"Wild horses, couldn't drag me away"

- The Rolling Stones
 

The Visitors (album) by ABBA 

This album At A Glance
The Visitors
The Visitors by ABBA (1981)
Overall rank: 1,812th   Overall chart history
Average Rating: 
73/100 (from 136 votes)
  Ratings distribution
Accolades: Top albums of 1981 (25th)
Top albums of the 1980s (294th)
Best albums of all time (1,812th)

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ABBA THE VISITORS Agnetha Frida Chess Mamma Mia VINYL LP ALBUM EPC 10032 EX/EX
Condition: Used
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3h 37m 39s

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Abba The Visitors 1981 Vinyl LP Album + Insert EPC 10032 Nr Mint
Condition: Used
Time left:
3h 38m 44s

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£5.99
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ABBA The Visitors JAPAN CASSETTE TAPE DCP-1807 w/SLIP CASE DIFFERENT COVER!
Condition: Very Good
Time left:
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ABBA bestography

The Visitors is ranked 4th best out of 17 albums by ABBA on BestEverAlbums.com.

The best album by ABBA is Arrival which is ranked number 1165 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 2,021.

ABBA album bestography « Higher ranked (1,674th) This album (1,812th) Lower ranked (2,308th) »
The AlbumThe VisitorsSuper Trouper

Members who like this album also like: Arrival by ABBA, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and Super Trouper by ABBA.

Upcoming concerts (searched for 'ABBA')

Feb
06
Wed
19:30
Abba Mania
Tickets from $40.00
Akron Civic Theatre, Akron, United States. United States
 
May
10
Fri
20:00
The Music of Abba
Tickets from $35.00
Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont, United States. United States
 
Feb
24
Sun
20:00
Abba Mania
Bourbon Theatre, Lincoln, United States. United States
 
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The Visitors rankings

The Visitors ratings

Average Rating: 
73/100 (from 136 votes)
  Ratings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 136 ratings for this album.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. album ratings
Avg. album rating
 
75/100
11/04/2018 14:53
74/100
 
80/100
10/28/2018 08:26
78/100
 
55/100
10/07/2018 18:57
60/100
 
95/100
09/21/2018 20:26
87/100
 
85/100
09/11/2018 17:12
80/100

Related links: , top albums of the 1980s, top albums of 1981.

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The Visitors comments

Showing all 10 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
75/100
From planetneutral 02/25/2018 18:22
Surprisingly strong.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
85/100
From Diomed 01/26/2018 00:11
One of ABBA's finest works. The vocals are excellent, and so are the harmonies. Yes, this is carefully crafted pop music. But (as per usual for this group) it's high quality pop music.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From fisher60 01/15/2016 18:19
Soldiers, one of us and slipping through my fingers are my caves.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From Tamthebam 08/21/2015 20:22
This album is now being recognised as Abba's 2nd best album after Arrival. This album has improved with time. They really pushed the boundaries here - originally a 9 track album (1-9 above). there has been a lot of talk about the tracks that were left of this album and the best of those, I Am The City is not even a bonus track ! Still deserves 80/100
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From jan-gus 02/23/2014 16:42
'Head over Heels' is the best song !
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From Listmeister 12/13/2013 14:14
I wish they'd done one last album (ABBA-y Road?) The songs left off the original release, which are on the bonus CD, are the best tracks: I Am the City, You Owe Me One, Cassandra, The Day Before You Came. These could have been the core of an amazing album.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From Rovers 05/22/2013 12:04
Abba's final album, "The Visitors", shows that although group members on a personal enough were growing apart, they were as a group still under interesting development. With "The Visitors" greatly influenced the shape of pop music that would come to typify the 1980s. Although most songs are unmistakeably Abba, the sound on several songs, however, has turned towards a more techno-approach, a trend that was continued in the handful of songs that the group recorded for the never finished ninth album.

Among the singles on the album "One of Us" was by far the biggest commercial success, but also "Head Over Heels" and especially "When All is Said and Done" have gone down in history as some of the group's greatest numbers.

Lyrically, it is also clear that the group has more at heart than what might have been the case on the early albums. A song like "Slipping Through My Fingers" is about how fleeting the time you have with your children may occur, a beautiful and moving song. The theme of the breaking up, is well known with Abba, but hardly described as fine and movingly as on "When All is Said and Done".

"Two for the Price of One" is musically a very exciting track - a shame that it was not sung by one of the girls - could then perhaps have made it as a single.

The bonus tracks come from sessions in 1982, with the B-side "Should I Laugh or Cry" derived from "The Visitors" sessions.

