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ABIT ABOUT ABBA ABBA were a Swedish pop music group active from 1969 until 1982. They are the most successful music group ever to come out of Scandinavia. The quartet topped worldwide charts from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s.The group have reportedly sold more than 370 million records. ABBA were widely noted for the colourful and trend-setting costumes its members wore. the band consisted of 4 members who were: Benny Andersson Björn Ulvaeus Agnetha Fältskog Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad There is alot more information on the band, in the booklet that comes with the disc, should you decide to purchase. THE ALBUM This compilation of greatest hits was released in 1992. The album consists of 19 songs: 1) Dancing Queen (3.51) - This is one of Abba's best hits that is sang on Karaoke all over the world. Its a great song that has a good tune to it, and is very well sung. 2) Knowing Me, Knowing You (4.03) - I would say that this was not one of their best songs yet it was still good, i just did'ent like the tune much, i thought the best part about this song was the chorus. It was still sang well, just not my type of song. 3) Take A Chance On me (4.06) - This song will always be a classic song. I love this song and the lyrics to it. I love the tune of it also. 4) Mamma Mia (3.33) - This is such a catchy tune, that i just love, this is one of my favorite songs on the disc, so well sung and a great tune. 5) Lay All Your Love On Me (4.35) - I was not too keen on this song at first, but it does grow on you, it is still not one of my favorites but is sang well, could just probably need a better tune to go with the song. 6) Super Trouper (4.13) - This is a good song, with a good beat to it and the singing is just great. 7) I Have A dream (4.42) - This song was re-released by Westlife, and is a great song. This is one of the slower songs on this album, with not much of a beat to it. This song shows the true quality of their voices. 8) The Winner Takes It All (4.54) - This is yet again a classic song, that shows the true talent of Abba, it has very little music in the background, and still sounds great. 9) Money, Money, Money (3.06) - This is a good song with a good beat to it, not one of my favorites but still good, and the lyrics are so truthful, "ITS A RICH MANS WORLD". 10) S.O.S (3.20) - This is yet another song that is great and shows their good voices, it has different beats to it, slow verses and then more upbeat on the choruses. 11)Chiquitita (5.24) - This song i did not like until i listened to it a few times, then i grew to like it, but the lyrics are pretty hard to understand. 12) Fernando (4.14) - This song i was not keen on until i watched Muriels Wedding, when i saw it on there i loved it. I think it seemed better through a Film. 13) Voulez Vous (5.10) - I have never liked this song, i am not sure why it is just a song i dislike, the tune of it and words of it, i just took a dislike to it. 14) Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (4.52) - This song i just love, its a great upbeat tone and i love the words to it, its a sort of song that just makes you want to join in and dance around the room lol. 15) Does Your Mother Know (3.13) - The men actually have a lead voice on this, and i love it. It is so nice to hear the guys takin a lead part and it shows that they can actually sing alone. 16) One Of Us (3.57) - This song i don't like, the tune is not upto much, until you get to the chorus, and the song just seems abit dull, and boring. 17) The Name Of The Game (4.53) - I disliked this song also, it is the sort of song that would just send me to sleep, i would expect alot better off Abba. 18) Thank You For The Music (3.49) - I do like this song from start to finish, it has some good beats in it, and the singing is flawless. 19) Waterloo (2.48) - This is one of my all time favorites, this song has everything a great upbeat tune and great lyrics, this is the one song that will really get you dancing and singing lol. THE COVER The CD case is signed by all 4 members of Abba. and the inside booklet has several pictures on the band, and also included is parts of their past. No lyrics are in the book, but you would listen to this that much you would soon know them anyway. MY PERSONNAL VIEWS I do love this album and still listen to it now, there are a few songs in that i dislike but there is 19 songs on this, so you cant discredit a full album just because i dont like a few songs. Abba really are a great group and i have liked them ever since i can remember, so when i saw this on sale i could not resist to buy it, and it was money well spend. Its a fabulous album. Also on ciao as Kineticspade
It's easy to forget in these days of near-instant access - legitimate or otherwise - to just about any piece of music one might wish to hear (and quite a number one would not) but it's not that many years since the dread word "deleted" would make the heart sink, for it would mean a long trip around the second-hand record shops with no guarantee of success at its end. Such was the position with ABBA compilations in 1992: there wasn't a single one in print, and all you could buy new were the individual albums. Then came ABBA Gold, and everything changed. One of the most successful albums in history, this record has managed sales of more than 4.6 million in the UK alone. Only Sgt. Pepper and Queen's Greatest Hits have sold more - ever. ABBA Gold has reached number one on the British album charts in three separate, and quite widely spaced years: 1992, 1999 and 2008, the last time propelled to the top by the massive success of the film Mamma Mia! Clearly its popularity remains