Posts Tagged ‘Live at Wembley Arena’

Two new ABBA box sets

17 September, 2022

Two new ABBA CD box sets have recently appeared in Europe, separate from the CD box set released internationally in May through Universal Music. Both collect ABBA’s nine studio albums, plus the Live at Wembley Arena double CD and the DVD The Essential Collection.

Unusually, these are not available in music stores, but through newsagents. Each individual album is released one per week.

Each disc is packaged in a bi-fold cardboard sleeve. The eight original studio albums copy the 2001 remasters, with the same bonus tracks and booklets. However the cover artwork replicates the original albums.

The first set is available in Spain through the newspaper El País. The first disc, Ring Ring, was available on 12 June, along with the box to contain the full set. The studio albums were released chronologically, followed by the live album and the DVD. The final disc was released on 21 August. All discs are available individually online, as is the full box set. However, one must be a residen of Spain to purchase.

The second set is available in Italy through direct marketers Mondadori per te. The first disc, ABBA, is available from 26 August, and comes with the box. Each disc comes with the original 2001 booklet plus a new booklet in Italian. Like the Spanish set, one disc is released per week, but in a different order: ABBA, Arrival, Voulez-Vous, Voyage, Waterloo, Super Trouper, ABBA – The Album, Ring Ring, Live at Wembley Arena, The Visitors, and The Definitive Collection. Each is also available online, a week after release. Also like the Spanish set, this is only available to residents of Italy. Unlike the Spanish set, it appears the full box set isn’t available online, only the individual discs.

So, if you don’t live in Spain or Italy and are wanting to get these sets, you’ll have to contact friends in those countries.

ABBA Live at Wembley Arena

5 July, 2014

ABBA Live at Wembley Arena (photo: Bengans)One of the most highly anticipated new ABBA releases in 2014 is ABBA Live at Wembley Arena.

ABBA had originally planned to release a live album from the 1979 tour in 1980, but canned the idea claiming that the tracklist would be too similar to the recently-released Greatest Hits Vol. 2 album.

Live at Wembley Arena will feature one entire concert, recorded on November 10th 1979, ABBA’s final night of five at the London venue. However, it excludes the guest spot from backing singer Tomas Ledin, who sang his solo hit ‘Not Bad At All’ in an attempt by Polar Music to introduce the singer to the wider world.

The cover was revealed slowly over the course of a few days in late June on ABBA’s official Instagram page. Instantly fans were expressing their opinion on all the ABBA online forums, even when all that was seen was the lower right corner. The most common discussions have been the origin of the photo (taken at one of the US concerts in September, rather than at Wembley Arena), the placement of the album title, and even complaining at the omission of ‘Not Bad At All’, though most of them don’t actually like the song or the singer!

But to the excitement of all fans, the album includes the unreleased song ‘I’m Still Alive’, written by Agnetha with lyrics by Bjorn, performed solo by Agnetha at the piano. Rumour has it the song will also be released as a single, though there doesn’t seem much point, aside from the publicity angle of the previously-unreleased song.

ABBA on stage, 1979Rather curiously, the front cover is a colorized version of a well-known photo from Anders Hanser. It’s a quite dynamic and active cover, not at all like most people expected (obviously, judging by the continuing online comments). Thankfully it’s not the overused photo that first appeared on the ‘I Have A Dream’ single sleeve in December 1979.

Live At Wembley Arena will be released on 25 September 2014 on double CD, download, and triple LP. There has been talk that the download version will have an exclusive 15 minutes of material recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London on ABBA’s 1977 tour, but this has not been confirmed.

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