As a fantasy an excellent ninth album could have been put together, showing even stronger techno influence to their music. Six songs recorded in 1982 could have formed the backbone of such an album. If supplemented with non-album B-sides "Abba Under Attack" could have have looked like this:
1. Under Attack / 2. You Owe Me One / 3 Just Like That / 4 Should I Laugh or Cry / 5 Just Like That / 6 I Am the City / 7 Elaine / 8 The Day Before You Came / 9 Put On Your White Sombrero. The album would have a playing of app. 40 minutes.

"Just Like That" is the only song that has not yet been released - unfortunately. Different versions can be heard on Youtube.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
20/100
From johnner 10/21/2012 15:12
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Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -4 votes (0 helpful | 4 unhelpful)
Rating:  
90/100
From Captain_Dude 06/23/2011 22:55
ABBA for grown-ups. Why did they have to stop when they just started to really grow?
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +6 votes (6 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From jomclane 07/13/2009 21:15
They say that a prophet is never accepted in his homeland. Likewise it is often that art which challenges us to explore new vistas is never fully appreciated until time has passed and hindsight is used grant it immortality. So it was that the works of many a great composer, writer or artist were ignored in their own time, and lay waiting, dormant until the day would come when a new generation, freed from the prejudices of the past, would learn to adore what had previously been spurned. A case in point was the 18th century composer Vivaldi whose music remained forgotten until rediscovered in the 20th century.

And so it is, in its own small way, with The Visitors, ABBA’s last and least commercially successful album! If the fact that it failed to deliver more than one big hit single was not disastrous enough, the entire album concept was given a mixed reception and even panned by some of the more serious music critics of the time. Rolling Stone which awarded the album only two stars out of five blasted the album as "lousy" while the album’s commercial performance itself could only mirror that exact description managing the lowly position of 29 on the American Billboard Hot 100 Album listings. The exploration into melancholy and maturity in a new modern musical style was interpreted as nothing more than synch-drenched melodramatic balladeering. For the group itself, lacking only unanimous critical acclaim and used to almost 7 years of unbroken commercial success, the relative failure of the album must have been particularly hard to take. Within a year they had effectively disbanded, split up; gone their separate ways. Once again we were witness to the sorry sight of the artists attempt to break the chains of necessity and discover for us new worlds being spurned and derided.

And now a decade into a new century, their music lives on: stubbornly refusing to let go of the old fans with its nostalgia and rich diversity; seducing and enchanting new fans with its timeless melodies and addictive hooks. Prominent among the many reasons for ABBA's staying power has been the effect of their music catalogue to touch a raw nerve in practically every emotion. From bounding joy to deep sadness, ABBA music has a power over its listener that the critic no longer dare dismiss and no ABBA album tugs at the emotional strings stronger than the Visitors. In truth there is an air of defiance permeating the entire album. However this is no grand scale strategy on the part of the creators but the ordinary and breakable human defiance of real people desirous of artistic freedom. From the muffled cry of "help me" on the title track, to the refusal to lie down and cry in "When all is said and done", and to the admission of a twinge of guilt in "Slipping through My Fingers", there is an emotional honesty with which we, the everyman listener can readily identify with. While the primary ideas for the concept and the music lay with the male group members, Benny and Bjorn, the creative process can not be entirely disassociated from their female colleagues, for it is to them that is assigned that momentous task of actually bearing open the human soul and showing it to us. In hindsight theirs is truly a wondrous achievement both guiding the listener and then imparting the emotional meaning throughout the progression of the various themes. Notably it is on the Visitors that Frida really gives a spectacular rendition of her capabilities with songs like The Visitors, When All is Said and Done, I Let the Music Speak and Like an Angel Passing Though My Room, all bearing witness to that vocalists range and powers of mimicry.

It would be unfair and essentially factually incorrect however to ascribe all the virtues of that album to its emotional power alone. The music, the melodies and the harmonies are as good as anything the band had come up with before, while new styles are explored and then performed with aplomb. In the overall reckoning the album forms a key component in the progression from bubble-gum pop fantasy to adult musical maturity and reality. If ABBA was a story then the defining moment is the song "I Let the Music Speak", effectively their final soliloquy. All that follows, including the magnificent The Day Before You Came, can be then viewed as mere epilogue.

In contrast to its troubled conception and birth, it is in its maturity that The Visitors has come constitute one of the more revered parts of the ABBA canon. The formers band members can rightfully look back with pride for having put faith in their own artistic capabilities and for producing a work which is both magnificent in itself as well as being oblivious to the times in which it was conceived. Freed of the commercial baggage they produced a work of art which has both meaning and enjoyment in the lives of many living and will do so for many generations to come.

For the artist the temporary rewards of commercial success, initially satisfying though they maybe, are as nothing compared to those of art and the immortality that it brings.

For the critics and for the rest of us, has not the time finally come when we should acknowledge this album in its rightful place, as one of the finest works ever produced in the history of popular music?
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