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Subject Topic: O/T: ABBA - Voulez-Vous Post ReplyPost New Topic
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MusicFan
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Posted: 04 January 2021 at 1:24pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

The promo 45 for this song featured a "Short Version"
edited down to 3:45 from the 5:08 album version. On
many ABBA compilations, there is a 4:08 version of
this song. Does anyone know whether this 4:08 version
was an attempt to re-create the 3:45 version or some
arbitrary edit that was perpetuated on multiple
compilations? (Let's face it...there have been quite
a few ABBA compilations released through the years -
far more than the number of studio albums they ever
released!) Although the 4:08 version has been
released so often, I have never found it on an
official single of this song which had either (or
both) the 3:45 or 5:08 versions.

BTW - I was always surprised that this song could not
get past #80 on the Hot 100. When "Money, Money,
Money" (#56) missed the Top 40, you could dismiss that
as digging too deep with a third single from
"Arrival." But, "Voulez-Vous" was only the second
single from that album and the first with the more
familiar female lead vocals.
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Stanko
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Posted: 04 January 2021 at 7:06pm | IP Logged Quote Stanko

Voulez Vous probably suffered due to the anti-disco wave that settled in
around the time of its release. And - as has been discussed before -
ABBA were inconsistent charters in the US.
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Bill Cahill
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Posted: 06 January 2021 at 4:49am | IP Logged Quote Bill Cahill

I don't know the origin of that odd length version. ABBA Gold has a 4:22 version. If you cut out 2:35-3:13 from that, you get the DJ 45, which has a run
time on my copy at 3:42. You might also want to speed up .15%. That seems to be a nice match for the DJ 45 pitch.

The result might be a split second shorter than the DJ 45 which is closer to 3:42.5 seconds but if you really care the album version might have that tiny
difference.
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LunarLaugh
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Posted: 06 January 2021 at 10:36pm | IP Logged Quote LunarLaugh

This info is taken from the ABBA plaza fan site:

Quote:
In 1992, Michael B Tretow remastered a host of
tracks from the album for what became Abba Gold (1992),
More Abba Gold (1993) and Thank You For The Music (1994).
The one notable feature of these remasters was that the
version of Voulez-Vous used was an edited, promo version.


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Posted: 07 January 2021 at 2:55pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

Thanks, LunarLaugh. All of the 1979 promos I have found
online list the 3:45 and/or 5:08 lengths. I wonder
where the 4:21 version was released.... (It still
amazes me how many different versions of the same song
were released at the same time!)
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 17 January 2021 at 3:03am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Scanner wrote:
BTW - I was always surprised that this song could not get past #80 on the Hot 100.


One reason may be that in the US it was a double A-side with "Angeleyes" which peaked a little higher (around #60). I remember hearing "Angeleyes" first on Boston radio (where I grew up), even though it debuted 3 weeks after "Voulez-Vous". I have a feeling the 2 sides competed with each other, and maybe radio stations were a bit confused as to which song to play/promote. Especially with ABBA not being nearly as big in the US as worldwide, radio dj's might not have cared that much.

To me, ABBA was going for "pure pop" with Angeleyes (their known sound) and disco for "Voulez-Vous", so maybe the label was trying to give the choice for pop stations to play the pop song, and discos/clubs to play the disco song. Just a theory.

Edited by EdisonLite on 17 January 2021 at 3:04am
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Posted: 18 January 2021 at 4:23pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

Interesting theory. I always thought that since
"Voulez-Vous" flopped, Atlantic just flipped the single
and said, "Here, play 'Angeleyes' instead." To me,
"Angeleyes" was a typical B-side - a pleasant listen,
but not hit material. (Side note - when this 45 finally
charted in Record World, they listed "Angeleyes" as the
A-side.)

I've seen promos for "If It Wasn't For The Nights"
online. Was that ever intended to be a single?
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eriejwg
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Posted: 18 January 2021 at 5:31pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

I was working at an adult contemporary station part-time in
late 1979 and I specifically remember the PD putting
'Angeleyes" in the studio. I don't recall playing "Voulez-
Vous" at that station at all, even at night.

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AutumnAarilyn
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Posted: 18 January 2021 at 10:29pm | IP Logged Quote AutumnAarilyn

It probably did okay on the dance chart though. Wasn't
this perhaps the early beginning of the rhythmic radio
era?

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Yah Shure
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Posted: 19 January 2021 at 10:29pm | IP Logged Quote Yah Shure

I worked at a small-market adult contemporary station at the time. ABBA was huge in the area; Atlantic had awarded the station a gold record for breaking "Dancing Queen" following initial airplay as an import. We were serviced with plenty of copies of ABBA 45s.

