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Clear Polars / Polydors (1984)

A Pivotal Year

After the relative inactivity of 1983, the first six months of 1984 saw the release of three more of Abba’s original albums on CD: Arrival, The Album and Voulez-Vous.

By this stage, Abba’s popularity seems to have been waning as there was far less effort put into these releases than previous ones, which had all (except Greatest Hits Vol 2) appeared with extended booklets and were broadly faithful to the original album packaging designs.

In two cases, Arrival and Voulez-Vous, the catalogue numbers were printed prominently on the front covers in a rather intrusive fashion.

voulez 

The three titles were also notable as they were the final Abba albums to be issued in coated Polar and Polydor versions. In Autumn 1984, PolyGram abandoned the use of coatings in favour of printing directly onto the disc’s surface, leading to major changes in disc designs.

 Polydor’s changed completely to the familiar orange and black ringed design which is still used today on many of the label’s older releases, as can be seen below.

 pgvisitorsclearPolydor’s 1984 CD design facelift, which is still used on some releases today

European Abba discs with the Polydor ringed design are practically worthless because they were pressed up in vast quantities up until 1997. The exceptions are The Singles and Greatest Hits Vol 2, which were deleted in the early 1990s to clear the way for Abba Gold. They are typically worth a maximum of €20 each.

 Unlike Polydor, Polar’s design didn’t receive much of a facelift: the discs, barring the absence of a coating and few minor typographical differences, look similar to earlier coated versions.

polvisitorsclearjpgPolar’s redesign was merely a refinement of its previous design

 

Because they were phased out in the late 1980s, they remain uncommon and typically fetch a little less than their coated Polar counterparts. The three CDs issued in 1984 were the last Abba releases to appear on CD until 1986.

 

First issued: late 1984. Reissue: None. Deleted: 1987/8 [Polar] / 1997 [Polydor].
Titles in range: The Visitors (POLCD 342 / 800 011-2); Greatest Hits Volume 2* (POLCD 312 /800 012-2); Super Trouper (POLCD 322 / 800 023-2); The Singles: The First Ten Years* (POLCD 401-2 / 810 050-2); Arrival (POLCD 272 / 821 319-2); Abba: The Album (POLCD 282 / 821 217-2); Voulez-Vous (POLCD 292 / 821 320-2)

* Deleted in 1992
Polar catalogue numbers listed first

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Clear Polars / Polydors (1984)

  1. What is a “coated” CD? Do you mean the all red Polydor versions?

    Posted by Filip Jensen | April 23, 2012, 8:29 pm
  2. @Yannick

    I’ve seen both versions of that disc but normally they are paired together so both cd 1 and 2 will either have “Made in W. Germany” or “Made in W. Germany by Polygram” printed.
    Sounds to me your copy has been made from mixing those two editions.

    Posted by Walter | February 25, 2011, 7:08 pm
  3. I have a copy of ‘The Singles’ on which an error was occured. On the first CD it says ‘Made in W. Germany’, but there is still room for ‘by PolyGram’. The second cd says the whole ‘Made in W. Germany by PolyGram’. Anybody else seen this version yet?

    Posted by Yannick Van Rillaer | February 18, 2011, 3:33 pm
  4. The Polar silver or clear is rare but I found my copy on E-bay at for 12 pounds. And Even rarer is the ring ring clear or silver album.

    Posted by Jonathan Bollen | March 11, 2010, 9:30 am

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Abba on CD is undergoing a revamp. There's no new content yet but you can enjoy (most of) our great new look!
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