This collection and its companion More ABBA Gold contain all the essential Abba songs, although they omit some of my favorite album tracks. The biggest hits are generally to be found here, including Dancing queen (a number one in Britain, America and many other countries), Knowing me knowing you, Take a chance on me, Mamma mia, Super trouper, The winner takes it all, Fernando, The name of the game and Waterloo - all of which hit number one in Britain. Abba were much less successful in America, mainly because they did not put much effort into promoting themselves there.
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.
on 12 October 2004
I'll give you one word to describe this album: phenomenal. Abba are one of those rare groups that never lose their appeal - I was born fifteen years after they won Eurovision in 1974 with "Waterloo", and even though I wasn't around to witness any of their single releases, they are one of my favourite pop artists of all time. "Gold" represents exactly why Abba were so successful in the seventies and early eighties, and why they still have such a wide fanbase of all ages around the globe.
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.
on 24 May 2006
The chorus of one of the most beautiful songs ever written,sung by one of the most beautiful singers you could hope to see or hear.The quality and originality of the 19 songs on this cd were probably not surpassed by the Beatles.In the 25 or so years since Abba split up as a group I have yet to hear the equal of Agnetha Faltskog and Frida Lyngstad when they sing together.Everyone laughed at how they dressed - nobody laughed at
how they sang:buy this recording,and you'll understand why.
on 6 December 2010
This CD has obviously been released to cash in on the ITV1 documentary shown last night. It is the same as the previous release back in 2004, with the exception of a bonus cartoon version of Money, Money, Money. The main reason for buying this version however is that the videos have been "restored". They do look generally better than on previous releases, but the colours are a bit too vivid for my liking. The CD contains the latest 2005 remasters which are a lot better than the previous POLAR remasters. However, I would still recommend the 2001 release The Definitive Collection over this re-release as it contains all of the singles to date including the classic The Day Before You Came and is also available as a CD/DVD double pack at a similar price.
on 2 August 2007
Fifteen years on from release, this album is still going strong, having recently seen of an attempt to replace it by the inferior "Number Ones".
Abba Gold was masterminded from Polydor UK in 1992 and is heavily weighted towards the UK hits. 18 of Abba's 19 Top 10 UK hits are here, the only omission being Summer Night City, left off in favour of perhaps their most well known small hit/album track, Thank You For The Music. The only other significant track missed off is UK Top 3 hit, Angeleyes, represented here by its double A-side, the international hit Voulez-Vous. That is the only concession to the non-UK market though.
Lay All Your Love On Me, not considered an "official" single and only released in a few countries, is included here on the grounds that it was a Top 10 UK hit (it also helped that Erasure had covered the track for their Abba-Esque EP earlier in 1992). In contrast, some big hits outside the UK, such as I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (a small hit here) are thankfully left off.
If you don't already own this album (and there can't be many people left who don't) this is an essential purchase.
on 14 April 2000
Gold is an impressive and valuable mineral. But the most impressive and enduring of all is platinum and for that reason alone, this album should be retitled for future editions.
It is almost superfluous trying to review a body of the "greatest" work from arguably the best pop-act the music world has ever known. How do you evaluate a collection of songs that has seeped into the consciousness of pretty much anyone who was around in the mid to late 70's and which continues to impress even the most cynical music listener today?
The best that you can do is merely to remember the exhiliration on first hearing the soaring strings and harmonies of "Dancing Queen" and not quite believing a song could sound so beautiful. Or to recall the moment you thought you might stop breathing as you listened to the aching resignation and almost gorgeous pain in "The Winner Takes it all". Or to decribe the marvel when you first recognised the maturity and balance contained in the mini-opus "The name of the game". Or maybe to smile at the day you knew you had died and gone to pop heaven whilst being serenaded with the delightful suggestiveness of "If you change your mind, I'm the first in line, Honey I'm still free, take a chance on me". And I could go on in similar vein with and each and every one of the remaining tracks.
"ABBA Gold" is a only a sample of music that has transcended time and genres and (now it can be said) generations. A souvenir if you like of the joy and fun and the sheer brilliance of being alive which was contained in just about all of ABBA's 3 to 4 minute pop gems.
Hyperbole and exaggeration? Maybe. But the fact remains that ABBA's music and genius continues to impress people and critics all over the world with its timeless simplicity and complexity, its technical brilliance and a mastery of that most essential element of all great songs - the "hook". Add to that the glorious sounds of Agnetha and Frida harmonising together (every time) and you know that ABBA will never be bettered.
