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Another Timeless Album
on 16 November 2005
This album is consistently brilliant and is a further example of a near flawless piece of work. From Arrival (1976) right through to The Visitors (1981), Abba produced wonderful albums not just great singles but timeles album tracks which, in their own way, were just as endearing. And it would be foolish to label this album as The Disco Album on account of the admittedly below par title track and the accompanying single ’Summer Night Night City’. Although the latter is a much more successful attempt at this oevre. After all this album contans that great ballad and hit single ’Chiquititta’ which is up there with their very best. And much more besides. The opener ’As Good As New’ is a gorgeous mixture of classic strings, a strong disco beat and those wondeful Agnetha/Frida vocals which need no introduction. Then there is Bjorn’s finest moment in the raucous ’Does Your Mother Know’ which remains an all time party favourite to this day, 28 years later. The minor single ’Angel Eyes’ should have been massive. Here is this band at their magical best. ’If It Wasn’t For The Nights’ is a superb album track. Nothing new here. Great album tracks are a trademark of all their last five albums, and they were not exactly non existent before then. This whole album sounds like a Piece Of Work in the way that no compilation album can. ’I Have A Dream’ is slushy for sure but fits in well here surrounded by more upbeat numbers. It is a great melody. Period. But they save the best track for last, the magestic ’Kisses Of Fire’ which sounded then and sounds even more now like The Great Single That Never Was.
The cover shows the band looking impeccable. On top of the world would not be heavy exaggeration. Sadly the two divorces were to follow shortly afterwards but as songwriters and performers this is something like their peak. Even NME or was it Melody Maker gave this one Five Stars.
Greatest Hits albums have their place of course. But my advice would be to buy this album, because it shows us the consistency that band continually showed themselves capable of from 1976 onwards. More than a Singles Band. Just one listen to ’Kisses Of Fire’ will demonstrate that.