Open main menu

A is the fifth English-language studio album by Swedish singer Agnetha Fältskog, formerly a member of the group ABBA. It is her twelfth studio album overall.

A
Agnetha A Cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released10 May 2013 (2013-05-10)
RecordedJanuary–October 2012
Studio
Genre
Length38:37
LabelUniversal
Producer
Agnetha Fältskog chronology
My Very Best
(2008)
A
(2013)
Singles from A
  1. "The One Who Loves You Now"
    Released: 11 March 2013
  2. "When You Really Loved Someone"
    Released: 11 March 2013
  3. "Dance Your Pain Away"
    Released: 15 July 2013
  4. "I Should've Followed You Home"
    Released: 18 November 2013
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic6.2/10 [1]
62/100, 8 critics
Review scores
SourceRating
Aftonbladet3/5 stars link
AllMusic3/5 stars 2013
Attitude3.5/5 stars link
Evening Chronicle9/10 stars link
Expressen3/5 stars link
The Independent4/5 stars link
Q3/5 stars link
Rolling Stone Germany3.5/5 stars link
Svenska Dagbladet4/6 stars link
The Press5/5 stars link
The Telegraph3/5 stars link
The Times4/5 stars link

A is Fältskog's first album since 2004's My Colouring Book, an album of cover versions of her favourite songs from the 1960s, and the first original material she had recorded since I Stand Alone in 1987. It also includes her first self-penned track in nearly 30 years, "I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed" .

Album informationEdit

As Fältskog was not an active recording artist at the time, the album happened in a roundabout way. "The project came about through a good friend of mine", she explained. "She called me up and told me that Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl wanted to play me some music. They came to my house and played me three songs and I thought, 'Oh my God, I have to do this'. It felt like a challenge."[1]

Ten tracks were recorded for the album at Atlantis Studio (sv), Stockholm,[2] all of which were written or co-written by Elofsson.

Speaking with author Paul Stenning, Elofsson explained, "Agnetha is not just any artist, she is an icon with a rich heritage. We really felt the pressure of making something great, we didn't want to destroy anything for ABBA or Agnetha given the reputation they've built over the years. I'm really happy to say I think we pulled it off!"[3]

Song informationEdit

The lead single from the album was "When You Really Loved Someone", which was released worldwide on 11 March 2013 as a digital download, with a CD single following on 15 April. A video clip for the song was filmed in late 2012, with Max Fowler and Camilla Rowling co-starring with Fältskog. In Germany and Austria the lead single was "The One Who Loves You Now", also released on 11 March 2013.

The track "I Should've Followed You Home" is a duet recorded with Gary Barlow of the British group Take That. Both artists recorded their vocal parts separately, as Fältskog was on holiday at the time of Barlow's recording session. Nevertheless, Fältskog stated, "I think our voices work so well together."[1] The song had its radio premiere on 21 April on a Dutch radio station.[4]

"I Was a Flower" is a string-attached piano ballad, produced and performed in a theatrical way. On 22 April, the song was made available for download only through Amazon.

"I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed" is the first track Fältskog has written herself that has been released since "I Won't Let You Go"—the lead single from her 1985 album Eyes of a Woman—and its B-side "You're There". Fältskog commented, "Jorgen kept saying 'You have to write a song for this record'. I hadn't written any music for a long, long time. But I sat at the piano and suddenly it was there. A friend of mine said a lovely thing: 'It's in your spine. Even if you feel tired, when it's time, it will be there'."[1]

Other tracks on the album include the contemplative "Bubble", the disco "Dance Your Pain Away", the pop "Back on Your Radio", and the piano-led "Past Forever".[1]

PromotionEdit

Personal appearancesEdit

Fältskog appeared on stage at G-A-Y in London on 4 May 2013 to promote the album. Although she did not perform, 10 fans had the chance to meet her backstage after the appearance. On 1 August 2013 she appeared on stage at Stockholm Gay Pride, where she was presented with her Gold record award for sales of the album in Sweden.

In the same week of the announcement of her album release, Fältskog was a guest on the Norwegian-Swedish television talk show Skavlan. The show was filmed on 14 March 2013 and aired the next day.[5][6]

The Seven Network in Australia aired a special edition of the programme Sunday Night at 6:30pm on 5 May 2013 focusing on Fältskog and including new interview material shot in Sweden in late April. A television commercial for the album was shown as well. Due to popular demand, the programme showed other unaired portions of the interview on 12 May 2013.

Fältskog filmed a documentary for the BBC in mid-April, titled Agnetha: Abba and After, which aired in the UK on 11 June.[7] Afterwards the album returned to the UK Top 40, w/e June 16, 2013, to its peak position of 6, and to a new high of number 9 on the UK Album Download Chart. This special was also aired on the Nine Network in Australia in prime time on 2 July 2013, sending the album back up to number 5 in Australia.

Whilst in London in late April and early May, Fältskog was interviewed by Patricia Schäfer for the German television station ZDF. On 2 May, the interview was broadcast on several TV programs, most prominently the society report Leute Heute.[8]

Press and print mediaEdit

The May edition of UK gay publication Attitude magazine featured an extensive new interview with Fältskog. The German gay publication Exit also featured an interview in April. In the UK and Ireland The Big Issue featured Fältskog on the cover of their June edition along with an interview about her life.