undimmed - but does the music? Happily, the answer is yes. You won't find much in the way of undiscovered gems here: ten songs reached number one, all but three of the others made the top five, and the only song which was any sort of commercial failure - "Thank You For The Music" - is now just as much a standard as many of ABBA's chart-toppers. Of course, the fact that a group sells a lot of records doesn't necessarily mean that those records are any good, but in this case we are hearing, for the most part, a happy combination of success and quality. Sound engineer Michael Tretow was clearly on to something when he latched onto Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" techniques and adapted them (more cheaply!) for the Swedish group that were to become ABBA. The tracks are not laid out in chronological order, presumably in an intention to open and close the album with exceptionally strong songs. This aim has been achieved: the moment you hear the piano glissando that opens "Dancing Queen", you know you're in for a good time. Benny Andersson was apparently convinced that this would be a hit, and you can't blame him. At the other end of the track listing is "Waterloo", one of the very few genuinely good songs to have won Eurovision, and as with "Dancing Queen", the emphasis in "Waterloo" is very much on enjoyment: even a determined non-dancer like me has trouble staying still during this one. In between, our ears are assailed with track after track of a sound which is hard to describe only because the group have reached that exalted status whereby "it sounds like ABBA" is genuinely the best explanation, and one that most people are likely to get at once. That combination of fabulous harmonies, slightly off-key piano and above all the band members' relentless energy has often been imitated, but seems most unlikely ever to be beaten for sheer verve. Although there are songs, most notably "Fernando", which are underlaid with a more serious message and even a degree of melancholy, even those can bring a smile, albeit one of wistfulness. I'm not going to go through all 19 songs on the record one by one, since I'd quite like my readers to stay awake to the end! What I will do, though, is to pick out a few highlights, and foremost among those is "S.O.S." This is quite an early song, dating from 1975, and it reached only number six, but that doesn't stop it from being a most accomplished number: it has a fantastic piano part - always something likely to attract me - and a great, bouncy rhythm that belies the sense of loss and bewilderment displayed in the lyrics. "Super Trouper" is deceptively complex: despite its simple, thumping beat, the words speak of a band - ABBA, in fact - apparently "smiling, having fun" but in fact less than comfortable with the bright lights and big arenas, and needing the reassurance that "somewhere in the crowd there's you". What else? Well, there's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight", which unfortunately is now known to many as "the song Madonna got that riff from". You can't blame her for borrowing it, as it's sensational, as is the slightly sinister guitar intro, but Agnetha's lyrics of yearning loneliness form an integral part of what has long been one of my favourite ABBA songs. "Money, Money, Money" has perhaps suffered slightly from over-use by the media during the credit crunch, but again the disconnect between the bouncy disco sound and the quietly increasing desperation of the lyrics will surely hit home to many. And "Knowing Me, Knowing You" has survived the Alan Partridge connection to regain its place as a surprisingly perceptive take on the end of a relationship - better, in my opinion, than the perhaps more highly regarded "The Winner Takes It All" (also on this disc). ABBA Gold is a fine collection, to be sure, but there are a couple of points at which the standard descends from the superb to the ranks of the merely good. The one song here that I wasn't particularly familiar with, despite the number of people who have covered it, is "Lay All Your Love On Me", and to be frank I don't think I've particularly missed out. Apart from that distinctive descending note at the end of each verse, there's not much to it, and I'm not surprised that it hasn't become one of the really famous ABBA songs. And, though I feel a heel for saying so, given that half its royalties have gone to Unicef for the last three decades, "Chiquitita" does seem to have dated a bit, reminding me of nothing so much as adverts for cheap package holidays to Torremolinos. Despite these minor criticisms, there's really very little wrong with this record. If I were compiling it, I might add "Ring Ring": although it was released in the very early days of the band, indeed before the name ABBA had been adopted at all, and was not particularly successful in the British charts, it has that trademark "ABBA sound" in spades, and would fit into this line-up with very little trouble. Still, if that's the worst omission I can think of, then we're not doing badly. Anyone with even the slightest interest in well-crafted, infectiously catchy pop music should listen to this. Track listing: 1. Dancing Queen 2. Knowing Me, Knowing You 3. Take A Chance On Me 4. Mamma Mia 5. Lay All Your Love On Me 6. Super Trouper 7. I Have A Dream 8. The Winner Takes It All 9. Money, Money, Money 10. SOS 11. Chiquitita 12. Fernando 13. Voulez-Vous 14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) 15. Does Your Mother Know 16. One Of Us 17. The Name Of The Game 18. Thank You For The Music 19. Waterloo The album is available, as of the time of writing, for £7.98 on Amazon. You can also listen to its tracks via Spotify for free, if you don't mind the adverts!
