This is the first in what I’m hoping will be a daily feature. I’m doing it alphabetically. Usually I will be a little more original here, but in truth, most of Abba’s greatest songs were it’s biggest hits.
1. Knowing Me Knowing You
This is like a mini-Fleetwood Mac Rumors song. Sure the song is Abba sticky-sweet, but the lyrics tell a different story right from the beginning.
No more carefree laughter
Silence ever after
Walking through an empty house, tears in my eyes
Here is where the story ends, this is goodbye
Byrds-esque chiming guitars, bass stomp beat, ethereal chorus. It’s about a perfect pop song.
2. Dancing Queen
Best disco song performed by a white person not named Gibb. The groove at the end can make a lumberjack want to twirl like a ballerina. See that girl, watch that scene, I dig it.
Abba’s take on Elton John’s Crocodile Rock. Few better uses of a saxophone in pop music.
4. Take a Chance on Me
This song comes out of the gate like a Kraftwerk fronted by a barbershop quartet. The layers show the Swede bros at their most Phil Spector.
Toy piano start had to be an influence on Mark Everett of the Eels. It actually has a little bit of a jam in it, especially in the ELO moments.
Ok, this one is totally over the top. The lyrics are silly, the music is like a march with flutes…and then it all comes together in the chorus. Damned if I know how they did it. Maybe it’s some Swedish voodoo.
7. Winner Takes It All
This was the band sounding wistfully at it’s past and how they had reached the top and knew the fun was over. Has anyone ever called Journey on lifting the piano riff from this.
8. Mamma Mia
Another insane song that somehow comes together. The outfits in this video are truly amazing.
9. Summer Night City
How this song never charted in the US is beyond me. Most underrated Abba tune, as they really turn disco on it’s head.
10. Like an Angel Passing Thru My Room
This one was new to me. Thanks to the heads-up from my friend Felicia. Frida is like some kind of icy fairy-godmother on this one. Beautiful.