They finally escaped the white dimension! Too bad it was for a lousy song and video.
Okay, there are a few things of note here.
First is the obvious. They are on location rather than in a studio. However, they don’t really make use of it. It feels like it was out of necessity or they felt it was humanizing instead of having them all dolled up as usual. They would make better use of location shooting in their later videos such as Knowing Me, Knowing You.
We get the first video that implies a relationship between band members beyond the band. This is something that would be crucial to Knowing Me, Knowing You. I don’t know if any of them ever paired off like Fleetwood Mac was famous for doing, and it doesn’t matter to me either.
This is also the first video that has a title on it. We’ll see that on I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do and Mamma Mia as well.
This is also the first video where we not only see to people go face-to-face, but they do it to the point where they look like they are either about to make-out or head-butt each other.
We get our usual use of profile shots, but there’s also something you didn’t really see in Waterloo and Ring, Ring. We’ve seen the camera pan and around band. However, this is the first video where we move from a head shot of one member to another without an edit. It really only serves to match the pace of the video with the song in the same way as the quick face-to-face and comic book inserts do, but we’ll see it used to great effect in Knowing Me, Knowing You. Still, like this; Waterloo; and Ring, Ring, this moving around means that the performance the band is giving is still going on even if the camera is somewhere else. It makes me wonder how scripted a lot of these early videos were, and how much was Hallström telling them to get up there and recreate one of their live performances while he built a video around it on-the-fly.
I guess you could call this music video a dry-run for Knowing Me, Knowing You.
- Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
- Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
- Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)