ABBA’s never shied away from compilation albums, and if the two-disc The Definitive Collection is too expensive or too overwhelming a selection then Gold: Greatest Hits is the single-disc collection to own. At nineteen songs, this is the best of the best of the best of ABBA’s impressive run of singles.
Their debut album’s, Ring Ring, innocence and camp-adjacent material is ignored in favor of their gargantuan hits like “Fernando” and “Mamma Mia.” Chronological order is jettisoned in favor of a sequence that plays like a glorious concert setlist. We open with “Dancing Queen,” close with “Waterloo,” and find time to revisit all the beloved staples in-between (“Take a Chance on Me,” “Lay All Your Love on Me”).
Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad provide the ice and fire vocals, and frequently harmonize into something absolutely transcendent. While Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus do the heavy-lifting of writing the material and producing it into a smooth finish. What emerges is how masterful their vision of pop music was and remains.
ABBA’s legacy languished post-The Visitors, their final studio recording, and Gold launched them back into pop cultural prominence and placement within the canon. Shimmery and finely crafted, Gold: Greatest Hits is the purest distillation of the agonies and ecstasies of these Swedish pop masterminds. They earn the golden crown emblazoned on the cover.
DOWNLOAD: “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” “Dancing Queen,” “The Winner Takes It All”