Just Like That (song)

Just Like That (song)

Infobox Song
Name =Just Like That

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Type =
Artist =ABBA
alt Artist =
Album =Thank You For The Music
Published =
Released =18 April 1995 (snippet of saxophone version)
track_no =
Recorded =4 May 1982 (Original version)
28 May 1982 (Nanana version)
2 June 1982 (Saxophone version)
Genre =Pop
Length =5:00 (Original version)
4:45 (Nanana version)
4:55 (Saxophone version)
Writer =Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus
Label =
Producer =Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, engineer: Michael Tretow
Tracks =
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Audio sample? =
"Just Like That" is an unreleased song by Swedish pop group ABBA. It is one of the group's last recorded songs, features lead vocals by Agnetha Fältskog and backing vocals by Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and has caused a lot of interest and hype among ABBA fans. It is considered by many to be the 'Holy Grail' of unreleased ABBA recordings.


"Just Like That" was originally penned by ABBA composers Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus in May 1982, and recording sessions began that same month. "Just Like That", along with a handful of other songs, were recorded with the intention of compiling them on a brand new studio album. However, Benny and Björn lost interest in "Just Like That" after several failed attempts at recording it, and decided in early June to put the "Just Like That" tapes aside.

Journalists visiting ABBA in the recording studio during these sessions wrote about the new material, and thus fans heard of the new ABBA songs to come. Two titles were mentioned: "Just Like That" and "I Am the City". Both titles were also mentioned in an official Polar Music Press release in the summer of 1982, which stated that the songs were completed and would be released on the group's next studio album. However, neither the album nor the release of "Just Like That" eventually happened, and the outcome of these last recording sessions was instead two single A-sides, released in October and December respectively. These were "The Day Before You Came"/"Cassandra", and "Under Attack"/"You Owe Me One".

Somehow, bootleg versions of some of the as of yet unreleased demos began circulating among fans during the 1980s. It has long been rumoured that some cassettes were stolen from Björn's car, and this has recently been confirmed by Björn himself, via Carl Magnus Palm. Since the mid-1980s, there has been an increasing interest in the official release of many of these unreleased tracks, including "Just Like That" and "I Am the City" (which was subsequently released as a bonus track for the first time on the 1993 compilation "".)

In 1994, Benny and Björn allowed a small 2 minute snippet of "Just Like That" to be released as part of the ABBA Undeleted medley, compiled by producer Michael B. Tretow, on the "Thank You For The Music" box-set. The snippet revealed a few of the song's saxophone riffs, courtesy of Raphael Ravenscroft (who also worked on Gerry Rafferty's hit "Baker Street" in 1978), and the song's second and final choruses. The entire first and second verses were left out, as was the first chorus. If anything, the release of this snippet has only caused fans to want the full version to be released even more.

Known ABBA Versions

At least three different mixes of "Just Like That" have become available to bootleggers. However, other mixes of the song are thought to have been produced, as cited on the ABBA Annual website.

On 4 May 1982, two mixes, including what has become known as the the 'original', 'slow' or 'dream' version of "Just Like That", were made. The only of these two mixes to have surfaced has a simple instrumental melody in between the verses and the choruses. Also apparent is a guitar riff that eventually made its way into the verse melody of ABBA's last official single release, Under Attack ("Don't know how to take it/don't know where to go/my resistance running low..."). In this version of the song, it is apparent that there is a certain 'emptiness' in the feel of the recording, and this is probably what led Benny and Björn to rethink the arrangement, leading to the second known version.

After leaving "Just Like That" for a few days to concentrate on the production of "I Am the City", later followed by a break from the studio, Benny and Björn went back to working on "Just Like That" again on 28 May 1982. On this day, two further mixes of the track were produced, including what has become known as the 'Nanana' or 'Lalala' version. This version is much the same as the first, but this time, Agnetha sings emotional 'na na na's/'la la la's on top of the instrumental melody. (These have clearly been overdubbed onto the 'original' mix.)

