Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blast from the Past: ABBA Gold, Part 1

As is common when doing Blast from the Past (especially then), the Blogger program ate my homework. Enormously frustrating as you can imagine. So, I'm starting over. I was listening to ABBA on my way home from Easter dinner, and I thought I was overdue for a post about them. They're a perennial favorite of mine, and I'm surprised they don't get more attention. Remakes if nothing else. And since ABBA's first chart hits are approaching forty years old, why wait?

ABBA had a unique sound that is set apart from its 1970s-80s time frame. Because it sounded so different from everything else, many of their songs would lend themselves to remakes or re-release, at least in my opinion. But then, I also believed they were more popular here than they actually were. I was surprised to find out that they'd only had four top 10 hits in the states. They did manage about 14 top 40 hits, but several just barely. Still, they remain one of the most successful bands in the world, so maybe America has bad taste. Listen to some of these, see what you think.

1. People Need Love - This song was their first chart hit as a group, but only in Europe. But it was on their Greatest Hits album, and has remained a favorite of mine since I was a kid.

2. He is Your Brother - Another non-charter that was for some reason on the Greatest Hits album.

3. Ring Ring - A song about waiting for a phone call? What could be more natural as a remake? And the original is pretty good on its own. The lyrics would need updating for the smart phone age, however.
4. Nina, Pretty Ballerina - My brother used to tease me for liking this one, but damned if it would get stuck in his head too.

5. Waterloo - By far the biggest splash they'd yet had in America, this video also set the ABBA style in people's consciousness.
6. Honey Honey - This one sounds all innocent, but if you listen to the lyrics it sounds pretty sexy.

7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do - Certainly a wedding favorite in certain quarters, this one cements ABBA's penchant for repeated words in their titles. And it was a decent-sized hit here.
8. SOS - For me, this one is right up there with Waterloo in my ABBA top five, and certainly made its mark on the charts.

And we've barely scratched the surface! ABBA Gold was a two-CD set, but I think this is going to be three or four posts. To be continued. . . In the mean time, happy Monday!

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