Super Trouper (Bonus Track Version)
There’s an undertone of sadness to ABBA’s 1980 album Super Trouper, hinting that all wasn't well with the Swedish quartet. After six years of international popularity, a bit of the shine may have worn off the group’s chart-topping success. But if the album’s lyrics reveal evidence of career fatigue and personal heartache, the rich melodies and unstoppable rhythms found here are as ear-catching as ever. From the exuberant bounce of the title track to the silken disco groove of “Me and I” and the medieval marching beat of “The Piper,” these tracks sustain ABBA’s tradition of almost indecent catchiness. The more downbeat moments—particularly “The Winner Takes It All” and “Our Last Summer”—have a wistful quality that hints at the group's ultimate breakup two years later. “On and On and On” catches the foursome at their most playful, while “Lay All Your Love on Me” lets singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad turn up the heat for the album’s sexiest moment. The bubbly yet tormented “Elaine” shows a definite new wave influence. If ABBA were entering their final phase, Super Trouper showed they still could deliver the pure pop goods when it counted.