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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pop phenomenon
This package tells a wonderful story in sound and vision of pop's greatest band ever. There is nothing previously unreleased here (except for two videos), so it is clearly not meant for the fans. This is really an updated and improved version of The Definitive Collection, so if you do not have ABBA in your collection, this is a good choice.

The sticker says...
Published on 8 Sept. 2012 by Eggman

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Abba,The (Un)Essential Collection
A review of the 2cd/dvd edition.

If you don't give two hoots about audio or picture quality this three disc Essential Collection is great value and at time of writing the only sound and vision combo available by Abba. If you ARE after the best quality you can buy read on....

Like another reviewer on this page,I also purchased this title for the...
Published 3 months ago by DJ Control


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Abba,The (Un)Essential Collection, 27 Dec. 2014
By 
DJ Control (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
A review of the 2cd/dvd edition.

If you don't give two hoots about audio or picture quality this three disc Essential Collection is great value and at time of writing the only sound and vision combo available by Abba. If you ARE after the best quality you can buy read on....

Like another reviewer on this page,I also purchased this title for the previously unreleased videos and that I'm afraid is the only reason to even contemplate purchasing. It's a poorly compiled release with almost nothing in the way of quality. What you get is a three disc set,2 cd's and a DVD. The 39 tracks on the cd's represent some of the best pop music ever made and is essentially an update for the now discontinued Definitive Collection cd/dvd combo from 2004. There are a few different tracks on this new set and a couple have also been omitted/replaced but it's not a problem as the audio content here has been released so many times I've lost count. If you're after a nice chronological collection of Abba's singles you can't go wrong so the two cd set which forms part of this collection is a good starter. I must point out though that the tracks are sourced from a number of different remaster series and the quality varies across the two discs. I'm pretty certain that it's been put through a volume equaliser with varied results. Some tracks sound crystal clear,others sound muffled or distorted. There are better sounding audio sets out there such as the recently released Abba Gold Anniversary Edition. Now onto the dvd where things go from ordinary to down right appalling.

There appears to have been some form of encoding error either during or after this DVD was compiled. Whether it has occurred during the compiling,mastering or authoring is irrelevant,a major error has been made. The first thing you will notice is that a lot of the videos are not at the correct speed/pitch. This is usually a sign of NTSC to PAL conversion. For most of them because it is only a minor shift in speed it is barely noticeable and if you're not familiar with the sound and musical key of the original recordings you would probably not even be aware. However,the clip for "I Do I Do..." is very obvious. The vocals almost sound like a Hampton the Hamster track but the problems don't end there.

Some of the videos have very poor colour balance with badly crushed black levels,waxy skin tones,red tinting and video distortion. It almost looks, to my eyes at least, like it has been converted from the NTSC colour system to PAL and then back to NTSC again perhaps multiple times. I'm also guessing the video files that were used for this DVD are a couple of generations past their original master source. That is a copy of a copy of a copy with possibly another video signal conversion here. The picture quality is so bad it almost looks like a bootleg. To make matters worse the original 4:3 aspect ratio has been cropped and zoomed into 16:9 which in some instances loses quality and picture. Initially it looks ok with the menu filling your widescreen panel until you click play and notice the ghastly image of the actual videos. Some efforts have been made to rectify errors from past video compilations such as re syncing some picture to sound problems and using the correct audio mix for the appropriate video but these efforts and the inclusion of a few previously unreleased Spanish videos are largely wasted on the poor picture quality.

This DVD is a complete mess from start to finish and I am astonished it even got released. If you are looking for a DVD of Abba's music videos look elsewhere. In fact try this one Abba - Number Ones [DVD] [2006]. It has outstanding sound and picture quality but unfortunately only contains 19 of the videos. Until someone at Universal goes back to the drawing board,recompiles Abba's music videos with a bit more care,attention to detail such as the speed of the songs and some final quality control before release,the Number Ones DVD is the best there is. One star for each cd but no stars for the DVD. This has to be the worst Abba compilation EVER released and is without a doubt UNESSENTIAL!

Of note for Abba fans/collectors...The "On And On And On" video has stereo sound that has finally been timed correctly with the images. Unfortunately the source for the picture looks like a home video dub with a bad electrical interference hum line moving horizontally down the picture for the entire duration of the video. Hopefully Anders Hanser still has the photographic slides and they can be rescanned one day to bring this unique Abba video back to it's original vision.

"Under Attack I'm Being Taken,About To Crack Defences Breaking..."
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pop phenomenon, 8 Sept. 2012
This package tells a wonderful story in sound and vision of pop's greatest band ever. There is nothing previously unreleased here (except for two videos), so it is clearly not meant for the fans. This is really an updated and improved version of The Definitive Collection, so if you do not have ABBA in your collection, this is a good choice.

The sticker says that it contains all their hits, which is not entirely true. ABBA was a worldwide phenomenon and they had top 10 hits with songs in various countries with songs like Nina Pretty Ballerina, Hasta Manana, Rock Me, I've Been Waiting for You and As Good as New, none of which is included here. The liner notes are not entirely accurate either. Bang-a-boomerang was actually a single in France, and Happy New Year was released in a few countries at the time.