Two extra promo 45s I have from the station are date-stamped just two days apart:

"Voulez-Vous" short/long: Aug 4, 1979

"Angeleyes"/"Angeleyes": Aug 6, 1979

It would seem that Atlantic had planned on actively working both sides from the get-go.



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MMathews
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Posted: 19 January 2021 at 10:38pm | IP Logged Quote MMathews

In summer of '79 I was Voulez-Vous'd to death on the dance
station (still love the song though!) and several months
later I was hearing "Angeleyes" on the A/C station. I was
pleased because I myself flipped the single over and I
liked that one even better.
MM


Edited by MMathews on 19 January 2021 at 10:39pm
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eriejwg
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Posted: 20 January 2021 at 1:30pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

I just checked xmplaylist.com and was surprised they rarely
play "Voulez'Vous." They only play it on Studio 54 radio
and the only 2 spins in the last 2 months were 11/28 and
11/29.

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FrankG
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Posted: 29 January 2021 at 9:46pm | IP Logged Quote FrankG

I wanted to follow up on this sooner but work has been
busy. Yah Shure, it's interesting that your station
received promo copies of "Voulez-Vous" and "Angel Eyes"
two days apart. I remember seeing separate single reviews
in Billboard back in 1979 so I spent some time tonight to
find them. "Voulez-Vous" was released first. It was
reviewed as a "pick" in Billboard in the issue dated
August 18. "Angel Eyes" was reviewed as a pick on
September 15. In the review, the reviewer states,
"Atlantic flips over the foursome's 'Voulez-Vous' single
to push this sprightly side, a recent hit throughout
Europe." This appears to suggest that "Voulez-Vous" was
the initial A-side and then the single was flipped when
"Voulez-Vous" stalled on the charts at #80. The Atlantic
single number for "Voulez-Vous" was 37012 and the single
number for "Angel Eyes" was 37014, which also suggests
that "Voulez-Vous" was the intended A-side.
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Yah Shure
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Posted: 30 January 2021 at 8:46pm | IP Logged Quote Yah Shure

Frank, lower assigned tape master numbers (37012 vs. 37014) don't always reflect intended "A" sides. In this particular case, where's the number between those two: 37013? My guess is that it corresponds to "I Have A Dream", which follows "Voulez-Vous" (37012) and precedes "Angeleyes" (37014) in the original playing order on the Voulez-Vous Atlantic vinyl LP.

"I Have A Dream" turned out to be the most heavily-aired cut from the entire album on the station I was at. Given the unspectacular chart runs of the other two, that one might have been the wisest choice for a single among those three titles. A pity it had to wait a couple years to be covered as a country single by Christy Lane.

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FrankG
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Posted: 30 January 2021 at 9:08pm | IP Logged Quote FrankG

Yah Shure, thanks for the correction here. Interestingly,
my theory holds true for nearly all of ABBA's singles,
with a few exceptions. In those cases, the B-sides were
recorded earlier than the A-sides (from what I know or can
easily determine). It is interesting how this holds true
for most of their singles, though. I appreciate the
correct information!
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Posted: 31 January 2021 at 11:44am | IP Logged Quote Scanner

Thanks, FrankG, for the Billboard review research. I
also intended to do that one day when time permitted
since I also remembered reading "Angeleyes" was released
as the flip of "Voulez-Vous" after the latter stalled on
the charts. Like Yah Shure, I also wondered why "I Have
A Dream" was never released as a single, but it would
have probably been too similar to "Chiquitita" which,
thanks to its Unicef connection, was going to become a
single at some point.
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eriejwg
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Posted: 31 January 2021 at 12:42pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

"I Have A Dream" peaked at #2 in the UK but only on the
chart for a week?

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 31 January 2021 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

"Angeleyes" peaked at #3 in the UK and "Chiquitita" peaked at #2 there. So, with "I Have a Dream" peaking at #2, it looks like all 3 songs were good choices for singles. "Chiquitita" is my favorite ABBA song, and "Angeleyes" is way up there. But John, what do you mean "I Have a Dream" was only on the chart for a week? According to the British Hit Singles book, it was on the chart for 10 weeks.

Edited by EdisonLite on 31 January 2021 at 12:51pm
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eriejwg
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Posted: 31 January 2021 at 4:31pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg



Edited by eriejwg on 31 January 2021 at 4:35pm


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Posted: 01 February 2021 at 1:56pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

There's another missed opportunity for ABBA. Why
Atlantic chose "On And On And On" as a single over "Lay
All Your Love On Me" has always perplexed me!
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