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Gold - Abba
Member Name: HairyGodmother
Gold - Abba
Advantages: Mesmerising Lyrics, Catchy tunes and realms of fans
During the 70’s ABBA rapidly became very popular. Once never heard of, they emerged from Sweden and started taking over the world. ABBA had a habit of coming out with songs that had the kind of melodies that people find very hard to get out of their head. They also used to wear some wacky clothes on stage, which also helped them to stick in people’s memories. The vocal exploits of Bjorn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid were soon taking the world by storm.
My first memories of ABBA were those of waking to hear my Mum downstairs with an LP on. At the time I didn’t know that she was listening to ABBA, nor was I old enough to understand any of the words that they were singing, but the tunes stuck in my head from an early age and once I was old enough to understand I soon became one of ABBA’s next generation fans.
Of course, if it was not for the Eurovision song contest ABBA may not have made it so big. They competed in the 1974 contest with their song Waterloo. Following Eurovision Waterloo made it big and remained at the top of the charts for six weeks!
I am sure there are not many people who have never heard of ABBA and can name at least 3 of ABBAs hit songs. Their biggest song was Dancing Queen which even made it to number one in the US charts.
The voices of the four members of the group mystically seem to entwine to create one of the worlds most unique singing styles which has thrilled those of yesteryear and I am sure will continue to thrill those for generations to come.
Interestingly ABBA have gone on to become the second biggest selling group in the world. Only beaten by the Beatles.
THE JEWEL CASE
The case that comes with ABBA Gold carries an air of authority in itself. The colour is gold all over and I think it was this that first caught my eye when I bought the album around three years ago. The front of the case carries the distinctive ABBA logo with a backwards B in giant letters which makes it unmissable in amongst the vast arrays of CD’s that are available to buy these days.
The CD itself was released for the 30th anniversary of ABBA. Although I have most of the songs on the album on other CD’s I thought it would be nice to add this one to my collection and so I popped it in my basket and trundled up to the counter.
The songs included on this album are some of the most famous songs ever released. I listen to the CD at least once a week and never fail to tire of ABBA’s unique singing style.
I will give a brief overview of some of the songs on the album. I shan’t do this for all of them because there are 19 of them and I think it is worthwhile that you listen to them for yourself and make your own judgements of them.
01: Dancing Queen
As I mentioned earlier, Dancing Queen was ABBA’s most successful hit and certainly deserves to be the first song on the album. The melody and rhythm of the song almost seems to mesmerise with a vast array of changes in tone and singing styles. I think because the tune itself is so catchy, it enhances the addictability of the lyrics themselves. It is not surprising that this was one of ABBA’s greatest successes. Definitely not my favourite though.
Knowing Me, Knowing You
The initial twenty seconds of so of this song have you hooked before you go any further. From a magical start to a pulsing background rhythm, the tune itself will have you reeling for more. Again, as with many of ABBA’s songs the lyrics are very poignant and actually tell a story. I particularly like the way the rhythm of the song alternates between two separate rhythms. One for the verse and one for the chorus. Definitely another of their best songs and one that is heard regularly but not as good as some.
03: Take a Chance on Me
The first fifteen seconds of this song begin without any instruments playing. Using only the power of voice this first fifteen seconds conjures up an immediate mental image of what is to come within the song. I am not a big fan of this song, although I agree that the rhythm is consistent with many of ABBA’s other songs. The lyrics of this song also tell a story which captivates the listener into following the words. Personally for me, the drum rhythm is not something which I like and hence this is not a song that makes it into my top ten.
06: Super Trouper
One of the first songs I remember hearing as a child. Mum used to have to play it on long car journeys to keep me amused and as soon as I was old enough to sing along I would frequently get a telling off from my Dad because I was disturbing his concentration from dancing. I think for me, the thing that puts this song at about 3 in my top ten is the rhythm itself, combined with the fact that it was the first ABBA song I ever heard. The lyrics are those that stick in your head and you cannot fail to start singing along. Even if you don’t know the words you find yourself subconsciously humming along to the tune.
08: The Winner Takes it All
Again, this is one of the first songs I heard, but I like this song because I am “sad” and like sad songs. The lyrics to this song are fairly melancholy and it is both the lyrics and the tune that captivates my heart. The tune in places is quite depressing but then rapidly builds to a crescendo of joy and it never fails to cheer me up. I have to say now that this song is my number one favourite ABBA song and should be promoted all over the world!
14: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
I had to include this one because if anybody remembers the comedy show Gimme Gimme Gimme, they will remember that this song formed the soundtrack. I never knew that ABBA sung this song until a few years ago to be honest, and I was surprised. To me, this song seems to be a little different from their normal singing style but in a good way. It creates a refreshing change.
How could I miss this one out? The Eurovision winner and their longest in the charts. Waterloo does nothing for me unfortunately. I don’t like the lyrics or the singing style, although I do agree that the tune itself is very catchy and in the 70’s I can imagine that it would have been to a lot more peoples taste.
That concludes the random track listing and I will finish by saying that I thoroughly recommend this album to anyone, whether they are an ABBA fan or not. I understand that their style of singing is probably not to everyone’s taste, particularly some younger people who were not around when they began (like myself). But to me, ABBA are one of the greats and will always share a special place in my heart.
Summary: ABBA - One of the best groups of all time!