mumty knows the deal, saying it's "A timeless anthem about how fuckboys see messages but don’t reply to them.".

Stating it's "One of the catchiest songs ever recorded." is P'nutbutter, but ufint seems to be disagreeing with him, calling it "patchy, but it’s awesome to hear the very beginning of what would become one of the most iconic pop acts ever.".

Giving it a 10 "Primarily for the '74 remix. Clearly the best thing on the debut, the point where they found their sound." is Hudweiser and giving it a 6 is Mina which includes a "Plus one for all four band members in the video looking like they belong on the docks while the guitarist in the background wears a green polo and slacks. Song itself is a snoozer.".
bichard stays strict but firm though... "In other rates of lesser entities this would probably get an 8, but with what it's up against…", giving it a 6 in the end.

And for constantino this grew into something special in the course of minutes... He started with "This is sweet, the verses are a bit twee at points but the chorus is ridiculously catchy, to the point where I struggled to stop replaying and move on to the next track.", before editing himself with "I’M FUCKING LIVING FOR THIS.".


We'll end with chris4862, who gives a shout out to our Frida...
"I’ll call you Frida! We can talk about neon and weaves."
I bet you would.

Swedish version:

English version:

A lot of different language versions were released though... there's a German version...

...and a Spanish version too.

In 1973 a cute little performance video was shot for the song...

...but during the same shooting of the video for Waterloo, the group taped a promotional video for Ring Ring too.

The song was slightly remixed for the 1974 UK single release...

...and a slightly different version was released in the United States too.

During promotional activities for the album, Agnetha was pregnant and the group performed with a stand-in for a while... Not quite as convincing as the real thing though.

She'd be back performing with the group in no time though. Here they are performing the song on The Tommy Cooper Show in 1974...

...and in 1975 they performed the song on the Dutch show Eddy Go Round.

As I said before, the song was re-released in 1976 in Australia, during the height of ABBAmania and here is the group performing it during their The Best of ABBA / ABBA Down Under tv special.

In 1976, Swedish country band Nashville Train released a cover version on their ABBA covers album ABBA In Our Way...

...and in 1992 Swedish rock band Sator recorded a version for the ABBA: The Tribute album.

Swedish band The Black Sweden covered it for their 2000 ABBA tribute album Gold, pairing it with the riff from Judas Priest's Breaking the Law...

And in 2012, Norwegian band The Dahlmanns recorded a version for a fund raising album, titled Super Hits Of The Seventies for radio station WFMU.