ABBA were one of the first pop groups to exploit the promotional video as a vehicle for publicising their music across the globe. ABBA--The Definitive Collection provides an audio-visual timeline of how their promos developed over a 10-year period from the mid-1970s to the early 80s. The first ABBA videos were simple recordings of the band miming to their songs in a studio ("Waterloo" and "Ring Ring"); then, for "Mamma Mia" and "SOS", the style was replaced by something more adventurous, focusing on the four grouped together in rival pairs. As technology and the group... evolved so did their promo films, with more recent examples shot on videotape and incorporating post-production special effects and outdoor locations ("One Of Us" and "Head over Heels"). Director Lasse Hallstrom has since made the transition from these relatively low-budget vehicles to Hollywood success with Chocolat and The Shipping News. If ABBAs early efforts look a little primitive compared to big-budget modern music promos, the songs themselves now sound even better than ever, having been digitally re-mastered in 24-bit format. As well as featuring the digitally re-mastered promos for the majority of their single releases, exclusive previously unreleased material is also incorporated here, such as the extended original mix of "On and On and On". On the DVD: ABBA--The Definitive Collection on DVD squeezes in all 30 videos, plus five bonus tracks which include the promos for the Spanish-language versions of "I Have a Dream", "Happy New Year" and "When All is Said and Done". The video for the never released "When I Kissed the Teacher" is also included, too, as is a camp recording of "Dancing Queen" filmed at a gala tribute for Swedens King and Queen. The 20-minute picture gallery is an excellent and comprehensive photographic record of the group through the years. Background information about all of the material, is discussed in the accompanying biographical booklet.--John Galilee [show more]
Here it is ~ the ultimate pop compilation from the ultimate pop group.
From track one to track 35 (yes, that's right ~ 35), this is pure, unabashed
quality. All the hits are included, plus a few choice album tracks and some
fascinating foreign language versions. All in all, a DVD to die for.
There's an appealing joyousness about the early tunes ("Waterloo", "Mamma Mia",
etc), while the later, more sophisticated tracks ("The Winner Takes It All",
"One of Us"), are testament to the awesome songwriting abilities of Benny and
Bjorn. Even the final, less successful singles ("Head Over Heels", "The Day
Before You Came") are of considerable merit and worthy of anyone's attention.
Of course, the beauty of this collection is that you get to see the band as
well as hear them. For the guys out there, there will never be enough videos
of Agnetha and Frida. And for the girls... well, Benny's beard is something
to marvel at!
Abba were masters of the video as well as the record, and thus "The Definitive Collection" is a classic compilation that will disappoint no-one wise enough to pay £10.99 upwards for it. It's just wonderful to see the young foursome having such innocent fun in front of the camera during the brilliant "Bang-a-Boomerang". And while there's a tangible sadness about some of the latter clips (note the solemnity of "Under Attack"), they are still highly
A must-have not only for Abba fans, but also for those curious to learn more
about this enduring phenomenom.
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