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.
First pressing copy of The Visitors (Polar 1983)
There were also subtle changes to the packaging as seen below:
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.