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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What EXACTLY you're getting with this complete boxed set
As a long time fan of Abba, I purchased the original import releases of all of their albums years ago, along with Greatest Hits volulme 2 for Gimme Gimme Gimme and Summer Night City. Then, I had to supplement. I bought More Abba Gold to get "I Am The City". I bought the "Thank You for the Music" boxed set to get a whole load of previously unreleased tracks. I RE-bought...
Published on January 7, 2006 by Daniel W. Kelly

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice post christmas gift but...
Like any other fan, I waited for this set with great anticipation. when the name "masters of audio sweden" appeared in the mastering credits, i felt my enthusiasm was doused cold; they were the same guys that botched up the initial pressings of frida's "something's going on" and Agnetha Faltskog's "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" 2005 remasters. I was hoping for the best, but...
Published on January 4, 2006 by James Tg Fuentes


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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What EXACTLY you're getting with this complete boxed set, January 7, 2006
By 
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This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
As a long time fan of Abba, I purchased the original import releases of all of their albums years ago, along with Greatest Hits volulme 2 for Gimme Gimme Gimme and Summer Night City. Then, I had to supplement. I bought More Abba Gold to get "I Am The City". I bought the "Thank You for the Music" boxed set to get a whole load of previously unreleased tracks. I RE-bought the domestic release of Voulez Vous to get the original version of "Lovelight." I bought the Definitive Collection to get the 12" of Voulez Vous. Now-I've gotten rid of ALL of that, because it's ALL on here, and the remastering sounds better than ever, even on their very first albums.

As for the packaging-the CDs are made to look like vinyl LPs, and they are black coated, so the bottoms of the discs look like Playstation 1 games if you've ever seen one of those. The box itself is a soft velvety sky blue with a pull off top. Inside, there are slots for the 9 CDs, 2 DVDs, a hardcover book of liner notes for all the CDs, and a hardcover booklet with lyrics for every single song on every disc. There are actually MORE slots than components, so the box is bigger than it needs to be, but you can at least space your discs apart to get them out easier. Each of the 8 ABBA albums comes in mini cardboard record sleeves, with the art work from the original LP on front and back. Inside, each disc is in a clear plastic slip case, and there's a single sheet insert with the track info for that disc. Unfortunately, since this box is set up so that each of the 8 albums includes all the bonus tracks recorded at the period of that album's release, the original artwork on the disc sleeves does not list the bonus tracks, so you either have to remove the insert or use the hardcover book to reference them.

The ninth CD is all the bonus material, unreleased tracks, long versions and extended versions. And here's where you find the only two big disappointments. A previously unreleased alternate mix of Waterloo is included-but as the liner notes state, it's mastered from vinyl because the original master couldn't be found-and it sounds like it. But the BIGGEST disappointment is that for the first time ever, the long version of "On and On and On" is included-but a stereo master was unavailable, so a MONO source was used. And considering this is such a clean, bass heavy dance track, the mono is painfully shrill and dull. Bummer. This version features an added bridge of lyrics and an extended fade at the end. Maybe someday a stereo master will be found, and we'll have to do supplementing once again with a future "Ultimate Abba Collection with one previously unreleased track!"

And don't forget-unless you have an all region DVD player, you won't be able to play the 2 overseas DVDs.

Bottom line: hardcore fans should not HESITATE to get ALL their Abba all in one place.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need a clarification from the sellers about which edition this is., December 9, 2005
By 
Philip A.Cohen (Bay Harbor Islands, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
I think that it's important for all the sellers of this 9-CD + 2-DVD set to clarify about which pressing that they're offering:the European import with PAL format DVD's or the Canadian pressing with NTSC format DVD's.As for the CD's,fan feedback on the official ABBA website has been quite favorable concerning sound quality.As for the DVD's,they're a not quite complete collection of the group's promo videos("When I kissed The Teacher" from "More ABBA Gold" is omitted for unknown reasons).As for the live performances from the "Dick Cavett Meets ABBA" T.V. special,only 5 of them are included,because,supposedly the rest no longer exist in Swedish T.V. archives.Actually,the complete performance was once released on Japanese VHS(By "Shochiku Home Video") as part of a program called "Dancing Queen",so the footage defintely DOES exist.And as for the CD's many fans are still frustrated by not getting a complete release of the widely(but poorly) bootlegged song "Just Like That"(though an excerpt appears as part of "ABBA Undeleted").
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flash: Universal almost gets it right!, April 26, 2006
By 
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
The remastering of ABBA's music (supposedly from original analogue tapes) on this mammoth box set is the best I've ever heard - there is a transparency and depth missing from even the recent 24-bit remasters (I think a different process and source materials were used). So if you want to hear ABBA at their best, this set provides the goods; however, you will be paying inflated prices for the packaging and dvd add-ons. The box itself is a nice idea, but the sleeves don't fit smoothly into the moulded plastic grooves, and if you want to view the album titles printed on the spines then the discs will fall out as you remove the sleeves from the box (a stupid design mistake). The faux-velvet coating on the box is extremely vulnerable to scuffing (and the colour should have been darker to appear less cheesy and mask fingermarks, etc). The dvd component feels like an afterthought: "The History" documentary was first released with ABBA Gold in 1999 and is inessential, and the obviously truncated Dick Cavett special seems even worse than the prospect of its complete exclusion (it's a lousy performance by a group at the end of its tether, and the omissions make it feel very choppy and unsatisfying). It's great to have all the videos, including The Last Video, on the one disc, even if there's no annotation or pics on the sleeve.

