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ABBA’S Super Trooper Album a Melodic Triumph

Updated on August 28, 2019
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I am no musician, but I know what I like, and the music I review will be songs that deserve to be played forever.

In 1980 you never knew what you might hear on your radio. It could be the Rolling Stones, it could be Olivia Newton John, Queen, Michael Jackson or Kenny Rogers. It was a smorgasbord of songs something for whatever you were in the mood to listen to. In this variety of singers, groups, and songs, ABBA was in the mix. ABBA had started their success with the album Waterloo back in 1973, and they were to create many great albums till the year the called in quits in 1981.

Super Trouper was an album getting back to their pop roots after their disco sounding album Voulez-Vous in 1979. I had purchased that album, and since at the time I wasn’t into disco it was a bit of a disappointment. Purchasing Super Trouper, I was happy they found their pop side again. This album has so many good songs on it. It was a number one album on the British charts, and it is easy to see why once you listen to the album.

The album flows cohesively, and it matches in its moodier tone with the breakup if two of the married band members Bjorn and Agnetha. The other couple Freida and Benny weren’t doing that well either in their relationship. Inspiration can be found in happy times as well as sad. This album brings a mixture of both causing it to be so great to listen to.

Let us go through the songs and you will see why the album is worth listening to.

“Super Trooper”

This song was ABBA’s ninth number one song in the United Kingdom. The song didn’t do as well in the United States, but since ABBA began, they had more success in Europe than in the United States.

This song has a pop, slight disco sound to it and it works. The song moves at first with gorgeous harmonies, and then with the instruments joining in. It is a song about a singer who is getting tired of being on tour. She looks forward to seeing her boyfriend at the end of the song.

Facing twenty thousand of your friends
How can anyone be so lonely
Part of a success that never ends
Still I'm thinking about you only
(Still I'm thinking about you only)
There are moments when I think I'm going crazy
(Think I'm going crazy)
But it's gonna be alright
(You'll soon be changing everything)
Everything will be so different
When I'm on the stage tonight

The song hits home with anyone who, when overwhelmed at work or personal issue, finds something to look forward to in order to get past the drudgery of the time.

The melody and harmonies create one beautiful song.

“The Winner Takes It All”

“The Winner Takes It All”

This song too made it to number one in the United Kingdom, and it got to number 10 in the United States. It is a dramatic song that showcases the singer, Agnetha, she admits she loved performing the song, but states it isn’t about the divorce between her and Bjorn. Her ex states that it wasn’t written about their relationship because there is no winner or loser in divorce especially when children are involved. The lyrics have a sadness, but the song has a classical sound that brings the song up a bit. The piano matches the emotion of the singer. The beginning of the song sets the tone with these lyrics:

I don't wanna talk about things we've gone through
Though it's hurting me, now it's history
I've played all my cards and that's what you've done too
Nothing more to say, no more ace to play
The winner takes it all
The loser standing small beside the victory, that's her destin

The song is a pop masterpiece. It sounds like a song Dusty Springfield would have done.

“On and On and On”

The tempo picks up on this song. In some ways it reminds me of an early rock song. The are back up singers doing the “do, do…” and a bit of heavier drumming with piano, and guitar. This song feels like it is going in circles, but that is what makes it a dance type of song. The song was released in limited markets and did well in Australia. It isn’t one my favorite songs on the album, but it does rock a little bit.

“Andante Andante”

It was a song released in only two countries Argentina and El Salvador. It is a love song, and it has a Italian sound to it, and also reminds me of a German song, and even has a country sound to it near the end. Andante means to go slowly and gently and it is easy to see how that could be the theme of a love song. It is beautifully sung.

“Me and I”

ABBA lets the synthesizers go wild in this song. It is a song that has a bit of humor to it with the lyrics of feeling like Jekyll and Hyde

Sometimes when I'm mad
There's a part of me that seems to be a little sad
Sometimes when I scream
There's a voice in me that says, "You shouldn't be so mean"
Oh no, oh no
Part of me is acting while the other stands beside
Yes, I am to myself what Jekyll must have been to Hyde

This song has a Queen feel to it, as well as a disco drive. Somehow it gripes you and you find yourself liking it when you thought you wouldn’t. If you don’t feel the same way at least it is a good song to dance to. This song feels like it leapt off the Voulez-Vous album.

“Happy New Year”

The harmonies abide in this song. It is song that should get more play during the Christmas holidays because there is an optimism to it as well a bit of sadness to the end of years past, just as in the song “Auld Lange Syne”.

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die
You and I

The video for the song shows a lighthearted group standing around Benny at the piano. It is a heart-warming scene and the video is very entertaining.

“Our Last Summer”

This is one song on the album that I played so much. It is a song where you can picture a couple having the time of their lives on vacation. They bring France to the listener and let us take a look at this ordinary couple who find happiness with each other.

The lyrics tell a story:

I can still recall our last summer
I still see it all
Walks along the Seine
Laughing in the rain
Our last summer
Memories that remain

Bjorn came up with the lyrics thinking of a romance he had in his teens when he was in Paris. This song has it such beautiful harmonies, a European sound, great story telling, and a great guitar solo. It is song that never grows old.

“The Piper”

“The Piper” has a medieval sound to it, and almost sounds like it is from a movie soundtrack. It is loosely based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

There is something catchy about it as the snare drum, flute, and harmonies swirl throughout the song. It is a different sound for the group, but it works.

“Lay All Your Love on Me”

This song is labeled euro pop and dance pop, but it also quite definitely disco. Hold on to your hats with this song. The synthesizers start the song right away, and then the drum beat jumps in and off we go. It is a song that is so danceable and catchy. The lyrics are about a lady obsessed by the new love she has found.

I wasn't jealous before we met
Now every woman I see is a potential threat
And I'm possessive, it isn't nice
You've heard me saying that smoking was my only vice

But now it isn't true
Now everything is new
And all I've learned
Has overturned
I beg of you...

Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me

If you like dance music this is the song for you. Agnetha once again provides great vocals.

“The Way Old Friends Do”

This is a live performance song. It sounds like an anthem of friendship. No matter what happens they can do anything being friends for so long. It is a perfect song to show how close the band had been through the years of touring together and being couples together. It is a great song to end their concerts with.

You and I can share the silence
Finding comfort together
The way old friends do
And after fights and words of violence
We make up with each other
The way old friends do
Times of joy and times of sorrow
We will always see it through
Oh I don't care what comes tomorrow
We can face it together
The way old friends do

Listening to ABBA and the album Super Trouper shows that time has not diminished the magic they created with this album. It is warm, it is musical, it is danceable, it is loveable, it is the heart of ABBA put out in music form. They can be very proud of what they created.


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