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 Jam, All Mod Cons and Setting Sons

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Jam, All Mod Cons and Setting Sons

By the time of their third album All Mod Cons (their third in a little over 18 months), the Jam's Paul Weller had really hit his straps as a songwriter. Where their previous two albums had gone off... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours

THE BARGAIN BUY: Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours

As with jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk who had complex careers, so too Frank Sinatra poses a problem for beginners. Where to start? Let's make it simple.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MURRAY VAILE catches up with expat singer-songwriter Bannerman in Berlin

GUEST WRITER MURRAY VAILE catches up with expat singer-songwriter Bannerman in Berlin

Last year I was fortunate to catch Bannerman playing in support of Tiny Ruins and doubly fortunate to catch them again in Berlin this year, headlining their own show. I thought they offered a... > Read more

In and Out of Fashion: The Style Council Deliberates

In and Out of Fashion: The Style Council Deliberates

When Auckland model Renata and actress Alicia-Anne Crawford stepped out last week at Une Enveloppe to announce the opening of "Fashion Month'' -- Blair Trader's new eatery on Auckland's... > Read more