On April 23, 1979 ABBA came out with their sixth studio album Voulez-Vous. Similar to their previous efforts, V-V was very successful across the world. It went to number #1 in several countries and produced hit singles. With this album, the group stepped up their disco sound while staying true to their roots. 40 years later, here’s how each track breaks down for worst to best.
10. Does Your Mother Know?
Trust me, she doesn’t want to know about this song. I’ll be blunt. A song without Agnetha and Frida on lead doesn’t work. Bjorn is fine, but I don’t want to hear about him flirting with some jailbait. I’m also not a fan of the attempt to add a 50s/60s rock n’ roll flavor to the song. This is ABBA, not Happy Days.
9. I Have a Dream
There are better ABBA ballads out there. Like “The Winner Takes It All”. I know not all ABBA songs can be winners (yeah, I did that), but this one is especially dull and mopey. It just lays there. A flat little dream that never takes off. The children’s choir doesn’t help either. Sorry, kids. I know, I’m heartless.
I’m surprised this was the lead single off the album when there are so many better choices. See below. This song feels very middle of the road and generic to me. Not a great introduction to the world for your new album. Also, I always felt like Chiqitita was the lame cousin of “Fernando”. Maybe because they were placed back to back on the ABBA Gold Album. In any case, the group has done better Spanish-adjacent material.
7. The King Has Lost His Crown
Frida takes the lead here, singing about an old love who has lost his mojo. His new girl is leading him around and he can’t do a thing about it. He just has to cry for her. Poor king. But good for us. This is cool little track. Subtle by this group’s standards. It almost feels like a Yacht Rock song with it’s easy vibe. ABBA meets Steely Dan.
6. Lovers (Live a Little Longer)
A doctor has announced that lovers live longer. So, making love is the key to staying alive. It’s the new fountain of youth. Mmmmk. There’s a “Doctor’s Orders” connection to be made somewhere. Also, how voyeuristic that they don’t care who sees them getting busy. Sassy, ABBA. Wacky lyrics aside, this is an alright song. The slight funky feel is a nice touch.
5. Kisses of Fire
I like the pretty ethereal start, with just the vocal. It climbs and climbs until the beat kicks in. Then it’s a soaring chorus with a fast delivery. This didn’t really need the disco strobe-like beat. But it doesn’t hurt it either.
4. Angel Eyes
Seeing your ex with his new piece is never fun. Especially when you find out he’s running the same game on them that worked on you. How uninspired. But, really, how hypnotizing are those eyes anyways? As mesmerizing as this song, maybe. You can’t help but get caught up in it all. I don’t care if I have to pay the price. Ah-ha-ha.
3. As Good as Knew
I can’t say enough about the intro with the strings. And then that awesome beat jumps out at you. It’s like classical meets disco. Like Beethoven getting down at Studio 54. An odd mix, but it really works. You almost don’t need any words. But some fun lyrics about staying in love together forever and that “mamamamamama” make it even better. Big points for that bridge too.
2. If It Wasn’t for Nights
The nights are hard, man. You’re going about your day-to-day. Appointments and stuff. But then you get home after 5pm and all you can think about is that lost love. We’ve all been there. A good ABBA song is a nice remedy though. This danceable gem is especially comforting. You may be alone staring at the walls, but at least you have something to bop along to. *Bonus* Check out the BBC TV performance of this song from ’79. Typical tacky ABBA costumes. Definitely lip-synched. But Frida steals the show with her playful dancing. It’s a little nutty and I enjoy it
This is simply the best track on the album. Disco at its finest. As if ABBA had a baby with Chic. It’s hard to top the intro from AGAK, but this does. The guitar revs you up for what’s to come. Those hand claps and the ah-ha’s. Then the horns kick it all into overdrive. You have to get up and dance when this comes on. There’s even a breakdown perfect for a Soul Train line. A very Swedish line, but fun none the less.