|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|
|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|
Among the other great songs here, I have a dream was number two in Britain for a month (behind Pink Floyd's Another brick in the wall) and was later covered by American gospel singer Cristy Lane.
Most of Abba's songs are upbeat, even when they are singing about sadness, except for The winner takes it all. In that classic song, the emotions are laid bare, perhaps because their own marriages had already ended. Contrast that with Knowing me knowing you, which is also about a relationship break-up, but is more philosophical.
I was never wildly enthusiastic about Chiquitita or Gimmie gimmie gimmie, but it may be because I had such high expectations of Abba at the time those records were released. Still, they were top three hits in Britain, so obviously a lot of people enjoy them.
This is one of the strongest compilations available of my favorite pop group's music.
I don't believe anyone can fail to adore Abba, and Polar Music must have been incredibly hard-pushed to select just nineteen of their best singles to compile onto this album. However, the majority of their UK releases are included on "Gold", which is enough to make any pop lover (or even a dance music worshipper or die-hard rock fanatic, for that matter) jump at the chance to buy this album straight away. Every Abba single contains the elements of total pop perfection - memorable melodies, breathtaking vocals from Agnetha and Frida, and most importantly, astounding lyrics.
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson are complete idols for writers and composers of pop music the world over, because of their amazing ability to express any type of feelings or situations through incredible songs. All nineteen tracks on this album show just how superb Björn and Benny's songwriting partnership was, notably "Lay all your love on me", "SOS", "Thank you for the music" and "Chiquitita". In my opinion, however, the strongest lyrics are those of "Fernando", my favourite from this album: "In the firelight Fernando, you were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar, I could hear the distant drums and sounds of bugle chords were coming from afar". Everything in this beautiful ballad still takes my breath away when I listen to it, from the afore mentioned lyrics to the girls' perfect harmonies during the verses.
Not to be left out were the classics "Mamma mia", "Take a chance on me", "Super trouper", "I have a dream", "Money, money, money", "Does your mother know?" and "Gimme, gimme, gimme!", all of which are pulled off brilliantly by the group. One of the things I like best about this album, though, is the very appropriate introduction and conclusion. Arguably the most famous Abba single ever, the incredible "Dancing queen" sets the standard for the remaining tracks to follow, and I'm delighted to say that they all meet or exceed the dominance of this song. And what better way to send us off than with "Waterloo", Abba's debut UK single and Eurovision breakthrough? No words can describe the greatness of this track - catchy, happy guitar chords from Björn, energetic piano playing from Benny, heartfelt vocals from the girls... what else can I do but be bowled over?
I cannot urge you more strongly to buy this album. "Gold" confirms Abba's place at the very top of pop's all time greats, and they will no doubt remain there for a long time to come. If you appreciate pop music at its absolute best, or even if you aren't keen on the pop genre, I guarantee that you will benefit enormously from listening to "Gold". It will put a huge smile on your face and keep it there for the rest of the day.
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