Mamma Mia! Who Is ABBA?

ABBA the pop group

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BAO And the Singers Helene Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg

Kalle Moraeus is one of the members of "Orsa spelmanslag", an Orchestra, which plays traditional Swedish folk music. This Orchestra is a part of BAO. Kalle here tells a joke about the title of this song, and says: "This doesn't count for me and my body, but don't think of my body when you listen to the song". The name of the song translated into English is: "Everything can be seen when you're naked".

The Background Of A and B and B and A

There are so many great musicians and pop groups in the world. I'm sure I've just discovered a little piece of them. My favourites since I was a little girl are Bon Jovi. Last summer I finally got to see them live in Helsinki, Finland. They performed in in the rain in front of 40 000 people. I hope I'll get to see them again. This is however not about Bon Jovi. That will be another hub. This is about the Swedish pop group ABBA that sold about 375 million albums worldwide during their career. I never saw them live, but I'm sure a concert by ABBA would have been something to remember.

What really impresses me, when it comes to good music, is the musicians and bands from Sweden. There are many, many great Swedish singers and pop groups. The most well known group from Sweden is without any doubt ABBA. I mean, who hasn't heard the songs Mamma Mia, Chiquitita, The Winner Takes It All and Dancing Queen?!

This pop group was formed in 1970 with the name ”Festfolket”. If you translate that into English it would be ”The party people”. Later they renamed themselves by using the first letters in the band members' first names. ABBA consisted of two married couples: Björn Ulvaeus and his wife Agnetha Fältskog, and Benny Andersson and his wife Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Their music reached out to people all over the world. ABBA was the first successful pop group in the world that came from a non-English-speaking country. They were the fourth best-selling pop music artists in the history of recorded music at that time. They where so popular in Latin America that they actually recorded a collection of Spanish ABBA songs.

In 1983 ABBA's era as a pop group had come to an end, and the they split. Both marriages had ended during the years of making great pop music. At the end of the group's career, the songs were more sad, and they also reflected the band members' political views. There's no doubt this has been the most popular pop group in Swedish history. Benny Andersson now has his own band "Benny Anderssons orkester" or "BAO". This orchestra is playing and singing Swedish music that is loved by Swedes, and their songs has been on Swedish radio charts for years.The singer in this group is Helene Sjöholm, who also performed in a couple of musicals written by Björn and Benny. Helene gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, early this year 2012.

I don't know much about all the other former ABBA members and their lives today. Especially the ABBA women live very private lives. After the split, Björn and Benny continued working together. They are known for writing musicals like "Mamma Mia!", "Chess" and "Kristina från Duvemåla".

Agnetha and Anni-Frid continued their careers as solo artists. Agnetha released three solo albums in the 1980's, and in Sweden only, they were sold in 320 000 copies. Anni-Frid now lives in Switzerland, where she has many friends working in the music business. She has been singing on another Swedish singer's album recently, but she wants to lead a private life. She said in an interview two years ago that she won't perform on a stage again.

Mamma Mia! - Both Musical And Movie

In 1999 ”Mamma Mia!” the musical, written by Björn and Benny, started touring around the world. The musical is based on ABBA songs. The story about a girl and her three possible fathers is written by Catherine Johnson. The musical was a huge success seen by 50 million people all over the world. I saw Mamma Mia! the musical in Stockholm in spring 2006. Wow! What a feeling. Even the baby in my belly seemed to like it and moved around to the music. He is now five years old and he still keeps on dancing to the beat of ABBA music. After seeing the musical I went home with a smile on my face feeling happy.

In 2008 Mamma Mia! the movie, which is based on the musical, was released. It was filmed during 2007 in Greece and in the Pinewood studio in London. The actors in the movie were wonderful. Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth were some of the hot names starring the roles. Amanda Seyfried did a great job playing the lead roll. As a Scandinavian I must say I'm most proud of the Swedish actor Stellan Skargård. You may also have heard of one of Stellan's sons, Alexander Skarsgård, who has a role in the tv series ”True blood”. I've seen Mamma Mia! the movie numerous of times and my children just love it. I guess it's the music, the atmosphere and the story that makes this movie so popular.