Internet and social mediaEdit

In order to promote the album and its singles, several social media web profiles for Fältskog were created, including pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ReceptionEdit

BBC News called A a "tasteful and sumptuous" mid-tempo album; the disco song "Dance Your Pain Away" was noted as the only exception to the general tempo, its bassline reminiscent of ABBA's "Voulez-Vous".[9] In a review of the album, The Times gave the album four out of five stars, calling A "a triumphant return to form by a woman presumed lost to music forever".[10] Helen Brown awarded the album three out of five stars in a review in The Daily Telegraph, dubbing the album "as beautifully boring as ever".[11]

Other publications, such as the German newspaper Die Zeit, highlighted Fältskog's voice, saying it sounds young and fresh and "like a young Agnetha would sound today".[12]

The album received Gold certifications two month after its release in Australia (35,000 copies), the United Kingdom (100,000 copies), Germany (100,000 copies) and Sweden (20,000 copies).

Track listingEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The One Who Loves You Now"
3:30
2."When You Really Loved Someone"Elofsson3:31
3."Perfume in the Breeze"3:31
4."I Was a Flower"Elofsson4:08
5."I Should've Followed You Home" (with Gary Barlow)
  • Elofsson
  • Barlow
4:04
6."Past Forever"3:30
7."Dance Your Pain Away"Elofsson4:10
8."Bubble"Elofsson4:21
9."Back on Your Radio"Elofsson3:43
10."I Keep Them on the Floor Beside My Bed"
  • Agnetha Fältskog
  • Elofsson
4:06

Notes

  • Commentary for each track by Fältskog and producer Jörgen Elofsson was made available with the release of A on Spotify.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from the liner notes of A.[14]

  • Agnetha Fältskog – lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Gary Barlow – vocals (track 5)
  • Gustaf Berg – engineering assistance
  • Michael Dahlvid – engineering assistance
  • Andy Earl – photography
  • Jörgen Elofsson – backing vocals, production, recording, recording engineering, vocal arrangements, vocal conducting
  • Janne Hansson – recording engineering
  • Micke Herrström – recording engineering
  • Jesper Jacobson – guitar, keyboards
  • Janet Leon – backing vocals
  • Per Lindvall – drums
  • Max Lorentz – organ
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Myrra Malmberg – backing vocals
  • Lasse Nilsson – recording engineering
  • Peter Nordahl – orchestra arrangements, orchestra conducting, piano, production
  • Gunnar Nordén – bass, guitar
  • Jeanette Ohlsson – backing vocals
  • Jeanette Olsson – guitar
  • Simon Petrén – keyboards, programming
  • Matt Read – art direction
  • Niklas Sundén – accordion
  • Jess Sutcliffe – mixing
  • Fredrik Thomander – backing vocals, guitar keyboards, programming
  • Mattias Torell – guitar
  • Linda Ulvaeus – backing vocals
  • Pär Westerlund – keyboards, programming

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[39] Gold 35,000^
Germany (BVMI)[40] Gold 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[41] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Ref.
Australia 10 May 2013 Universal [43]
Germany [44]
France 13 May 2013 [45]
Sweden [46]
United Kingdom Polydor [47]
United States 14 May 2013 Verve [48]
Poland Universal [49]
Italy 21 May 2013 [50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography Agnetha Fältskog". Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  2. ^ AgnethaOfficial (22 April 2013). Behind the scenes with Agnetha (YouTube video). Stockholm: AgnethaOfficial. Retrieved 2 November 2017. ...Jörgen Elofsson working on the song at Atlantis Studio where we recorded most of the album...
  3. ^ Stenning, Paul (24 November 2013). Success - By Those Who've Made It. Pg. 200. In Flight Books. ISBN 978-1628475869.
  4. ^ Home | Schiffers.fm | AVRO
  5. ^ Skavlan.com - The SKAVLAN Talk show
  6. ^ ABBA on TV - Skavlan
  7. ^ Agnetha has been filming an exclusive documentary for the BBC. - Agnetha Fältskog | Agnetha Fältskog
  8. ^ Leute heute - ZDF.de
  9. ^ "Abba's Agnetha comes out of retirement". BBC News. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog: A". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  11. ^ Helen Brown: Agnetha Fältskog, A, album review . The Telegraph, 2013-5-10
  12. ^ "Nach den Sternen". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  13. ^ "A (inkl. Bonustrack / exklusiv bei Amazon.de) von Agnetha Fältskog". Amazon (Germany) (in German). Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  14. ^ A (liner notes). Agnetha Fältskog. Universal Music Group. 2013. 88697 06230 2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  21. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog: A" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Agnetha Fältskog – A" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  24. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 20, 2013". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  25. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Agnetha Fältskog – A". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201802 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2013 – Albums" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  36. ^ "Album Top-100 – År 2013" (in Danish). Hitlisten.NU. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  37. ^ "Årslista Album – År 2013" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  38. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Agnetha Fältskog; 'A')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  41. ^ "Veckolista Album – Vecka 24, 14 juni 2013" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  42. ^ "British album certifications – Agnetha Faltskog – A". British Phonographic Industry. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type A in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog Store – A". Getmusic (Australia). Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  44. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog | A". Universal Music Germany (in German). Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  45. ^ "A – Agnetha Faltskog". Fnac (in French). Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  46. ^ "A – Album – Fältskog Agnetha" (select "Specifikation" tab). CDON.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  47. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog | A". Universal Music UK. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  48. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". Verve Music Group. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  49. ^ "A – Agnetha Fältskog". Universal Music Poland (in Polish). Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  50. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – A". IBS.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.