20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABBA
Producer: Michael B. Tretow; Benny Andersson; Björn Ulvaeus; Bill Levenson (Compilation)...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Includes liner notes by Joseph F. Laredo. Digitally remastered by Jon Astley, Suha Gur & Michael B. Tretow (Universal Mastering Studios East). There's another ABBA revival every few years, and the Swedish superstars' entry in Universal's 20TH CENTURY MASTERS series benefited from being released at the same time that MAMMA MIA!, the Broadway-style musical based on old ABBA hits, was hitting the stage. This compilation, a solid set of 11 prime ABBA tunes, focuses largely on the foursome's early years. Euro-bubblegum classics like "Waterloo," "Mamma Mia," and "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" here take precedence over the moodier and more emotionally complex work of ABBA's later albums. True fans may be happier with the more comprehensive GOLD and MORE GOLD reissues from the mid-'90s, but this release will satisfy the casual listener.
Not many pop groups end up on postage stamps, as Abba has in its native Sweden; but then again, few groups become their homeland's most identifiable export. The group's stratospheric success was built on a foundation of buoyant, exquisitely arranged and produced pop music. Although they called it a day in the early 1980s, Abba lives on in the form of popular tribute bands and albums, a Broadway musical, and consistent record sales of their voluminous catalog.
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