Features

Saturday Deluxe / 6 May 2017

There’s flogging a dead horse, and then there’s resuscitating said dead horse to flog it some more. People, I give you yet another edition of ABBA’s Gold compilation, which most people call ‘ABBA Gold’ (see Wings Wildlife, for similar confusion).

The release in question is a gold double vinyl edition of the 1992 compilation which ‘celebrates’ the 25th anniversary of it’s original release, or maybe the 43rd anniversary of the band winning the Eurovision Song Contest, or possibly the 35th anniversary of their last TV appearance…

Anyway, there have of course been billions of editions since this came out in 1992. CD, vinyl, cassette, laserdisc, CD+DVD combo and a three-CD version which was issued in ‘gold’ (coloured!) ‘steelbook’ packaging in 2014.

This new coloured vinyl is 180g vinyl of course. Surely record labels should stop telling us when vinyl is ‘heavyweight’ 180g, since that’s what we expect these days, isn’t it? They’re basically all like that. Let’s make a deal, just tell us when vinyl ISN’T 180g, for example 140 or 200g.

It’s times like this that I quite admire Kate Bush. She doesn’t want to dig into her archive for deluxe reissues, so she leaves well alone! Okay, it’s somewhat frustrating as a fan but probably better than this. Bjorn and Benny should really hang their heads in shame for allowing reissues like this. Honestly, how much juice can you squeeze out of one 19-track compilation? It’s not even the best ABBA compilation. 1982’s The First Ten Years is far superior; it has all the same hits but features late career highlights such as Under Attack and The Day Before You Came, not included on Gold. Maybe they should reissue that as The Only Ten Years?

Look out next year for the half-speed mastered 45RPM ABBA Gold 4LP box that will celebrate 40 years since Summer Night City went to number one in Ireland.

Compare prices and pre-order

0602557478549

Abba

ABBA Gold 2LP gold vinyl

Shop Price GBP Stock
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.98
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.98
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 19.77
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.99
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 23.76
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.98
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.99
Currency:

Marillion / Misplaced Childhood 5-disc deluxe edition

Interesting dilemma for Marillion fans who fancy a SIGNED copy of the new Misplaced Childhood reissue…

The band with Steve Hogarth (frontman since 1989) are offering signed copies on their website, while Fish is doing the same via his Fishheads shop.

Personal preference, I guess, but I’m going with Fish. Not only does it mean fewer scribbles on that great artwork, but he did write all the lyrics; the narrative is very much his vision. He’s also signing ALL pre-orders while the band are only signing the first 1000 units.

Read more about the Misplaced Childhood reissue.

You might also like…

83 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 6 May 2017

  1. Chris Squires says:

    Fish, no question although my 23 year old nephew would disagree, it must be an age thing.
    This original versus longest argument seems to be the same as Duran Duran…..
    The Nick Cave editions of Lovely Creatures puts most others to shame in content and design.

    • matt sparkes says:

      What’s the argument with Duran please Chris. Genuinely interested. Cheers.

      • Chris Squires says:

        It’s not an argument as such, just a theory. Rather like people who gave up on Genesis when Gabriel left or people who have never heard any of the Hogarth era Marillion.

        Take a group like Duran (or Genesis or Marillion) who are they? Are they LeBon, Rhodes, Taylor x3. Are they just LeBon and Rhodes with a single Taylor for good measure? It’s just something that has always struck me with some groups. To many people Marillion ended when Fish left and to many others they started when Fish left and to many others it doesn’t matter. Were the real Duran 1981 to 1985. Warren Cucurillo was in Duran waaaay longer than Andy Taylor, but a pound to a penny if it were a question on “Pointless” Andy Taylor would get more points than Warren.

        For me Duran are a 5-piece with all three Taylors and Marillion stopped when Fish left, I have everything up to that point, nothing except “Fear” after. Doesn’t make any of it true, it’s just a personal thought.
        Original vs. longest vs. most successful – who holds the image of the band in your head. If you think of Genesis in your head right now who is in the picture – 3, 4 or 5? I have always found it interesting. Doesn’t work for U2 of course.

        • Mark says:

          I think you’re wrong here. Duran will always be Duran as long as Simon is singing their own material. This is a ridiculous notion-the years 1981-1983 barely scratches what they are capable of, and most of the best stuff Duran has done has been long since-in fact they’re still doing it now. Most people recognise Duran from any decade as long as Simon is singing, Nick is synthing and at least one Taylor is strumming a guitar or beating the skins. For heaven’s sake, most groups have to put up with leaving people? Are rubbish like Take That not Take That since the worst of the lot left to go ‘solo’?

          I feel sorry for you that you give up on such a great group in a fit of pique like a teenage girl cos they’re “favourite one” left?! How childish is that? Good musi is good music, and actually Duran 1981-1983 almost sound stuck in a time warp-some of it beautiful but hardly relating to real lief, whereas everything post-1986 was far more modern in that respect, yet still retained that level and excitement-and those records would have been made with the Taylor/s there or not. In fact what have you to say about “Astronaut”. “All 5” are there, so surely it’s their “4th Duran album”. Ironically, it’s their weakest since the covers album-Duran are little fun or memorable or striking when they play it safe. Thankfully they hardly ever do, and have made the most eclectically wild and satisfying music of almost any group since their 80s career best record-no, not “Rio” which is really cool of course, but “Notorious”. Those songs are magic like never before, and they’ve even matched during the year 2007 and again in 2011. “All You Need Is Now” is even cheekily (and quite wrongly) considered the next moment after “Rio” in sound. Actually, your cool “81-83” Duran actually delivered their artistically weakest moment with the 3rd album-it’s barely above the covers album in quality. Their both listenable for what they are-but drowning underneath all their others. 5 Piece be damned, Simon wasn’t even the original singer. That first one thankfully left-if he hadn’t, Duran could have been verey VERY different-and quite possibly routine or unimportant.

