ABBA

Thank You for the Music [Box]

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Released in Europe in October 1994 and in the U.S. six months later, Thank You for the Music is the ABBA box set retrospective, tracing their ten years of record-making, 1972-1982, including 52 previously released tracks on the first three discs, plus a fourth disc of rarities. Listening to all the singles, plus scattered album tracks and B-sides, provides a clear picture of the group's development. Early on, there is considerable stylistic experimentation, as these pop dabblers ape everything from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound rock to big-band swing. But after "Dancing Queen," they find their niche in disco, and the second disc is loaded with hit songs anchored to the familiar bass-heavy walking beat and swooping synths-meant-to-sound-like-strings that defined that most '70s genres. On the third disc, covering their last years, ABBA returns to the more propulsive pop/rock of early classics like "SOS" and "Mamma Mia," revving up the tempo in acknowledgment of the arrival of new wave. Wracked by romantic discord, they also achieve somewhat more meaningful lyrics before calling it a day. In the album's liner notes, the bandmembers register mild protest at the inclusion of unreleased material on the fourth disc -- what they finished and liked, they released, they note. Fair warning. Most prominent in a collection of alternate takes, miscellaneous B-sides, foreign-language recordings, and TV soundtracks is the 23-and-a-half-minute "ABBA Undeleted," a medley of 15 song fragments and Swedish studio chatter that suggests ABBA had a few more hits in them if they had found the time to finish them off. Nevertheless, this remains fan-only material. [This album is not to be confused with the 1983 compilation of the same title released by Epic Records in the U.K.]

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:46 Amazon
2 3:13 Amazon
3 3:19 Amazon
4 2:55 Amazon
5 3:02 Amazon
6 2:44 Amazon
7 3:09 Amazon
8 2:56 Amazon
9 3:12 Amazon
10 3:05 Amazon
11 3:38 Amazon
12 3:17 Amazon
13 3:21 Amazon
14 3:32 Amazon
15 4:11
16 3:50 Amazon
17 3:16 Amazon
18 3:03 Amazon
19 3:08 Amazon
20 3:49 Amazon
21 3:53
blue highlight denotes track pick