As for the DVD, it would have been nice to include the clip for Love Isn't Easy, which has never been released. The cartoons for Happy Hawaii and Money Money Money, the royal performance of Dancing Queen and When I Kissed the Teacher could have been included as well.

The fans will still have to wait for the wonderful Just Like That to be released in its entirety, but this is a great package anyway.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL ABBA, 3 Sept. 2012
By 
Philip Johnson (Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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After all of the fantastic deluxe editions of the studio albums, what more can we expect ? 'The Essential Collection' is exactly what the title suggests. This latest compilation of every ABBA single ever issued. It is a treat to the ears to hear every single release in chronological order on this superb collection. It truly showcases the progression in style and the noticable improvement in the lyrical content with each single release. One of the earliest singles 'People Need Love' is reminiscent of the 70's pop group 'Blue Mink'. Simple lyrics with a sing-a-long style which reminds me of the summer days of the early 70's. 'Waterloo' needs no introduction, but has there ever been a 'Eurovision' winning song that made such an immediate impact on the general public. 'S.O.S.' still sounds outstanding to this day. Although we all have our favourite ABBA song, 'The Name Of The Game' has to be one of the stand out tracks of the time. We have 'ABBA GOLD' 'MORE GOLD' 'THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION' which was released in 2001 ! Treat yourself to the this latest compilation, it really is 'Essential ABBA'.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abbafabba, 15 Sept. 2012
I was a bit dubious about buying this after reading the negative reviews. I purchased this elsewhere as it was cheaper than amazon. The aspect ratio is exactly the way it would have been produced. I have a 63" tv and the picture quality is very good and the sound is excellent. Remember it is the 70s, yes at the begining the videos from waterloo and the next couple do look a little red but I have compared to others and I prefer these. The sound is excellent, the booklet can't offer anything new but is still interesting. I for one did'nt realise they all smoked! as you see benny with a cigarette while sat in the studio. (breaking news I know) We can't expect much from a band that has not recorded since early 82.But it's very comprehensive. This is for die hard fans or if you have'nt got the definitive collection. I just had to add it to my other collection and I am well inpressed but I did not have many expectations when buying apart from wondering what the aspect ratio would be like and I LIKE it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This CD/DVD is a waste of time., 26 Dec. 2012
By 
Mr. A. Crawford "Crawfty" (Belfast N.I.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought The Essential Collection because of the extra tracks on the DVD. All I can say is I'm really really disappointed with it, the whole of the DVD the sound is so up & down I can't listen to it, it fluctuates far far too much. I think I have just wasted my money.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Abba's back catalouge-once again., 12 Sept. 2012
By 
Mr. A. Thomas - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Most people love abba,most people can name a song or three,do we want another greatest hits package?No.Abba gold has everything a fan would want-if its hits they are after,its been repackaged loads of times with the same songs/some have a dvd included.So why buy this?its selling very poorly-abba gold sold 27 million worldwide.This is just a record company rip off of the abba cash cow,unfortunatly abba can not stop these greatest hits from reappearing every year or so-the back catalouge was bought out in the early 90's.Abba's music legacy will live on through the original albums,abba gold and much radio play,this package will not be remembered.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Collection, 22 Jan. 2014
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One of our great groups with a unique sound and performance. Abba were a great group and made some superb recordings in their unique style. Great performers and timeless songs. This collection is a must whether you are a fan or not. Abba are part of our musical heritage and it is great to see them in their often outrages clothes, but their sound is unique. There are and have been many tribute groups who have been good but the original are tne best to both watch and listen to.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abba: Boxed., 14 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Abba box set 2 x CD's & 1 DVD. with added booklet. All the usual hits plus Auto Rip as bonus.
Good if you don't already have any Abba 'hits collection' but otherwise I feel this package is aimed mostly at the groups diehard fans.
Excellent price under £ 7. pounds, when I placed my order. So as I'm a fan I'm very pleased.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masters of melody and harmony, 29 April 2013
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This review is from: The Essential Collection (Audio CD)
abba made 8 albums in 10 years (1972-1982) and what a progress they made in
these years; in my opinion they made 45 classic tracks from which you find 25 tracks on
this double album. Since ABBA split up i have never heard such good harmonies, such
good melodies en such good productions. ABBA can make you feel happy (take a chance on me,
waterloo, does your mother know, dancing queen) and sometimes feel sad (the winner takes it
all, knowing me knowing you, s.o.s.) bust most of all they can make you sing along)
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars same old stuff, 6 Sept. 2012
It is such a shame that Abba keep releasing the same album but with one or two additional songs. Since Abba stopped recording years ago it would have been much kinder to release an Absolutely Everything Boxset rather than keep on releasing stuff which slightly supersedes the other. This will definately be my very last Abba purchase. True Abba fans love the non mainstream unheard tracks and the record company seems to know this or else they would not keep releasing the same album with one or two of these specal tracks. Then release the Album again with another track swap. In the days of vinyl they had limited media storage but now in the cd years there is no excuse not to release a complete collection of tracks without switching them out.
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