  2. Lee Taylor says:

    And yet… I kinda want that Abba Gold.

  3. Klayster says:

    I’m hoping to get ABBA’s non gold vinyl but this new ones seem a bit pricey in Canada. Guess will wait for a deal.
    Thanks for the news.

  4. Steven Roberts says:

    Paul is right about this not being the best ABBA compilation…perfectly happy with my First 10 Years vinyl….

  5. Auntie Sabrina says:

    I quite agree, The First Ten Years 35th Anniversary Edition. A lovely 2 Picture Disk Edition like the one I used to have back in the day…

  6. Jonas Warstad says:

    Actually the ABBA members sold their rights long ago to their record company.

  7. Simon says:

    I would shell out for a reasonably-priced reissue of The First Ten Years. Maybe somebody will see these comments and take suitable action.

  8. Boaz Halachmi says:

    Went with Fish too. Already got all other signatures on the F. U. C. K. Deluxe from PledgeMusic campaign.

  9. uwe says:

    As Bemny and Björn have sold their publishing rights decades ago I doubt they have any voting option in these releases anway !

  10. bob says:

    I think the best Abba complilation is The Definitive Collection, a 2 CD package that came out after Abba Gold. It has every Abba single including the early and later smaller hits that are missing from Gold, everything you could want really.

  11. Straker says:

    Funny Abba rant but would Benny and Bjorn be to blame for this making yet another unwanted reappearance or just some product manager/beancounter yet again exploiting the obsessive fanbase? Could they stop it even if they wanted to?

    Beginning to have a similar exasperated feeling towards Kraftwerk – 30 years is long enough being your own tribute band: Do something new.

    • Philip Cohen says:

      But, you see, even after ABBA’s manager (the late) Stig Andersson sold his “Polar Records” label(and hence the ABBA back catalog) to Universal Music, Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid still have veto power over any release of previously unreleased ABBA recordings. All that Universal is permitted to do is endlessly recycle the same recordings. Yes, ABBA permitted a live 2-CD set(“Live at Wembley Arena”) and a series of CD + DVD editions, but the video material is the only new content in those sets.
      And that’s the end of the road for ABBA fans seeking new recordings for their collections. I appreciate the fact that they won’t reunite and that they leave their fans with good memories. Bjorn Ulvaeus once said, “Yes, we could reunite and tour endlessly, but, by not reuniting, people will remember us when we were young and vibrant”. He has a point.

      • Michel Banen says:

        I have the ABBA GOLD CD and was still waiting to buy it on vinyl. Now that this gold vinyl is being released it was the right time to get it :-)

  12. Dean says:

    Strange attack on the ABBA release. Just about all of the Vinyl coming out these days are tired reissues. Further – the 180g weight of Vinyl is a myth, as has been explained before. Nothing gets better beyond 160g sound wise. So the entire “180g” thing is purely a marketing exercise – so you won’t stamp it out.

    In a week where people have been paying £50 for some tired Peter Gabriel releases mastered at the wholly unnecessary 45 RPM – including Birdy that must be what, 9 minutes a side in length – with not a single word at how absurd the entire exercise is…. it is doubly strange.

    The reason for this release is because people are willing to pay silly sums for colored Vinyl. Simple. But it’s by no means limited to Abba.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I can’t think of an album that has been reissued more at this point. And it’s a bleeding greatest hits!!

      • DJ Control says:
      • Simon F says:

        How about The Best Of the Spencer Davis Group. Never been out of print since 1967.
        Also why is is when I click on the deal alert for the Free CD box set @ Amazon for a tenner does Amazon display it at £11.26 ? I want this but I’m not paying more than £10!!

      • Randy Metro says:

        T.Rex Electric Warrior? I have a Xerox paper box that seems about half full of multiple versions of it. Or maybe the obsessive compulsive in me made it that way. I have the RSD Electric Sevens version and then the RSD EW album all on 45RPM with the sleeves layed out to form the original poster. Kinda nice actually, but I haven’t had a working turntable for over a decade. And the picture disc blue warrior & amps on black vinyl. Also kinda nice and probably the best mastering (by Bilbo).

    • Totally agree. I don’t go for pointless coloured vinyl re-releases myself but I do find the criticism aimed at this particular release by Mr Sinclair somewhat out of character given that the majority of coloured vinyl releases are just a lazy excuse for artists and labels to exploit collectors and completists who really should know better!

    • Nigel says:

      FYI – 180G adds nothing to audio performance as you correctly say… HOWEVER 45 RPM most certainly DOES… and the dyes used in colored vinyl can also in fact significantly affect audio playback including noise floor… Have a read of STEVE HOFFMAN forum website for detailed scientific discussions with sunstantiating evidence. You’re welcome ;-D

      • Mike the Fish says:

        Hoffman site has had plenty of misinformation in its time. Lots of censorship too.

        • Philip Cohen says:

          Indeed Hoffman’s site is heavily censored, and, as I discovered (albeit too late) they have a rule that prohibits openly asking why an entire thread has been deleted. In the instance when I did ask why a thread was deleted, I (sort of) knew why: another participant(not me!) had mentioned an unofficial Beatles CD. But merely asking why the thread was deleted resulted in me being permanently banished. I wasn’t given even one forwarning or a second chance.
          These days, with bootleg CD’s largely extinct everywhere except Japan, mentioning them (in a historical context) is no longer prohibited at Hoffman’s forum, but they won’t reconsider their decision to banish me….even 5 years later. For some time, I was blocked from even READING any of the pages of Hoffman’s forums….though I was able to successfully circumvent that problem.
          Some of the vinyl L.P. & 24-kt Gold CD enthusiasts who frequent Hoffman’s forums seem to worship the ground that he walk on, as if he is the only talented mastering engineer on the planet. Certainly, he’s talented….but not the only one.
          But having said all of this, the part of his forums which discuss audio equipment is interesting and sometimes has cool photos of forum members’ equipment.