You are GOLD!! ABBA GOLD is one of those albums that every CD collection should contain. It's an album you can always rely on to entertain people, that everyone will like and dance away to when you put it on the CD player. As we all know, ABBA are a pop group from Sweden. They were formed in November 1970. They were popular in the 70's and 80's although their music still lives on today in films, musicals, pubs and clubs. The band were made up of four members, two men and two women. They are Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog. The name "ABBA" is anacronym formed from the first letters of each of the group members' given names. The album, ABBA Gold is a greatest hits album. It's very well packaged in my opinion, it's front is plain and simple, the background is black with ABBA Gold written in gold lettering. It stands out as an album and really makes an impression in my opinion. The album was released in 1992. According to an article I read, ABBA Gold is the biggest seller of all ABBA releases, and is one of the Top 30 best-selling albums of all time worldwide. Worldwide sales as of 2009 are 28 million. ABBA Gold is the third biggest selling album of all time in the UK as of the end of October 2008, and by June 2009 it had sold 4,610,813 copies. The thing I like about this album is that every song is a hit. You just read the title and you know the songs and they are such upbeat hits and fun songs. All the songs on the album were written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson so you know that this album is something special and important to them too. The tracks are as follows: "Dancing Queen" "Knowing Me, Knowing You" "Take a Chance on Me" "Mamma Mia" "Lay All Your Love on Me" "Super Trouper" "I Have a Dream" "The Winner Takes It All" "Money, Money, Money" "S.O.S" "Chiquitita" "Fernando" "Voulez-Vous" "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight)" "Does Your Mother Know" "One of Us" "The Name of the Game" "Thank You for the Music" "Waterloo"
Pop into your local record store & you'll find a wide variety of Abba CD's available, but in my opinion if you want just one of their CD's, this is the only one to get. Released in 1992, this is a definitive collection of all their biggest hits. Featured amoung the 19 tracks are classics such Dancing Queen, Mammia Mia, The Winner Take It All & Waterloo to name but a few. Due to the success of the Mammia Mia, the group have gained a whole new set of fans who probably won't even born when they originally released most of their material & they will love what is on offer on this CD. Whether you're an old or new fan, you'll be singing along to every single track on this album at the top of your voice. It's full of feel good catchy pop songs that you can't help but love. These can only be described as timeless classics & as a result this has to be up there as one of my favourite albums of all time. Whatever mood I'm in, this will always cheer me up. All I can say is get yourself a copy of Abba Gold if you already don't, you won't regret it!
If Abba were not already big enough in the memories of many people then the hit musical Mamamia has bought their music to a whole new audience and Abba Gold is undoubtedly the best album to get from them as it is their greates hits album and so has everyting a fan would want to listen to, it is also ideal for those girlie nights in with friends, bottle of wine or 12 and a good old sing song. Their songs are often up lifting and relying on the two lead female vocalists and this album kicks off with Dancing Queen which is a disco classic before moving on to one of my personal favourites Knowig e Knowing You even though I still find myself doing it in a pathetic attempt to impersonate Alan Partridge the Steve Coogan character. I'm not a fan of all their songs and the ather annoying Souper Trouper is one of them, I find the chorus a bit of a drone and not enjoyable and also the rather schmultzy I Have a Dream is one of their duller songs. On the plus side the song that propelled them, via the Eurovision Song Contest, Waterloo is on the album and I love this song with its rallying cry chorus. For fans this is a great album with 19 tracks in all and for those who have only heard the music because of the film then this album is the one to go for rather than the film sound track.
Ok this is possibly the longest review I have written. In the 70s ABBA's music was apparently Sweden's second biggest export after Volvo. They are one of the biggest selling artists of all time with sales of aprox 400 million tapes and discs world wide. What I have always found slightly amusing is that some people at times have said to me 'I always thought they were British'. Still the group became well known outside Sweden after winning the Eurovision Song contest in 1974 with 'Waterloo'. Even 30 years later many still believe that this is the best song ever to win the contest. In one interview Björn Ulvaeus had said that "if they were British or American they would not have bothered with Eurovision but at the time no major record label would consider listening to a demo tape from Sweden." Why the name? For the name they simply took the first letter of each of the members names. The first 'B' is written backwards so it wasn't mixed up with a Swedish fish canning firm which had the same name. This is quite a long review as there are 19 tracks on the album. ABBA Gold. The album was first released in 1992 and it contained all 9 of the groups UK number one singles as well as some of their better known and two less well known ones. The first release had shorter versions of the tracks "Voulez Vous" and "the name of the game". The later releases of the album held the full version of each. The album, in the UK alone, is 15 times platinum (over 4.5 million sales) and it has hit the number one spot in the UK on 5 separate occasions. The last time being in 2008 - sixteen years after its release. It is also the fourth longest running album in the top 75 at 420 weeks. For me if you only own one ABBA album then it should be this one as it has all their major hits. There are some very good tracks not on this album but this is ABBA at their best. The album has a good mix of the up tempo and disco styled tracks and some of the best ballads which the group did. Track list and opinions, the marks underneth each track are my personal score. Dancing Queen Probably their best known track and it was the longest running number one they had in the UK (6 weeks). However, I personally am not a fan of it. Whilst it does have a good disco style backing track I just feel that lyrically it is quite week. It may have a vocal range of over two octaves but they have done better tracks. 