REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/18/2007
Disco left a lot of hatred in its wake, more so than any other genre. Besides the Beatle burnings of the 60s, the Destroy Disco rally at Comiskey in Chicago has to be the ultimate in the expression of rage towards a few innocent albums. Some of the biggest artists of the era were left for dead, such as the Bee Gees.
Then there’s ABBA. That group of Swedes concocted some disco classics that have somehow managed to survive those feelings of pure and utter loathing disco usually breeds. How did they go about accomplishing this feat? The music was great, stupid.
Actually, after really listening to Number Ones, you get the sense that ABBA was much more than a disco group. They were simply a tremendous pop machine; crafting singles most people would give their left arm to come up with. And yes, I feel no shame in saying that.
More than anything else, a greatest hits collection has to entertain. The questions of which songs were left out and which should have been taken off are for fans to debate. If one gets bored listening to a greatest hits, well, then, you know something about that band. Not surprisingly, Number Ones entertained the hell out of me.
Everyone knows “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” and “Mamma Mia.” I was much more interested in those tracks that don’t see as much radio play. Given that all of these were hits, it's a shame radio doesn't play some of the other tunes here as often.
“S.O.S.” has quickly risen on the Clutterbuck Top 40; that chorus and those guitar chords contained within simply refuse to leave my head. The brilliant harmonies on “Super Trouper” are tough to beat, as is the saxophone backing up “Waterloo.” I could go on, but just suffice it to say all these songs deserved to be hits.
Infectious is the only way I can describe listening to Number Ones. Within minutes of slapping this on out in the living room, two of my roommates came out to hear what was going on, and sat down and kept on listening, with both admitting to actually liking ABBA. And we're all still men. Who knew?