          • Julian H says:

            “But merely asking why the thread was deleted resulted in me being permanently banished. I wasn’t given even one forwarning or a second chance.”

            I have asked such myself (not banned) and seen people asking such several times (not banned). Still, it’s usually better to PM a moderator rather than ask people to openly criticize their actions.

            I don’t understand why you were banned and I think you should be allowed back on!

  13. Daran says:

    I would astonished if B+B had no knowledge / say / influence in these matters. They are are just too important to p*ss off with naff unwanted releases. I am pretty sure I read they had to give approval for the chap to listen to the archives for the new version of the Abba recordings book that was crowdfunded.

  14. JasonC says:

    Wow. Summer Night City was actually number one in Ireland. I did put know that. Thanks Paul!

  15. Gerbrand says:

    They basically emptied the vaults with the 1994 box set Thank You For The Music.

    Looking forward to the half-speed mastered 45RPM vinyl release in a few years time….

    If you want to rant, do it about the “180g” and “45 RPM” hype. Pointless.

    • Craig Hedges says:

      Abba hardly touched the vault in 1994, I’m reading Carl Magnus Palms book at the mo. The Abba undeleted track was just snippets. Why haven’t they issued the full versions of Under my sun, burning my bridges and don’t get me started on just like that

  16. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Rihannas’s Good Girl Gone Bad was releassed several times with added tracks, a remix CD and with a DVD too.

    Wonder if she’ll be releassing a Special Deluxe Expanded Super Duper Edition eventually then..?

  17. baward says:

    I think I read that some of those in the know (mastering people and so on) thought that 140g is the ideal weight for a 12″ vinyl disc, rather than 180g…

    • Caroline says:

      I read something along those lines not that long ago too. Anything above that is psychological – literally adding weight without adding quality.

      Bewilders me that people will pay £30 for a coloured vinyl reissue of an album they already own but turn up their nose at a beautifully packaged CD like that Nick Cave album – 3Cds and a DVD for £19 in a nice book style package. Bargain.

      • Chris Squires says:

        Two posts in one……
        Caroline, who is turning up their nose? The triple vinyl of Lovely Creatures was only £19.99 for a triple LP, so it’s all a choice. There were absolutely ZERO negative posts about the Nick Cave CD set. I can only recall one post (and it was VERY tongue in cheek) where a person who preferred vinyl made a derogatory comment about CDs (on Fleetwood Mac Tango thread I think) and it was made as a joke in response to someone else who was complaining about Vinyl.
        ALL of the deliberately negative, format based, comments on this site come from people who don’t like vinyl, but don’t seem to get the concept of free choice. As a vinyl “lover” it is of interest to me to see how the vinyl is first and on many occasions I get both Vinyl to relax and listen to and CD to play (at work or in the car).

        The people who like vinyl seem quite capable of living with the posts about CDs, it just doesn’t seem to be vice versa for a noisy minority
        ——————–
        NOT to Caroline…..
        It’s about choice, if you don’t want to buy a piece of black plastic or red, yellow or blue (etc.) then don’t. The only real problem with Vinyl that is legitimate is when you are forced to buy it as part of a bundle with the CDs you want.

        It’s sad to see so many negative comments about stuff that the posters have no interest in, if you are not interested in Vinyl, coloured, 180g or otherwise then move along the bus to the next thread about things that are of interest to you, why slag something off (and by inference people who are interested) for the sake of it? If one thinks all coloured vinyl is pointless and you have no interest in it at all then just STFU and leave it to people who are interested.
        It’s not about stifling opinion just standing up to the noisy minority who think ONLY their choice matters.

        • “It’s not about stifling opinion just standing up to the noisy minority who think ONLY their choice matters.”

          Mr Squires, you shout and complain louder than most on this site with your frequent tirades about what people should and should not comment on. I enjoy the sometimes animated and lively debates about the validty, availability and VFM of releases and re-releases but I wouldn’t bother reading the comments if it was just endless ones along the lines of “Brilliant! Bought three copies!”. It’s not ONLY your voice that matters.

          • Caroline says:

            I wonder why comments are moderated on this site when it is acceptable to tell someone to “move along the bus” – an insult that originates in the racial segregation of the US in the 50’s and 60’s – and to “STFU”…

            Yes, the Cave set was well received here but elsewhere there were complaints that the vinyl followed the 2CD tracklisting and not the 3Cd edition, despite the fact that it would need 6LPs to fit. This isn’t the only website about music, reissues and new editions. The thread is headed “Saturday Deluxe”, not “Abba Gold 2LP coloured vinyl edition” – that inherently opens it up to SDE’s whole readership and not just abba fans.

            Finally, having just had my third dry RSD in a row because such a high percentage of the goods available are coloured vinyl and pic disc pressings of readily available material, I feel entirely able to comment on a trend I see as deleterious in the long term.

            Peace out.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Everything on SDE is open to “SDE’s whole readership” no matter what the subject matter. It would just be great if people were respectful to each other.

  18. elliott buckingham says:

    the 45 rpm half speed Gabriel reissues are the best sounding reissues of his catalogue

  19. John says:

    Yes too many re-issues of Gold. I too think The Singles is the best compilation. Benny and Bjorn probably have no say in the matter.

  20. Michael says:

    The ultimate ABBA compilation is Thank You For The Music but I’d love CD reissues of the GHV2 and The First 10 Years.

  21. Jopla2 says:

    I believe ABBA’s Björn & Benny still have some say about what gets released, because they have strictly vetoed the release of certain unreleased tracks. I’m sure Universal would have dropped a track here and another there if they had total control.

    Vaults weren’t emptied with the 1994 box set Thank You For The Music. It contained a couple of unreleased tracks in full, but only snippets of many tracks were featured in the “Undeleted” medley. But it is true that we haven’t seen any unreleased tracks since (except for the demo medley of “Like An Angel..”).