2.5/5 Knowing me, Knowing you Again a fairly well known track and it is not the 'happy and jolly' style which ABBA had become known for. Lyrically it is quite good and the backing track is quite slow and does have a fairly sad feeling about it. It has been linked to the relationship problems that Bjorn and Agnetha were having at the time. 3.5/5 Take a chance on me A more upbeat track but it does have the rather annoying backing vocals. Whilst this can be a bit annoying it does in a way add to the rhythm of the track. Lyrically it isn't too bad. 3.5/5 Mamma Mia This is possibly the type of track ABBA became well known for. A fairly upbeat backing track but with the voices of Agnetha and Frida being the main constituent of it. Whilst admittedly this isn't the best track lyrically speaking it is one of my favourites. 4/5 Lay all your love on me Not one of their best known tracks but I feel it is worthy of being on their 'greatest hits' album. It is a fast electro-disco backing track with strong lyrics. My main criticism of this track is the descending vocal sound at the end of each verse. Whilst this was done electronically it just sounds odd and I often ask 'was that really needed?' 4/5 Super Trouper This was ABBAs ninth and final number one in the UK and it is famous probably for many people miss-hearing the line 'when I called you last night from Glasgow'. Many people have heard this as '...from Tesco'. Still the verses are mid tempo whilst the chorus is slightly more upbeat. Lyrically it is a good track and shows that this part of their music was improving as they went on. 4/5 I Have a Dream One of the better ballads ABBA have done. Slow but one of those which appears to be that more of hope than sadness. The tempo is constant throughout the song. Whilst this was performed in their concerts in 1979 they were normally joined onstage by a children's choir in the final verse. This was in celebration of 1979 being UNICEFs 'year of the child'. Unfortunately this song is now better known by many for the awful cover version done by a certain Irish boy band. 4/5 The Winner Takes It All This for me is my favorite ABBA song and I think it is one of the best songs ever written. Whilst the melody is very simple as it is virtually the same few bars just repeated over and over it is this simplicity which helps to make it work. It is a slow unhappy ballad. For me no-one has come close to matching Agnetha's performance of this. Her voice really does deliver the sadness this song is conveying. This track really is ABBA at their best. 5/5 (pity I can't give it more) Money Money Money Probably one of the better tracks on the album not to get to number one in the UK. It is fairly dramatic and the verses are sung in part all on one note. The backing track is mid tempo and more piano led than their other tracks. It is probably the piano led backing track which gives this track it's more dramatic sound. 4.5/5 S.O.S Pete Townsend has declared this track as being possibly his favorite pop song. It was really their come back single as it was the first since waterloo to make any impact in the UK charts. The descending chords within the track and the use of a synthesizer in the introduction help to setup the lead vocals. There is a slightly sad feeling within the track and at times it sounds as if Agnetha is holding back the tears. 4/5 Chiquitita This is one of the strongest tracks lyrically speaking and the tempo of the track changes between the more ballad like versus to the uptempo chorus. In the versus the vocals are slightly haunting and the use of the piano as the main backing track instrument on the verse does help in this. This is the track which ABBA signed over 50% of the royalties to UNICEF for the 'year of the child' in 1979. UNICEF still receive 50% of the royalties to this song and it has raised around £1.75 million from this track's royalties alone. 4.5/5 Fernando Another of my favorites form this album. The way this track was constructed was slightly unusual in the way that the first verse was twice the length of the second. Again the versus were of a slower tempo than the chorus. For me this is one of the better tracks lyrically on the album. 4.5/5 Voulez-vous This is one of the better disco styled tracks ABBA tracks it is very uptempo but the lyrics are still good and better than many disco songs from the same time. The use of the synthesizers really help to add to the disco style of the track. One of the better tracks to dance to. 4.5/5 Gimme Gimme Gimme Another of the high octane uptempo disco styled tracks. Unlike some other ABBA tracks this is all on one tempo but the use of synthesizers is good and blends well with the rest of the instruments. One thing which could possibly make this better is to lose the rather long instrumental section about 2/3 rds of the way through. 4/5 Does your mother know This is an unusual track, in the terms of the fact that it is Bjorn who performs the lead vocals rather than either Agnetha or Frida. This is another uptempo track and has a much heaver usage of electric guitars than the other disco tracks. Lyrically the track is good but not the strongest on the album. 3.5/5 One of Us Another not well known track but again as this was one of the later tracks it is stronger lyrically and is my second favorite on the album. This is in a sense a ballad in the way it is sung but with a electric guitar style backing track. Again this is another song which is strong lyrically and the style of the lyrics and the vocals portray a sadness possibly influenced by the divorces of the two couples. 5/5 Name of the Game Not one of my favorite tracks but it is possibly one of the most complex in the style it was put together. The lyrics for me are not the best and the over repetitive melody really does not help. However the complexity comes mainly due to both women having solo sections in the song and joint lead in others. 2.5/5 Thank you for the music A slow ballad which has reasonably strong lyrics the main part of this are the vocals as the backing track is fairly quiet to the point of hardly being noticeable in parts. The tempo is fairly slow and is constant throughout. 4/5 Waterloo The song they won the 1974 eurovision song contest with. This is an uptempo song with a strong backing track. Whilst it hasn't got the strongest lyrics it is still stronger than some of the tracks they released at the same time. This is still regarded as the best song to win Eurovision shown in the fact that it won the 50th anniversary competition against some more resent tracks. 4/5
