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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining trivia book, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: ABBA: All The Top 40 Hits (Paperback)
Containing plenty of pictures (albeit only of print quality as these pictures appear on standard pages, not photographic quality pages - that would make it much more expensive), this book looks at Abba's music chronologically, but focusing on the singles first then starting again with the albums. Just about everything Abba-related is covered, using (it seems) data from as many countries as the author has been able to gather data for, which includes all the countries that most people are likely to be looking for. In covering just about everything Abba-related, the author has included the Hep Stars, the Hootenanny Singers, solo music by the individual members of Abba, other projects such as Chess and hits that other artists had with Abba songs, wherever they happened if they were in one of the countries that the author has covered.

I said just about everything, but he has not covered B-sides specifically, though most of them appear in the pictures or are mentioned in the text. Also, although he has unearthed some very obscure hits with Abba song, he has missed at least one that I know of - Cristy Lane's American top 20 country hit with I have a dream, which peaked at #17. Still, I'm not really surprised that he missed that so I'll let him off :-)

I don't know how many non-hit covers there are of Abba's songs, but I don't come across that many (perhaps because I tend to buy mostly either pre-70s music or country music, neither of which are fertile territory for such music) but given that the author has researched a lot of hit covers, it might be an idea for the next edition to explore cover versions more. Is it possible to track down a good cover of every Abba song? Just a thought. Another seemingly unlikely cover of an Abba song that I know of is The way old friends do, by Irish singer Philomena Begley, and she does it very well too.

I'm sure the author would like to hear from anybody who can help him with countries omitted from this book, or which are given inadequate coverage, if you have such information. Meanwhile, this is a fascinating book that gives all sorts of information. It's even worth reading between the lines. I'd long ago heard that Australia was one of the first to become obsessed with Abba. It also seems they were one of the first to get over it, if one looks at their pop charts. I know that Abba themselves think they got better with each album, but while I like all their music, I think their music of 1975/6 was their best period. So, it seems, do a lot of Australians.

Abba fans will find plenty to amuse themselves in this book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jan 2015 19:31:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jan 2015 19:32:49 GMT
DJ Control says:
Thanks for the review. Was not sure if this book was for me but you've convinced me otherwise. Man you must like country. That Cristy Lane recording of I Have A Dream is pretty ordinary. Horses for courses. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2015 11:48:09 GMT
I am, first and foremost, a fan of 20th century country music.
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