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Live At Wembley [3 LP] Live

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Live, September 30, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

This fantastic live release is available on CD and vinyl and encapsulates 25 songs from ABBA's landmark gig at Wembley Arena, London in 1979. As well as featuring a full rendition of classics, this is also the first time the track 'I'm Still Alive' has ever been released.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 30, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00KYB2IE6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,045 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Jamieson on October 8, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I would say that "Live at Wembley" is an important album but that seems to burden it with more gravitas than it deserves. But it is remarkable, the first truly new Abba material released in many years. While some of this material can be heard on the concert DVD from the same 1979 tour ("Abba in Concert"), much of it has never been released before, and it has never sounded this good. The material is remastered but unenhanced , unlike the band's earlier ill-fated "Live" album (1986).

While Abba was always known for its creativity in the studio, "Live at Wembley" reveals just how amazing this band was on stage, backed by some of Europe's best musicians of the day. A friend who says he was forced to see the band perform on that tour says to this day it is one of the greatest concerts he's ever seen. Listening to this collection I can understand why.

There are a number of highlights, including Frida Lyngstad's soaring "Knowing Me, Knowing You", a song Elvis Costello has said is the best ever written about divorce, made even more poignant given that Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog's marriage was grinding to its end at the time. It's closely followed by Agnetha's plaintive "S.O.S.", concluding with the responsive "when you're gone" between her and Frida, later repeated to much less effect by Streep and Brosnan in the 2008 film version of "Mamma Mia!". Best of all is the driving medley of "Hole in Your Sole", highlighting Agentha's astonishing vocal range, together with Bjorn's indulgent rock star turn on "Does Your Mother Know". The latter showcases the band's remarkable backing band, including the great Rutger Gunnarsson on bass, Lasse Wellander on guitar and the late Ola Brunkert on drums, all of it powered by Benny Andersson's enthusiastic keyboards.

"Live at Wembley" deserves to be heard.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a surprisingly good live show. When this release was announced, I was less than excited. Some of this music was previously released--overdubbed--as the forgettable Abba Live in 1986. That one was a listen once and file experience.

This is different. First off, they've chosen to release a full concert, not a set of songs chosen from a variety of shows. The idea is that there may be some mistakes, but they humanize the experience, and make it more interesting. I agree. But again, it also helps when you are dealing with ABBA. Not only are the lead vocals generally spot on and lovely/terrific, but the ample backing musicianship fully fleshes out the songs.

The collectors bait here is a previously unreleased song, Agnetha's "I'm Still Alive," available legitimately for the first time. It's actually a good song and not just a reason for completists to grudgingly open their wallets again.

But this set is hardly just for collectors or fanatics. This is an excellent show that reveals how gifted ABBA were.

My only complaints are that since this is 1979 it misses a good number of crucial ABBA hits and classics from the subsequent few years, and that there isn't an accompanying full length concert video.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you were to just read interviews ABBA gave on the subject, you could be forgiven for wanting to give this live album a miss as something just for the super fans or complete-ists. You’d be missing out.

True - ABBA excelled in the studio, expanding and creating new layering techniques that are still used today. But they all started out their musical careers performing live; even coming together to do so as a foursome prior to ABBA being a band.

The years of their professional experience is captured in this concert. This is 1979, just prior to the releases of the seminal 1980 Super Trouper album and 1981’s darkly lyrical The Visitors. The poignancy of "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "SOS" is even greater knowing that Bjorn and Agnetha were in the midst of their divorce. Perhaps this led to (the never before officially released) “I’m Still Alive” - Agnetha’s last composition for the group apparently written for the tour. “I’m Still Alive” is quintessential ABBA, broken hearted person pulling themselves together after a relationship failure.

The new arrangements of old favorites such as "Voulez-Vous" and "Eagle" are great live. Barring a performance by one of their backing singers singing his own composition this is the entire concert - warts and all. The ad libs between songs and instrumental tracks showcase a band at the height of their creativity enjoying performing live for all their worth.

Kids - prior to singing over prerecorded “live” vocal tracks (you know who you are) this was how it was done - and to be fair, still is done today by the greats.

While we may never have their like again, being able to revisit this amazing concert from last century by one of the greatest bands in the world is going to be a treat for years to come.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So, I've listened to the album from end-to-end. First, I really enjoyed it being a lifelong ABBA fan. Secondly, I picked up on the fact that Agnetha really had to force her vibrato. I never heard this in the other studio albums and it wasn't as pronounced in ABBA Live. Frida has a much more natural, unforced sound. I also like that I heard how to pronounce Bjorn's full name properly.

The crowd sounded just as tame as the one in Radio City in 1979. It brought back some great memories of that concert.

Sound quality was meh. You could definitely hear feedback at points, bass was pretty strong and not muddied. I don't think this was a feed directly from the mics to a recording device. It sounds like the mics were placed away from the stage.

Overall, this is a "must" for any ABBA fan. "I'm Still Alive" is a nice ballad addition, but kind of depressing. I see why it was never released. It also sounded like Benny and Bjorn didn't write the song. They mention something about "a good friend wrote it."
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