ABBA - the hits continued...
ABBA - Dancing Queen (1976)
Lifted from the Arrival album, Dancing Queen was released in 1976 (recorded in 1975) as a single and reached No.1 in thirteen countries. This is one of the band's most well-known hit songs, and possibly their best 70s release.
Of course, Disco music was huge at this time and this disco-style tune was written by Benny, Bjorn and ABBA's manager Stig "Stikken" Anderson in honour of Queen Silvia of Sweden and performed at the wedding reception of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the Royal Palace.
Dancing Queen was the follow-up single to Fernando and was one of the most successful hit singles of the 70s.
I remember my Mum buying this on 7" Vinyl and this is the song that turned me into an ABBA fan. If I remember correctly, it had an orange Polydor label and That's Me was on the B-side.
I also used to listen to my Mum's Arrival album (on cassette) using her 70s stereo system that had a lift-up clear plastic lid which covered a turntable and top-loading cassette deck. There was also a radio on the front of the unit. I remember that the build quality was pretty good - a very sturdy piece of kit!
ABBA - Mamma Mia (1975)
Mamma Mia was the last single to be lifted from ABBA's third self-titled album, and was released in September 1975.
The song knocked Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody off the top spot in the UK - spookily, this also contains the lyrical phrase Mamma Mia!
Other hits on the album were I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do and SOS.
Of course, proving that ABBA's music is timeless, in 2008 the Mamma Mia movie was a huge success and featured an array of stars singing the band's hit songs from the 70s and 80s, including a legendary performance by Pierce Brosnan!
The movie was set on a glorious Greek island and told the story of a bride-to-be trying to locate her real father.The movie wasn't really to my liking, but that's mainly because I was an ABBA fan back in the 70s and 80s and I much prefer to listen to the original music.
The Winner Takes It All (1980)
The early 80s saw an explosion of brilliant music in the charts, and, in
my opinion, this was one of Abba's finest moments.
Sung brilliantly by
Agnetha Faltskog, this is a track that oozes emotion and was released as
the 1st single from the Super Trouper album on July 21, 1980.
Defintely the band's best 80s hit, at least, The Winner Takes It All made No.1 in five countries including the UK, and stayed on top for 2 months in Belgium. It also hit the top ten in many countries throughout the world.
A couple of useless facts for you; The working title for the song was The Story Of My Life and Samantha Fox recorded a cover of The Winner Takes It All in 2004 for a German Abba Mania Competition!
This is definitely one of those songs that can sometimes bring tears to your eyes. Listen and weep!
ABBA - One Of Us (1981)
By the 1980's, ABBA had passed the peak of their career, and One Of Us was the last major hit song for ABBA. It was also the last Top Ten hit in the UK as the band's popularity was in decline. The song reached #3 for three weeks and was the first track to be lifted from the album The Visitors. In the US the song only reached #107, although it was released a year later than in most other countries after ABBA had disbanded.
Agnetha sings the lead vocals to a song about a woman trying to rescue a dying relationship. The only other UK hit from The Visitors album was Head Over Heels which peaked at #25.
I was pretty depressed when ABBA started losing favour with the public in the early 80s, and I feel the songwriting was just starting to develop into something deeper than was present in some of the band's 70s songs. Still, nothing lasts forever and the Swedish quartet provided us with more than enough classic 70s and 80s tunes to enjoy forever!