The real point to buying this album is not to be reminded of the days when a pop song could be equally sublime and fun nor to confirm in one sitting that ABBA were (and are) the absolute masters of songwriting and singing the perfect tune. The real point of this collection should be to lead you to discover the wealth of treasures contained in ABBA's lesser known albums and album tracks.
on 20 February 2012
I already own "The Definitive Collection" and "Absolute" double CD greatest hits, but the bestselling "Gold" is by far the best. By clever selection of songs, non-chronological sequencing and outstanding remastering of the original tapes, the sheer outstanding quality of Abba's music stays with you long after the CD has ended playing.
Yes there are some notable ommissions - I do, I do, I do, I do; Ring Ring; Honey Honey; Summer Night City; Angel Eyes; The Day Before You Came; Under Attack; how could they! However, when those songs are excluded for the sake of the brilliance of those songs which do make it onto the CD - Lay all your love on me, SOS, The Winner takes it all; Thank you for the music, plus all those classic Abba songs like Dancing Queen and Waterloo - it all makes sense here. For those missing songs, and many others, there is a second CD available "More Abba Gold".
These songs have been close friends since they were originally released back in the 70s/early 80s, and when I went to see Abba live at Wembley in 1979 ...I was there at the very night of the filmed concert now available on DVD. Whilst the songs aren't really the uplifting singalongs many think they are ... just listen to those desperately sad, exhausted, lonely lyrics (Knowing me, knowing you, SOS, The winner takes it all, One of us) interspersing the stories of lust-fueled nights in clubs (Voulez Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme (A man after midnight), Dancing Queen, Does your mother know)... they are a bitter-sweet delight and have helped me through many a disco night and broken heart!
I've revisited this Album since my missus took an eager liking of the recent film translation of the musical Mamma Mia.
I've mentioned in my review of the soundtrack that I'm not a massive Abba fan, but there is something about the music that makes it incredibly likable. I'm not going to go through all the tracks on this double CD, but each song feels very independently crafted. No two sound the same.
There are no weak tracks here and the album is the perfect showcase for the pop phenomenon. Most cheesy pop songs over recent times have been basic stories of love, loss ...or lost love - but here there's a wide variation in subject matter. Most are to do with relationships, but they tend to tell a story rather than give a formulaic four minutes of music. This is no doubt one of the strengths of Abba, and a reason as to why this album is still popular today - it hasn't really dated. The spectrum of moods and types of music used is wider than what you'd usually find on a pop album, it is testament to the pure creative energy the group had and stops it from ever going stale.
In a nutshell: This goes beyond empty shallow pop music, it is a celebration of how creative genius can give birth to individual nuggets of musical gold. The tracks are incredibly catchy and they haunt you for hours after listening to them. This isn't great in the same way that a Bob Dylan album is great, there's no political message that will inspire you to stand up and be counted. This album is great because it uses sounds fresh and fun. Practically everyone is familiar with the majority of the tracks on this album, but it's only when you sit and listen to them that you appreciate how much work has gone into them. I'm not an Abba fan, but I do recognise the impact that this music has had - and I can't help but enjoy it when 'my wife puts it on'.
It's all been said about Abba, but I love the band so I'm going to say it again! It's summed up by a discovery the Sex Pistols made. At a gig, they played a tape of 'Dancing Queen' ironically before they went on stage - they disapproved of Abba and wanted to ridicule them. It backfired. Their audience cheered, danced and clapped. I've been hearing the band on and off ever since 'Waterloo' and, unlike most pop music, it really doesn't seem to age or date. There's a freshness, a vitality and (sometimes) a poignancy that is really very attractive. So three cheers to Abba and to this excellent compilation.
on 27 April 2004
Well, I have to say I bought the very first version of ABBA GOLD on CD(and cassette) back in 1992 and own the Definitive Collection on DVD so Ihave absolutely no reason to purchase this product, but if you are new toABBA I have to say this could be the best album you've ever bought in yourlife. It is such a HUGE value item to purchase, I really can't believe theprice. It includes the original GOLD tracks accompanied with all thevideos and a beautiful (much more than the older GOLD versions)case.
When I first listened to GOLD in 1992, I couldn't believe that asingle group can have 20 pop-perfect songs on a greatest hits package withmore excellent songs ready for MORE GOLD package. I honestly think that noother group has such a beautiful collection of pop music, although manyhave tried to do the same. Buy this album now or buy it for somebody whois ABBA clueless. It is a perfect gift and it is almost free!