The ABBA Agnetha Falskog vocals Benny Anderson vocals, keyboards, synthesizer Bjorn Ulvaeus vocals, banjo, guitar Anni-Frid Lyngstad vocals The Tracks 1. Dancing Queen (1976) 3:51 This track has a dance vibe with piano as the most noticeable instrument. I would dance with it any way I like, be it disco-dancing or ballroom-swing. This track has beautiful display of keyboarding. It doesn't matter if I do the right dance steps. This song always tells me that I am the 'Dancing Queen' and I don't really care about the rest. 2. Knowing Me, Knowing You (1977) 4:01 This is another dance track but melancholic in lyrics. This talks about the feelings after a break-up. This song is very famous with its breathy and sexy 'AHAAAA...' at the end of some lines. This has the words of sadness but excellently delivered in a very cheerful tune. 3. Take A Chance On Me (1978) 4:04 This track has a great vocal arrangement and with great lyrics as well. I like the blending of four vocals and brilliant arrangement of keyboards. This has fast beat and is nicely delivered. 4. Mamma Mia (1975) 3:32 This is a very sweet song with a marchy beat in the chorus part. Still, the blending of vocals is great - a famous ABBA identity. 5. Lay All Your Love On Me (1980) 4:34 This track has a somewhat-Latin beat with a gospel-feel.. This song didn't climb up to the U.S. charts as a single but this is a good song. 6. Super Trooper (1980) 4:12 This is a great track that talks about being in the limelight. Each time I listen to this song, I would sing out loud 'supahpah..troopapah..' and I don't care who listens to me. 7. I Have A Dream (1979) 4:42 This song has nice lyrics but I think it is shallow in melody. I just feel that any amateur can always create a tune like this one without difficulty. It seems like a lullaby to me - but a good lullaby. 8. The Winner Takes It All (1980) 4:54 I consider this track as one of excellent songs of ABBA. This is a very good pop. The lyrics are very-well laid. This is a very romantic song though the theme is sadness. This song compares the relationships to a card gamble-game and ABBA did it great. Well, everyone is a 'player' in love. 9. Money, Money, Money (1976) 3:06 This is a nice song that talks about being in materialistic world. This song has the repeating-phrase trademark of ABBA but it sounds really good. 10. S.O.S. (1975) 3:20 This track is a good song that I would always love to listen to. It has nice arrangement and the melody is so heart-warming. 11. Chiquitita (1979) 5:24 This is a very sweet ballad. It has a very soft and lovely sound which shifts to a faster beat with a somewhat Spanish/Mexican tune in the chorus, then gets back to the soft tune. I like the switching of melodies in this song. 12. Fernando (1976) 4:13 For me, this is a great ballad of all times. This has very slow rhythm then gets faster in the chorus just like Chiquitita. This is a very inspiring song and I won't get tired listening to this one. 13. Voulez Vous (1979) 5:09 This is a good song with a dance vibe. This has very nice utilization of instruments which is complemented by the good blending of vocals. 14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) (1979) 4:50 This is one of ABBA's repeating-phrase song but is nicely arranged. The harmony of instruments and vocals is good. This becomes the shoutout of a woman who is desperately seeking for a lover that would take the sadness away. 15. Does Your Mother Know (1979) 3:13 I find this song funny when it comes to lyrics. This has a good beat. ABBA did great in vocalization in this track. 16. One Of Us (1981) 3:55 This track is maybe underrated most of the time but this is one of my favorites. I love the lyrics of this ballad and the melody is simply great. 17. The Name Of The Game (1977) 4:5 This is not the best song for me but it is really good. The lyrics are nicely-written and arranged. 18. Thank You For The Music (1983) 3:49 This track is good. The theme is like a farewell song at the finale of the broadway show after all numbers are done. I can only guess that this is the last song recorded by ABBA before they decided to disband. So it seems to me that is a real farewell song. This is a good track and sounds really sincere. 19. Waterloo (1974) 2:48 This is a great track that gives me the itch to swing when I listen to it. It displays the excellent blending of vocals of the band and great instrumentation. The Album: The ABBA Gold Greatest Hits album contains 19 tracks with the total running time of 76:25. This album was released on June 24, 2002. It contains songs that made it high in the charts by the Swedish band members. The 4-member band dominated the charts with their excellent collaboration of vocals and instruments. My Experience I grew up with the famous songs of ABBA. During my teenage years, I used to play our old long-playing album (we call that LP), danced to the cheerful beat, got a grip of the tip of the broom and sang along with ABBA's excellent ballads. I bought this CD about 5 years ago because I missed ABBA's great songs which contribute a big part of my teenage memories. I don't skip any track when I play this CD. ABBA offers great songs one after another. This album is always one of my favorite classics. I love the harmony of vocals and instruments of this album. I don't play it often nowadays but the songs and melodies still remain in my heart.
