Saturday, 1 December 2018

ABBA - ABBA Live At Wembley (1979)


  

Recorded at London's Wembley Arena in  November 1979, this live album (a comparative rarity from ABBA) finds them performing at the peak of their powers and popularity, to a sell-out, enthusiastic crowd. The sound quality is truly outstanding throughout, as is the musicianship from Bjorn, Benny and their top-notch band. Agnetha and Anni-Frid are on their usual harmonious and crystal clear vocal form.

TRACK LISTING

1. Gammal Fåboldpsalm
2. Voulez Vous
3. If It Wasn't For The Nights
4. As Good As New
5. Knowing Me, Knowing You
6. Rock Me
7. Chiquitita
8. Money Money Money
9. I Have A Dream
10. Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
11. S.O.S.
12. Fernando
13. The Name Of The Game
14. Eagle
15. Thank You For The Music
16. Why Did It Have To Be Me?
17. Intermezzo No. 1
18. I'm Still Alive
19. Summer Night City
20. Take A Chance On Me
21. Does Your Mother Know
22. Hole In Your Soul
23. The Way Old Friends Do
24. Dancing Queen
25. Waterloo

Now, I am not a fully paid-up ABBA fan, so to speak, but I have to own up to a liking for them, however uncool hat was as a punk in 1979. Still, I was in good company with Elvis Costello. I get this album out every now and again and play it through and it is just such a pleasurable experience. As well as all the hits, there are some interesting rarities (non-single album tracks) as well, such as "If It Wasn't For The Nights"; "As Good As New" (both from "Voulez Vous"); "Why Did It Have To Be Me" (from "Arrival"); "I'm Still Alive" (sung live here, but never recorded in the studio); "Hole In Your Soul" (From "ABBA: The Album"); and "Intermezzo No. 1" from "ABBA".

The great hits are all here, nearly all great, but the children's choir version of "I Have A Dream" is a huge chunk of Swedish cheese and I have to declare a loathing for "Does Your Mother Know". Those minor qibbles aside, it is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Nicely presented in a hardback CD cover too, with some excellent pictures from the gig, one of which, refreshingly, clearly shows Agnetha to be a true girl of the seventies. It's all in that blue jump suit shadow, you see.

B

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