Monday, January 7, 2019

Musical Monday - Super Trouper by ABBA

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: November 20, 1980 through December 13, 1980.

Super Trouper is a song about a type of spotlight, proving that ABBA could make a hit song about almost anything. This was ABBA's ninth and final number one hit in the U.K., and I generally regard it as one of the dying gasps of the 1970s era of music.

I've said elsewhere that the oddity of ABBA is that they were huge Beatles-level superstars in almost every part of the world other than the United States, where they had only moderate success. When this song reached number one in the U.K., ABBA had the fourth most top hits in that country behind the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Cliff Richard. They held that position for nearly two decades until Madonna scored her tenth number one hit in the U.K. with Music in 2000.

I first encountered ABBA when I was living in Tanzania, and the community that my family socialized with included people from around the world, but most notably people from Norway, the Netherlands, and the U.K., which meant that ABBA was played frequently. My parents entertained a lot (in some part because it was a requirement of my father's job), and ABBA (along with Boney M and Santa Esmerelda) were always on the party playlist. I still remember being a kid and watching clouds of tipsy adults dancing on my parents' enormous back patio, rocking out to ABBA song after ABBA song. This was my first exposure to "grown-up" parties, and it was full of ridiculous European disco that somehow never became popular in the United States.

Previous Musical Monday: Lady by Kenny Rogers
Subsequent Musical Monday: Master Blaster (Jammin') by Stevie Wonder

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: The Tide Is High by Blondie
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: (Just like) Starting Over by John Lennon

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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