Mamma Mia

Chess

The male members of ABBA, Björn and Benny togther with Tim Rice, are also known for writing Chess the musical. This musical is from 1986 and has been performed on big stages and arenas all over the world. I saw this musical in Stockholm about ten years ago myself. The music is wonderful! The actors/singers were great. Tommy Körberg is a Swedish singer, who played one of the leading rolls in the musical. His voice must be one of the greatest in the world. Nothing beats Tommy Körberg singing "Anthem", not even Josh Groban.

I didn't really get the story in Chess, when I saw the musical. Maybe because of my lack of political knowledge. I'd really like to see the musical again, now that I'm older and probably wiser. That's what I'd like to think. The musical will be set up in Gothenburg, Sweden this year (2012) and maybe I should go there on a trip just to see Chess again.

Anthem by Tommy Körberg

Peter Jöback Singing In the Musical "Kristina Från Duvemåla""

Kristina Från Duvemåla

"Kristina från Duvemåla" is a Swedish musical written by Björn and Benny. This musical is based on s series of four books written by the Swedish author Wilhelm Moberg. These books are real classics, and I once had a teacher, who said: "You have to read these books before you turn 25". They are very important considering the history. In the 1917th century many people from the nordic countries migrated to USA to work and earn money and simply survive. Everybody was really pore in Sweden and the surrounding countries at that time. Sometimes just young men and family fathers went to America to work. Many of them never returned home. These books written by Wilhelm Moberg are about a very poor family living in Sweden. They make the hard decision to leave the small village "Duvemåla" in Sweden in 1850 and travel the long way across the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota to buy some land and build themselves a new home. It's a really hard life with diseases, starvation and even death. It was a reality for many families during these years.

These books have been filmatised and sent as tv series in the 1970's. Benny and Björn made a musical that had its premier in 1995 in Malmö, Sweden. The musical has been translated into English. A concert version of the musical has been given in Carnegie Hall, New York in 2009, and in Royal Albert Hall, London in 2010.

Last weekend "Kristina från Duvemåla" the musical had premier here in Helsinki, Finland. I really need to go and see this. Media described it as a success. I have read the books and seen the movies many years ago.

Non Official Information About Björn Ulveus And Chess

I just need to mention that my spouse worked in the house of Björn Ulvaes some years ago when we lived in Stockholm. Björn needed a new wood floor in one room and that's what my partner made for him. My spouse never met Björn though. My spouse also found a box named ”Chess” in Björn's house. He thought it was the game chess until he realised it was all the cd's from the musical Chess. Well, that was just a little inside information. And Björn has a nice, big house on a private island. I guess he has more than one house. Ha can probably afford that and much, much more after his career.

ABBA the pop group is history but the ABBA music is still alive.

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Comments 34 comments

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

This is an excellent review of a group I grew up really enjoying. I never told anyone how much I enjoyed them until recently when a friend had received a Greatest Hits Collection CD. I look forward to hearing their music again. Thanks for sharing. :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great review on this great band.

Their music will never be dated.

Thanks for sharing and I vote up.

Take care

Eiddwen.


carolp profile image

carolp 5 years ago from Switzerland

ABBA is popular here in Switzerland and to the whole world. They are great Band group and they have many lovely songs, very inspirational and lively. I like ABBA. Thanks for the review.


Made profile image

Made 5 years ago from Finland Author

Thanks for your comments CMCastro, Eiddwen and carolp! I think ABBA is still selling 2-3 million albums every year. I'm not ABBA's biggest fan, but I like them. :)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

This hub is wonderful!!

Abba brings back so many memories. I remember first hearing them on TV back in Scotland when they won the Eurovision Song Contest - I think it was 1974 or there abouts - with the song 'Waterloo'. I became a fan from this first song and have listened to them ever since. The Abba hits were frequent during my High School days and beyond - what great memories from this wonderful band. I also think it's great how many youngsters actually enjoy their music today as much as us older ones do.

