The First Album You Owned... After thinking long and hard about it (about 15 secs.) I decided that mine was probably Abba : The Album, the Swedes' late-1977 opus which accompanied their Hard Day's Night-esque film, appropriately entitled Abba : The Movie. I'm thinking I must have bought this incredible artefact a couple of months later with my birthday money. I had also previously and religiously purchased the singles The Name of the Game and Take a Chance On Me, both of whose A and B sides I played to death. (This was all before Gary Numan arrived on the scene of course..)
By way of a coincidence said album is also the subject of an excellent, detailed review by Marcello Calin in his Then Play Long series. Check it out it's a good read, although I would contest its no. 196 placing).
Although my music tastes, and purchases, have taken many turns since then ( I never bought another Abba album after this one) I often come back to this album to appreciate its many textures and moods, and indeed sheer the strength of the songwriting. The one that usually gets me going is One Man One Woman, an everyday tale of a wife who is ignored and perhaps even maltreated by her belovèd husband, only to have a seemingly failing relationship redeemed once more just by a single smile when he comes home at the end of the day, and they both realise that all is not lost and can never be.
Now I have a friend who is often in a similar situation....