The Definitive Collection - the details

Published April 12, 2010


After the release of the reissued ABBA remasters and the double-CD The Definitive Collection in 2001, the next project for Universal Music was to put together a DVD release of ABBA's promo clips. The intention was to locate the original films for the clips, transfer them to a digital format (this was done by a company called Filmteknik), clean them up, and synch them to the latest 24 bit remastered versions of ABBA's songs. These technical parts of the job were performed by MPEG Production in Stockholm.

Most of the films were located quite easily, but for the final clips - The Day Before You Came and Under Attack - the original films weren't available, only the video masters that had been made from the films. Also, a number of clips had been made directly on video, and the original masters for some of those clips have also disappeared somewhere along the way. For those clips, the video masters (made for VHS releases) were used.


The intention with the collection was to release all ABBA videos as originally produced and distributed by Polar Music between 1974 and 1982. This meant that some of the videos previously released on VHS compilations such as ABBA Gold and More Gold were excluded. One example was Lay All Your Love On Me, which was a collage video hastily assembled by ABBA's then UK record company, Epic Records, in 1981. Also left off the package was the clip for I Have A Dream, which was a live version extracted from the television special ABBA In Concert. It was decided that it would be better to save that clip for the upcoming DVD release of ABBA In Concert.

But perhaps more interesting than the exclusions were the bonus tracks, three of which had never been commercially released before. These were Estoy soñando (the Spanish version of I Have A Dream), Felicidad (Spanish version of Happy New Year) and No hay a quien culpar (Spanish version of When All Is Said And Done). One of the other bonus tracks was also fairly unsual: the 1976 performance of Dancing Queen at The Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, which had only been issued on the long-deleted VHS release Video Biography 1974-1982. The fifth bonus track was When I Kissed The Teacher, which originated in the television special Abba-dabba-dooo!!. It had been included on More ABBA Gold, and Universal Music felt that it should be on this collection as well.

The DVD, which was put together by Mia Segolsson at Universal Music, was given the title The Definitive Collection to tie in with the double-CD of the same name. I provided the track listing, and also contributed extensive liner notes for the booklet. My essay was illustrated with pictures that were all extracted from the actual videos (with the exception of the Super Trouper photo).


The Definitive Collection. Released July 15, 2002. Catalogue number: Polar 017 445-9. Out of print.