Originally released in 1992 this was the first time that the majority of Abba's UK singles were available on a single album / cd. The collection is a must for any Abba fan who wants all of the big singles together in a single collection. All 9 UK number one hits are included along with most of their Top Ten hits. Personal stand out tracks for me are The Winner Takes It All, surely the best pop single ever to tackle the subject of divorce, Knowing Me, Knowing You and disco favourite Gimme! Gimme! Gime! (A Man After Midnight) which features a great vocal from Agnetha. Abba were masters at creating catchy, singable pop songs with melodies that you couldn't get out of your head & this collection reminds you what a decent body of work they put together during the course of their career. All in all, an album that has something for everybody.
ABBA are probably the best all around pop group to ever grace this earth. They sometimes used an effect in the recording studio known as over dubbing vocals which achieved the effect of harmonies being created by multiple female vocals. The technique is also referred to as a Wall Of Sound which was pioneered by the music Producer Phil Spector back in the 1960s. On this 19 track CD you will hear exactly why. You get the catchy dance to tunes such as "Dancing Queen", "Super Trouper" and "Lay All Your Love On Me" but you also get the real genius of compositions such as "I Have A Dream", "Winner Takes It All", "Fernando", "Thank You For The Music" and "Waterloo" This is an exceptional collection of their music. The only negatives are that it does not include the track "Eagle" which was in fact the A Side on the single that had "Thank You For The Music" on the B side, nor does it include "The Girl With The Golden Hair" The album sleeve is adequate but like many nowadays does not contain song lyrics. Some ABBA facts: Anni-Frid Lyngstad (who is the brunette vocalist) is now known as Anni-Frid, Princess Reuss von Plauen through her marriage to Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen who sadly passed away in 1999. In 1979 The United Nations declared it the year of the child and ABBA kindly donated all royalties from sales of "Chiquitita" to this cause. Björn Ulvaeus, born in 1945, now suffers from some severe memory loss. I'm sure all ABBA and other music fans wish him well. Russian premier Vladimir Putin is said to be a big fan of ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again, however, in January 2009 Russian officials denied that he was in attendance at a gig that the tribute band performed at the Russian resort of Valdai Lake. Full track listings. 1. Dancing Queen 2. Knowing Me Knowing You 3. Take A Chance On Me 4. Mamma Mia 5. Lay All Your Love On Me 6. Super Trouper 7. I Have A Dream 8. Winner Takes It All 9. Money Money Money 10. SOS 11. Chiquitita 12. Fernando 13. Voulez Vous 14. Gimme Gimme Gimme 15. Does Your Mother Know 16. One Of Us 17. Name Of The Game 18. Thank You For The Music 19. Waterloo This review is also posted on www.ciao.co.uk under my user name bella6789
We all know and love Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida and I suspect most people have a copy of Gold in their homes by now. The sudden success of Mamma Mia has boosted interested once again in Abba and quite rightly so, they are, it seems the pop supergroup who refuse to go away. Gold is a collection of their biggest hits and all the usual suspects are here. Who can forget having a slow dance to Dancing Queen at school, or a boogie to Mamma Mia. Knowing Me Knowing You is a pop gem and has most endearing chorus that you want to sing over and over. Even the slow ones, like I Have A Dream and One Of Us are absolute corkers, knocking the pants off Westlife's cover version. The sleeve has a few interesting notes inside which will make for a good read while you play the CD. Perfect music to brighten up your mood or indeed to get you in the mood for a night out. What else can be said but splendid!
ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits was incredibly first released in 1992. In 1999 the album was remastered and reissued to coincide with the 25th anniversary of ABBA's success in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Waterloo'. There was also a further 10th Anniversary release in 2002 and the album was reissued with a revised booklet and updated liner notes. This CD contains no outstanding tracks because every one is a classic expertly crafted pop composition. The 19 track album includes chart successes covering a period of 8 years and, apart from the non-album single releases, all the songs are taken from 8 albums produced during that period starting with their Eurovision Song Contest entry 'Waterloo' back in 1974. They are all internationally renowned songs that achieved success on several continents. Although the group's greatest impact was in their own country Sweden and in Australia, the prolific achievements and popularity of the their songs and their appeal across all cultures and all age groups is perhaps only succeeded by The Beatles. In the 1970s they were probably the most commercially successful popular music act in the world. ABBA songs were famous for their strong melodies backed by a multi-layered sound consisting of keyboard-based wall-of-sound arrangements and the use of overdubbing to create multiple harmonies from the soprano and mezzo-soprano voices of lead singers Agnetha and Frida. This unique sound was most present at the height of their popularity during the 1970s and is most evident on songs such as 'Take A Chance On Me', 'Mamma Mia', 'Lay All Your Love On Me' and 'Super Trouper'. The later songs reverted back to a simpler style relying more on Benny Andersson's synthesiser keyboards whilst the lyrics often took on a more sophisticated form. One observation to make from this CD is how the group's songs progressed lyrically as the band became more adroit at mastering the English language (something not immediately obvious as the songs are annoyingly not recorded in chronological order on the CD). The earlier pop songs like 'Waterloo', 'Money Money Money' and 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' use a simpler language whilst a greater sophistication is apparent in later tracks such as 'The Winner Takes It All'. Of course you don't need sophisticated language to create a great pop song but one wonders how much the language barrier held them back lyrically early on. I said that there are no outstanding tacks but one or two do deserve a special mention. "Fernando" is one of ABBA's most sublimely written love songs that actually refers to the 1910 Mexican Revolution. It was the first non-album single release although it was later added to the 'Arrival' album as a bonus track when it was released on CD. The song was originally written by band members Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and their manager Stig Anderson for ABBA member Anni-Frid and it originally appeared as a Swedish version on her solo album 'Frida Ensam'. My favourite track on this CD is probably 'Chiquitita'. This was one of ABBA's biggest hits worldwide and reached number 1 in 10 countries, although only number 2 in the UK where it was kept off top spot by the classic Blondie track 'Heart of Glass'. ABBA donated half of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. All though not my favourite, I would have to argue that 'The Winner Takes It All' is probably the greatest ABBA song on the album. It is important to note that this collection is not the be all and end all of Abba. There are many other tracks from their albums that deserve attention. 'Eagle' on 'ABBA - The Album' for example, was always one of my favourites and the classic 'The Day Before You Came' from 'The Arrival' album is another pop masterpiece. These and other songs are now available on the 'More ABBA Gold' CD. For those wishing to go the whole hog you can now buy the recently released 'The Albums' box set now available on Amazon for £30 - a good buy if you're one of the few people on earth who don't already possess at least one ABBA album. ABBA's music still has the same impact today with new generations as it did more than thrirty years ago. It seems all the songs on this CD are destined to remain timeless classics. The Tracks: 1. Dancing Queen (1976) 2. Knowing Me, Knowing You (1976) 3. Take a Chance on Me (1977) 4. Mamma Mia (1975) 5. Lay All Your Love on Me (1980) 6. Super Trouper (1980) 7. I Have a Dream (1979) 8. The Winner Takes It All (1980) 9. Money, Money, Money (1976) 10. S.O.S (1975) 11. Chiquitita (1979) 12. Fernando (1976) 13. Voulez-Vous (1979) 14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight) (1979) 15. Does Your Mother Know (1979) 16. One of Us (1981) 17. The Name of the Game (1977) 18. Thank You for the Music (1977) 19. Waterloo"(1974)
Having Swedish ancestry I grew up listening to ABBA, and from an early age loved their songs that all seemed to tell a story! To start off with I will give you a little history for those who are unfamiliar with the bands life story. I don't think there are many who haven't heard of ABBA, as their songs are still radio favorites, however many do not know the story behind the band. Here it is in brief. THE STORY: ABBA was a Swedish pop music group that was made up of two married couples, Björn Ulvaeus (Sweden), Agnetha Fältskog (Sweden),Benny Andersson (Sweden), and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Norway). (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) They were all natural born stars, and before they met had had various musical success, some starting as young as 13, they joined in 1970, and the two couples (who were soon married) started their rise to fame. ABBA enjoyed international popularity by using simple lyrics and catchy songs. That combined with amazing stage charisma and costumes, led them to the top of