ABBA, ABBA songs and my memories of ABBA lyrics!
If you say the word ABBA in Sweden, everyone immediately get two things on their mind: the pop group ABBA and the fish-canning factory; ABBA Seafood AB, that doesn’t sing a tune, but instead produce absolutely delicious food from the sea in Sweden. This article is about the pop group ABBA and I would like to remind you of their music in case you have forgotten about them!
The group was active from 1972 to 1982 with, as I remember it, their biggest hits in the 70´s. I have so many memories from their carrier and from events attached to their music since I was a teenager during some of those years. When I searched my collection of old LP discs I found their first four albums, all produced by the Polar Music AB. It is a special feeling to touch them now after so many years and I remember everything about them. The covers are a bit worn on the edges and the latest of my records, “Arrival”, from 1976 has unfortunately no album cover at all. My favourite song back then, Dancing Queen, is on that particular album. The album with the song that my friends and I played over and over again, so I guess the cover gave in at the end! I will tell more about why, later on.
The group started out pretty much as any other Swedish pop group at that time around 1970 and at the time, they didn’t had the name ABBA. Their group name back then was Bjorn& Benny and later, when the girls joined, they called themselves Bjorn & Benny, Agnetha & AnniFrid.
In 1973 the participated in The Eurovision Song Contest with a song called “ Ring, Ring” and that is the first ABBA song I really remember. It is a sweet song with a very relevant and true message for that time. I spent hours and hours waiting for that phone call to come! If I didn't wait for a phone call I talked to my friends on the phone instead and we shared our thoughts with the music “Ring Ring” in the background. ABBA didn't win the Eurovision Song Contest that year but the song was placed third in the Swedish preliminary round. It isn´t one of my favorite but it is the first song I remember by ABBA.
ABBA, Ring, Ring
When the popularity increased in Sweden and in other parts of Europe it became unpractical to have a group name that consisted of their actual names so 1973 was the year for the official naming of the group: ABBA. The group name is formed from the first letter of the group members name and was easy to use also for other countries outside Europe.
In 1974 they group once again participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo” and at this time they actually won and qualified as the Swedish entry in the Eurovision Song contest! I can still remember how excited I was that night, watching ABBA win the contest in Brighton, in England 1974!
My parents didn’t know what to think of them nor the winning song. For the first time a pop song of that kind won the contest and how they rocked! Dressed in plateau boots and glitzy clothes they looked so smart and very different compared to the other entries. Or that was at least my opinion but I was of course partial!
Take a Look for yourself and enjoy!.
My favorite back then; The Dancing Queen!
The ABBA song the “Dancing Queen” was performed for the first time in 1976 at the Royal Swedish Opera for King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. The performance was a part of the Royal marriage that was a fantastic and memorable event. I can still remember the feeling of astonishment I had watching on TV when they performed this for the Royalties and all the honorable guests from other countries. And during the whole song I wondered how the King and the Queen would react to this song. But of course they liked it, and both the King and the Queen smiled and clapped their hands when they finished the song. ABBA had traditional 18th Century costumes to honour the occasion and it was so totally unlike their usual dresses. Everything they did during this time was wonderful and made a big success.
During this time in Sweden it was very uncommon for artists to look the way ABBA did so their image with plenty of glitz and glamor was something totally new. As a teenager, I absolutely loved them! My friends and me could dance to the songs over and over again and some special and a bit complicated steps were invented to some of the songs. We spent endless hours in my room trying to get the steps right, while Dancing Queen roared from the huge speakers I had in my room. And we learn the words by heart by doing so. We felt so cool, when we later on danced those special dances on discos! Even now, when I hear the song my feet sort of make the special moves without me thinking about it.
I must add a video from US TV special News back in 1979! The quality isn’t the best, but the content is!
ABBA consisted of two married couples; Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulveus and Agneta Fältskog. Unfortunately Agneta and Bjorn broke up in 1979. They continued to do play together and also made tours, but in 1981 the marriage between Benny and Anni-Frid Lyngstad ended also. The group finally broke up a few years after that, in 1983. Since then, there has been endless request for a reunion and the former members of ABBA have been offered big amounts of money to do a performance again. But so far, it hasn’t happened and I don’t believe it will either. Why should they? Nothing they do together now could ever compete with what they did together back then.
All four team members have made career themselves after the group broke up. Bjorn and Benny have continued to work together and have made some wonderful musicals as well as songs together. Through them, some of the old ABBA sound keeps on living and in my mind they are both fantastic composers and songwriters. The most famous international musicals done by Bjorn and Benny are Chess and Mamma Mia.
In 2000 ABBA where offered one milliard dollar for a tour but they turned the offer down. In fact, it seemed almost impossible to bring them together even at the same place and it wasn’t before 2008 that all four of them could be photographed together again! At that time they where all attending the premiere of the movie “Mamma Mia” at the cinema Rival in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 15 March 2010 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bee Gees as the first Swedes ever. Anni-Frid and Benny gave their acceptance speech at this great and honourable event. In the speeches they explain their music as well as the Swedes!
ABBA has sold 400 million albums worldwide and the group still sell 2-4 million records per year! So the interest for ABBA continues!
There has been, and still are, some plans on opening an ABBA museum in Stockholm. It has been discussed during a couple of years but so far there is no real building plan. I think it is a great idea and there are so much to show about their marvellous career so I think it would be a given success!
Even though I don’t listen to ABBA so much now I remember every word and I still love the music. It is a very special sound, the ABBA sound.
Please join me in this cavalcade of great ABBA songs that also happens to be some of my personal favourites. They have done so many more great songs but it is impossible to include them all. But these are really great! Enjoy!
ABB, Take a chance on me!
Does your mother know?
Now, after listening to all those videos while I wrote this hub, I feel that it is a sad that my husband don’t know the special steps and moves that I learned back then in the 70s. He is a bit older than me and he has never been an ABBA fan like me and my friends were at the time, although he likes their music.
I think I will have to invite the girls from back then to a big ABBA party!