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- Frida (aka Annifrid Lyngstad) -- vocals
Rating: 3 stars ***
Catalog: VG 409
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: French pressing
GEMM catalog ID: 5
One of my most embarrassing life experiences ... I'm a big Abba fan, though that's actually not the embarrassing story. A couple of years ago I signed up to join an Australian-based ABBA group. What I discovered was a group run by one of the most messed up people I'd ever encountered. ABBA wasn't just a source of enjoyment for this person, rather a reason for being. Add in a mile wide mean streak, a nasty case self-loathing, rabid anti-Americanism, and other assorted personality issues ... Within two weeks I'd managed to piss this idiot off and gotten myself banned from his version of ABBA-topia.
Produced by Steve Lillywhite when outside commitments kept Phil Collins from handling the project (long time ABBA producer Stig Anderson credited as executive producer), 1984's "Shine" served as Frida's second post-ABBA release. As with the earlier Phil Collins produced album, Frida seemed interested in staking out musical territory considerably removed from her ABBA catalog. That included teaming her with a slew of then-happening writers including Big Country's Stuart Adamson, Simon Clime, and the late Kirsty MacColl. The problem is she didn't seem to have a clear vision with respect to what she wanted to do. The result was a diverse, but hodgepodge collection that included stabs at everything including hard rock (relatively speaking) 'One Little Lie', edgy electro-dance numbers 'Twist In the Dark', and the plain weird 'Comfort Me'. Other efforts of interest included 'Heart of the Country' which found her recording with Big Country (a weird, but beguiling cultural mixture) and 'Don't Do It' which deserved notice as the first Frida original to make it on an album. Good song. She should have had more faith in her own writing skills. Elsewhere 'Chemistry Tonight' was pretty commercial, while the title track was apparently the last song recorded for the LP and was only added in an effort to come up with a song that could serve as a single. While it was one of the more memorable tracks, it flopped as a single. Running against the grain, there was even a pseudo-ABBA song - Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus contributed the "Chess" castoff 'Slowly' to the project and yes it sounded like an ABBA track and probably would have made a better choice for a single. I remember listening to the album about five years ago and thinking how dated the sound was - syndrums, that patented jittery '80s production sound, and of course Frida's angry-young-woman look (what was with the spikey hair and different colored gloves ...). Pulling it out recently it still had that '80s feel, though thanks to Frida's magnificent voice (geez I still love her accented delivery), it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. While the album went top-10 throughout Europe, inexplicably it never saw an official American release. That was even stranger given the success she'd enjoyed with "Something's Going On". It also marked her last studio effort for a dozen years - the Swedish language "Djupa Andetag" (translated as 'deep breathes') wasn't released until 1996.
"Shine" track listing:
1.) Shine (Kevin Jarvis - Guy Fletcher - Jeremy Bird) -
2.) One Little Lie (Simon Clime - Kirsty MacColl) -
3.) The Face (Daniel Balavoine - Kirsty MacColl) -
4.) Twist In the Dark (Andde Leek) -
5.) Slowly (Benny Andersson - Bjorn Ulvaeus) -
2.) Come To Me (I Am Woman) (eddie Howell - David Dundas) -
3.) Chemistry Tonight (Peter Glrnister - Simon Climie - Kirsty MacColl) -
4.) Don't Do It (Anni-Frid Lyngstad) -
5.) Comfort Me (Peter Glenister) -
And once again thanks to YouTube you can check out the promo videos that accompanied the LP (and a live performance):
'Twist In the Dark'
'Shine' 12" mix
'Come To Me (I Am Woman)' live performance
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