Friday, April 9, 2010

ABBA - The Singles The First Ten Years


Mine has been snickering about the chance I might have to review Abba ever since we started this project.  And lo, the bloody pointy stick, damn its pointy stickedness, finally decided to help increase her snicker to a full belly laugh.

Abba were everywhere when I was a teenager.  They were on the front cover of magazines and newspapers, on the television and all over the radio.  They were so popular that as a young high school student, it was a prerequisite to name which Abba chick you'd 'do' (not that any of us really understood what 'do'-ing was all about). 

More importantly, Abba lived in my house.  My sister professed to be their biggest fan and would play them over and over. And over.  And over!  Given their popularity in Australia, it also meant they were never too far from my cultural consciousness, no matter how hard I tried to ignore them.  It seemed cruel that fate (if you believe in it) dictated my sister like this band and not Kiss or Cheap Trick.  And now fate, it seems, is probably laughing its arse off because Mine shares this love.  See, fate, this is why I have a hard time believing in you! 

Oh, and for the record, I was in the Agnetha camp.

VERDICT: THROW IT OUT, preferably into a bottomless abyss where it will never be seen again


It's a bit hard for me to admit this, but I'm getting a bit sick of Abba.  (YourZ sez: oh happy happy, joy joy!  Can we throw it out then?)  Not that I'll ever get rid of this album, but the cream of it has been sitting on my gymPod ever since I got it, more than a year ago.  Plus I've also got Erasure's version of some songs - from ABBAesque - on the Shuffle so the Swedish group's work tends to run by my ears more frequently than just about anybody else.

Then there's the ridiculous success of Mamma Mia! which I have to admit I saw in the theatre.  I enjoyed the songs, but found the whole storyline (if you can call it that) vapid.  I've avoided seeing the movie.  I actually like Meryl Streep and don't want my regard to be crushed.

As it happens, I wasn't an Abba fan when the band was at its peak, although several of my then-friends were.  Of course the songs entered my consciousness due to the sheer weight of repetition, and as a piano player I recall trying to make the sheet music to Ring Ring sound like it did on the radio.  I failed.

But about 10 years later, I decided I quite liked Abba.  Because nothing fills a dance floor faster than Dancing Queen, and I discovered about then that the dance floor was my favourite place in the world to be.  So I bought this CD - yes, I've had it that long!  It's really great for doing housework to, and is one of the CDs that helps me cook (YourZ sez: so you say but I've never seen a single strudel!).  A classic.

VERDICT:TURN IT UP (YourZ sez: aaaahhhh COME ON, you tease!)

For more information:

(Mine says: and for those of you who are counting, this is our 100th review!  Yay us!)


  1. This album just goes to show how perverse I am. SOS is where I came in and I still love it to death. On the other hand, I never ever want to hear 'Dancing Queen' ever again. Ever. Or most of the mid-period stuff.

    The stuff I really like is on side 4 (I'm on vinyl here) - the late stuff that no-one else likes. I think 'Day before you came' and 'Under attack' are brilliant. Trust them to call it a day just as they were producing some really good (and thus unpopular) material.

    PS Don't watch the Mama Mia movie - it is toe-curlingly awful. No really, it's so bad I mourn for Streep & Walters. What were they thinking?

    PS2 Just for the record, I'd be in the Agnetha camp too but I fear I couldn't stand the wait in the queue...

  2. MO- I'm not that keen on Under Attack but I do like Day Before You Came. I often wonder how they'd be going if they continued now. Did you hear, the boys actually said they might consider re-forming for a one-off concert to be live-streamed?

    PS I was actually in the Anni-Frid camp (what can I say, I'm a brunette)

    PS2 I forgot to tell YourZ - Strudel is Austro/German. Gravlax is Swedish, and you've had a ton of that!

  3. Yourz, I feel your pain. My younger sister would play "Dancing Queen" over and over and over. It was torture! Thank God for my Kiss albums!

  4. Drew, I'm glad someone does (I'm sure we're not alone either). I think my sister's song choice of annoyance was 'Waterloo' although it might have been 'Dancing Queen' (damn my dodgy memory). Either way, it was enough to drive any young man wild and not in a good way either.


  5. I have mixed feelings about Abba. I asked my parents to buy me an Abba record for my ninth birthday because a girl in my class said they were a good band. Fast forward 10 or so years and I'm incredibly drunk and losing my virginity to a girl in a Zeppelin T-shirt as an Abba album plays in her flat. I can't remember intentionally listening to Abba since I hit my teens.

  6. Chris, 'intentionally' is the operative word for me. I've heard Abba so much over the years but NEVER intentionally. But I guess if I lost my virginity while Abba music was playing, they'd probably hold a special place in my memory too.