Frida / Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Frida 1967-1972

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Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, better known to the world since 1973 as Frida and a member (and ex-member) of ABBA, had a fairly extensive recording career before joining the quartet. This double-CD set collects her various singles and LPs from that phase of her career, most of which were cut for the Swedish division of EMI Records. The hope is, obviously, that this collection will surprise and delight fans of ABBA, but there's considerable risk here as well -- that at least the first two-thirds of the first disc will bore or appall those same fans. Those first 14 songs date from a period in which Lyngstad's goal (or, at least, that of her producer and/or manager) was for her to be Sweden's answer to Petula Clark. The fit is an awkward one, especially given the production on those early sides -- thick-textured accompaniments that sound Italian, French, and anything but comfortable. Her work finally catches fire on this collection exactly where it did in history, when she commenced working with Benny Andersson, late of the Hep Stars, as her producer. Two-thirds of the way through the first disc, with "Peter Pan" (co-written by Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus), her voice is suddenly freed by Andersson's airy and open, light-textured yet distinctive production. The second disc opens with her version of "The Sound of Silence," sung as "En Ton Av Tystnad," which is beautiful, and is followed by "Suzanne" which, with its double-tracked vocals, is the first place where listeners get a preview, in very embryonic form, of "the ABBA sound." Those two tracks, along with all seven opening the second disc and the last four on disc one, are off of Lyngstad's 1971 Frida album, which marked the place where she adopted her more familiar performing name. The other material, including her duets with folksinger Lars Berghagen, is also quite beguiling, reminiscent of the work of Jim & Jean, and that parallel is even more pronounced as one of their recordings was a cover of Phil Ochs' "Changes." In the midst of these various later solo incarnations is a string of single A- and B-sides circa 1971, released by Polygram -- "Min Egan Stad," "En Gang Ar Ingen Gang" (aka "There Goes My Everything"), "Vi Ar Alla Bara Barn I Borjan," and "Kom Och Sjung En Sang" (aka "No Sad Songs") produced by Andersson -- that could easily have come off of that very first ABBA album in terms of sound. One can safely think of those and a handful of other tracks here as previews of the sound that would make Lyngstad (and Andersson) stars around the world, and if anyone ever decided to do an album of "ABBA missing links," they could start in worse places. The notes are in Swedish but beyond that drawback the sound is excellent, and fans of the singer or the group should certainly appreciate its contents and the surprises held therein.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:59 Spotify
2 3:09
3 2:42 Spotify
4 3:19
2:32 Spotify
6 3:21
7 2:28
8 2:12
10 2:58
11 2:26
12 2:41
13 2:11 Spotify
15 2:45
16 3:22
17 3:17
18 3:31
19 3:01 Spotify
20 2:10 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:57 Spotify
2 4:09
3 6:15
4 2:39
5 2:25
6 2:01
3:36 Spotify
8 2:06
9 3:31
10 3:01 Spotify
11 2:46
12 3:13
13 3:42
14 2:44
16 2:18
3:44 Spotify
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