  22. Ronnie wielockx says:

    I don’t mind the re-issues. As a abba collector I’m looking forward to add this to my collection. There can never be enough ABBA

  23. Glen Buchanan says:

    I’m perfectly happy with my 2 LP “Abba- The Singles” I just bought Super Trouper and The Visitor as the hits from those LPs weren’t included. All the Abba I need when the mood to dress up in funny costumes hits me.

  24. The author of this article is normally performing verbal backflips and somersaults when coloured vinyl releases are announced!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Not really. I just tell people what is coming out and when. Hunky Dory is coming as a gold LP and I’ll still be reporting on it. ABBA Gold is a special case… they just can’t leave it alone!

  25. gwynogue says:

    I love ABBA but I have enough copies of GOLD thank you very much. And I imagine it won’t be last we hear of it – there’ll be the MORE GOLD double gold-vinyl, then the MG half-speed-mastered quadruple-vinyl, the the G/MG combo quadruple-vinyl, than the G/MG half-speed-mastered EIGHT-vinyl combo…

    Then someone will come up with yet another advance in digital remastering technology and we’ll have to go through it AAAAALL again…

    Hard to believe it’s only 25 years old – the countless reissuing (and tracklist tweaking) makes it seem like it’s been around for much, much, MUCH longer…

    I love “The Singles – The First Ten Years”, give that a good spit and polish, please?

  26. oystein says:

    Meanwhile, fans despair over the lack of news on ABBA Wood, a collection of their lesser-known (or “not so good”) songs suggested by Bjorn Ulvaeus.

  27. MiG says:

    Do I want this? I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.
    I don’t know about reissues of this album, but I reckon ABBA have more song titles with repeated words than any other act. I can think of 6 off the top of my head, from Ring Ring to Gimme Gimme Gimme, and that’s just the singles. Repeat is what they do!

    • bob says:

      Which is why they became one of the biggest selling bands on the planet, because people loved their catchy tunes.
      I actually don’t rate the 10 years compilation as their best, their are too many good singles missing eg Lay All Your Love On Me.

    • Steve Rickard says:

      MONEY MONEY MONEY

    • Martin Stockdale says:

      Love it or Leave it.

    • Randy Metro says:

      Just for repetitive fun… Listen to Helen Reddy’s “Leave Me Alone, Ruby Red Dress” or T.Rex “Truck On Tyke.”

  28. Steven Roberts says:

    I wish Bjorn and Benny would hurry up and sanction some multi-channel blu-rays or SACDs.

    Now THOSE I would buy in a heartbeat :)

  29. Guy says:

    Nope, don’t need it, money saved for a more worthy SDE release…

  30. Adam says:

    I wish record companies would repress what are now expensive sacd multi channel versions of albums they released when very few people had the equipment to play them, and are now money makers for the Ebay scalpers. Makes more sense than vinyl reissues you can still pick up at charity shops and the like.

  31. Stevie B says:

    I agree… I’ve been a fan of Abba’s since 1976 and endless re-issues of ‘Gold’ did my head in… 10 years ago! What Abba release nowadays (and to be honest since the original success of ‘Gold’) are nothing but money making ‘products’

    They have zero respect for their fans… even the BEATLES have deigned to let fans hear ‘works in progress’…the only way Abba will follow suit is if they are forced to… by copyright law… the thought of losing a single cent/penny/kronor would be their only motivation…

    This release is just pathetic laziness involving all concerned! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

  32. Rich459 says:

    I’m a sucker for any SDE/Resissue of a band I’m a fan of but I am starting to not buy into the initialt hype and order instantly. Most of the time I find I either pay a lot less as the price drops or I simply never end up buying it and therefore never obviously needed it.

  33. Danielz says:

    Well, I don’t think the Abba album has been issued and reissued as many times as Electric Warrior (T.Rex)….

  34. Mr. Stick says:

    I think it may be a mistake to evaluate the release only by whether it is useful or attractive to ABBA collectors. ABBA is one of those bands that picks up new fans from subsequent generations, I would guess, and in that case, the label is obliged to keep a major compilation in print. This reminds of the gripes I hear now and again about Who collections. People who say, “Why do we need another Who’s Greatest Hits?” may not release that the previous ones are no longer in print. With both of those acts consistently being pimped in movies, TV shows, and ads, and with a new generation falling hard for vinyl, isn’t it just good business to keep a successful compilation title in the ‘new release’ bins? ABBA freaks, ask yourselves: Is it the new gold LP version you resent, or the fact that the well is now absolutely dry of previously unheard gems?

  35. D. Harris says:

    Paul has a right to his opinion the same as the rest of us. And whether or not you agree with him, his comments are 100% valid.

    That said, I will be buying this release for two reasons: 1) I passed on previous vinyl reissues of this LP and others, 2) I don’t own any ABBA on vinyl (only CD). So, for me it makes for a nice little addition to my LP collection w/o going overboard and also fills that gap when I want to hear a sampling of ABBA on my turntable.

  36. Kevin says:

    Anymore I’m skeptical of reissues, whether they be straight remasters, the original albums plus bonus tracks, Deluxe Editions, or super-deluxe editions.

    In the early ’90s, remastered editions made sense, as many of the original CD releases either did not use first-generation masters for one reason or another, were mastered using techniques better suited for analogue (digital mastering was still new, after all), or both. Many such remasters (the 1992 Elton John remasters come to mind—although the original CDs still sounded pretty good, which gives you some indication of how horrible vinyl had become by that point) did in fact boast improved sound quality, even if only because earlier-generation tapes were used.

    After that, the rationale for remastering became increasingly dubious, particularly as the loudness wars kicked in. Overuse of compression and limiting became the norm for much of the music industry, ruining not only new releases for the next generation, but reissues as well (the 2000 Style Council remasters come to mind, as does the Deluxe Edition of Julian Cope’s Jehovahkill).

