Sunday, January 29, 2017

200 MOST RECOMMENDED ALBUMS: #7. Continues next week.
Some are the best selling, while others may be obscure, but the albums listed here are all worthy of a listen. No compilation/ best of sets. Only exceptional live albums included. This is a personal listing of the albums I enjoy the most to this day.
ABBA - Voulez Vous.jpg
ABBA enjoyed unprecedented universal popularity, spanning generations from young to old during the 1970s. What attracted the bulk of its fanbase to the songs was the band's upbeat and feel-good quality. Somehow, even the songs dealing with sadness (such as "S.O.S." and "Knowing Me. Knowing You") managed to cheer up the listener. The Swedes' upbeat songs were danced to, but did not adhere to the formula of disco music. In a way, it was inevitable that ABBA would flirt with the genre. Disco was everywhere in 1978, as the world caught 'Saturday Night Fever'.  Of all the ABBA albums, 'Voulez-Vous' is the most 'disco'. Members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson avoid the clichés associated with the genre. The songs on the album are very danceable, but the 2 created a unique hybrid of disco and the ABBA sound. The beat is pounding on tracks such as "Lovers (Live A Little Longer)", "If It Wasn't For The Nights" and the chart hit "Does Your Mother Know". The latter is injected with slices of funk, disco and rock. The title track delivers ABBA's own version of Euro-Disco and hints at where dance music would head in the 1980s. "Kisses Of Fire" begins with a sultry introduction before the rhythm takes over to create a beautiful blast of pop. Strings and guitar blend seamlessly on "As Good As New", the perfect choice to open the album. The song contains hints of classical music blended in with a strong disco beat. "Angeleyes" and "The King Has Lost His Crown" are the 1978-9 edition of that irresistible ABBA pop sound. Of course, the group remained mindful that its 2 vocalists were adept at ballads too. Frida Lyngstad does her best to resuscitate "I Have A Dream", the weakest track on the album. Agnetha Faltskog masterfully handles lead vocals on the stronger ballad "Chiquitita". The instrumentation on this popular song is impeccable. That ABBA could re-invent its own approach to disco is arguably why the album has stood the test of time. Later editions of 'Voulez-Vous' have added ABBA's most 'disco' track, "Summer Night City". Its inclusion completes the album. 
Highlight tracks:
* Voulez-Vous
* As Good As New
* Lovers (Live A Little Longer)
* If It Wasn't For The Nights
* Kisses Of Fire
* Angeleyes 

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