Why is ABBA’s The Definitive Collection on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Join us on the journey to become a proud card-carrying Phase IV ABBA fan.
Some stats & info about ABBA – The Definitive Collection
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop, Pop Music, Swedish Bands, Disco, Euro Pop
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #303
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was The Definitive Collection released? 2001
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #746 out of 1,000
ABBA’s The Definitive Collection on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does ABBA’s The Definitive Collection mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
My wife is a lifelong fan of ABBA. Their music is right in her wheelhouse of happy, catchy, upbeat pop music that’s exceptionally constructed and performed.
My appreciation of ABBA has been a more gradual process, no doubt hastened and influenced by my wife’s tastes. A conversation we’ve had occasionally over the years has made me recognize that I have a particular pattern with certain pop cultural artifacts. I’d gather that this isn’t particularly unique as tastes evolve and change while we (in theory) mature, but in any event it goes something like this:
- Phase I: [This thing] is cheesy and lame, I hate it!
- Phase II: [This same thing] is cheesy and lame, isn’t it hilarious!?
- Phase III: [This exact same thing] is… kind of good, actually I think? What the hell is going on here?
- Phase IV: [Still the exact same thing] is unironically good… and in fact I can’t even fathom the version of myself who went through Phases I-III. I am a pop culture sage. I am wisdom.
This is all to relay that I’m now a proud card-carrying Phase IV ABBA fan. And the fact that Rolling Stone selected The Definitive Collection as part of its greatest 500 album rankings help proved to me that it’s the perfect vessel to select as part of the best 1,000 albums ever.
There are so many songs on The Definitive Collection that make you think, “Oh yeah, they did that song too?!” “Dancing Queen” and “Take A Chance On Me” are good examples.
“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” is arguably one of the very best songs of the disco era. Madonna must have thought so, for one, as she pulled an outstanding pulsing sample from it as the main hook for “Hung Up” (which itself is arguably one of Madonna’s very best songs).
There are some fantastic deeper cuts in here too, such as “Head Over Heels.”