So, I have come to the conclusion that the great Swedish musical group of the 70’s and 80’s, the one and only ABBA, does not nearly get the amount of respect that they deserve.
So here it is, my tribute to ABBA.
It was 1982 I was born, so this means I lived through a huge part of that decade of decades affectionately known as “THE 80’s”. It was a great era in the history of this planet, if not the greatest. Ronald Regan, (“the actor!?”) was in the White House, Hasselhoff was turbo jumping like crazy in K.I.T.T., Charles was in Charge, hair bands had hair, and of course in the later years Jean-Luc Picard ordered his very first replicated “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”
Yes, it was a good decade. We were still in the middle of the cold war and the good ole’ commies were still the enemy. This was the geopoliticalpopcultural climate in which I first encountered the four-person sensation from Sveeden known as ABBA. Ah yes, in fact I’m sure one of the first songs I recall hearing on the radio was an ABBA song. It was either that or something by James Taylor. I listened to a lot of WSRS back in those days when I would cruise the town in my mother’s 1977 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser a.k.a. the station wagon. Ahh the memories of sticking to the hot vinyl seats on a warm summers day. But anyway I want to say that the song I first heard was “Fernando” by none other than our Svenska musical heroes. At the time I had no idea what the song was about, other than the obvious guy named Fernando. I think it was the flute and the drums that did it for me, but still to this day I’m not exactly sure what this song is really about.
Then there was “Chiquitita”. Up until about 2 minutes ago I always wondered what possessed these four friends to sing about bananas. It now seems that this is not what this song is about. And yes, yet again I have no clue what it really is about. In fact, I have just come to the conclusion that I have no idea what most ABBA songs are about. Truth be told, I’m not sure they even knew what they were singing about. I mean let us think about this for a moment if we will. So far we’ve covered “Fernando” and “Chiquitita” which now brings us to “Waterloo”. ABBA really stretched themselves on this one. Lyricaly this is probably one of the worst songs ever created. It does however have a catchy beat which magically turns it into an awesome song! I guess that was the magic of ABBA. Yes, it certainly must have been.
They did have one good song though, at least in terms of lyrics and beat, “Dancing Queen”. Ok, so the lyrics aren’t really that great, but at least it makes an attempt at telling a story, or at the very least something out of which you can kind of make some sense. On top of all of this it’s good for dancing. I even saw once a DJ in New York City with a sign that said something like “Sorry no ABBA”. So, obviously somebody out there is requesting it.
And who, of course, doesn’t like swedish people wrapped in tinfoil?