THE BARGAIN BUY: Abba; 4 Original Albums (Polar)

 |   |  1 min read

Abba: Happy Hawaii
THE BARGAIN BUY: Abba; 4 Original Albums (Polar)

To be honest, I didn't get the appeal of Abba (beyond the obvious pop hooks) until the darkness in some of their songs was explained to me by Chris Knox -- whom I had never taken to have had much interest in them. I was wrong and he was enthusiastic -- and I still don't fully get it.

Certainly you can scan their song titles and get melancholy (Another Town Another Train, Disillusion, People Need Love, Love isn't Easy and I Am Just a Girl were all on the Ring Ring album, the title track of which someone once told me was about a hooker . . . but that's just crazy talk.)

And you can also take your hat off to their songwriting craft. Writing a hit single isn't as simple as many think (if you think it, then just have a go) and these people were a tank-machine when it came to chart damage.

So yes, Abba have a lot more going for them than perhaps I ever gave credit, but there is also a lot of Euro-pop filler on their albums. Equally however there are songs scattered about which you are surprised others haven't covered, and not as pop songs but as kind of morose alt.folk. The lyrics -- as Mr Knox insisted -- can be rather glum.

My sole Abba album wasn't the famous Arrival album ( and what's with When I Kissed the Teacher on that one? Can we still do that?) but just some Greatest Hits thing which got badly damaged through overplay at parties . . . which tells you something I guess.

JB_HZ_CHEAP_longBut at just $20 at JB Hi-Fi stores here this four-disc collection of Abba mops up just about everything you needed to know at a very accessible price.

And that is why, against the odds, this set in a flip-top card box joins the very looooong list of Bargain Buy albums. 

Share It

Your Comments

Mikey - Sep 1, 2011

Great review - a joy to read. Not sure i'd buy the album, but the review gave me pause for thought. Keep it up Graham

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Neville Brothers; Greatest Hits (A&M)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Neville Brothers; Greatest Hits (A&M)

Everybody should have at least one Neville Brothers album at home to conjure up the spirit of Nawlins, but which one? The Treacherous collection from '86 (possibly out of print, do a search,... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Best of the Proclaimers

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Best of the Proclaimers

Although in our interview with Craig Reid of Scotland's Proclaimers we acclaim their most recent album Let's Hear It For the Dogs, he and we freely concede most people only know them for one or two... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jeff Kelly of Green Pajamas

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Jeff Kelly of Green Pajamas

Jeff Kelly from Seattle has made some of the most eerily beautiful and economic psychedelic pop-rock with his long-running band Green Pajamas although his reputation travels below the radar and... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LAIBACH (2013): The politics of noise

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LAIBACH (2013): The politics of noise

Out of the old Yugoslavia in the early Eighties they came, their industrial sound grinding like tank tracks across the earwaves of Europe, their look unacceptably miltaristic, their irony... > Read more