    Even when you factor extra tracks into the equation, labels more often than not fail to get things right. The only reissue with extra tracks to get it exactly right is still Wounded Bird’s low-key 2006 reissue of the Jules and the Polar Bears album Phonetics (which included the four tracks of the Jules and the Polar Bears Economy Package EP and the “Good Reason” B-side “I Only Feel Bad”). Otherwise, the labels usually get it wrong to some degree—from slightly (the Deluxe Edition of The Style Council’s Our Favourite Shop album included the bogus “USA mix”—which didn’t exist until the 2000 remaster of that album—of “Shout to the Top!” instead of the proper version included as a bonus track on the original CD release) to “why bother?” (e.g., all the covers on the 40th Anniversary Edition of Elton John’s Gooodbye Yellow Brick Road, plus the (apparently) truncated version of the documentary Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye Norma Jean and Other things). Cherry Red’s bizarre re-EQing of Nick Heyward’s North of a Miracle rendered that album practically unlistenable; today, the copy I own is a West German pressing of the original 1983 Arista album (the US edition had a different track sequence).

    Then, of course, you have to consider that recorded music isn’t selling in the same quantities as it used to. That means that new music isn’t as profitable as it once was (in the 1970s or 1980s, you wouldn’t necessarily expect the likes of Beyoncé to tour—there was no need). Back catalogue, on the other hand, has already had its upfront costs paid for long ago, so, apart from any expenses related to remastering or package design, reissues are more likely to turn a profit. And the more often labels can successfully repackage an old album as new, the more they can make from it.

    So this latest edition of ABBA’s Gold is par for the course.

  37. Anthony Grice says:

    Benny and Björn still have a lot of say of what can and can’t be released. For example, they vetoed Ah Vilker Tilda from being on the deluxe Ring Ring album. Why I don’t know. It’s a great early ABBA recording. There is plenty in the vault, albeit mostly alternate mixes that Carl Magnus Palm listened to when researching his book. I haven’t had a record player for years so I won’t be buying this, tempting as it may be. I wish they would agree to an Anthology series but I know it will never happen.

  38. Jack says:

    Have to agree with Paul. ABBA/Universal haven’t been – and probably won’t – offer anything new from this long-defunct group. Reissuing ABBA Gold yet again is particularly poor business practice because it’s already sold more than 30 million copies, hasn’t it? It’s really only meant for collectors, and as such it’s a ripoff.

  39. stewart ord says:

    we all like to have issues that are not of the usual release, be it coloured vinyl, pic disc, added 7” single or extra album. but there does seem to be a large increase in the amount of limited issues being released. my back account is just starting to recover after RSD and then within a week I have notification of Sparks, Iggy Pop and David Bowie coloured vinyl issues, all of which I will covet even though I already have them in several different formats / issues, and that is before any other new issues get released.
    record companies have come up with their latest way of raking in the money from us poor gullible souls, sometimes without giving us anything tangible and charging a princely sum for it

  40. Cris says:

    You have put it perfectly Paul.
    For what concerns ABBA, “I feel you”, in the sense that Universal are really scraping the bottom of the barrell and most importantly, I as you am frustrated that nothing unheard/new/unreleased will come from ABBA’ s vaults (I wonder where we are at regarding the “big announcement” of the “return of ABBA in a new form of entertainment” that was supposed to be made this year…). In any case it’ s their decision. Even though we are all starting perceive that time runs fast (ref. all that’ s happened last year) and it should be employed doing things, we do not know how their personal lives are now and what passes through their minds.
    The only good thing is that the vinyl market is being fed, in one way or the other. And for us aficionados that can’ t be bad.

  41. David Eaves says:

    I agree, its pointless although on this occasion i will buy it.
    I would much prefer The First 10 Years although i still have the pic discs from 82 so dont know how they could turn me on to buy it again.
    As for new material, I still dont get why they wont give us Just Like That, even as a limited RSD release or something. The snippet on “Abba Undeleted” was a real tease and just opened the door for Bootleggers to coin in….

  42. LMTR14 says:

    admiring sb you like for not releasing more stuff makes no sense whatsoever

  43. Graphicballboy says:

    As a long term fan, I went through many stages of buying absolutely everything to total apathy about “new” releases (compilation after compilation). However, occasionally Universal have come up with something that had a bit more thought put into it, like the limited silver glitter 7″ single or the RSD blue glitter 12″ vinyl that I did buy.
    However, THIS vinyl reissue of Gold, is not what I take umbridge at (even though Gold has been marketed within an inch of its life) – it is the PREVIOUS vinyl reissue from two/three years ago on standard black vinyl! How lazy was that – a straight repress/reprint of the 1992 version? I remember thinking at the time that I wanted the compilation on vinyl and assumed that a reissue would naturally be on gold vinyl (given the name). Now linked to a tenuous anniversay Universal decide it’s time to release a gold version? How annoying is that? And how insulting to fans (surely this is what this release is predominantly aimed at), expecting them to shell out on a second vinyl reissue.
    Be very clear – Benny and Bjorn retain complete control on all ABBA’s recorded material previously unreleased (as at 1991 when Universal purchased Polar) but they also approve ALL official Universal releases prior to them going to production, as they have always done – take for example ABBA The Singles album from 1982, which was due to be pressed and printed when Benny and Bjorn at the last minute inisted that “The First Ten Years” was added (largely in response to all the rumours circulating that the band were due to split). And post Universal ownership, “Love Songs” compilation project almost didn’t get approval and it was their friend and sound engineer Micke Tretow who had to persuade Benny and Bjorn to allow him to produce and include ABBA Undeleted in the box set. Universal did get them to agree to the release of previously unheard I Am The City (with minor production updates) and Put On Your White Sombrero (for the expanded Super Trouper reissue) after Benny “finished” the track. Oddly however, Benny decided not to allow the finished remixed version of Dancing Queen that he was asked to create by Universal in 1992, to be released ahead of the original Gold release (nor on any of the subsequent reissues). So sometimes they allow unheard material to be released and other times point blank refuse (Just Like That).
    Personally I think Universal are to blame for uninspired, re-imagining of a finite back catalogue and Benny and Bjorn should take more care of approving such lazy releases, if they are so protective towards their recorded material and have any respect for their fans.

