ABBA
ABBA Gold


5.0
classic

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (27 Reviews)
May 29th, 2014 | 48 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Worth its weight

ABBA gets a bad rap for no real reason. After all, up until the success of the musical “Mamma Mia!”, bringing up ABBA in a serious conversation about music was (and still is) seen as a major faux-pas, especially for anyone younger than the age of fifty. Sure, a lot of their songs could be considered to be cheesy, but, out of all the bands who garner any sort of hatred or disdain from the public, ABBA are probably the ones who deserve it the least. While their sound is definitely of a certain era (one could only place most of the group’s biggest hits at the height of disco), the foursome’s work should be included in the short list of great contributions made to modern day pop music.

Case in point: ABBA: Gold, released almost a full decade after the band had broken up, stands the test of time as not only a time capsule into an important era in popular music, but also as an outstanding greatest hits collection of a band that often gets the short end of the stick from the music world and the public in general. From the onset, the talent and chemistry that these four Swedes had becomes undeniable to the listener; after all, the songwriters and musical geniuses of the group (Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus) were in long-lasting relationships with the two female lead singers (Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog) respectively. With the famous piano slide of “Dancing Queen” opening the album, ABBA: Gold kicks into full gear, proceeding to string together hit after hit, one after another. All of the classics are present on this collection: “Take A Chance on Me” and “Voulez-Vous” bounce along smoothly under weaving and contrasting vocal melodies, and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” and “Money, Money, Money” nicely complement the more upbeat and positive tracks, serving as a telling precursor to the group’s shift in overall tone only a few years later. Meanwhile, the uplifting tone of “I Have A Dream,” the haunting “One of Us,” the prevalent, bouncing bass line of “Chiquitita,” and the lighter-than-air “Fernando” all demonstrate the group’s ability to create beautiful ballads, regardless of the message underneath all the glossy production. But, what makes Gold truly worth its weight in the realm of pop music is in the songs that utilize a (slightly) harder-hitting pop-rock/glam-rock structure, revealing the great depth of pop-styles that these four continuously churned out during their time together. Make no mistake: tracks like “S.O.S,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “Does Your Mother Know” are all still pop tunes at heart, but they’re easily some of the group’s best and catchiest songs because of their great pacing, perfect lyrical phrasing, and outstanding instrumentation (the piano playing by Andersson is especially noteworthy), along with their dazzling musical composition and arrangements.

The overall consistency of all nineteen songs on this collection makes one ask the question: is this the best greatest hits package ever assembled? The argument can be made, given that many artists decide to release hits compilations at the height of their career, or far after all their relevance has faded away, that ABBA: Gold is certainly one of the best greatest hits compilations ever put together because of the perspective it gained from being released years after the band had broken up. This added perspective made the work of those who arranged the tracking of this collection fairly simple, allowing them to leave out any tracks that could even considered to be filler. Because of this attention to tracking, the collection flows smoothly and naturally from one track to the next, even though the songs on here were released over the span of nearly a decade. Simply put, all the songs on this album were worldwide pop hits when they were first released, and nearly every track has stood the test of time decades later. There’s no messing around here - ABBA: Gold gives the listener exactly what they want: outstanding pop songs, catchy melodies and lyrics, and above all else, the ability to make you dance, even if everyone else tells you that you shouldn’t.



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user ratings (119)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haven't written in a long time - thought that this amazing collection could use a review.

As always, feedback and/or comments are always welcome and appreciated!

MrSirLordGentleman
May 29th 2014


4421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh I wanted to review this :'(

Digging: Nina Simone - Pastel Blues

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@MrSir - Sorry! Had this one on the backburner for a while - finally worked up to write a review for it. Glad you also rated it a 5 as well!

MrSirLordGentleman
May 29th 2014


4421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is how pop music's supposed to be dude

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amen, brother.

ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yeah ABBA. No guilt here whatsoever

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

MrSirLordGentleman
May 29th 2014


4421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

GIMME GIMME GIMME A MAN AFTER MIIIIDNIIIIGHT

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If I were gonna pick favorites: "S.O.S" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You."

But let's be real - this is amazing and a must listen for everyone ever.

ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My favourites would be Chiquitita and The Winner Takes It All. The latter being so emotional for them.

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think what a lot of people don't realize it that it wasn't all fun and games with these guys

Both couples broke up: the songs got darker (aka the album The Visitors), and it made it really,
really awkward for everyone.




ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh I agree. I saw a documentary about these guys a couple of months ago and The Winner takes It All was being described as such an awkward moment for them because of who the lyrical content was aimed to.

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A lot of their songs are definitely pointed. The fact that the guys wrote the songs, and then the
girls singing them made it even worse. They were basically singing about themselves.

ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But then had to change the lyrics to fit a woman singing it. Recording sessions must have been the most awkward things ever

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you watch the "Under Attack" music video, which was the last single they released, it just exudes awkwardness. The guys literally are walking right behind the girls looking depressed as anything

It's probably for the better that they broke up when they did - cause it was gonna get a lot uglier if they hadn't

ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll give it a go. Waiting for the cringe feels train to arrive now

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's absolutely different from anything they had done to that point - the whole thing is sort of wonky as a song, but it still worms into your head like their best ones

At least they walk into the light at the end of it.

ChoccyPhilly
May 29th 2014


6319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you're completely right. Bjorn and Benny seem so lifeless that they're not even pretending to do backing vocals. It's a shame really.

I think this whole couple thing was their greatest strength as well as inevitably being their greatest downfall

ZackSh33
May 29th 2014


299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"I think this whole couple thing was their greatest strength as well as inevitably being their greatest downfall"

Couldn't have said it any better myself. I think I read someone say that if "Under Attack" had been released five years earlier, it would have been a huge hit. And it's not even that strong of a song - but that's how insanely popular these guys were all around the world. It can take on a toll on a relationship really, really quick.

ButteryBiscuitBass
May 29th 2014


10022 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't go wasting your emotions, bro.

KILL
May 29th 2014


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

fuck yes



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