Monday, October 15, 2018

Musical Monday - The Winner Takes It All by ABBA

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: August 9, 1980 through August 16, 1980.

The Winner Takes It All was written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The lead vocal was sung by Agnetha Fältskog. The song is about the aftermath of a divorce, with the singer ruefully commenting upon how her relationship broke down and wallowing in the bittersweet memories of the past. Despite the fact that Ulvaeus and Fältskog divorced in 1980, they both maintain that this song is not actually about their divorce, but is entirely fictional. Needless to say, there are many people who simply do not believe them. It doesn't really matter, as this song remains a masterful piece of work about the disintegration of a relationship whether it is based upon a real divorce or not.

The melancholy tone of the song also reflects the waning of ABBA as a group. They would continue as a going concern until 1982, when they would make their final performance as a group, but by 1980 their glory days were mostly behind them. Sure, they reached number one in the U.K. with this song, and would do so once more later in 1980 with Super Trouper, but their halcyon era was coming to a close. Though they might not have been in the twilight of the band, they were definitely in the late afternoon.

Previous Musical Monday: Magic by Olivia Newton-John
Subsequent Musical Monday: Take Your Time (Do It Right) by the S.O.S. Band

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Use It Up and Wear It Out by Odyssey
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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