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"People Need Love" was released in June 1972, featuring guest vocals by the women, who were now given much greater prominence. Stig Anderson released it as a single, credited to Björn & Benny,Agnetha & Anni-Frid. The song reached #17 in the Swedish combined single and album charts, enough to convince them they were on to something.[18] The single also became the first record to chart for thequartet in the United States, where it peaked at #114 on the Cashbox singles chart and #117 on Record World's singles chart

For 1973, the band and their manager Stig Anderson decided to have anothertry at the Melodifestivalen, this time with the song "Ring Ring." The studio sessions were handled by Michael B. Tretow, who experimented with a "wall of sound" production technique that became thewholly new ABBA sound. Anderson arranged an English translation of the lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody and they thought this would be a surefire winner, but in the Melodifestivalen, on 10 February1973, it placed third, and thus never reached the international contest. Nevertheless the proto-group put out their first album, called Ring Ring. The album did well and the "Ring Ring" single was a hitin many parts of Europe, but Stig Anderson felt the true breakthrough could only come with a UK or US hit.

ABBA's follow-up single, "Honey, Honey", reached #27 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was#2 in Germany. However, in the UK, a cover version of the song by the act Sweet Dreams made #10 because ABBA's British record company, Epic, decided to re-release a remixed version of "Ring Ring"instead. It failed to reach the Top 30, increasing growing speculation that the group were simply Eurovision one-hit wonders.

In 1974 they released So Long as a single in the UK but it received noairplay from radio 1 and failed to chart. In summer 1975 they released I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do, which again received little airplay on radio 1 but managed to climb the charts, to #38. Later in 1975...