ABBA – The Albums – a new box set

ABBA - The AlbumsThis week Universal Music Sweden, through ABBA – The Site – The Official Website, announced the release of a new box set, ABBA – The Albums.

This new box set includes ABBA’s eight studio albums in their original international formats, with no bonus tracks, plus a ninth bonus CD of single A and B sides.

Except for the Swedish versions of ‘Ring Ring’ and ‘Waterloo’, no non-English recordings or alternate versions of songs are included.

It’s not surprising that fan reaction has been split: there are those who see this as an interesting addition to the ABBA catalogue, and those who see it as another rip off of fans’ hard-earned money.

It’s probably a perfect time for this release, with thousands of people seeing Mamma Mia! at the cinema wanting to investigate the original ABBA recordings, wanting more than what’s on ABBA Gold, The Defintive Collection, or Thank You For The Music, but aren’t interested in having the same songs in Swedish, German, French and Spanish that they have in English, or alternate mixes and live versions.

Many fans have said over the years that they would like to see the studio albums released without any of the B-sides and foreign versions of songs as bonus tracks tagged on the end, which they say “ruins” the flow of the albums, especially the later ones such as Super Trouper or The Visitors.

It’s funny that many of the fans complaining that this is “another repackage of the same shit” are the same people who will pay a fortune for an obscure ABBA compilation from Canada, with songs they already have on other albums and singles and a sleeve with photos they have elsewhere, or a New Zealand pressing of Super Trouper, with the exact same tracklist and sleeve as the versions they already have from Sweden, the UK, USA, Japan, and a dozen or more other countries.

As I’ve said for years, if you feel that you have enough copies of ABBA’s songs, and this or any other compilation doesn’t add anything that you want, then simply don’t buy it. It’s your choice – no one is forcing you to buy this or anything else.

But if you want to buy this as another addition to your collection, that’s your choice too.

ABBA – The Albums is released on 27 October 2008. See ABBA – The Site for contents and details.


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23 Responses to “ABBA – The Albums – a new box set”

  1. Paul Says:

    You are absolutely right, Ian, regarding those completely inane, totally ridiculous and senseless accusations by certain fans that ABBA are somehow “ripping fans off” with each new re-release and repackaging of their hits.

    Errrmm… hello? Anybody home? (Are these people completely retarded?)
    They have to be moronic, since merely saying such things advertises their stupidity.

    I bought all of ABBA’s songs as, and when, they were first released.
    I added to these, original releases, the 4-cd boxset in 1994. (I don’t even own a copy of ABBA-Gold! And why should I?)

    Why in god’s name, then, do some people moan about re-releases/re-packaging of hits?

    These moaners really ought to see a shrink. I’m serious. There’s obviously something fundamentally wrong with their head. I almost pity them. Almost! ;-p

    Hey you little guys, here’s a tip for you: there’re plenty of good, state-funded institutions available to you! Free bed and board! Yay! That’s nice, isn’t it? Yes! Go to your nearest psychiatric facility and book yourselves in! That’s just one way we can avoid ever having to hear such loony complaints again.

    In the meantime, ABBA can go right ahead and keep re-packaging their old hits each and every year if they want – it’s a means by which they can capture *NEW* fans, after all. And I’m happy for that. These rehashes are not targetted at old fans like me, since I already have everything!


  2. Anthony Says:

    I might buy this since NO one in canada offers the complete studio’s recordings anymore. But i have boughten the first 4 albums from iTunes and feel that i def need the cd versions/ I hope they are incl the booklets and that they will include the 2005 remasters.

  3. anthony Says:

    Hi ,
    I’d just like to agree with Paul .No body is forcing anyone to double up on their Abba record collection.
    I already have a complete collection, but i will get the Mamma Mia soundtrack as there are some variations that i would like to have.
    Another variation of Abba songs i just found is the album “Abbattack” by Australian band Audioscam. Ten of Abba’s great songs reworked in a hard edged rock tribute.
    I really like hearing how other artists interpret Abba’s music.
    I certainly wouldn’t buy an Abba recording just because it’s a rerelease of a cd or album i already have,but, i will happily buy a cd with songs i know if they are different to the originals.