  44. Jamie says:

    I agree with Steven. I am waiting for a blu ray box set or even a properly remastered CD box set that improves on the 2005 box. As tempting as some of these gimmicky releases are, it’s only a box like those that I would shell out for these days.

  45. Mark says:

    I think most of you are saying the right things. And ‘ABBA Gold’ was never the last word in such a supergroup’s artillery anyway-unlike many other groups “definitive histories” they lacked a huge number of singles, with their first album not even being represented! So it’s no wonder that “The First Ten Years” is being brought up so often here as comparison preference. How can it not come out the winner? For as well as ‘Ring Ring’, which showcased the ABBA signature sound from the offset, it also included ‘So Long’, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, ‘Summer Night City’, ‘The Day Before You Came’ and ‘Under Attack’. That’s a massive FIVE extra songs, though ‘Summer Night’ is still in its edited version, and actually, ‘The Name Of The Game’ was abridged too, the cheek. ‘Thank You For The Music’ was mercifully left off, not being released after they disbanded from each other, which also happened with ‘The Way Old Friends Do’.

    “First Ten Years” isn’t perfect-people hold up ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’s’ absence as a virtually obscene crime (it is), but forget that a worse one is done with both ‘Angeleyes’ and ‘Head Over Heels’ being vetoed by both albums! I also think “Waterloo” album is dreadfully ignored, like it’s not a proper beginning but it was, and as both ‘Honey Honey’ and ‘Hasta Manana’ were singles elsewhere, if not always for the group, both WERE singles, and if Epic had got behind them, instead of re-releasing ‘Ring Ring’ as the follow-up to “Waterloo”, and released these two next, we would have had them! ‘Hasta Manana’ was even considered first for the 1974 victory they eventually had, which sums up its hit and singles status perfectly. A pre ‘SOS’ I’d go so far as to say, and I’m sure others feel the same. Obviously not as good-but then nothing from the album ‘SOS’ is from is as perfectly brilliant as it-they’re all grand in their own way, but ‘SOS’ leads that album in the throne department.

    Getting back to “Gold, what they really should have done is combined BOTH “Gold” and “More Gold” as THE definitive 2 disc hit singles set as an all round encompassing of a group so brilliant that any ONE single frozen off bites deep-never mind 10 or 12. Obviously there’s the annoying discrepancy regarding stupid Epic’s decision-making-where perfect choices like ‘Eagle’, ‘When All Is Said And Done’ and ‘The Visitors’ are mystifyingly unconsidered for UK single purpose or even arriving on import (Polydor/Universal) would show up this complete lack of foresight again when the delicious liked of ‘Put On Your White Sombrero’ and ‘Dream World’ were actually made singles in only their home country and maybe a few others to publicise their long-awaited appearance on an album finally! Also Epic should have been smacked for allowing both ‘Hasta Manana’ and ‘Honey, Honey’-“Waterloo” album’s other singles to be taken off but as recordings for others-as many as covered the former, and they got completely shown up for the idiots they are when a boy/girl duo called Sweet Dreams struck their version of ‘Honey, Honey’ into the Top Ten-right where ABBA would surely have put it, if it hadn’t for Epic’s stupidity. This is record companies all over-they do to all the best!

    Why ‘Eagle’ wouldn’t have followed as the 2nd or 3rd single off “The Album” is merely more of the same, but all these songs should get the inclusion they need. Hell even the other “Ring Ring” singles-they still count. And if the makes of “Gold” are so pathetic than in their wisdom they leave the Top 5 million selling ‘Summer Night City’ off for an originally album-only celebration of their music-from them to us and us back to them-then that says it all. What kind of definitive ‘hits’ retrospective excludes a Top 5 hit for a UK#33? For too long ‘Summer Night City’ wasn’t considered very-Abba-ish (no big chorus, two risque or clubby)-a joke considering how clever, awesome, contemporary and memorable the song is, and hypocritical, seeing as both ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ and ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ are no less disco-and no better in quality either. I don’t know why they bothered sticking with ‘Does Your Mother Know’-“Gold’s” wild card obviously-but maybe its highly prized US Top 20 position couldn’t (nor shouldn’t) be ignored. It was a single anyway, and a hit everywhere, and deserving of both those things.

    Possibly what’s the sickest thing is that now FINALLY-after three decades of ill-understanding that ABBA left at their top of the game-i.e their best material and utterly misunderstanding the song out of hand, the awesome ‘The Day Before You Came’ is now (finally) being regarded as one of their finest tracks, with critics all over praising it-even idiots bedfore that dismissed it. Yet is it put on an updated “Gold”? Is ‘Under Attack’? Are they EVER! It’s rude, insulting, boring, nonsensical-and plain wrong-not just ethically, but numerically. 19 songs on such a definer look wrong, IS wrong. And unnecessary.

    Mind you, like I said, I couldn’t pick the 20th. They’ve enough left over singles to make it to 30 at least. ‘On And On And On’ itself was a US hit-Epic once again missed a trick NOT to double-A- it, the idiots, even though it’s missing a middle verse, which brings to one more thing. Only ABBA could be feted and recognised the world over for a certain song-yet the one we all know is NOT the full length. There’s another verse that should have been there-it’s even come up on inserts of ABBA documentaries-certainly on the one glorifying Agnetha’s welcome 2013 return solo-wise. Yes I mean ‘Dancing Queen’. And as Benny & Bjorn-“the two little trolls” as Mark Lamarr once termed them on ‘Buzzcocks’ gameshow are as pathetic about an extra 20secs being added to only released version, then no wonder we’re never getting the likes of ‘Get On The Carousel’ or ‘Just Like That’. Their attitudes remain woeful.

