Wednesday, August 22, 2012

180 The definitive collection. A hell of a lot Abba.

Album: The Definitive Collection
Artist: Abba
Genre: Pop
Year: 2001


  1. People Need Love
  2. He is Your Brother
  3. Ring Ring
  4. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)
  5. Waterloo
  6. Honey, Honey
  7. So Long
  8. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  9. SOS
  10. Mamma Mia
  11. Fernando
  12. Dancing Queen
  13. Money, Money, Money
  14. Knowing Me, Knowing You
  15. The Name of the Game
  16. Take a Chance on Me
  17. Eagle
  18. Summer Night City
  19. Chiquitita
  20. Does Your Mother Know
  21. Rock Me
  22. Hasta MaƱana
  1. Voulez-Vous
  2. Angeleyes
  3. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
  4. I Have a Dream
  5. The Winner Takes It All
  6. Super Trouper
  7. On and On and On
  8. Lay All Your Love on Me
  9. One of Us
  10. When All Is Said and Done
  11. Head Over Heels
  12. The Visitors
  13. The Day Before You Came
  14. Under Attack
  15. Thank You for the Music
When I started this blog I made a commitment to listen to every album four times. If the first listen made me want to bang my head on the desk in frustration and pray for blessed deafness I would still persist and listen three more times in the hope that hidden joys would emerge amidst the pain. If the album was one I'd heard a million times before I would still give it four more listens in order to appreciate the album and try and articulate why I loved it so much. Every album- four listens. That was the rule.

But come on... two full discs of Abba? Two CD's full of music which I know full well I can't stand. Four repeats means hours of forgoing listening that I adore in order to dedicate myself to an experience that I know for a fact will be agonizing, torturous and soul-destroying. Hours spent with clenched fists and a volume level cranked to maximum so I can hear music I hate over the sound of my own grinding teeth.

I know all these songs. I've endured Dancing Queen at wedding receptions; I've sat in doctor's waiting rooms feeling my infection gain strength and resolve thanks to The Winner Takes It All; I've heard snatches of Money Money every damn time a TV current affairs programs shows stacks of cash for some reason; I can't actually recall why I keep hearing Thank You For The Music but I do know I can sing pretty much every word despite never voluntarily turning it on.

Did you honestly think I was going to listen to a double disc Abba compilation eight times in order to write this? What did you think I'd discover? Scorching lead guitar breaks I'd previously never noticed? A few songs from Abba's little-known blues-jam period? A quiet ballad with a lone acoustic guitar and low-key production?

But a promise is a promise and a commitment is a commitment. I'll leave it to you to decide whether I'm typing this at the tail end of hours of Abba or just hurling it out without ever having endured a note. The fact remains that Abba is over-produced, synthesised girly pop of the most irritating kind. The fact that it's so hard to escape from makes it all the more annoying.

Influenced by: Snow.
Influenced: Wedding receptions.

Highlight: The fact they've never reunited
Lowlight: Their reluctance to deny anyone the rights to their music.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Comprised of four good-looking yet sinister Europeans, ABBA (taken from the name of a Nordic rune meaning "My boat is leaking"), received their questionable start by winning a European talent contest."

-Hang on. Sinister? I'm not the biggest Abba fan as you may have noticed but even I wouldn't call them sinister. And what's this about the leaking boat? Abba is an acronym made up of their first names surely? My boat is leaking? What the hell is that about?

So could you listen to this four times? Let me know below.

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