  4. Clint Says:

    I also agree with Paul. I’ve had my ABBA collection for many years and I think they should do whatever it takes to keep appealing and introducing their music to each new generation. Their songs are just as appealing as they were 20 years ago. There is no greater testimony then standing the test of time and for there songs to still be as strong now as they were when released speaks volumes.
    Anthony I’ve also found the hard rock tribute by Audioscam you are talking about. I happened across it on itunes. It seems they are a Aussie band. It sounds different and I liked what I heard for what it’s worth. They appear to have reworked the songs with a rock edge but it sounded good.

  5. Bonnie Says:

    No, I’m not going to buy it since I own at least three copies of each album already. That’s enough I should say. The box looks nice though, sleek and classy and very ABBA-ish.
    That box is not meant for hardcore fans like me of course. There are many many people out there who like ABBA, you know just ‘like’, and think it’s neat to have all their music. Maybe they’ve seen Mamma Mia, or a TV documentary or it’s nostalgia, no matter what there will always be people out there who are cought by ABBA’s tunes. Good for them. There’s enough ABBA for everyone!

  6. Richard Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with what’s been said. What’s the rip-off, I wonder? There’s no obligation to buy this if someone doesn’t feel like it. Unless you are a super-mega-ultra-diehard collector that has to get everything. And even then, that’s your choice, no one made you do it.

    Sometimes I’ll get a compilation if I like the contents, the sleeve, or the sound. And then there are things that have been re-released that I was happy to get again (like the new More ABBA Gold, because I always loved that collection and I thought the new incarnation looks great. And I like the sound.) And then there have been times when I’ve refused to get certain things (like the 1997 remasters which I thought were offensive visually and sonically, IMHO). There was a time, before the ABBA Gold craze, when it was really difficult to get hold of certain ABBA albums -if you lived outside of Europe and Australia, that is. And things like Amazon, internet ordering, and eBay were completely unheard of. So when I see the host of stuff available to new fans (the different box sets, reissues and whatever) I’m thrilled. Take your pick. You don’t have to buy the whole lotl, needless to say. Or you can buy it all if you so wish and your collecting desires get the better of you.

  7. Phillip Darlington Says:

    Totally agree with all the comments – we’re not forced to buy everything with the Abba logo on are we? However, I have to admit to having a terrible weakness to buying anything with the Abba logo on it though and I do wonder how long my will power will last should I see this in the shops or on the web!! But that’s my problem, I’m happy with that so Universal can release as much Abba stuff as they like 🙂

  8. Christian Says:

    Does anyone has bought it?, how is the sound quality?, the sleeves?, what about the booklet?.



  9. Ian Cole Says:

    The sound quality is the same as the 2005 box set The Complete Studio Recordings. The sleeves and the booklet are the same as the 2006 Danish cut-down version of the CSR box. The sleeves are replicas of the original Polar albums, printed on thin card.

  10. vincent connolly Says:

    I agree with most of the views expressed above. I’m one of those fans who has virtually purchased everything, everytime it has been released, re-released, digitalised, airbrushed etc. I have walked past, stopped, touched and almost bought this boxed set x 3 occasions now. Something stops me. ? the global crisis. ? age (44). a gnawing feeling that universal thinks I’m a fool.

    I understand fandom and loyalty. I probably will buy the damned thing. It’s scary though to think after 33 years of purchasing their music, that I might have had enough. Thanks for the site. It’s a refuge in the absence of the other aussie site that is now no longer. Cheers, Vincent

  11. Sandra 2e Says:

    I would be delited to get new Abba Box set…. the more the merrier the newer the better. always great to see they are being kept alive….
    Since i was so young I was and still am #to my girls’ the weirdo who LOVES ABBA MUSIC but I am not ashamed to say I DO IDO IDO …

    xx Sandra2e

  12. Harris Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with some constructive criticism. I can imagine only very fervent fans of ABBA will defend this release. I consider this box set bit of a rip-off, because it’s hard to see who it’s aimed at.