    Some people just don’t want to plunder the archives-that’s them in a nutshell, and they happily admit it. The poor girls would happily choose to have stuff come out-but as they didn’t write the songs, they don’t get a say, and that’s a rude up yours to Agnetha who sings LEAD on ‘Just Like That’!

    Mind you us losing ABBA and never having them return to recording IS generally all our fault. After all, if everyone hadn’t been so overpowering on missing the point entirely (the possibility of at least ONE albums of N.E.W. MUSIC), instead pressuring and concentrating on the area they least like most-the TOURING, we COULD have one at least one more new record, even if it was finishing the other 4 songs or so that needed to complete the begun 1982 album, alongside the already done ‘Cassandra’ (one of ABBA’s classics), ‘I Am The City’ (another), ‘You Owe Me One’, ‘Just Like That’, ‘Under Attack’ and ‘The Day Before You Came’.

    I’m sure anyone who loves them and feel they must be this vinyl release will get it anyway. Weird finding people going back to vinyl now. What’s wrong with CDs all of a sudden?! I have all their albums, and as many decent Youtube rips as I can to complete demos that work or excellently done extensions to songs that are so good they virtually sound like ABBA 12″ versions-some of which were not singles either. So I’m not into this vinyl set, but they could at least have added everything. And I almost forgot. It wasn’t only ‘Summer Night’s City’ cool hit status left off-‘Angeleyes’ got where ‘Voulez-Vous’ did! How is THAT position NOT a hit?! And how silly are Benny and Bjorn-well we know. But right next to ‘Dancing Queen ‘on “Arrival”-a song so important and instantly wham! that it doesn’t even allow ‘DQueen’ to be the thing we first hear is one of both blokes’ admitted favourite recordings EVER. It SOUNDS, SCREAMS, SPELLS H-I-T SINGLE. It’s called ‘When I Kissed The Teacher’ and it even has a video. Yet NOWHERE was it one, not even belatedly down the decades!? How are they these two illogical fools ALLOWED to function?! And why didn’t the music press scream at them for it at the time?! Or since! Actually I could label this charge at a fair few left on albums and certainly as B-side ‘rejects’. ‘Lovelight’, ‘Elaine’, ‘Cassandra’ and ‘I Am The City’ anyone?!

    It’s always to nice to have/see ABBA remembered in this way-and no reason they shouldn’t be. I think we’ve all accepted it’s the only way we can have them. Everything comes to an end-and most acts SHOULD have ended MUCH sooner than they did, so wretched are the majority of music-makers. We’ll never have them back, but their records endure, but they should be given better padded out reissues, and a FULLY stacked “Gold”-with ALL singles on the setlist.

  46. Jopla2 says:

    Mark, you obviously have a lot of strong personal opinions about ABBA, but you seem to get some of the facts wrong.

    Carl Magnus Palm’s 1992 book “The Complete Recording Sessions” was something of a revelation back in the 90s and the revised 2017 edition reveals even more details about the songs and the group in general.

    ABBA’s Björn & Benny edited songs and deleted verses, yes, but for a reason. It’s called quality control. The version of “On And On And On” with the additional verse was never meant to be released, it simply got out by accident when ABBA photographer asked for a new ABBA song to accompany his video collage of the group and B&B delivered a version that wasn’t finished yet. This collage was simply used as a ‘video’ for the track from then on. The verse doesn’t add anything to lyrics and it sounds kinda odd anyway and B&B made the right decision to cut it.

    Similarly, “Dancing Queen” had an extra verse which treads water, hence it was cut. Actually the original recording was heavily restructured before release: verses were swapped, they realized starting with the second half of the chorus worked really well, etc.

    ABBA discarded many finished recordings because B&B felt they were not good enough. “Put On Your White Sombrero” and “Dream World” (which were never singles anywhere), “Just Like That”, “Just A Notion” etc etc. Some were considered not good enough for the albums but ok enough for B-sides: “Elaine”, “Lovelight”, “Crazy World”. Many of those B&B thought were mismatches: verses didn’t fit the chorus somehow.

    Much has been made of “Just Like That”, like it’s some great lost hit, but B&B made the correct decision to shelve it. The ABBA version verses are schmalzy. The punch line of the chorus is just… weird. Many different ways were tried to make the song work (demos have leaked), but none of them really fixed what was inherently wrong with the song. B&B didn’t like it and parts of it were soon recycled (in “Under Attack” the same year). A few years later, with all new verses, the track was released by B&B produced Gemini. Can anyone argue it’s not a better version? The original verses traveled through many B&B tryouts over the years, before finally ending up in “Glöm mig om du kan” on the Swedish version of “Chess”. Nothing like the ABBA track, but undoubtedly so much better.

    “Get On The Carousel” from the live 1977 mini-musical wasn’t a ‘proper’ song and wasn’t even considered to be recorded in studio. It’s one and only melody line was used for “Hole In Your Soul”, a method B&B frequently used, recycling unusued song parts.

    I don’t understand calling B&B and their labels ‘idiots’. Yes, they didn’t make the right decision always but I would say mostly they got it right. The tracks with most hit potential got released as singles. Obviously, everyone has their favourites, but not all tracks can be A-sides. Yes, “When I Kissed The Teacher” has a video, except it’s taken from a TV special, not filmed to be a promo clip. It’s the perfect album opener but I doubt it would have been a successful single.

    “Lay All Your Love On Me” was released in the UK on 12″ only and became the largest selling 12″ only release by then. Why they chose not to release it worldwide as an official single is anyone’s guess, especially when in 1981 they struggled to come up with a potential hit until they recorded “One Of Us” quite late in the year.

