Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 04/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With thirty-five videos to view on one disc, this truly is the ultimate ABBA collection. Although music videos were progressive in the seventies, these still look very dated. Most are just poor lip-synching with bad sets, but that's okay. ABBA was about the music more than anything and the quality of the sound is fantastic. The video that truly stands out is, "The Day Before You Came". The song has always been under-rated and it seems like a lot of thought was put into this filming.It's too bad this is not available on DTS Surround Sound, but maybe in the future it will be available on that and SACD! To top it all off, the profiling against face-on head shots is hilarious. You know they had fun with those. In the end, however, it is all about what four Swedes accomplished in a very short period of time. ABBA made a huge mark on the world of music and this is a great way to celebrate it."
Maurice Horowitz | Manalapan, New Jersey United States | 06/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember ABBA from the 70's but I was never really a fan.
I rediscovered ABBA when my daughter gave me the ABBA Gold CD to listen to. After one listening session I was hooked on ABBA. I purchased the Definitive Collection CD and most recently purchased the DVD. I love the DVD. I read some reviews criticizing the quality of the videos (or promotional films as they were called). However you have to remember these were made in the 70's before MTV. As far as I'm concerned these "films" were terrific. The only thing better than listening to ABBA is to watch them. The version of "Dancing Queen" at the Swedish Opera House in front of the Queen of Sweden was great. I found all the films entertaining. I couldn't stop stomping my feet and clapping my hands. If you love ABBA and want to see them perform instead of just listening to their music, then this DVD is for you. As far as I'm concerned, you won't be dissapointed. I know I wasn't. Buy it, you'll love it."
Two hours of ABBA goodness!
Scott C. Smith | Beaverton, OR United States | 06/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The face of music was forever changed in 1981 with the debut of MTV. Suddenly, artists who had not been exposed to a wide audience were being seen -- and heard -- by millions. The music video format did not begin with MTV, though. Prior to MTV, bands created what were then known as "promotional clips." This was not a particularly common practice, although groups like The Beatles took advantage of film as a promotional tool.ABBA, a band not fond of touring, were early pioneers of the music video format. "ABBA: The Definitive Collection" gathers a decade's worth of these videos as released by the band and its label, Polar. The bulk of the clips were directed by Lasse Hallstrom ("My Life as a Dog, "The Cider House Rules"), and are now finally available collectively on DVD.The budgets for most of the clips were miniscule. Time has not treated them well, and the DVD format only reveals those flaws. But that's beside the point. This is not a DVD for the video purist. Although the packaging states the videos were re-mastered from the original negatives, it's hard to tell at times. Grainy with artifacts and washed out colors, this is not the DVD to pop into your new progressive-scan player to impress your friends, unless your friends are all ABBA fans. Still, this is probably the best these clips have ever looked, and given the production values, some of them look pretty good. The colors in "SOS" are actually pretty vibrant, and "The Winner Takes it All" also looks great. Director Hallstrom, unfortunately, shot many of the videos against a white background, which when presented with the clarity of DVD, is fairly blinding. Starting with 1974's "Waterloo," and concluding with the group's last video, "Under Attack," "The Definitive Collection" is a must-have. Almost all of the songs have been remastered to 24-bit sound (according to the packaging), so while the video quality is poor, the sound quality is pretty good. I'm assuming Dolby Digital 2.0, as the songs don't sound like 5.1, nor is that fact mentioned on the DVD packaging.It's also a kick to see the 1970s wardrobes on display, which range from almost normal to the bizarre. It's all part of the ABBA package. Nearly all of their singles are here (with the exception of "Lay All Your Love on Me"), as well as a few Spanish-language clips intended for the South American market, and an appearance on Swedish television, in period costume, performing "Dancing Queen" for Sweden's King Gustaf.The DVD extras are sparse, the usual band biographies and still photographs. The liner notes booklet is actually very well done, about 17 pages, with lots of photographs and background information on the clips. It doesn't make up for the lack of a director's commentary track, but it comes close."
Slobby left hand job from Universal
Martin A Hogan | 09/20/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I wonder what went wrong when Universal put together this dvd? It has loads of little and major errors that should have been corrected before the release:1. Starting off with Waterloo, someone totally ruined this clip by inserting the wrong piece of film at around 1:52 where the girls lip synch while the music is an instrumental piece!2. Ring Ring - the original clip had the UK 1974 remix as soundtrack, however on this dvd, Universal took the US 1974 remix and used as soundtrack.3. A lot of the clips are out of sync - take for instance On and On and On - scandalous. Universal did however use the long version of this song, albeit only in mono as the stereo master reportedly is lost.4. Some clips that were originally taped on video have been mastered from film - take for instance Chiquitita, Eagle, Head Over Heels, Thank You For The Music which are so blurry that the previosly available clips on the Gold and More ABBA Gold VHS tapes are of better quality. Scandalous!5. Pixelation. Throughout the dvd, a lot of compression artefacts are present which is not Universal's fault but the compression company's. The clips are blurry and grainy and do not give the excellent picture quality that they could have, had they been given professional treatment.Reportedly a lot of people have problems watching the disc. Their players lock up - obviosly the disc is not compatible with industri standards.I cannot recommend this disc before Universal have corrected all the above problems. It's a slobby job which is a shame since the dvd COULD be absolutely fabulous and live up to the name of the greates pop band in the world: ABBA."
IMPRESSIVE - TO SAY THE LEAST
William | Australia | 11/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Any true ABBA fan will know that there was never a video containing more than 15 of ABBA"s videos. This is a brilliant DVD containing 35 songs including some rare videos. I have seen nearly all these rare videos before, but not the Spanish versions of 'I Have A Dream' and 'When All Is Said & Done'. The video also contains the Remix version of 'Ring Ring' which was released in 1976 in Australia because the original 1973 version was too weak. There are a couple of hits missing off this DVD but that's because there were no videos taken for these songs - I refer to 'Happy Hawaii' (a B side hit in 1977), and 'Lay All Your Love On Me' (a 1981 European dance floor hit). But overall, this DVD allows any ABBA fan to have 35 videos on one disc - what more could you really ask for? Well, maybe a few bonus Agnetha and Frida solo hit video's (eg. Can't Shake Loose, I Know there's Something Going On). Oh well, the DVD is still perfect. BUY IT NOW..."