Under Attack

Under Attack

Under Attack was the last single release by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally featured as a track on the 1982 compilation album The Singles: The First Ten Years, but was released as a single the following year in most countries. In the United Kingdom however, it was released on December 3 1982. Under Attack was ABBA's twenty-eighth single for Polar Music.

History

Under Attack was one of the last songs ABBA recorded (on August 2 1982). The group had originally intended to release a new studio album, but the stress of the working environment led them to indefinitely shelve the project and instead release a double-album compilation of their past singles. Since it was decided that there would be two new tracks on the compilation, ABBA set to work recording the songs. The two tracks that made it onto what became The Singles: The First Ten Years were The Day Before You Came and Under Attack. The former was released as a single in October 1982.

Reception

Under Attack was not very popular upon its release. ABBA's popularity was in decline and the two preceding singles had failed to reach number 1 anywhere. Some fans say Under Attack was ahead of its time, others criticize it for being too poppy and simplistic when compared to ABBA's earlier efforts. Although a Top 5 hit in Belgium and The Netherlands, and a minor Top 20 single in a couple of other European territories, it did not become a major hit anywhere else. It peaked at number 26 in the United KingdomIn Australia, where the group's popularity only a few years earlier had rivaled that of The Beatles, Under Attack was a sad swan-song, limping into the singles chart at number 96. After the single's release, it was decided that ABBA would take a "break", However, they would not record as a group again.

Bjorn Ulvaeus has said that Under Attack is a good song which, if released a year earlier, would have been a big hit. Benny Andersson, however, has stated that although the production was strong, the song overall was not one of ABBA's better recordings.

Musically, Under Attack is a song with strong production values and tight harmonies - it has a stereo sound that was popular in its day with a "soft fade" to end the song. The lead vocal has an interesting frequency equalisation effect, not unlike certain parts of David McWilliam's The Days of Pearly Spencer.

Under Attack is featured in the musical theatre smash Mamma Mia!, being the only number in the production that was not a major hit in Europe. Also in the musical is Honey, Honey, which received limited release and success in Europe, plus some other ABBA songs that were not released as singles at all, such as Our Last Summer and Slipping Through My Fingers.

Chart positions

Chart (1983) Position
Belgian Singles Chart 3
Dutch Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 11
Swiss Singles Chart 15
Finnish Singles Chart 16
German Singles Chart 22
U.K. Singles Chart 26
French Singles Chart 43
Australian Singles Chart 96

Cover versions

  • The song is one of the opening numbers performed by the character of Sophie for the second act of the musical Mamma Mia!. In the context of the musical, the song is sung by Sophie as a nightmare about her wedding and also, about how to solve the situation. Again, some of the lyrics are altered to suit the story. However, the song was one of several not included in the 2008 Mamma Mia! movie adaptation.
  • A cover of the song can be found on the ABBA tribute album ABBA Super Hits by Power Generation Project.
  • Dutch artist Ice did a version on her 2004 album N Ster Vir My.
  • A hi-NRG/eurodance cover by Abbacadabra can be found on the 2008 compilation We Love ABBA: The Mamma Mia Dance Compilation, released through Almighty Records.

Live performances

References

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