TheConcerts

ABBA The Concerts
ABBA live 1970-1982

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The Deluxe Editions – the quick check

All Deluxe editions feature 1 CD & 1 DVD and were first released as digibooks which later were/will be replaced with Jewel Case versions after they are sold out. More information about the background and contents of the Deluxe editions can be found at C. M. Palm’s site.

General thoughts

I am no audiophile, but I notice the general differences in the sound of the different remasters. I’m not a fan of vinyl, my original LPs are heavily overplayed and I hate to turn the record anyway. My favourites of the CD releases are the Polydor ones of the 80s and the latest remasters of the Deluxe editions.

However, years ago I sold most my old ABBA CDs because I preferred the generally rather hated 2001 remasters, perhaps because I just want to hear something “new” and different. Well, since I meanwhile listen to ABBA almost only with headphones I was impressed by the rich sound of the Deluxe remasters and finally decided to get the Polydors back again whick luckily are available for small money and cost me less than I got for them back then...

 

The Deluxe upgrade offers an extra DVD with often contains previously unreleased TV material, sadly all in the inferior NTSC only instead of the mostly original PAL. Picture quality usually is pretty good though not best, although more could and sometimes should have been improved. Whether it’s due to the TV stations requesting too much or Universal not wanting to pay more – certain clips are missing: material from the USA, France, Spain and lately also Germany. In addition some of the shows included are incomplete.

CD-wise, with the exception of the first Deluxe versions, the sound is excellently remastered, ‘back to the roots’ with more dynamics. Regarding the track lists the general problem of CD reissues remains though: the bonus tracks. Actually there should be a third disc for bonus audio material because the original albums had to deal with the limitations of a LP, you had to think more about a ‘dramaturgic’ structure and there usually were no repititions anyway.

The liner notes by Carl Magnus Palm usually are very interesting though I can’t help, for me lyrics always belong to an
album, but they aren’t included at all.

 

Ring Ring Deluxe

The weakest Deluxe edition in my opinion. The sound is good, but the DVD is a huge disappointment. The few clips are fine, but the missing Danish TV clips were a must. Leaving them out, even without giving any reason is a big failure, especially when there is so few TV material available from that time. The Belgian footoge from “Ziet u er wat in?” would have been another great addition.

The “extra bonus tracks” probably are meant to hide the lacking material on the DVD, but do we really want non-ABBA singers on an ABBA album? Well, I for one don’t. The place for this is an own CD as ABBA have done many more songs they wrote for other artists or supported with background vocals. The Deluxe version turns an already inhomogenous album into an even more random mixture of songs.

+ sound (remastered)
+ Benny explaining some details of the song Ring Ring
– inclusion of non-ABBA bonus tracks
– weak DVD, especially missing the Danish TV clips for “Love Isn’t Easy” and “Ring Ring”

 

Waterloo Deluxe
You want “Waterloo”? You get “Waterloo”!

+ sound (remastered)
+ 14 times “Waterloo”
+ 13 clips on DVD, though some were published before
+ style of DVD upgraded by intermediate titles
– 14 times “Waterloo”

 

ABBA Deluxe

+ sound (remastered)
+ two TV specials and some individual clips included
– Spanish version of “Mamma Mia” superfluous

 

Arrival Deluxe

+ first Deluxe edition and one of the best, although without remastered sound which started with Voulez-Vous
+ very interesting DVD
– for me Fernando stylistically belongs to the “ABBA” album, but this is just me perhaps, I know it was included on the album in some countries
– sound not remastered
– Spanish versions superfluous

 

The Album Deluxe

+ all in all an interesting DVD, if you accept Universal’s limits regarding the possible content
– sound not remastered as they started doing this with Voulez-Vous
– Spanish versions superfluous

 

Voulez-Vous Deluxe

+ very good sound (remastered)
+ bonus tracks stylistically match the album
+ no Spanish versions
+ interesting DVD

 

Super Trouper Deluxe

+ sound (remastered)
+ bonus tracks stylistically match the album
+ very interesting DVD, following a concept
+ special new feature film
– Spanish versions superfluous
– promo clips superfluous
– Show Express clip without interview

 

The Visitors Deluxe

+ good sound (remastered) though on a somewhat quiet level
+ new demo medley
+ no Spanish versions
– short DVD
– missing German Show Express clips
– Dick Cavett clips were released before while we still miss the full show

 

Gracias por la mĂșsica Deluxe

+ sound (remastered)
+ reconstruction of the album with the original artwork
+ I assume that this release was intended from the start of the Deluxe series, that is why the Spanish versions on the other albums are superfluous
– short DVD
– the English clips from the same TV shows are not included
– the Spanish promo clips were released before

Inreoduction

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