The Music Still Goes On

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By 1996, 14 years after ABBA's demise, there had been plenty of compilations released in the U.S. and Europe -- Greatest Hits (1976), Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (1979), The Singles (The First Ten Years) (1982), Gold -- Greatest Hits (1992), and More ABBA Gold -- More ABBA Hits (1993), to name only the major ones. This was one of the minor ones, and its compilers seemed to be trying to avoid the obvious hits that had been covered in so many previous collections, instead picking tracks that might have been released as singles in some territories, even if they were not the major single releases sanctioned by the group's Swedish label, or album tracks. The major exception, and the album's most familiar song, was the lead-off track, "Does Your Mother Know," a rare ABBA single that featured Björn Ulvaeus rather than Anni-Frid Lyngstad or Agnetha Faltskog on lead vocals, but one that made the U.K. Top Five and the U.S. Top 20. More typical were "On and on and On," a hit in the Far East and a chart entry in the U.S., but never released as a single in Europe, and "The Visitors," which only the band's American record company deemed fit for single release. And nine of the 16 tracks were drawn solely from the group's albums, few of them ranking among their best efforts. The result was a hodgepodge collection that might have some appeal for fans who had absorbed a couple of the hits collections, but didn't want to buy each individual album. As a stand-alone collection of ABBA music, however, it wasn't very effective.

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