Many thanks for sharing this great hub!


Made profile image

Made 5 years ago from Finland Author

Abba's music is for people in all ages all over the world. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it very much. Keep listening to Abba! I will.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I love Abba's music. They are definitely one of my favorite pop groups. Interesting hub. And now I think I'll probably listen to Mamma Mia!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

I'm glad you liked the hub, Alecia. I'm sure there's much more to write about this group. They put Sweden on the world map during the years they were playing.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Great hub; nice to read it from a Scandinavian viewpoint. I think they probably finished their career at just the right time and went out on a high.

Voted up and shared.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

An excellent review of one of the best bands ever! I have always been a big fan of Abba, and their music is still popular with todays generation!

Thank you, voted up and shared.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Jools99, they probably did. Thank you for voting and sharing!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Movie Master, Abba's music seems to be timeless. They are a proof of that hard work can lead to success. Thank you for sharing!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Thanks for a wonderful tribute to ABBA, one of the greatest pop groups ever. Their music brought me much pleasure. Two of my favorite ABBA songs were Dancing Queen and The Winner Takes it All. I can hear either of those songs in my head just by thinking of it!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

JayeWisdom, they were great. It's really hard to get the Abba songs out of your head once they get in. I guess that's a good thing. Thank you so much for your comment!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Now, I just want to get up and sing "Mama Mia" at the top of my lungs! Great hub!!!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Hi iamaudraleigh, if you feel like it, just do it! LOL! Thank you. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Funny the first thing I thought of was Mama Mia! I must admit though, thanks to my kids I can hear Dancing Queen in my head. This was a nice topic for a hub and you did justice to ABBA.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Abba's songs easily get stuck in the head. Thank you tillsontitan!


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

I grew up hearing their songs. Mama Mia is an all time favorite of mine.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Anamika S, once you get this song in your head it's hard to get rid of it. :)


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

I HAVE LOVED ABBA, LIKE FOREVER! I first listened to their music when my father was stationed in Germany in the late 70's. I had a crush on the female singers, and used to watch their performances on GErman TV. Music is timeless.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

A.A. Zavala, especially ABBA's music is timeless. Sometimes I don't listen to their music at all. Sometimes when I start listening to their music, I can't seem to stop. Thanks for stopping by!


beingwell profile image

beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

I'm an ABBA fan! I love their music.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

beingwell, once you start listening to ABBA's music it's hard to stop. Thank you for your comment!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Good to know that Björn and Benny are still out there. The ladies did caus crushes and broke hearts. Was wondering if back then in 1975, they knew good english. Just a thought! Mamma mia! Voted up!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

lord de cross, the ABBA members must have spoken some English. Björn and Benny wrote the songs in English, I think. I'm not sure if Agneta and Anni-Frid were speaking English, but at least they were singing it. Thank you for stopping by and for voting!


kasiapl profile image

kasiapl 4 years ago from New Jersey , USA

they're cool :) loved the movie :) happy songs


hecate-horus profile image

hecate-horus 4 years ago from Rowland Woods

Love, love, LOVE ABBA! You can tell they put a lot of themselves in their music. Good article!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

kasiapl, many of their songs are happy. I'm glad you like ABBA and stopped by to comment. Thank you!


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

hacate-horus, their songs were personal - and they reached out to many people with their music. Thank you!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

What a great review of one of my favorite bands. It´s a pity that the band no longer exists. I have some of ABBA´s music collections. I´d love to listen to them again. Thanks for reminding me about it. Thanks for sharing.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland Author

Thelma Alberts, ABBA was a great band, and maybe it was good that they quit when they did, because the realtionship between the members was tense. It would be nice to see them reunite once again though. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a great comment. :)


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 3 years ago from United States

Fun hub! I was in high school when ABBA was popular and I remember having shoes--clogs that were ABBA clogs. It is sad that fame ended the two marriages. Even though all of us long to be the best and to be well known, I'm not sure that makes most people happy.


Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Virginia, thank you for stopping by to read. I guess this hub can bring back some memories. Money and fame don't make you happy, I think.

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