Music DVDs

ABBA – In Concert

(Universal) UK release date: 29 March 2004

ABBA - In Concert For a colossus like ABBA, in comparison with other legends of the ’70s, they did not tour much. In fact, their only major tour outings were brief ones in 1977 and 1979. This DVD shows ABBA on their North American and European tour in ’79, and as well as showing performances that afficionados will know well, there are some unseen concert clips, interviews and miscellaneous tour footage.

The DVD starts quite disjointedly, and shows the band travelling, sleeping, interviewing, preparing etc. This is all well and good if you’re interested, but if it’s ABBA live you’re after, press that fast forward / skip button to check them out on stage at Wembley. Here they splash the stage with their inimitable energy and move through the timeless classics such as Chiquitita, Knowing Me, Knowing You, and Dancing Queen.

The debatably not so classic I Have A Dream has a coincidental resonance for me however. When I was 11 I met some of the girls that were in the choir that sang with ABBA at Wembley, and seeing this footage now reminds me not only of the incredulous covetousness I felt – at not being one of those girls – but also the ghastliness of the clothes we all wore then. However, the clothes worn by Agnetha and Frida were a vast high camp step above other ’70s fashion offerings, and one must still admire those women with those proper womanly shapes wearing skin-tight spandex.

Reminiscing aside, this is a fantastic DVD for fans. What always impresses when you see ABBA in concert is the scale of the spectacle, the supremacy of the songwriting, and the perfect vocal pitching of Agnetha and Frida – and this DVD has got it all.

The class tunes that stand the time test again and again, the chance to see Abba live, something that many didn’t have at the time, the snippets of life on the road and a fat accompanying booklet that will appeal to the ABBA-spotter – this is perfect pop and pristine memories.

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