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Blue Polars (1983)

Polar arrives on CD

The initial Polydor Abba CDs released in 1982 were only available in territories where PolyGram had the Abba licence but this was to change in 1983 as Polar entered the CD market.

In reality, Polar’s entry into the CD market masked a simple case of outsourcing as PolyGram were simply asked to press up copies of their Abba titles with Polar catalogue numbers and packaging. While PolyGram would continue to supply their local markets with red coated Polydor CDs, Abba’s other European licencees would be sent the ‘Polar’ CDs.

The most striking difference between Polydor and Polar CDs were in their physical appearance. Polar discs ended up with one of the more attractive and timeless coatings of the early CD era: an appropriate mix of royal blue on light blue. The 1982 copyright references were also updated to 1983 and more comprehensive credits were added to the discs.

polvisitorsblueFirst pressing copy of The Visitors (Polar 1983)

There were also subtle changes to the packaging as seen below:

 pgsinglesback

 

Polar copies replaced the Polydor logo with a Polar one and, in general, lacked barcodes

Polar copies replaced the Polydor logo with a Polar one and, in general, lacked barcodes

In this new relationship, Polar seems to have had as little input on releases as did when the CD version of The Visitors was being produced the previous year. In that case, Polar was presented with the CD version as fait accompli by PolyGram.

Coated Polar CDs from this era are much more common than their coated Polydor counterparts and prices tend to start at around €15. 1983 was a generally quiet year for Abba CD releases although PolyGram would compensate for that in 1984.

First issued: 1983-4. Reissue: Clear Polars. Deleted: late 1984.
Titles in range:  The Visitors (POLCD 342);  Greatest Hits Volume 2 (POLCD 312); Super Trouper (POLCD 322); The Singles: The First Ten Years (POLCD 401-2); Arrival (POLCD 272); Abba: The Album (POLCD 282); Voulez-Vous (POLCD 292);

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Blue Polars (1983)

  1. No Brent, your one is from 1987. The Original Swedish releases from 1982 had full blue paint with black text.

    Posted by Sean | March 11, 2016, 2:00 pm
  2. greeting from Canada iv,e got abba the album on cd with the silver polar and it has the yellow dot on the eagle is it the first pressing thanks brent

    Posted by brent | November 27, 2015, 5:10 pm
  3. Hi, I have amnged to get hold of ABBA The Album, Super Trouper, The Visitors with the light blue and royal blue. I have greatest hits vol 2 with the clear reissue.

    If you want pictures of these let me know.

    The best way to differentiate a copy of the Album, if you look at the eagle, on the front cover there a small colour mistake, a yellow dot, on the eagle that is a reddish orange.

    Posted by Chris Owen | May 3, 2010, 9:48 am
  4. In my opinion West German “blue face” discs are very rare. I am not talking about ABBA, just generaly. I am a collector and I’ve never see this disc before, so must be quite rare. I sugest you keep it as long as you can.

    Posted by Mariusz | February 19, 2010, 5:12 pm
  5. Hi,
    I have a copy of ABBA THE VISITORS as shown on your website with the blue on blue disc coating.
    The disc has a lot of surface marks, but plays well.
    Could you tell me if it is worth anything in this condition

    Thanks
    Neil

    Posted by Neil Treacher | January 3, 2010, 1:44 pm

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