So, in summary, this is a set for fans willing to overlook its shortcomings. The sound is fantastic, which is ultimately what matters most, and bar one or two unreleased or omitted tracks or remixes you get everything ABBA actually completed and released.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice post christmas gift but..., January 4, 2006
By 
James Tg Fuentes (quezon city Philippines) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
Like any other fan, I waited for this set with great anticipation. when the name "masters of audio sweden" appeared in the mastering credits, i felt my enthusiasm was doused cold; they were the same guys that botched up the initial pressings of frida's "something's going on" and Agnetha Faltskog's "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" 2005 remasters. I was hoping for the best, but feared the worst.

A thorough listen to the "Ring Ring","Waterloo" and "ABBA" albums gave me the assurance that I won't find remastering clinkers. Although it seems like they went easy on the noise reduction, I didn't have to go far to find some...

"Arrival" started with a cleaner sounding "When I Kissed the Teacher". On Track 2 - "Dancing Queen", I was expecting it to be free of any glitches since the pre-digital era editing flaws were already corrected on "the definitive collection" and the album's 2001 remasters counterpart. I was wrong. They made another attempt at "correcting" it by making their own edit - which leaves the listener with a feeling that that same part was punched in. Another casualty is "Knowing me, Knowing you". On this collection, the engineers stuck to the analog era version which contained the (very) obvious punch-in that has all disappeared in "the definitive collection" and the 2001 remaster of "arrival". Ironically, entire set was mastered at a studio called "masters of audio".

Another issue I have with this supposedly complete collection is the exclusion of "Gracias Por La Musica", their spanish album. The spanish tracks were instead shared with the rest of the 8 "official" albums as bonus tracks. This album will go down in history has the most "mistreated" in the ABBA canon. It was properly recorded, had it's own album cover and was the first ABBA album to appear worldwide on a single label (septima) and was a hit in the latin american countries - even in far away japan. I hope someday, it will be given its due.

Speaking of complete, where is the U.S. remix of "Lay All Your Love on Me" and the extended version of "The Visitors"? They would have been better alternatives to a "ABBA Undeleted" which is on "Thank You for the Music" and is still available.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LUXURIOUS BOX... ALL ALBUMS...LOTS OF EXTRAS... GREAT!!!, November 8, 2005
By 
Paulo Leite (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
Well... we all know that, somehow, ABBA has a place in music History.

After winning the Eurovision context with a song called "Waterloo", the group composed by two couples (Agnetha Faltskog/Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lynqstad/Benny Andersson) took Europe by storm with an incredible array of catchy, melodic, funny, romantic, songs that made them the must famous Swedish brand after Volvo. From 1975 until their break up in the 80's, they were an international household name.

Many were the songs that crowned the incredible output of the quartet: Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper, Money Money Money, Mamma Mia, Voulez-Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) and Thank You for the Music... are just a few songs that everybody on Earth has heard a thousand times. And just like the great bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, ABBA belongs to the group of those bands whose work gathers new fans every day... despite the fact that the quartet has never got back together in public since their brake up nearly 20 years ago.

And that's just part of the mythology... that all fans are eagerly expecting a new comeback someday (myself included!!!!).

AND HERE WE HAVE THE ULTIMATE THING any fan must have: a big, lavish, expensive big box containing all of their work (like if we didn't have it already!!!) along with 2 tons of candy no fan can live without.

This box is composed by:

- All their original albums: Ring Ring (1973), Waterloo (1974), ABBA (1975), Arrival (1976), ABBA - the Album (1977), Voulez-Vous (1979), Super Trouper (1980), The Visitors (1981)... and Live (1986).

- B sides.

