Overkill | 19 May 2004

Year after year ABBA fans saw zero releases or at the most a number that was close to zero. This year alone, the sheer number of releases and re-releases is incredible. Maybe even too much?

When Universal Music in Sweden took control over the ABBA catalogue, a lot of work needed to be done. The shabby 1997 remasters had to be dealt with and the lack of a consequent international release policy was evident.

It has to be said that Universal Sweden has done a good job in reinstating ABBA's back catalogue. They re-released every single album, came up with great artwork and booklets (thanks to Carl Magnus Palm) and that hard work paid off. The new DVD market was "attacked" by the superb DVD "The Definitive Collection" and now we also have the "In Concert" DVD. Obviously the next important release will be "ABBA The Movie". And after that we will have all major ABBA releases, repackaged in a great style.

But with the entire back catalogue being re-released there still seems to be room for more releases. Like the Sound and Vision sets; a CD + DVD in a deluxe box. There is Gold in its umpteenth version, The Definitive collection, Waterloo and even Arrival and ABBA.

You might wonder what is Universal thinking? Why on earth would we all want these releases at the exact same moment? And there's more: In the UK the Waterloo single has been re-released in three different formats and also in the UK a new Gold version has seen the light of day. And there's another Mamma Mia musical CD. Why oh why should we want those products?

I can understand the international 30th anniversary rerelease of Waterloo. This Sound and Vision box contains new official material. There are four different tv performances on it. In fact it's a FAB release that every fan should have. I also love the "In concert" DVD. Great quality and value for money.

But all the other new ABBA stuff? Hmmm. I don't like them at all. And I doubt that these products actually sell. The average fan doesn't want to spend a fortune in 2004 for a bunch of new and yet old releases. I think that Universal made a BIG mistake by creating all those new items. They should have sticked tyo their policy by creating true new releases. And they should have spread these releases over the year. I assume that every marketing student will tell you that flooding the market with items is not exactly the smartest thing to do.

But wait! There's even more. Because we haven't discussed the new Agnetha album and consequent singles yet. I know that Agnetha has been signed to another company. But with so many ABBA and Agnetha releases it is hard for ABBA fans to keep up.

So, dear record companies, please stick to only a few releases every year. I've come to the point where I don't want to spend a single cent on ABBA. I'm simply getting too old for this shit.

picture belonging to column Overkill

All editorials:
At last
What if?
The Visitors Revisited
CMP 2.0
Moving on
The Wembley album
Songs Of Innocence
What's left?
Once in a lifetime
My, my, at Waterloo
Money, Money, Money
In the year 2025
The Agnetha year
The Holy Grail
ABBA The Museum
The Visitors: 2 million and counting
Finally I listened to A
It Was Thirty Years Ago Today
A Regime Change?
Not So Happy New Year
Oh not again
The Universal truth
The Winner Takes It All
Crisis? What crisis?
Hall of Fame
ABBAWORLD – Count me in
Kristina - The verdict
I am a snob
All those years ago
Story of a heart
ABBA for sale
No more awards please!
A big cheer
The museum
The worst of ABBA
The birth of a myth
ABBA on eBay
Casting a shadow
Givin' a little bit more – yeah right
So long
Dum Dum Diddle
The ABBA clothes
1976 - The point of no return
Number One - at last
The end of the rainbow
No more champagne
Creating a bootleg
The history book on the shelf
A sense of pride
If you change your mind
Goodbye Polar Studios
A single line
True Colours
I have a dream
The heat is on
ABBA Naked
Happy new year
Just like what?
Mamma bloody Mia!


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