ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released on 21 September 1992 through PolyGram, making it the first compilation to be released after the company had acquired Polar Music, and thus the rights to the ABBA back catalogue.
With sales of 30 million,Gold is the best-selling ABBA album, as well one of the best-selling albums worldwide. Since 1992, it has been re-released several times, most notably in 1999 as the first remastered reissue to mark the group's 25th anniversary of winning the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, in 2008 to coincide with the release of the film Mamma Mia! and most recently in 2014 to mark the group's 40th anniversary of winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
Background and overview
Polar had only produced and distributed ABBA's records in Scandinavian countries, licencing the recordings for release by different companies around the world (such as Atlantic in the US and Epic in the UK). This meant there were many different compilations released in different parts of the world. As these licences were renewed every three years, between 1989 (when PolyGram acquired Polar) and 1992 all of these licences had expired. Although PolyGram had made all of the original studio albums available (along with the 1986 live album which had originally been issued by Polydor worldwide), all previously released ABBA compilations had been deleted. Erasure had released a 4 track ABBA cover EP, Abba-esque, in summer 1992 which topped charts around the world showing there was still a strong interest in ABBA's music. Rather than issue the multiple previous compilations, PolyGram put together a new collection, optimised for the CD format.
Gold: Greatest Hits was well received by the music-buying public, and went on to be one of the best-selling albums of all time. It has been re-released in various "special" or "remastered" releases:
Celebrating ABBA's 25th anniversary of winning the Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo", includes the original versions of "Voulez-Vous" and "The Name of the Game". This new version was called the "signature series", as it came with autographs from the band members embedded into the front plastic casing in gold writing. This edition also contains new sleeve notes and is digitally remastered in 24 bit from the original multitracks.
10th Anniversary Edition
Contained a revised booklet and updated liner notes. The ABBA logo was changed to the official ABBA font and the back cover was redesigned. It was released in Europe and New Zealand (with the European track list, and not the previous Australasian track list). This version was not released in Australia.
Second remastered edition
Coinciding with the release of the film Mamma Mia!, in a so-called super jewel case, with updated liner notes and with remastered sound (using the remasters for The Complete Studio Recordings). The Australasian release featured the European track list, not the Australasian track list on previous issues. This version was issued in the US in 2010, although it does not come in a super jewel case, but instead a regular jewel case.
Included two discs: the original CD (using the 2008 remasters), and a DVD of the video clips, remastered in 2010. The DVD also included five bonus clips.
40th Anniversary Edition
A 3 CD edition that includes the original album (disc 1), the More Gold: More Hits album (disc 2) and the "Golden B-sides" (disc 3), containing 20 B-sides.
Regional variations and tie-ins
The 1992 and 1999 editions released in Australia and New Zealand (and some other territories in that area) had a modified track listing (see below) to include three local hits, replacing three other songs on the international edition.
The 2002 re-release was not released in Australia, while in New Zealand, the international edition was issued.
From 2008 onwards, only the international editions have been released in Australia and New Zealand.
The original 1992 release had a slightly different track listing, replacing the English versions of "Chiquitita" and "Fernando" with the Spanish language versions.
Shortly after the release of Gold: Greatest Hits, a Spanish version of the album, titled Oro: Grandes Exitos was issued, followed later by Mas Oro: Mas Grandes Exitos.
Video and DVD
In 1992 a VHS video was released which included all tracks from the original album. During the 1990s, various regional variations on this video were issued, until Universal Music decided in 2003 to re-issue the video on VHS and DVD. The track listing was similar to the original album, with some added content: a 25-minute documentary produced in 1999, and the 1992 video of "Dancing Queen".
In 2010, the DVD was remastered with six bonus clips, including five "split-screen" versions of the clips to show which improvements were made by remastering the old videos. These "split-screen" clips were "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!", "Mamma Mia", "Dancing Queen", "The Winner Takes It All" and "Money, Money, Money". The sixth bonus clip was an Australian cartoon version of "Money, Money, Money". The 2010 edition did not include the 2003 ABBA documentary or the 1992 version of "Dancing Queen". This disc was available as a stand-alone DVD and as part of the 2010 'Special Edition' re-release.
In 2002, Gold: Greatest Hits was released in mainland Europe (though not in the UK) with a bonus second disc.
The UK saw a 30th Anniversary Edition released in 2004 with a gold-coloured sleeve cover with black writing, rather than the normal black sleeve with gold writing. The original release included a DVD with 18 of the 19 songs from the CD, excluding "The Name of the Game". It is also available without the DVD.
With pure sales of 5.61 million copies,Gold: Greatest Hits is the second-highest selling album of all time in the United Kingdom, after Queen'sGreatest Hits. In August, 2019, Gold: Greatest Hits became the longest-running top 100 album of all time, spending 900 weeks on the UK Albums Chart. The album spent 61 (non-consecutive) weeks in the top 10 and topped the British chart 5 times, most recently for two weeks in 2008 following release of the motion picture Mamma Mia!. As of July 2021, "Gold" became the first album to reach 1000 weeks on the Official Charts in United Kingdom with pure sales of 5.61 million copies sold in United Kingdom. In November 2021, it was awarded 20× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry, denoting six millions album-equivalent unit in the UK. 
In Germany, Gold: Greatest Hits has been certified five times Platinum for shipment of 2.5 million units. It has also been certified 10 times Platinum in Switzerland for sales of 500,000 units. In Austria, the album charted for 397 weeks, making it the all-time second longest stay on the chart. After reaching catalogue status, it returned to the top 10 three times, twice in the wake of the releases of Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and once due to the release of a special edition.
Gold: Greatest Hits has been called one of the most influential compilation albums ever released. Music critic Elisabeth Vincentelli (New York Post; Time Out New York) credits the album for a revival of critical interest in ABBA's music after ten years of neglect following the band's 1982 break-up.
Writing for Pitchfork in 2019, reviewer Jamieson Cox agreed, describing Gold: Greatest Hits as a "refined package with surprising emotional range". The album, he wrote, "capitalized on a simmering, subcultural interest in ABBA’s work and sparked a full-blown revival" that culminated in the Mamma Mia! stage and film productions.
BuzzFeed music editor Matthew Perpetua included Gold: Greatest Hits among the compilations he considered "so well curated in presenting a fertile period of a career that they are arguably an artist's definitive work".