ABBA GOLD at 15

ABBA GOLD - Greatest HitsThis month marks the fifteenth anniversary of the original release of ABBA GOLD – Greatest Hits.

At the time the CD was released, it had been almost ten years since ABBA had come to an end. General interest in the band had declined, though a dedicated worldwide fan base continued to love ABBA and enjoy their music.

It’s astounding that this simple compilation CD, which at the time seemed to be just another in a long line of quickly thrown together ABBA CDs that had flooded the market over the previous ten years, would kickstart a global revival and reevaluation of the band, and would become not only ABBA’s biggest selling album, but one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

The revival had actually been building up over the previous five years, with ABBA music playing in trendy clubs, theme nights, and a growing fan club. But the release of the compilation, along with Erasure’s cover EP Abba-esque and the international break-through of tribute band Björn Again, saw the revival explode to the general population.

The premise is simple – 19 ABBA hits on one single CD.

I’ve never been a particular fan of the compilation. The running order seems fairly random and arbitrary. There are at least two songs that don’t really belong as they don’t fit into the context of “ABBA’s greatest hits” – ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ (a limited release 12 inch single) and ‘Thank You For The Music’ (a single A side in just a few countries, mostly to promote compilation albums in 1983). International chart-topping hits ‘Ring Ring’, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’ or ‘Summer Night City’ seem better qualified for inclusion.

Still, ABBA GOLD has been a phenomenal success, having sold something like 26 million copies and introducing a whole new generation of ABBA fans.

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2 Responses to “ABBA GOLD at 15”

  1. Bradley Eaton Says:

    “ABBA Gold” is actually my favourite ABBA compilation available, along with More ABBA Gold! Since I live in Australia, I own the Australian version of the CD, which has “Rock Me”, “Ring Ring” and “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” instead of “Thank You For The Music”, “Super Trouper” and “I Have A Dream”! My grandparents must have the original ABBA Gold CD in Australia as the picture on the back of their one is different than my one, which is released in 1999. I don’t mind that the songs are in random order as sometimes it’s nice to not have chronological order.

    However, when I go to my local music store now, I can no longer find the Australian version of ABBA Gold or More ABBA Gold, instead, I see the one that has the European track listing. I liked the Australian track listing of the CDs, it just feels good listening to them, I can’t imagine any other track listing for the CD but the Australian version. I’m guessing the reason for that is that Universal wants to make the release more worldwide rather than having different track listing in Australia. I’m so glad that ABBA’s music keeps getting revived every so often, and I hope it will keep happening!

    • Ian Cole Says:

      ABBA Gold was unavailable in Australia from around 2000 until it was re-released in 2008. in the lead up to the Mamma Mia! movie. The 2008 version of ABBA Gold (and also More ABBA Gold) followed the original European tracklist, rather than the Australian one.

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