the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The music groups name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's first name. ABBA was the first pop group from mainland Europe to enjoy such success in the charts of the English-speaking countries, mainly the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. This was in part due to the fact that most of their songs were in English as opposed to other pop groups that sang in their own language. But regardless of the language nothing could deny the power of their music, and lyrics However such fame took a toll on their marriages and at the height of their popularity, both marriages of the band members failed, the relationship changes were reflected in their music, and you could feel the pain and hear the heartache in their lyrics. The band members stayed together for several more years and even though their marriages had fallen apart, they still decided to keep their commitments to the band. Till this day they remain one of the world's best selling bands, having sold over 400 million records world wide and they still sell two to four million records a year. WHY I LOVE THEM. I love this band not so much because it is my style of music, but rather because it came from the heart. This album in particular has some very personal songs, that must have been hard to sing before the world. But that was one of the secrets to their success. You cannot sing about, love, heartache and pain unless you have experienced it firsthand. The recent movie "Mamma Mia", used most of their famous songs to perfection. When you think about the fact that they had so many diverse lyrics, it was just the perfect band to beautifully create such a story. Most musicals have the have the songs written to fit the story, but with ABBA, their music could be used for several musicals, so broad and diverse were the subjects of their songs. In short there is something for everyone. THE CD: 1. "Dancing Queen" (1976) - 3:51 2. "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (1976) - 4:03 3. "Take a Chance on Me" (1977) - 4:06 4. "Mamma Mia" (1975) - 3:33 5. "Lay All Your Love on Me" (1980) - 4:35 6. "Super Trouper" (1980) - 4:13 7. "I Have a Dream" (1979) - 4:42 8. "The Winner Takes It All" (1980) - 4:54 9. "Money, Money, Money" (1976) - 3:06 10. "S.O.S" (1975) - 3:20 11. "Chiquitita" (1979) - 5:27 12. "Fernando" (1976) - 4:14 13. "Voulez-Vous" (1979) - 4:21/5:10 14. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight)" (1979) - 4:52 15. "Does Your Mother Know" (1979) - 3:13 16. "One of Us" (1981) - 3:58 17. "The Name of the Game" (1977) - 3:56/4:53 18. "Thank You for the Music" (1977/1983) - 3:49 19. "Waterloo" (1974) - 2:46
Believe it or not this album, first released in 2002, which is the version I am reviewing here, has just been re released on the back of the musiical Mamma Mia. It is riding at number 6 in the download charts today (18th August) with songs that were hits over thrity years ago! Now I know that there are a few music snobs around, but I ask you this, how many of them/you, do NOT know the words to any ABBA song? ABBA absolutely make the case as popular music, they are enduring, their songs are still played, musicals have been written, plays performed, documentaries shown, and I personally love a bit of ABBA. I am going to review some the tracks below, not all lengthy reviews, it would leave you reading all night. 1. Dancing Queen Perhaps one of the campest songs ever written, what a corker, close your eyes and imagine the Swedish pospsters singing it, glitter ball and all.....yep, you're there. Fabulous, 10/10. 2. Knowing Me, Knowing You 'ahaaaa, there is nothing we can do....' another 10/10, pop music at it's greatest. 3. Take A Chance On Me Much sampled and copied (Pet shop boys etc.), 8/10. 4. Mamma Mia Need I say anything about this, 9/10, here I go again, my, my....9/10. 5. Lay All Your Love On Me 7/10, not to my taste, but still a good pop track. 6. Super Trouper What a stunner of a song, and even the (old) video conveyed a great story, loved this when it came out, love it now, 9/10. 7. I Have A Dream Lots of folks like this better than me, 8/10. 8. The Winner Takes It All Oh angst and sadness, they were all splitting up, remember the video? 9/10. 9. Money, Money, Money 7/10, not much to be said, probably ahead of it's time. 10. S.O.S. Pure pop, 7/10. 11. Chiquitita Gotta love this, firelight and guitars, 9/10. 12. Fernando More from the Latin phase, 8/10. 13. Voulez-Vous More pure pop. 8/10. 14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) More camp...did they really not know? 8/10. 15. Does Your Mother Know Lol, and even camper. 8/10. 16. One Of Us Oh dear, back to the angsty split up, 8/10. 17. The Name Of The Game Good, solid pop. 8/10. 18. Thank You For The Music Should have been the last track, great song, full of emotion and a great goodbye. 9/10. 19. Waterloo The Eurovision (when it meant something) winner from 1974, shoulda been the opener, still a classic. Love them or hate them there has to be some acknowledgement of three things: A great, well selling album, that does indeed contain all their greatest hits. Musically very competent, the arrangements are actually quite complicated with chord and key changes that should not work but invariably do. Finally, they are fun, with a glittery F, go buy this today, £7.99 on iTunes, great value for 19 classics. Not my longest review, mainly as I am off to listen to some more ABBA now, then I am getting onto Take That, lol, from Public Enemy to ABBA, my musical tastes know no bounds....oh alright, I don't do Country and Western.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Dancing Queen
2 Knowing Me Knowing You
3 Take A Chance On Me
4 Mamma Mia
5 Lay All Your Love On Me
6 Super Trouper
7 I Have A Dream
8 Winner Takes It All
9 Money Money Money
13 Voulez Vous
14 Gimme Gimme Gimme
15 Does Your Mother Know
16 One Of Us
17 Name Of The Game
18 Thank You For The Music