    “When All Is Said And Done” is nowadays considered a ‘should have been’ single (perhaps because of its inclusion in “Mamma Mia!”), but hindsight is easy. It was one of the first tracks recorded for “The Visitors” album, B&B apparently considered it for a single in mid-1981 since a video was shot, but changed their minds. Some countries (incl. USA) chose it over “One Of Us” as the first single – It wasn’t a big hit, but perhaps it would have made a good ‘stop gap’ single earlier in the year?

    Compilations are always compromises. Polydor obviously wanted a neat one-disc release and not all ABBA hits would fit on “Gold”. Most of the biggest hits were included, nevertheless. Also, “gold (Greatest Hits)” doesn’t indicate that strictly the singles with the highest chart placings are included. Not including the post-“One Of Us” singles made sense in 1992, as that was the last chart topper ABBA had. And yes, “Summer Night City” was a hit single, but between several #1 hits, it was somewhat of a failure as well. Not forgetting that B&B have always thought they didn’t manage to make a decent mix of the track. “Angeleyes” (which B&B never cared for that much) was a moderate UK hit but elsewhere its flipside “Voulez-Vous” was the hit. “Thank You For The Music” was never a ‘proper’ ABBA hit single, but obviously it’s one of the group’s signature songs.

    “The Singles – The First Ten Years” was released pre-CD, when vinyl LP was the format. All the singles simply didn’t fit on the double LP, which explains why some early ‘lesser’ A-sides (“People Need Love”, “He Is Your Brother”, “Love Isn’t Easy”) and later misses (“Head Over Heels”) were conveniently ignored. “Lay All Your Love On Me” was never an official single, and the idea of the compilation was to collect the Polar single A-sides on one release. The omissions were not ‘rectified’ on later CD issues either. Instead, the 2001 “The Definitive Collection” was the official ‘replacement’ release and it does include all ABBA A-sides, including the ones released in limited territories only.

    ABBA didn’t end because they were forced to tour. They admit themselves they simply ran out of steam. The marriages dissolved and they lost the sense of ‘fun’ and togetherness in working together. Hardly surprising after 10 years together. The public were also ready to move on to other groups – which is something that can’t be avoided, no matter how good the music is. The 1982 sessions were “frosty” and by the time they recorded their last recording, “The Day Before You Came”, it was somehow apparent to all four that it was the end of the group. In public, they never disbanded and for a few years they kept open the possibility of recording again – but B&B moved on to musicals and the girls started solo careers.

    • Michel says:

      I still think it’s odd that ABBA didn’t release ‘When All Is Said And Done’ as a worldwide single as a taster for the upcoming album in August/September 1981. This was the first time that they didn’t release a single from the album sessions until the album was actually released.

      A video was shot for ‘When All Is Said And Done’ in August 1981 and it was one of very few potential A-sides from ‘The Visitors’ album. Also it would have made for some variety in the lead vocal department. Agnetha sang lead on the last four singles (five counting ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’). It may have been a conscious decision to not have a Frida-led A-side in 1982 because she was releasing solo singles almost simultaneously with ABBA’s last two singles, which might have caused confusion otherwise.

      As for ‘When All Is Said And Done’ not being a big hit: I think number 27 in the USA was a quite respectable chart placing, especially considering the fact that ABBA did zero promotion for the song. With its number 27 chart position it even performed better in the USA than several ABBA classics such as ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Super Trouper’, ‘Money, Money, Money’ and notably ‘One Of Us’, which turned out to be their worst performing song in the USA charts when it was belatedly released there in February 1983, not even reachting the Billboard Hot 100.

  47. Jopla2 says:

    Polar/Universal have released much better (contentwise) compilations over the years, but for some reason buyers prefer “Gold”. There’s perhaps a kind of special aura around “Gold” since it was so massively successful back in 1992 and it marked the beginning of the ABBA revival.

    The tracklist is good (most of the biggest hits are included) but it’s obviously not comprehensive. There are indeed much better choices, what comes to contents. “The Definitive Collection” 2-CD from 2001 is comprehensive (what comes to A-sides and hits), “The ABBA Story” from 2004 has 20 hits in chronological order, “Number Ones” from 2006 has 18 chart toppers and “The Essential Collection” 2-CD from 2012 is as comprehensive as possible – but for some reason “Gold” is in people’s minds _the_ ABBA compilation. Obviously, there’s a kind of vicious circle taking place: Why would Universal stop reissuing “Gold” when it keeps on selling… and the big masses obviously buy “Gold” since it’s the compilation that is being sold to them.

    • Trevor says:

      The Abba Gold CD has never sounded right to me. It’s been a long time since I listened to it but I remember it being hard, aggressive (in places) and generally unpleasant. Is there a better sounding compilation presently available?

  48. gwynogue says:

    I’m with you, Trevor.

    I don’t like the sequencing of ‘Gold’ – ‘Waterloo’ should be the first track instead of last. ‘Thank You For The Music’ is ALWAYS a great swansong to finish on – “Thank you for the music, for giving it to me” makes a wonderful closing line in terms of sentiment and celebrating a *Greatest Hits* collection. To then break the silence with a sudden blast of ‘Waterloo’ is jarring and kinda kills the mood a bit. ‘Waterloo’ was their first international hit and that opening ‘wall’ of music makes it far more suitable to be Track One. Start it off with a BANG!

  49. Julian H says:

    Paul, are you sure you mean Wildlife? I thought you would say “Wings at the Speed of Sound”. Anyway this rant is a bit out of character for you…

    Also Steve Hogarth is not signing Misplaced Childhood – it should be obvious but your post is ambiguous in that regard, it’s only Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley (who all played alongside Fish on the album) who are signing. Yes, Fish has laid out his soul in the lyrics and his voice is the main focus on the album, but it should not be forgotten that Steve Rothery composed almost all the music…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *