ABBA

Voulez-Vous

Song Review by

ABBA's massive world tour of 1978, combined with promotion for their Lasse Hallstrom-directed film ABBA: The Movie and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson's work on their never-completed musical The Girl with the Golden Hair, meant that it wasn't until the summer of 1979 that the group followed up 1978's massive hit ABBA: The Album. In pop music terms, 16 months can be a lifetime, and during that 16 months, the post-Saturday Night Fever disco explosion had already peaked and was starting to fade. As a result, the title track of Voulez-Vous (recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios, the Bee Gees' home base during this time) already sounded a little dated in 1979, and it remains one of ABBA's few singles that lacks the timeless quality of their best work. That said, it's actually a thumping great disco track, the best dancefloor filler ABBA ever devised, and a compendium of subtle ear-catching hooks: the insistent synthesizer riff between the verses, that nagging "ahh-AH" backing vocal in the choruses, and the bilingual lyrics are all equally ear-catching. Add in the anthemic quality of the melody and the result is one of the great pop/disco singles of the '70s. Unfortunately, the "disco sucks" backlash had already started by the summer of 1979, and "Voulez-Vous" didn't even hit the U.S. Top 40. It wasn't until Erasure made the song the centerpiece of their brilliant ABBA-esque EP that the song's immense charms became widely recognized.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Voulez-Vous 1979 Polydor 5:06
No Image 1980 Montery / IVE
No Image 1982 Polydor
Best of ABBA 1984 Silver Eagle Records
Hits, Vol. 2 1988 Pickwick 5:03
Gold: Greatest Hits [Video] 1993 Polydor
Gold: Greatest Hits 1993 Polydor / PolyGram 4:21
Thank You for the Music [1995] 1995 Polydor
Thank You for the Music [Box] 1995 Polygram 4:21
Forever Gold 1998 Polydor / Polygram 4:22
Singles Collection 1972-82 1999 Polygram 5:11
25th Anniversary Singles Collection 1999 Polar Records 5:14
Complete Golden Collection 2000 Polygram 5:10
The Definitive Collection 2001 UTV / Polygram 6:07
Real ABBA Gold [Musicbank] 2002 Musicbank
Voulez Vous/Super Trouper/Arrival 2003 Universal International 5:09
The ABBA Story 2004 Polar Records 5:00
Todo ABBA: Sus Grandes Exitos 2004 Universal / Polar 5:09
Super Troupers: From Waterloo to Mamma Mia! [DVD] 2004 Universal International
Mamma Mia! 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music Latino 3:34
The Complete Studio Recordings 2005 Universal / Universal International 6:10
No Image 2005 Universal Distribution 5:08
Number Ones 2006 Polar Records 5:07
S.O.S.: Best of ABBA 2007 Polar Records
Big Night Out 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:06
No Image 2007 Polydor
The Albums 2008 Polydor / Universal / Universal Distribution 5:08
ABBA Gold 2009 Universal Distribution 5:08
ABBA: The Vinyl Collection 2010 Polydor / Universal Distribution / Universal Music 5:09
Light & Dark: The Platinum Tribute Collection Klone