Remastered re-release of the eighth and the final full-length studio album by legendary Swedish Pop band.
With "The Visitors", ABBA took several steps away from the "lighter" Pop music they had recorded previously and this album is often regarded as a more complex and mature effort.
ABBA's final album was recorded during a period of major personal shakeups, principally in the decision by Benny Andersson and Frida to follow the same route to divorce that had already been taken by Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog. Both male members of the group would soon remarry, but at the time, despite all of these changes in their circumstances, "The Visitors" was never intended as ABBA's swan song - they were to go on recording together. That may explain why, rather than a threadbare, thrown-together feel, "The Visitors" is a beautifully made, very sophisticated album, filled with serious but never downbeat songs, all beautifully sung and showing off some of the bold songwriting efforts.
The opening track, "The Visitors", with its ominous synthesizer sounds and the distinctive lead vocal by Frida, announced a change in musical style. With Benny and Frida going their separate ways, the pain of splitting up was explored yet again in "When All Is Said and Done". The major hit single on the album, "One of Us", also depicted the end of a love story. Elsewhere there were current Cold War themes (highly topical at the time) and further songs of isolation and regret. The title track is a topical song about Soviet dissidents that also manages to be very catchy, while "I Let the Music Speak" sounds like a Broadway number (and a very good one, at that) in search of a musical to be part of, and "When All Is Said and Done" is a serious, achingly beautiful ballad with a lot to say about their personal situations, even "Two for the Price of One," a lighthearted song sung by Björn Ulvaeus about answering a personal advertisement, offered several catchy hooks and beautiful backup singing. "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" ended the original album on a hauntingly ethereal note, but not as any kind of larger statement about the quartet's fate. The intention was to keep working together, but Andersson and Ulvaeus' growing involvement with their stage project, Chess, prevented any further work together by the group beyond three songs, "The Day Before You Came", "Cassandra", and "Under Attack" - they're all present as bonus tracks on the 2001 remastered edition, along with the orphaned B-side "Should I Laugh or Cry" from the same sessions as "The Visitors", and only add to the appeal of the original album.
"The Visitors" was one of the first records ever to be recorded and mixed digitally, and was the first in history to be pressed on the new CD format in 1982 (though in terms of commercial release dates, it was predated by the Japanese release of Billy Joel's "52nd Street").
The first three tracks for the album had already been recorded using analogue tape and therefore Tretow had to transfer all subsequent tracks from digital to analogue and back again to avoid a difference in quality.
"The Visitors" has been reissued in digitally remastered form three times: first in 1997, then in 2001 and again in 2005 as part of "The Complete Studio Recordings" Box Set.
On its release, "The Visitors" reached the top of the charts in a number of territories but was not as successful as their previous albums.
Re-release includes a color 24-page booklet.
Polar Music International AB, an Universal Music Company, 1981/1982/2001 (549 957-2). Made in EU.
01. The Visitors 5:46
02. Head Over Heels 3:47
03. When All Is Said And Done 3:17
04. Soldiers 4:38
05. I Let The Music Speak 5:20
06. One Of Us 3:55
07. Two For The Price Of One 3:36
08. Slipping Through My Fingers 3:53
09. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room 3:34
10. Should I Laugh Or Cry 4:26
11. The Day Before You Came 5:50
12. Cassandra 4:51
13. Under Attack 3:48
Total playing time: 56:41 min.