Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 10/12/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

The great cover-up

Imagine this scenario. You're about to release a single by the most popular band ever known in Australia. Every member of the group is instantly recognisable.The artwork has been designed overseas, so essentially all you have to do is reprint it. What do you think the odds are that you would accidentally reprint the negative backwards?

Well, think again. This is exactly what happened with ABBA's 1979 single 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)', the one new track for the Christmas 1979 album Greatest Hits Volume 2. The image you see here is the cover from Australia (where Polar Music was licensed to RCA at the time). Everywhere else in the world that I know about, Agnetha is on the left and Bjorn is on the right. Students of ABBA pictures will also immediately realise that Benny's part is on the wrong side.

Frankly, I have no idea how widespread the problem is (or how rare this sleeve is). I know that RCA eventually issued the 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' single in a plain paper cover, so maybe nobody noticed and they never had to do a second run. And the single reached #8 (the band's third Top 10 hit of the year in Australia, and their fourth in the UK), so obviously it wasn't a huge barrier to continued success. But really, how disorganised would you have to be?

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