I'm anxiously awaiting the mess and conflict that the Top 20 is gonna cause! Poor Eagle.
It's like you read my mind.If you always wanted a hi-NRG version of Andante Andante, this could be for you.
Highest score: 1 * 11.00 - @Baby Clyde
13 * 10.00 - @nlgbbbblth @SecretsOfFatima @chris4862 @Mikey1701 @Sprockrooster @Mumty @AGiantSheep @Ed72 @Filippa @LTG @TrueBeliever @Uno @Remorque
Lowest score: 2 * 3.00 - @idratherjack @bichard
My score: 10.00
Eagle was written and recorded in 1977 during the sessions for The Album and the track apparently was an ode to one of the boys' favourite bands at the time, Eagles and the lyrics were inspired by Richard Bach's novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A Story. The track eventually was released as the opening song for its parent album.
In May 1978 however, the record company decided to release the song as a double A-side with Thank You for the Music to try and fill the gap that was left between Take a Chance on Me and what was to be a brand new track for the next album. It wasn't commercialy available everywhere though, as it was only released in few select countries such as Belgium (where it topped the charts), The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and South Africa (where it became a top 10 hit), France and Austria (where it hit the top 20) and Australia (where it suprisingly didn't even reach the top 80). It was released in the United States too, but was withdrawn as a single eventually.
Personally, I think it's a fantastic song and a true 'moment' in their discography. It's the longest track they've ever recorded, yet it doesn't seem to go on too much. I do think, however, that they fucked around a bit too much with the song for its various single releases. I completely understand them making a radio edit for a song that lasts nearly six minutes, but cutting off the instrumental middle 8, which makes it sound clunky as fuck, didn't really help the song's chart positions. In the United States they were even going to use an edit of the edit, making the song clocking in at about 3:30, instead of 4:25...
Anyway, enough about my OCD.
Let's get over to our esteemed panel of judges.
Mikey1701 calls it "Majestic, spellbinding and a tad haunting, the song perfectly encapsulates the sense of freedom and unlimited possibilities of being able to fly. On one level it’s an incredible song but on another, it is art. The lyrics are evocative, the production transcendent and Queen Frida gives it her all. This was an early indication of Bjorn & Benny’s theatricality and it’s all the more richer for it.". Beautifully put, sis. Yet I would actually give Agnetha a bit of time of day here as the girl tries her hardest.
To show that not everybody appreciates art the same way, here's bichard, who knows "a lot of ABBA fans really like this, but to me it's a right ol' bore. Almost like an extended intro that I can't wait to be over until Take A Chance On Me kicks in. Totally an instance of style over substance.". WhatKindOfKylie? is equally unimpressed and says it's "A decent enough attempt at a 70's soft rock cut. Whilst that type of thing doesn't exactly float my boat, it's still far from terrible, and is a good stand out amongst their other singles of the era.".
It's grow on Hudweiser through the years, as Eagle's "Another one I used to avoid, my short attention span couldn't allow almost 6 minutes of this slow moving song and I resented it for ages. Time has proven it to be an undertaking of massive musical craftsmanship with a guitar solo to die for. Even people who used to mock me for loving ABBA admitted this was amazing.". Putting this one as the opening track for The Album actually was a risk that paid off... tylerc904 asks us "What kind of moody opening moment??! Kinda ballsy considering their opening tracks up until this point.", with Mumty thinking it's "amazing they went from Dum Dum Diddle to this in less than a year.". The shift in sound was quite the departure, yes, but they weren't without their more fluffier songs this era either though...
Some of you put the word 'masterpiece' into your mouths when listening to this one, as Filippa calls it "One of their masterpieces...", chris4862 says it's a "Criminally overlooked masterpiece." and TrueBeliever states that "Every band has that one song that is an epic masterpiece. I think that Eagle is ABBA’s. It is mature, ambitious, and sublime. Every time I hear it, I transcend to flying over the wild west of the USA, flying over the beautiful Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. One of the contenders for my 11, based on its merit alone, regardless of my personal connection.".
If you'd ask One Stop Candy Shop "to name as many Abba singles as I can, this would be one I'd forget. I don't know why, it's a glorious tune."... To help him out, here's constantino with a few references, saying "The intro is giving me Duran Duran-meets-Wild West and I’m here for it. Give me that stoic glam mid-tempo intro that I want. The chorus is absolutely stunning too, so glittery.". CasperFan, on the other hand, mentions the band this song was inspired by, guessing "Apparently trying to sound like the Eagles? Not keen on the Eagles but quite like this, not keen on the intro but once the vocals kick in I’m there.".
To ufint it's "Really, stunningly well produced. Majestic song, feels like soaring.", with SecretsOfFatima calling it "Simply stunning. Such a beautiful song." and kalonite stating "Gotta love that outro...". We do.
For Mina it was "A pleasant discovery. I enjoy the ambience of this track.", while for P'nutbutter "The subject of this song always creeped me out, is it about aliens or maybe shapeshifters?".
Speaking of shapeshifters, VivaForever is reminded "of the French & Saunders sketch where Madonna's trying to prove that she can dance as well as Britney and is all like "Hey I can lick a wall" except they're trying to prove their production can be as tricksy as progressive rock shit and they're all like "Hey we can write this song that sounds like an LSD trip."". I'd post the sketch for you all to watch, but couldn't find it immediately, seaux...
We'll end on poor ol' Sprockrooster who shows us he simply 'gets' the song...
"A true opus and reminiscent of Marillion, but then poppified. The production is a solid 10. The vocals are haunting, striking and powerful. The instrumental parts and dramatic vibe are the icing on the cake. The biggest discovery for me. Together with Thank You For The Music as it's b-side this is a killer CDS.".
Quite right until you got to that part where you're calling Thank You for the Music 'killer'.
The music video, directed by Lasse Halström, was seen to be quite groundbreaking with its effects and all...
...yet, personally, I think the video that was shot for ABBA: The Movie is a lot more pleasant to look at.
The song was performed on the German show Kultnacht...
...and again in Japan for their 1978 tv special ABBA In Japan.
I cannot deny I am lowkey curious about the Hazell Dean covers.