This Easter Monday (22nd April), BBC Radio 2’s special programme Let’s ABBA Party (12pm-2pm), presented by Nicki Chapman, revealed that ABBA’s 1976 album Arrival, which features hit songs such as Dancing Queen, Knowing Me Knowing You and Money, Money, Money is the band’s best-selling studio album in the UK to date.
The programme, which also featured brand new interviews with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, revealed a specially commissioned chart, ranking the UK sales of ABBA’s eight studio albums, from Waterloo to The Visitors.
The full chart, which is compiled by the Official Charts Company and incorporates both physical copies and digital downloads, runs as follows:
1) Arrival (1976)
Their fourth album release
2) Super Trouper (1980)
Their seventh album featuring songs including Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and Lay All Your Love On Me
3) ABBA: The Album (1977)
Their fifth album featuring songs including Take A Chance on Me, The Name of the Game and Thank You For The Music
4) Voulez Vous (1979)
Their sixth album featuring songs including I Have A Dream, Does Your Mother Know and Chiquitita
5) The Visitors (1981)
Their eighth album featuring songs including One of Us, Head over Heels and Under Attack
6) ABBA (1975)
Their third album featuring songs including Mamma Mia, SOS and I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
7) Waterloo (1974)
Their second album featuring songs including Waterloo and Honey Honey
8) Ring Ring (1973)
Their debut album
Speaking on the programme, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus said: “I have to say when I learned that Arrival was the best-selling ABBA album – apart from ABBA Gold of course - I was quite surprised. I didn’t think it would be that one. But on the other hand it is the first complete album we did, I think, after winning Eurovision. We suddenly had complete artistic freedom. And on Arrival, as with the albums that came after, every single song was written for that particular album…The Arrival album is definitely one of the best. The sleeve is photographed in an airfield very close to Stockholm. I don’t know if we ever took off in that helicopter or not!”
Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music says: “In what promises to be a momentous year for ABBA, I’m delighted that Radio 2 is celebrating the band with a two hour special, dedicated solely to celebrating their incredible musical legacy.”
Martin Talbot, CEO, Official Charts Company said: “ABBA has enjoyed a phenomenal history on the UK’s Official Charts. Their appeal has lasted well beyond the early 80s with new generations continually discovering their timeless pop songs. Arrival was a pivotal moment in their illustrious career hitting the Number 1 spot on the Official Albums Chart and spending a massive 93 weeks on the chart. They are one of the most successful acts on the Official Charts of all-time.”
ABBA has sold in excess of 400m albums and singles since they first came to prominence in 1974. This year, the hit stage musical Mamma Mia! marks its 20th anniversary and there’s the promise of the first new Abba music in over 30 years, as well as a world tour, featuring state-of-the-art holograms of Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida. This is in addition to the opening of Mamma Mia! The Party, an ABBA themed restaurant experience in London and the ABBA TV special, to be broadcast on the BBC. Now is the perfect time to say Thank You For The Music to one of the most successful groups in pop history with two hours of non-stop classic hits, covers and selections from the Mamma Mia! cast recordings and film soundtracks.
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened-to radio station, with a weekly audience of 14.89million (RAJAR Q4, 2018). Radio 2’s output is highly distinctive and features a huge range of music, including the biggest pop tunes from the last six decades as well as individual programmes dedicated to blues, funk, dance, folk, rock, jazz, big band, country music and show tunes. The network brings a huge range of live performances to music lovers across the UK each year, broadcasting events such as Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, Proms in the Park, Radio 2 In Concert as well as many shows across the network. Radio 2 is committed to encouraging and highlighting young talent, supporting music at grass roots level with its Young Chorister of the Year and Young Folk Award. The network also broadcasts speech-based content – such as news, current affairs, documentaries, religion, arts, comedy and social action output - reflecting the diversity of the UK.
Let's ABBA Party is presented by Nicki Chapman and produced by Malcolm Prince for BBC Radio Production.