- An exclusive "Rarities" CD with versions we never heard before.

- Exclusive Live performance from Dick Cavett meets ABBA.

- A DVD with all the promotional videos.

- A documentary "The History".

- A book with the complete ABBA lyrics.

- A beautiful color booklet with lots of photos and an ABBA timeline.

Everything here is beautifully made and I am sure it is worth it. The price is a little too salty... specially if you think the ABBA CDs' average price goes around eleven dollars. But these big editions are always a feast for the eyes and the tribute the band deserves.

Beware that the box does not contain everything ever released... the 1979 live concert DVD, for example, is not here.

I am not sure if all the existing fans (who already have the nine CDs) will buy this box. But it is good to know that new fans can choose between just the CDs... and this big luxurious have-it-all-and-plus set.

Me? I'm too busy dreaming about a comeback...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abba In a Box, December 28, 2005
By 
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
We all know the story of ABBA and now,for the first time ever,it's all here. Every note.All the songs they recorded in the studio and commercially released and collected in one box set.

We also know the story of the recordings still in the vaults. There are some of them here, released for the first time on cd. Hooray for Universal! But there are still some tracks that are locked away (one day they may see the light of day). So for all of us die hard fans the waiting continues On and On and On...

Until then,"Do yourself a favour..." and get this box set.I know you've probably bought a lot of it before,I know I have(sigh), thankfully, all tracks appear to have been remastered again and the results are simply breathtaking, the sounds and the packaging are stunning to behold.

9 CD's(all albums include bonus tracks and come in their original l.p. sleeves and mock record style cd's!),two dvds(one with almost all the videos,the other with a doco and a previously unreleased concert!!),two books with a timeline track listing and lyrics to every song in the box!!!

What more could any ABBA fan want.Buy IT!!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOX! BUY IT!!!, September 27, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
I own this wonderful piece of heaven, and I LOVE IT!!! This box includes every commercially released recording by ABBA. It does not include unreleased tracks because they are not commercially released. The outside of the box is light blue and feels velvety and soft. The box includes:

-All the albums with bonus tracks and original album artwork.

-Rarities CD with 8 tracks.

-2 DVD's:

DVD 1: The History-25-minute documentary with interviews by Bjorn Ulvaeus & Michael Tretow. Live in April 1981- 5 live songs performed on the Dick Cavett Show.

DVD 2: The Videos- All of ABBA's promo clips, & bonus videos.

Book: Timeline with picures & disc contents.

Book: The lyrics to all ABBA songs.

THIS IS A GREAT BOX! in other words............BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Buy it now because it was a limited edition... AND NOW IT IS ALREADY OUT OF PRINT!!! HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete? Not quite..., February 12, 2006
By 
Chad Moore "p3jedi" (Wichita Falls, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
Admittedly, this is a wonderful box set featuring all of ABBA's albums, promo clips and rare tracks. But it's hardly complete. It's intention is to gather together all of ABBA's officially released material and, as others have pointed out, there are tracks missing. For instance, where is the alternate mix of "Under Attack" (with the preferable cold ending) released on cassette in the mid-80's?

This set will probably only appeal to hard core ABBA fans. After purchasing the remasters, the Definitive Collection, etc. isn't it about time fans were offered gems like the magnificent unreleased 1982 track "Just Like That"?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great box set but missing a few things......, December 20, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
I'm enjoying the box set which I received a last week. I'm glad that the cost was not too high compared to the original price. If you shop around, you can compare prices of the set.The set is in a great format and not too over done as far as the information booklets are concerned. I was a little disappointed that the full interview and concert with Dick Cavett was not included. I'm happy that the partial concert which has been released on this set. I remember that they did a great version of Summer Night City during that concert. Maybe it will surface soon. There are many versions of tracks that I was not familiar with such as the alternate version of Waterloo and the two versions of Love Light which I had never heard the alternate version. I really wish that they had included Dancing Queen with the additional verse. I'm not sure if it's out there but I would have been great to have an alternate version since Dancing Queen is one of my favorite tracks. The exclusion of the videos "When I Kissed the Teacher" and "Dancing Queen" being sung to the Swedish Royalty on the DVD was odd, so if you want those videos, you would have to purchase the regular DVD with those videos. It's a great set if you are all about their music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute ABBA, January 15, 2007
This review is from: Complete Recordings (Audio CD)
If you are lucky enough to be able to find this great boxset in stock you dont need to buy anything else about ABBA. This set has it all. All songs, all videos. Absolute ABBA boxset.
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Complete Recordings
Complete Recordings by Abba (Audio CD - 2005)
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