Song Review by

Although ABBA is often dismissed as mere sugary pop, a look at their biggest hits proves their songs are often more complex and inventive than their glossy surface might make them seem. For proof, one need look no further than "S.O.S." This pop gem starts off like a ballad with subdued verses that have a neo-classical feel to them. The mood abruptly changes at chorus time when the song suddenly shifts into a bright, up-tempo mode that brings the urgency of the narrator's need for love to life in a vivid fashion. This unusual but effective mix of ballad and up-tempo shadings results in an attention-getting tune that has inspired everyone from Erasure to Peter Cetera to record cover versions. However, ABBA's stylish rendition remains the best interpretation thanks to its skillful production: the shiny harmonies on the chorus are perfectly accented by some gorgeous acoustic guitar riffs and Andersson's fluttery synthesizer lines effectively bridge the gap between the song's ballad and up-tempo portions. This blend of ear candy and melodic sophistication made "S.O.S." a major international hit for ABBA and an enduring favorite of pop fans everywhere.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
ABBA 1975 Universal Distribution / Polydor 3:23
No Image 1975 Vogue
No Image 1976 Atlantic 3:22
No Image 1976
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
No Image 1976
Various Artists
Ronco Silver
No Image 1976 Polydor
No Image 1982 Polydor
Best of ABBA 1984 Silver Eagle Records
Hits 1987 Pickwick 3:23
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Teal Trutone 3:21
No Image 1991 3:21
Sounds of the Seventies: 1975 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:22
Gold: Greatest Hits [Video] 1993 Polydor
Gold: Greatest Hits 1993 Polydor / PolyGram 3:20
Thank You for the Music [1995] 1995 Polydor
Thank You for the Music [Box] 1995 Polygram 3:21
På Svenska 1995 Polar Records
Bang & Olufsen: A New View on Music [Blue Cover] 1996
Various Artists
Polygram 3:22
Collection [Polygram] 1998 Polydor / Polygram 0:00
Forever Gold 1998 Polydor / Polygram 3:21
Singles Collection 1972-82 1999 Polygram 3:21
25th Anniversary Singles Collection 1999 Polar Records 3:25
Complete Golden Collection 2000 Polygram 3:20
20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABBA 2000 Polydor / Dolvador 3:23
The Definitive Collection 2001 UTV / Polygram 3:20
The Songs of ABBA 2002 K-Tel Distribution 3:20
Real ABBA Gold [Musicbank] 2002 Musicbank
Name of the Game 2002 Spectrum Music 3:21
ABBA and Other 70's Disco Hits 2003
Ring Ring/Waterloo/ABBA 2003 Universal International 3:23
Woman, Vol. 4 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Import
The ABBA Story 2004 Polar Records 3:19
Todo ABBA: Sus Grandes Exitos 2004 Universal / Polar 3:20
Ultimate 70s Pop 2005
Various Artists
Bmg Tv 3:22
The Complete Studio Recordings 2005 Universal / Universal International 3:23
No Image 2005 Universal Distribution 3:20
18 Hits 2006 Universal International 3:21
Chronicles 2006 Polydor / Polar 3:23
Greatest Hits: 30th Anniversary [Universal International] 2006 Fontana Distribution 3:22
Universal Masters Collection 2006 Universal Distribution
Number Ones 2006 Polar Records 3:23
S.O.S.: Best of ABBA 2007 Polar Records
Golden Years 2007 PHV
No Image 2007 Polydor
ABBA Gold 2009 Universal Distribution 3:23
Icon 2010 Polar 3:21
No Image 2013
No Image Universal Distribution
De Pre Historie: 1975, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 3:21
Light & Dark: The Platinum Tribute Collection Klone
The Best of ABBA Universal 3:20