The Universal truth | 17 May 2011
If you were an ABBA fan in the seventies, then you will remember the harsh, ABBA-less, eighties. It was definitely not cool to be an ABBA fan then and record companies fully agreed. Not much happened on the ABBA front.
In the nineties things went better. With ABBA Gold, the first real ABBA revival began and record companies suddenly became aware that ABBA was still a popgroup that could make them rich. And they even started thinking about their hardcore fan base. So they released More Gold with the previously unavailable I Am The City.
A year later fans were treated with the 4 CD box set Thank You For The Music. With lots of interesting tracks, outtakes and demos. In 1997 the first series of remasters saw the light of day, but unfortunately these remasters were not as good as everyone hoped.
Then Universal took over and started reorganizing ABBAï¿½s catalogue. Initially they made sure that every single country couldnï¿½t release their own compilations anymore. Their goal obviously was to re-establish ABBA as a worldwide brand. And I think they succeeded.
More importantly: for diehard fans and collectors such as myself, Universal has done a lot to make the ABBA catalogue a continuing source of income. In the last decade they created numerous interesting releases.
Universal gave us:
CDs with newly remastered tracks (in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2011),
Deluxe editions of the regular albums that included DVDs with previously unreleased video material,
Box sets, for instance the fabulous blue fluffy box
Interesting DVDs, such as the Definitive Collection and, best of all, ABBA in Japan
The Movie in its full glory on bluRay
Then there is the eternal stream of ABBA Gold rereleases, sometimes including just one extra track on CD or DVD that was never ever released before.
We could conclude that, at last, Universal started caring for the true fans. It took them two decades, but nowadays the fans are treated the way they want to be treated: with respect.
Of course we fans have lots of wishes: full live concerts of the 1977 and 1979 tours on CD or DVD for instance. Universal could make us very happy when they would release that. And I am sure they would love to do that. But in the end itï¿½s up to A, B, B and A to say yes to those releases.
It would be about time that a true and brilliant live album would be added to the ABBA catalogue. So it might be a good idea to keep asking for such a release.
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