If U2 can openly admit to being ABBA fans, I certainly can. Although I wouldn’t have done it back in the 1970s during ABBA’s heyday. Back then, I surely would have been shunned from my rock ‘n roll loving social group, cast aside like a pariah!
Actually, there are a lot of ABBA fans on this planet, closet or otherwise, given that they are among the top grossing musical acts of all time, comparable to ACDC, Queen and The Rolling Stones, according to Wikipedia.
Considered the most successful pop group of all time, ABBA were formed in 1972 when Swedish musicians Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus hooked up with singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog. Andersson and Lyngstad married, as did Ulvaeus and Faltskog. The break up of both marriages played a significant role in the break up of the band.
They performed together from 1972 to 1982 recording a number of hit songs including my favorites Waterloo, Fernando and Dancing Queen.
Their breakthrough came in 1974 when they won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, which later went on to become a global hit!
The strength of ABBA’s music was in their melodies and harmonies [not unlike, ehem, the #1 grossing musical act of all time, and my personal favorite, the Beatles]. Benny and Bjorn were gifted songwriters, while Anni-Frid and Agnetha’s vocals were as good as any on the planet. It was a ‘marriage’ made in heaven … well, for awhile, anyway!
Interestingly enough, towards the end of their run, Benny and Bjorn wrote several songs about their marriage breakups and interestingly enough, Anni-Frid and Agnetha sang them on the recordings. That couldn’t have been easy!
Although the group disbanded in ’82, their musical legacy lives on, including spawning the phenomenally successful musical, Mamma Mia, in 1999, which played all around the world. I went to see several years ago and I don’t mind telling you that it is the best stage show I have ever seen!
So, now that it’s out there I wonder what the repercussions will be? Will the rock gods shun me, or do they too recognize true musical genius, regardless of the genre. I suspect this is the case and so I will sleep well tonight!
If you’re not familiar with ABBA’s music, check them out on Youtube or go buy a CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Have an awesomely ABBA day!