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Pop - Released January 1, 1998 | EMI

ABC's debut album combined the talents of the Sheffield, U.K.-based band, particularly lead singer Martin Fry, a fashion plate of a frontman with a Bryan Ferry fixation, and the inventive production style of former Buggles member Trevor Horn and his team of musicians, several of whom would go on to form the Art of Noise. Horn created dense tracks that merged synthesizer sounds, prominent beats, and swaths of strings and horns, their orchestrations courtesy of Anne Dudley, who would follow her work with the Art of Noise by becoming a prominent film composer, and who here underscored Fry's stylized romantic lyrics and dramatic, if affected, singing. The production style was dense and noisy, but frequently beautiful, and the group's emotional songs gave it a depth and coherence later Horn works, such as those of Yes ("Owner of a Lonely Heart") and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, would lack. (You can hear Horn trying out the latter band's style in "Date Stamp.") Fry and company used the sound to create moving dancefloor epics like "Many Happy Returns," which, like most of the album's tracks, deserved to be a hit single. (In the U.K., four were: "Tears Are Not Enough," "Poison Arrow," "The Look of Love," and "All of My Heart," the last three making the Top Ten; in the U.S., "The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow" charted Top 40.) ABC, which began fragmenting almost immediately, never equaled its gold-selling first LP commercially or artistically, despite some worthy later songs. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | EMI

With a deeper and broader track listing than most ABC compilations, Look of Love: The Very Best of ABC more or less lives up to its name. Concentrating on the band's glory days, the album covers the highlights of ABC's first five albums, including de rigeur hits like the title track, "Poison Arrow," "When Smokey Sings," "Be Near Me," and "How to Be a Millionaire," as well as album tracks like "S.O.S.," "All of My Heart," and "The Night You Murdered Love." While some of the later inclusions, such as "The Real Thing," don't quite pack the punch of ABC's prime work, the 2001 track "Peace and Tranquility" fits in with the earlier material surprisingly well. Likewise, the somewhat random track listing might be somewhat annoying to anyone trying to track ABC's chronological development, but it does spotlight how consistent their brand of suave synth pop is. With a new song, a more diverse track listing, and no unnecessary remixes, Look of Love has a slight edge over Absolutely ABC: The Best of ABC as the group's definitive retrospective. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released June 5, 1982 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

ABC's debut album combined the talents of the Sheffield, U.K.-based band, particularly lead singer Martin Fry, a fashion plate of a frontman with a Bryan Ferry fixation, and the inventive production style of former Buggles member Trevor Horn and his team of musicians, several of whom would go on to form the Art of Noise. Horn created dense tracks that merged synthesizer sounds, prominent beats, and swaths of strings and horns, their orchestrations courtesy of Anne Dudley, who would follow her work with the Art of Noise by becoming a prominent film composer, and who here underscored Fry's stylized romantic lyrics and dramatic, if affected, singing. The production style was dense and noisy, but frequently beautiful, and the group's emotional songs gave it a depth and coherence later Horn works, such as those of Yes ("Owner of a Lonely Heart") and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, would lack. (You can hear Horn trying out the latter band's style in "Date Stamp.") Fry and company used the sound to create moving dancefloor epics like "Many Happy Returns," which, like most of the album's tracks, deserved to be a hit single. (In the U.K., four were: "Tears Are Not Enough," "Poison Arrow," "The Look of Love," and "All of My Heart," the last three making the Top Ten; in the U.S., "The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow" charted Top 40.) ABC, which began fragmenting almost immediately, never equaled its gold-selling first LP commercially or artistically, despite some worthy later songs. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1985 | EMI

Moving away from the guitar histrionics of Beauty Stab, Martin Fry reduced ABC to a duo of himself and Mark White for 1985's danceable How to Be a...Zillionaire! Incorporating light hip-hop rhythms, ABC made sure Zillionaire sounded contemporary for mid-'80s dance clubs, and as a result, some of the record sounds stiff and dated. Still, when Fry's sense of melody is on, as on the catchy single "Be Near Me," or when he works in his vicious, cynical wit, as on "How to Be a Millionaire" and "So Hip It Hurts," the record rivals the peaks of Lexicon of Love. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Island Mercury

