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ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits (1992) — ABBA

a classic. one of my core memories is associated with this album. my wonderfully kind and eccentric fifth grade english teacher would have us take breaks when she felt the class getting too bored with the lesson and would play Dancing Queen and teach us a dance to it that she'd make us all perform at random points throughout the year.

i bought this from goodwill! i love browsing through their music selection. they mostly have christmas music or like... vague coffee shop music but if i'm lucky i find something good. the following scans are from the booklet. a little bit of abba history and some cool photo collages!

Text reads: Perhaps mainly due to English being the only universal language of pop and rock, the vast majority of classic modern popular music has been made by either British or American acts, yet one of the most enduring and successful groups of all time came from Sweden, where English is a foreign language. We're talking about Abba, of course. who dominated charts for around eight years. and whose musical heritage remains very familiar despite the passing of time. 'Abba-esque', the EP by Erasure of Abba cover versions which topped the UK chart in 1992, and the very popular 'copy' groups with acts based on Abba's music, are just some indication of the continuing influence of the quartet who were second only to Volvo as Sweden's biggest export earners for several years, and who remain revered and legendary as one of the most accomplished pop/rock groups ever. Their story was obviously unique – two Swedish rock stars, Björn Ulvaeus, singer and guitarist from The Hootenanny Singers, and his keyboard playing friend Benny Andersson from The Hep Stars (known as The Swedish Beatles“ they .even set up Hep House, their equivalent of the ill-fated Apple Corps) formed Abba with Björn 's wife, Agnetha Faltskog, a beautiful blonde in her early twenties, and Benny's girl friend, dark haired siren An ni-Fri d 'Frida'Lynggtad, a Norwegian-born singer who fronted her own band and, like Agnetha, had made several big-selling albums in Sweden. They were all managed by a music business entrepreneur named Stig Anderson (unrelated to Benny, their surnames are spelt differently). Benny and Björn wrote good songs together, and in 1972, they recorded one of these compositions which became widely known in America without quite making the chart. The track used Anni-Frid and Agnetha as backing vocalists, and on the strength of its unexpected international appeal, the quartet were invited to submit a song for the Swedish 'Song For Europe' contest. The winner would represent Sweden in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, and Abba, as they now called themselves, produced a song with English lyrics which was clearly superior to the other entries, but which the judging panel of so-called Swedish musical 'experts' placed only third . So no Eurovision that year, but Stig decided to immediately start planning for the 1974 contest. especially as there had been such an outcry in Sweden about the 'experts'. As a result of which, a completely new method of Eurovision selection would be used in tutu re . Abba's song for 1 974 was 'Waterloo', which effortlessly wiped out all Swedish opposition and then swept the board at the Eurovision Contest proper in Brighton, England. An upbeat song comparing a romance with Napoleon's defeat at the famous historical battle, it entranced the international jury, especially as the group were backed by an orchestra whose conductor wore an instantly recognizable Napoleonic hat. Released as a single, 'Waterloo' topped charts around the world, also making the US Top 10, and Abba (a word composed of the initial letters of the quartet's first names) were on their way. It is regrettably true to say that non-British winners of the Eurovision Song Contest rarely return to the UK charts and a virtual stigma has developed in Britain about nonBritish Eurovision winners. Quite possibly, Abba were unknowing victims of this negative thinking and immediate follow-up singles were less successful. In 1975, the quartet returned to the UK Top 10 with 'S.O.S', a song which confirmed their international appeal by topping the charts in countries as disparate as West Germany and Australia, as well as again penetrating the US Top 20. With both the 'Waterloo' and 'Abba' albums selling well enough to make the UK chart, Abba were poised to explode, which is exactly what they did. Between December 1975, and February 1978, seven Abba singles were released in Britain, of which six topped the chart and the seventh peaked at Number Three. Not that such remarkable domination ended there. because in the second half of the decade, 13 Abba single releases reached the UK top 5 – that's a hit every 20 weeks on average for a full five years, while five of their albums topped the UK chart. No other act in that period even approached the 35 weeks Abba accumulated at Number One in the album chart. and they successfully outsold every punk rock, New Wave and disco act of the time, although comparatively little was written about them in the press. It wasn't a question of journalists not wanting to praise them, but more that Abba had very little time for the media because if they weren't recording new smash hits, then they were flying all over the world for promotion and personal appearances Most of those 13 hits remain instantly recognizable, especially 'Dancing Queen which Abba performed in 1976 at the wedding reception celebrating the marriage of the King of Sweden to Silvia Sommerlath Probably their biggest ever single, it not only topped the chart for six weeks in Britain. but also in numerous other countries, including Australia. Germany, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand and most importantly, the USA. All the group's original material, including such familiar chart toppers as 'Mamma Mia' (another German No. 1) 'Fernando' (which reached the US Top 20, and topped the charts in countries as far apart as Holland and Australia), 'Knowing Me,Knowing You' (yet another No. 1 in Germany), 'The Name of The Game' and 'Take A Chance On Me'. was written and produced by Benny and Björn, although Stig Anderson occasionally lent a hand on the lyrics of a few of these pop classics In 1977, just as 'Knowing Me, Knowing...