While we may never get a Frida compilation, the 1994 compilation 'Agnetha & Frida: The Voice Of Abba' offered a smattering of the pair's solo stuff; itmade for an uneven experience to the detriment of Agnetha as far as singles went-until this CD let me know that old collection was practically destitute as far as her singles went. The actual awful ratio was: two from her first 80s solo, only the lead single from the second and zilch from the third, nor the three non-album singles. But on this excellent 80s retrospective (no 70s Swedish-sung solo stuff included for the die-hards though, be warned), once the familiar 'The Heat Is On' came to a close, 'The Last Time' (that I'd never heard before) seared on with the spell of a sauna-fantastically worded, dramatic, dipped in melancholy, but a barely concealed hope leading to an all-fires blazing chorus worthy of Abba's greatest-'One Of Us', 'Cassandra', 'Chiquitita' etc. 'Let It Shine' is more like the workmanlike ballad I don't really go for, but her wonderful voice makes it seem better than it is, but 'I Wasn't The One (Who Said Goodbye)' is another sweeping arch of beautiful balladeering-and Peter Cetera never sounded so good. 'The Way You Are' follows and is even better-a swooping euro-power ballad, and the funky, ironic unorthodox 'It's So Nice To Be Rich' follows that. The familiar pound of 'I Won't Let You Go' is next but gently grinding rocker 'One Way Love' and contemplative and revelatory 'Eyes Of A Woman' (typically missed off the earlier compilation in favour of weaker album tracks- of which two are added to the end of this CD-'You're There' is one) are much better singles. 'Never Again' is a charming enough hispanic sounding ballad with Tomas Ledin, but 'Can't Shake Loose' is a real surprise-a rousing electrified rocker sung with fiercely intimidating aggressive style-top marks, girl! The delicate 'Wrap Your Arms Around Me' closes the complete singles list, though the b-side 'Fly Like The Eagle' (to the 'Way You Are') is a cute inclusion. There are only three ABBA songs here, all equally worthy and no 'Dancing Queen'-nice one Agnetha, she chose them herself, and one she shares no more vocals on then Frida. Still, the reviewer who said her lovely 'Disillusion' should have been added from ABBA's debut-not least cos it's one of the strongest songs from a rather dated set, showing up the two men's songs utterly for the most part on it, and the only time she'd put her own song on an Abba album. But as the most complete set to contain ALL Agnetha's 1980s singles, this is a worthy and inexpensive buy. Most importantly, it dusts off an old 1981 recording Agnetha herself had written and pretty much discarded-'The Queen Of Hearts', released in her home country as a single to promote the album. It's nothing staggering, but it is nice and shows once again just how terribly self-critical she is about her very fine composing abilities.
Having said this CD is a fine buy, most stalwart followers will own all these songs, bar the new item, if they had the good sense to purchase all Agnetha's three solo albums. I've updated this review necessarily as I've finally have the sense to do such a thing, and now happily report they're every bit as good as Frida's. Agnetha herself has wonderfully returned to us with a new album (no covers, yay!), making my rediscovering of her music so perfectly timed that I've given her the proper response of THE music event of 2013 that she deserves. Sometimes things happen SLOWLY, but once they work, CAN'T SHAKE LOOSE.