Monday, June 1, 1970

Musical Artist - ABBA

ABBA is a Swedish pop group founded in 1972 consisting of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They made their first big splash when they won the Eurovision song contest in 1974 with the song Waterloo and went on to be the most successful Eurovision winners in history - and one of the most successful pop acts of all time. ABBA followed up on their success with Waterloo with a string of international hits that gave them Beatles-like fame in virtually every country in the world other than the United States. Their list of hits includes Chiquitita, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Fernando, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), Honey, Honey, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Super Trouper, Mamma Mia, Money, Money, Money, The Name of the Game, SOS, Super Trouper, Take a Chance on Me, Voulez-Vous, and The Winner Takes It All, most of which reached number one in one country or another, and all of which reached at least the top ten somewhere.

In some ways the tale about ABBA's lack of success in the United States is a myth. To the extent that ABBA did "poorly" in the United States, it was only in comparison to how successful they were in the rest of the world. ABBA has three top ten singles in the United States, one of which reached number one. They had six other songs reach the top twenty in the U.S. By almost any measure, that is quite a bit of success - there are a lot of acts that are regarded as being big hit producers in the United States who cannot match that track record. It is only in comparison with their overwhelming success elsewhere on the globe that ABBA's performance in the U.S. seems disappointing.

The band's name is an acronym made up of the initials of the first names of the members of the group. Fältskog and Ulvaeus were married when the group was formed, and Andersson and Lyngstad got married in 1978, at the height of the band's popularity, but both couples were divorced by the end of 1981. The break-up of the two marriages presaged the effective dissolution of the band in 1982. Though the group never officially split up, they have not performed live since 1982. For decades, there were persistent rumors that the group would get back together, including a report that they were offered $1 billion for a 100 concert reunion tour, but all of the members have repeatedly said that they have no interest in resurrecting the band as a live act. They did record some new music together in 2018, but it apparently will not be released to the public until 2019.

In the years since the band's break-up, Fältskog and Lyngstad had moderately successful solo careers and Ulvaeus and Andersson wrote and arranged music of the stage, including music for the musical Chess. In 1999, the group's music was incorporated into the successful stage play Mamma Mia!, which was made into a movie in 2008. In 2018, a sequel to Mamma Mia! titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released.

ABBA has a website named ABBA: The Official Website. They can also be found on Facebook and YouTube.

Musical Monday Selections:

01/07/19: Super Trouper
06/15/18: The Winner Takes It All

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