Abba Gold - 33⅓

Elisabeth Vincentelli
Audiobook read by Christina Moore

Starting a song with the chorus is the equivalent of drawing your gun too early in a shoot-out, of revealing your hand too hastily in a poker game: Once you’ve given everything you have, where’s the pay off? And yet “Dancing Queen” doesn’t flag after its flamboyant beginning: The chorus acts as both teaser and pay off. Ironically for a band that was supposed to be a bunch of control freaks with a solution to every technical or musical conundrum, it later surfaced that “Dancing Queen” starts with the chorus because Abba just couldn’t figure out how to make it work any other way.

Perhaps more than any other Greatest Hits compilation, Abba Gold has come to define a band’s career in one disc. More than that, its release in 1992 heralded the critical rehabilitation of a group which had, since its demise a decade earlier, become little more than a memory of trashy costumes and cheesy tunes to many people. Here, Elisabeth Vincentelli charts the circumstances surrounding the birth of Abba Gold, looks at the impact it had on the music world, and tells the stories behind some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded.

First published USA March 2004/UK May 2004.
Audiobook released iTunes 6 April 2009.

Review

33 1/3 - Abba Gold


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