Across Europe in 1975 a new Swedish pop band were placing songs highly on the charts following on from their win at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. ABBA who have gone on to sell over 350 Million records. One of its members Anni-Frid Lyngstad known as Frida, recorded a Swedish language solo album entitled “Ensam”, its English translation being “Alone”. I purchased a copy on its original Swedish label Polar around the early 80’s just as Abba was winding down. This is a cover’s album featuring many popular or well known songs.
Side 1 opens with a Swedish version of “Fernando” a track Frida re-recorded in English as part of ABBA which went on to be #1 world wide. This is followed by a version of “Young Girl” a UK #1 single for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. “Som En Sparv” which translates as “Like a sparrow” is a delicately delivered ballad which from the English lyrics is possibly describing a relationship which was once strong, has come to an end with the departing of the partner. The next track is unusual as the original was a country song recorded by Charlie Rich “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” which was co-written by Billy Sherrill who wrote and produced for Tammy Wynette. Liv Pa Mars? is David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and is a good version. This side ends with another unusual track “Syrtaki”, a traditional sounding Greek Dance song.
Side 2 opens with a Swedish version of the Italian hit “Vado Via” by Drupi translated as Aldrig Mej. Frida turns her attention to “10cc” who during this time were very popular. Her choice was a version of “Wall Street Shuffle”. Next is one of my personal favorites “Ett liv I Solen” which is an emotional ballad suiting Frida’s vocal range. Roughly the English translation talks of being in the city, constant rain and noise, yearning of a better life by dreaming of the sun and sea breezes. Next is a classic Beach Boys pop song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. The album closes with a very sensitive version of “Send In The Clowns”.
The album was produced by her then partner and soon to be husband Benny Andersson. There are strong powerful vocals on the rockier tracks and delicate handling of the ballads. Frida Ensam was a huge success in Sweden. The original Swedish version of “Fernando” topped the Svensktoppen radio chart for nine weeks and the album topped the album charts for six weeks and spent a total of 38 weeks in the charts.