The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABC gathers the tracks that defined their witty, theatrical synth-pop sound. All the expected hits are here, including the Lexicon of Love singles "Poison Arrow," "The Look of Love (Part One)," "All of My Heart," and "Tears Are Not Enough," as well as the Top Ten hits "Be Near Me" and "When Smokey Sings." Album tracks like "S.O.S" and remixes such as "Vanity Kills (The Abigails Party Mix)" round out this concise retrospective, which wisely concentrates on ABC's first four albums. Though it's not as complete a look at the band as Absolutely ABC, The Best of ABC is a worthwhile option for casual fans. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1987 | EMI

Returning to the Motown and Northern soul that provided the basis of their debut album, ABC turned to the pop songcraft on their fifth album, Alphabet City. The increased songcraft is certainly engaging, particularly on the hit "When Smokey Sings," but the songs are usually indistinguishable from each other, resulting in a sleek, stylish, and thoroughly entertaining album that leaves no lasting memory. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1983 | Virgin EMI

The difference between Beauty Stab's chart statistics in the U.K. and in the U.S. is extremely contrasting. The album's only single, "That Was Then and This Is Now," reached number 18 in the U.K., while it stalled at number 89 in the United States. The album itself climbed to number 12 on ABC's side of the ocean, while it stalled at number 69 on the American charts. The reason that Beauty Stab made such a substantial impact in the U.K. was due mainly to the album's makeshift concept about the band's take on modern England, with Martin Fry and Mark White trying to push their opinions through the buzz of guitars rather than the shiny pop sparkle of synthesizers and drum machines. Every aspect that made Lexicon of Love a masterpiece is absent on Beauty Stab. Gone is the brilliant songwriting which involved Fry's clever wordplay and acute wit, the pre-fabricated hooks that are so addictive, and, above all, the squeaky-clean sound from both a production standpoint and an instrumental one is nowhere to be found. ABC tried to implement a slightly hardened sound into their music, but the result came out thin and undistinguished. The single was the only redeeming factor, showing the most pizzazz of any of the other cuts. "Bite the Hand," "Unzip," and "S.O.S." contain small amounts of pop delight, while "Love's a Dangerous Language" and "Power of Persuasion" tried to recapture Lexicon's spirit, but they both came up short. Album sales for Beauty Stab faltered, since fans were expecting a Lexicon of Love part two, but were utterly disappointed. The change for ABC seemed to be rushed, and the band should have echoed the same characteristics into Beauty Stab since the high demand for their brand of lustrous was still alive and well. Only Fry and White remained for 1985's How to Be A...Zillionaire!, with a handful of session musicians hired to play on the album. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Pop - Released December 2, 2016 | EMI

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Pop - Released November 20, 2015 | Music Brokers

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Pop - Released January 1, 1989 | EMI

ABC's formula started to sound tired on their fifth album, which completed their contract with PolyGram, and unlike their first four, missed the charts in the U.S., while managing only one week on the U.K. charts. The singles "One Better World" and "The Real Thing" were likewise only minor hits in England and nonentities in America. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Trance - Released October 20, 2017 | Blue Tunes Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Cleopatra Records

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released April 20, 2018 | Alfamusic

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Pop - Released January 1, 1991 | Geffen

Abracadabra is a disheartening latter-day album from ABC, who are attempting to stay modern by incorporating both house and smooth Philly soul flourishes to their sound. Occasionally, the results sound supple and alluring, but the record is undone by a complete lack of strong, melodic songs, as well as what sounds like Martin Fry's indifference to the material. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 14, 2019 | Real Trill Music

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Jazz - Released October 25, 2019 | ABC

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Trance - Released May 31, 2018 | Blue Tunes Records

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Disco - Released June 1, 1994 | Tercet

Trance - Released May 31, 2018 | Blue Tunes Records

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World - Released January 7, 2020 | K-Music Channell