Posts Tagged ‘Super Trouper’

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.

Happy New Year’s vision of the future

30 May, 2011

‘Happy New Year’ is a song that frustrates many ABBA fans. They want to play it at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but feel that the third verse statement “what lies waiting down the line/in the end of Eighty-Nine” dates the song and spoils the sentiment.

However ABBA’s ‘Happy New Year’ isn’t a song that was made to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Rather it is a relfection typical of the new year period on what’s happened in the past and what’s coming in the future.

What’s astounding about the song is how prescient it was in making the reference to what was waiting at down the line.  In 1980, when ‘Happy New Year’ was composed and recorded, the Cold War between east and west was raging, symbolised when many countries boycotted the Olympic Games in Moscow. The Islamic Revolution in Iran a year earlier added to already high tensions in the Middle East. Polution was a growing concern.

Yet just ten years later, by the “end of Eighty-Nine” the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Cold War was effectively over. There was a general feeling that the world was becoming a better place. At least for a while.

Super Trouper Deluxe Edition

11 March, 2011

A couple of weeks ago ABBA fans everywhere erupted with excitement and anticipation when this announcement about the forthcoming Super Trouper Deluxe Edition was made.

A week later many dreams came when the contents were announced. Most of the contents had already been guessed by fans on various forums, though there were a couple of surprises that no one could have anticipated.

Alongside the expected CD bonus tracks is the previously unreleased stereo mix of the long version of ‘On And On And On’, with an additional verse and chorus not heard when the songs was released on Super Trouper in 1980. The mono mix has appeared on various VHS and DVD releases, and on CD in the 2005 box set The Complete Recording Sessions.

The DVD includes many expected items – German TV appearances of several Super Trouper tracks and the special Words and Music. Completely unexpected is a brand-new featurette Somewhere In The Crowd There’s You – On Location With ABBA, with footage filmed on the night the elaborate album sleeve was photographed.

As always there are some who have called the selections “boring” and “nothing new”. I don’t know how they can say that, with one all-new audio track fans have been clamouring after for 30 years, and 15 minutes of never-before-seen footage. I guess there’s no pleasing some people. Happily most fans seem happy with the content, with many already calling this the best ABBA Deluxe Edition ever!

For more about the background of the Super Trouper Deluxe Edition see here. It is released on May 9.

It was 40 years ago today…

1 June, 2007

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band   Super Trouper

… that The Beatles landmark album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.

Sgt. Pepper has, for all the years since 1967, been considered by music critics and music fans as a peak of pop/rock music, something for all other artists to aspire to.  It was the album that changed the focus of popular music from the single to the album, that lasted up to the download era of the Naughties.

Björn and Benny have both said that The Beatles, particularly the song-writing partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, inspired them first individually, and then together, to compose their own songs.

In some interviews in the 1970s, Björn and Benny had said that many expected them to create their own Sgt. Pepper with each next ABBA album.

There are a remarkable number of similarities between Sgt. Pepper and ABBA’s Super Trouper album:

  • Both front covers show the group surrounded by a crowd – The Beatles, by life-size cut-outs of various friends and heroes; ABBA, by friends and circus performers.
  • Both album covers involved elaborate staging.
  • Both title tracks refer to a band performance.
  • Both title tracks cast a thematic aura over the whole album.
  • Both albums have several songs with a nostalgic air.
  • Both albums have the final two tracks cross-faded as a “grand finale”.
  • Both have sound continuing into the run-out groove, so that those whose record players didn’t have automatic lifting arms would hear sound infinitely (on Sgt. Pepper, specially recorded gibberish; on Super Trouper, the applause following ‘The Way Old Friends Do’). [the CD of Sgt. Pepper recreates this effect; no CD version of Super Trouper does this]
  • Both albums came at the popular peak of each group’s career. Afterwards, both groups fell into a downward spiral.
  • Both albums were each group’s first after their final concert tours.
  • Both are considered by many fans and critics as the group’s finest achievement.

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