Bjorn & Benny certainly reached a new level of song writing with Super Trouper, originally released back in 1980. Songs such as The Winner Takes It All, Andante Andante, Happy New Year demonstrate this maturer Abba sound. The music on this album cannot be faulted, Abba were firing on all cylinders at this point of their career and Benny had adopted a few new synthesizers which signalled the band were staying up-to-date with the electronic sounds that were starting to dominate the airwaves at the time.
Now onto the Deluxe Edition reissue May 2011. The album has been remastered and sounds great. I am not an audiophile boffin by any stretch of the imagination but it all sounds good to me. The bonus tracks are welcome, especially the stereo mix extended version of 'On & On & On' which was originally only available in mono as the soundtrack to the video of the song.
The DVD includes some wonderful previously unreleased footage which has been thoughtfully compiled. Performances of songs from the German TV 'Show Express' capture Abba in their prime looking wonderful and the documentary footage of the Abba cover-shoot is fascinating viewing. The international record sleeve gallery is a tad repetitive as most of Abba's release used the same artwork around the world at this time.
One disappointment with this release was that it did not come in the hard, clear Deluxe Edition slip case that the previous releases did (Arrival, The Album, Voulez Vous). Instead it was shrink-wrapped and has a Deluxe Edition sticker plastered to the sleeve which looks cheap(are Universal trying to cut costs here?) and rather spoils the continuity with the previous releases.
Overall though an essential purchase for any Abba fan or for that fact anybody wanting to hear one of the bands finest albums.