Within a few days of these two new mixes being completed, Benny and Björn found themselves no nearer to completion of the track, with them still feeling unsatisfied with the results. As a last attempt at saving "Just Like That", they went back to the studio in late May 1982 with saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft. These sessions led to the last known version of the song, mixed on 2 June 1982, which has become known as the 'saxophone' version. This is the official 'final mix' of "Just Like That".

The 'saxophone' version is different from prior mixes of the song, with an altered arrangement and a completely new backing track. In place of the previous instrumental melodies/'nanana' vocal overdubs, there are lengthy saxophone riffs. The song has a faster tempo than the other mixes, and a lot of reverb has been added to the girls' singing during the choruses. The verses of this version have an inherently 'odd' bass line, which is more apparent in the low quality bootleg versions due to the loss of quality/ambience elsewhere.

After recording of the 'saxophone' version in June 1982, "Just Like That" was felt unsatisfactory by Benny and Björn. They stated some time afterwards that the song simply sounded 'wrong': the verses and the choruses did not go together well, and however they tried to bring the song together as one coherent whole, nothing seemed to work quite right.

Interestingly, on 14 June 1982, a press release from Polar Music, about ABBA's activities during the year, noted that "Just Like That" was completed and ready to be used on ABBA's next album project. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case; there was no new album, and it is highly unlikely that "Just Like That" would have been an inclusion on it.

peed differences in ABBA's versions

To some ears, the bootleg recordings of the 'original' and 'nanana' versions sound slow compared to bootlegs of the 'saxophone' version, and indeed the excerpt of this version that was officially released in 1994.

Some people assume that the song was recorded initially at a slower tempo, and then speed up during mixing for the saxophone version. However, it is possible that the first two versions of the song were in fact intended to be recorded at a slower tempo (~95bmp), compared to the 'saxophone' version being recorded at a slightly higher tempo (~97bmp).

The sources from which the bootleg recordings surfaced may also have played a part in their apparent speeds. It is known that the 'original' and 'nanana' versions were taken from the same cassette tape (which was stolen from Björn's car in the early 1980s), whereas recordings of the 'saxophone' version have surfaced from completely different sources, including LPs.

Other versions

After their work with ABBA, Benny and Björn looked at "Just Like That" again, and in 1984 decided to rework both composition and lyrics, eventually ending up with two new songs. The first, which kept the original "Just Like That" chorus, was recorded by Swedish duo Gemini, with whom Benny and Bjorn also worked with producing their 1985 self-titled album. "Just Like That" was even released as a Gemini single in the UK.

The other part of the song, composed around the original "Just Like That" verses, had the demo title "When The Waves Roll Out To Sea", and was one of the songs tried out by both Elaine Paige and Tommy Körberg during sessions for the musical "Chess", but it was once again put aside. It even acquired another working title and another set of lyrics after this: "With The Stars Up In The Sky". The verses to the old "Just Like That" were added to a new chorus in 1984, and it has now found its place in "Chess" - almost 20 years later - as the number "Glöm Mig Om Du Kan", a ballad sung by the Russian character Molokov, with Swedish lyrics by Björn.

On 28 November 2004 Elaine Paige played two demos of the track on her BBC radio show - her version of "Just Like That" and also "When The Waves Roll Out To Sea".

Cover versions

* A take on the song, based on ABBA's original version, has been recorded by tribute band Björn Again. Many similarities can be found between it and ABBA's versions, though it is somewhat different: there is a powerful piano/synthesiser melody in place of ABBA's instrumental breaks/'na na na'/saxophone overdubs, the first chorus has been shortened, and a guitar riff has been added after the second chorus.
* A version of "Just Like That", which is much the same as Gemini's, has been recorded by pop duo, The Webb.
* ABBA tribute act Swede Dreams recorded a cover of the song.
* Jakaranda recorded a version of the song, using ABBA's 'nanana's with the verses of Gemini's version.
* A hi-NRG/eurodance cover by Abbacadabra can be found on the 2008 compilation "We Love ABBA: The Mamma Mia Dance Compilation", released through Almighty Records.


[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFESUDEMJ4k "Na-na" version of "Just Like That"]

ee also

*ABBA unreleased songs

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