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THE VAULTS / CD REISSUES

ABBA's "More ABBA Gold," Polydor. ***

February 16, 1996|ROBERT HILBURN

Sinatra isn't the only reissue campaign that seems endless. Consider ABBA, the Swedish quartet whose zesty '70s music mixed sentimental and joyous strains as unabashedly as any group ever in pop. While immensely popular around the world, the group was only modestly successful in this country because of a lightweight image that left radio programmers and rock purists cold.

Though numerous critics and such taste makers as Elvis Costello and U2 eventually began to champion the group, ABBA didn't survive long enough to benefit from the reappraisal. It began unraveling in the early '80s when the two couples that composed the group both divorced.

But the quartet's lingering appeal was demonstrated in 1992 when a single-disc greatest-hits package, "ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits," sold more than 4 million copies around the world. Impressed, Polydor followed up with a four-disc package, containing 66 ABBA tracks--and it, too, sold strongly.

This is a second single-disc greatest-hits. While not essential like the first one, it does include enough gems--including the Spectorish swoop of "When I Kissed the Teacher"--to make it a safe investment for fans of "ABBA Gold."

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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