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ABBA Gold

Discussion in 'music' started by spengenuk, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    Another underrated pop group ;)
     
  2. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    Yes.
    We once received tickets for Aha through the post. A neighbour had clicked on the wrong address when ordering...I was surprised he (for it was he) was a fan. No shame.
     
  3. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    For original studio albums I'll take Voulez-Vous every time. I have the Polar 1995 CD.
     
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I guess its just me not liking the sound; the early pre-disco stuff too often sounds blended into a mush, drums like wet cardboard boxes, lots of compression etc etc. Very much a 'mixed to sound good on a Dansette' thing to my ears. It got a lot better later though.
     
  5. mellstock

    mellstock pfm Member

    You have PM.
     
  6. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    I don't recall any Abba material I've heard having an appealing sound. But I've not explored the various options much, just the CD album box set and 'Gold'.

    It may or may not be relevant but I don't recall In Through The Out Door or Duke sounding good either, yet they must have gone to Polar for a reason. So it's probably me.

    Paul
     
  7. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    Was just listening to a bit of 'Ring Ring', their first, from the CD box set I linked to above. Sounds fine to me, certainly well above average SQ for my collection. Maybe mixing for a Dansette is a good thing ;)
     
  8. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator


    Like that used for DSOTM........
     
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Likely fine then. As implied upthread I've never been a fan, like say Queen they are one of those band I can respect have excellent craft and compositional skill, yet I just don't get on with the results (to be honest I don't think I've ever really been a pop fan despite liking T. Rex, Bowie etc). My exposure has been via other peoples records and systems and I've always felt they sounded pretty grim!
     
  10. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    Good example of how really good engineers and musicians can accomplish great things despite the limitations of the technology (in some cases they had to resort to second-generation tape copies because they ran out of capacity on the main ones). Alan Parsons was especially disappointed with the quadraphonic mix.

    https://www.soundandvision.com/content/another-phase-moon
     
  11. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    Trouble is that Alan Parsons is rather dull musically...

    Studio technology in the 70s was better than in the 60s, and budgets were bigger. But Abba weren't in that market, I think for all their retro-popularity they still aren't.

    1977 saw the release of Abba: The Album, Aja and Animals. I think you could construct a plausible hypothesis about target market, sound style and production values which was independent of the intrinsic quality of the studio technology.

    Paul
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is however a pretty much reverse trajectory of skill as technology improved. The art of where to put microphones learnt in the days you had no option but to put them in the right place was largely lost and replace with dreadful close mic'd individual drums, FX rather than natural acoustic space etc. Give me a really good simple jazz or classical recording of the late-50s or early-60s over pretty much anything that came later!
     
  13. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    Absolutely.

    The benefit of hindsight...

    Paul
     
  14. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    Overall I'd say SQ-wise yes, musically no.
     
  15. andrew d

    andrew d pfm Member

  16. DGP

    DGP pfm Member

    A young guy name of Rudolf Ondrich did an interesting comparison of Abba remastering - I've just looked at the dynamic range for my three copies of The Visitors - title track DR comparison
    Original red label Polydor - Dynamic range 12.1dB DR17
    30th Anniversary CD - Dynamic range 10.8dB DR10
    Deluxe Edition 2012 - Dynamic range 11.9dB DR14

    That's not the whole story though as the AtoD convertors used to produce the original sound quite grainy and have an odd treble quality. Someone told me to look in charity shops for a silver label Polydor for best sound quality.
    DGP
     
  17. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    Also - because it can't be mentioned enough - see http://dr.loudness-war.info/. This is a community database so you can contribute too.
     
  18. spengenuk

    spengenuk pfm Member

    Tracked down a non ear bleeder, thanks to Darren and his recommendation of loudnesswarinfo and Discogs. It’s an early silver label Polydor/Polar made in France, more dynamic, maybe a bit muffled compared to the remaster but most importantly more enjoyable to listen to.
    Amazon are confusing regarding different releases, I’ve heard there’s a bar code identifier to narrow things down.
     

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