ABBA

The Albums

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The 2008 nine-disc box Albums is neither the first ABBA multi-disc set nor the first time the pop group's albums have been collected and housed in a box set, but it is the first time a set of their complete recordings has been widely disseminated (such are the perks of being a companion to an international blockbuster) and it's the best of the lot, containing all eight of the group's albums (for the record: Ring Ring, Waterloo, ABBA, Arrival, The Album, Voulez-Vous, Super Trouper, The Visitors), plus a 17-track rarities disc that rounds up non-LP singles (including "Fernando" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"), songs sung in Swedish, and plain oddities like a medley of the American folk songs "Pick a Bale of Cotton," "On Top of Old Smokey," and "Midnight Special." There's only one hitch: all of ABBA's albums were remastered and reissued with bonus tracks in 2001, bonus tracks that essentially cover all the songs on the rarities disc, and the remastering is not notably different, if it is different at all, so fans who already replaced their initial CDs may not have a need to get this new box -- but anybody who hasn't gotten around to either upgrading their ABBA collection, or has never had one to begin with, can get it all here.

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