    I don’t buy the argument that someone new to ABBA (or someone new to ANY artist for that matter) dips their toe into the waters of an artist’s back catalogue by splurging out on a box set of their complete albums! No. They start with a sampler/greatest hits disc, and there are already quite a few of those from ABBA to choose from. So I don’t see new fans buying this box. Mainly, it’s going to be ABBA fanatics/completists buying it as usual, but what is there to interest them here, beyond the pretty box and booklet? (is Carl Magnus Palm doing the blurb again?).

    What’s needed is for someone to ransack the ABBA archives and spill those rare demos, and studio outtakes with the false starts and studio chat. Sadly, it seems as though one or two members of ABBA, plus many of their most long-standing fans will have pegged out by the time some of those recordings see the light of day.

  13. Ice Says:

    Harris: “I don’t buy the argument that someone new to ABBA (or someone new to ANY artist for that matter) dips their toe into the waters of an artist’s back catalogue by splurging out on a box set of their complete albums! No. They start with a sampler/greatest hits disc…”

    …or a movie.

  14. Harris Says:

    Ice “…or a movie.”

    I haven’t seen the movie, so I’ll have to take your word!

    The reasoning “you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to” is one I’ve heard Nick Mason of Pink Floyd come out with (in response to accusations of overkill when a live version of The Wall appeared on the shelves alongside all the other CD and DVD versions). It all sounds reasonable and laissez-faire. But no one goes to the expense of repackaging a set of albums with a 40 page booklet and a slip-cover without doing the research and figuring it’ll do a lot more than recoup outlay costs. ABBA the business concern knows that a large slice of its hardcore following will be the ones once again shelling out for previously released product. They’re not going to able to resist the mini LP sleeves and the booklet and the foil embossed box that houses them. That’s in the bag before they ever consider attracting new fans off the back of the success of “Mama-Mia.”

    I’ve looked around a bit, and I’m seeing quite a few comments along the lines of: “Well, I already have the original LPs, and the crystal box re-masters, and the digipak re-masters with extra tracks, and the “Complete Studio Recordings” box-set and the deluxe editions of “Arrival” and “The Album,” but this box-set looks so nice, I guess I’ll be getting this as well. It’ll be nice to have CD versions of the albums as they were originally released, without any extra tracks.” The previous CD re-masters ALREADY HAVE the original tracks in the original order contained within their track-lists (plus they’re at the end of the discs. They don’t “ruin the flow” of anything; they follow respectfully on after the flow)! Having trouble working the program function on a CD player?! I reckon given the choice, a new fan will always plump for the CD edition of an original LP that has the extra tracks on it, to include or exclude via CD programming, as they wish.

  15. molly meyer Says:

    i love abba when i was at school we did a project on anything and my title was amazing abba.

  16. Christian Says:

    In my case I bought this box set because I didn’t have the CDs, I once had all the Polydor ones, but they were stolen long ago, so this was a great chance to have all of them, with remastered sound and even with a booklet… and for only US$30.50 new, sealed. In my case, it wasn’t an unnecessary bought.

  17. JestaCat Says:

    Ok. . . I bought this box. Well, I put out hints until it was bought for me as a present. . . but I’ve not owned the albums before, until now, all I had is the DVD of Definitive Collection; so there definitely is a market for this box. However, now I realise that I should have asked for the blue box a few years back as it appears to have more (2 DVDs?) included and noting missing. Oh well. I’m happy with this box anyway 🙂

  18. Judith Says:

    Well, I am really happy, that I had the chance, to get now a complete collection of the albums. I was fed up with all those “best ofs”, because I have my own favorites. I don’t know yet all the songs, so it’s a wunderful gift for me!!

  19. Edwin Says:

    I’ve just bought today!
    I’m from Brazil and I love ABBA!

  20. Dana Says:

    I’m buying this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Hannah Says:

    I loved ABBA when I was a little kid!
    I’d love to buy this….

  22. Susan B Says:

    I bought it this week and it’s great to have all the albums, especially as I did not buy all the albums when I was younger. What is great about it though is that listening to some songs really took me back as I had not heard them since the original album came out. It was quite emotional and a rediscovery – a lovely box set to have.



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