The Singles: The First Ten Years

Canadian independence

Although the story of US Atlantic CD issuing ends with Super Trouper, its Canadian offshoot issued two extremely rare Abba titles in the late 1980s: The Visitors and The Singles: The First Ten Years.

These titles, which were released at unknown dates in the late 1980s, are incredibly rare and were probably pressed in very limited numbers. Until recently, no pictures were available of either title.

Besides its rarity, the Canadian version of The Singles is notable for a couple of other reasons. Firstly, it appears to be the first-ever Abba CD release in the world to have a full colour booklet. Secondly, it contains multiple tracklistings, all of which are physically impossible to achieve on CDs.

For a start, the back cover numbers the tracks on disc two from 14 to 23 – when they should run from 1 to 10. This error is repeated on disc two itself.

atlanticsinglesback

The Singles booklet with erroneous tracklisting for disc 2

atlanticsingles2The CD: try finding a player that will start at track 14

Meanwhile, the booklet is a straight reprint of the tracklisting from the original double LP set: separating the tracks into four sides of between seven and five tracks. Most confusing.

atlanticsinglesbookTrying to find a two-sided CD may also prove difficult despite the booklet’s claims

In audio terms, The Visitors sounds similar to the original 1982 European CD release of the album while it remains unclear whether The Singles: The First Ten Years is an improvement on its European counterpart.

Both Canadian releases are practically impossible to value as they rarely come up for sale. They are, however, much sought after by collectors who wish to complete their collection of early Atlantic Abba CDs.

First issued: 1987. Reissue: None. Deleted: 1988.
Title: The Singles: The First Ten Years (80036)

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4 thoughts on “The Singles: The First Ten Years

  1. I live in Canada and I have a copy of The Singles by Atlantic Records. But mine, first disc is numbered 1 to 13 and the second 14 to 23.

  2. I had the Australian CD of this, but got rid of it when ABBA GOLD was released. Simply because I thought the sound wasn’t very good on it. Probably should have kept it, as it may be worth something now.

  3. While this release makes for a fantastic collectors item, the quality of the sleeve has got to be the absolute worst of any ABBA release. It’s nothing more than a poorly reproduced scan that makes it look more like a home made bootleg rather than an official release.

  4. The tracks 1-23 reflects how they were listed in the original LP. In that way it’s more authentic to the original release than other CDs repackagings.

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