Monday, March 20, 2006

In Musical Praise of: ABBA

(BBC Online)

I have hesitated before blogging on them, as they are the closest thing to a guilty musical pleasure. Even when I brought their Gold album, I brought a Billy Bragg album as well, so as to avoid feeling embarrased and to show that my musical tastes are varied.
So why, when I have varied tastes, and enjoy listening to The Clash, Nick Drake, Queen, Elgar, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and Jools Holland do I like ABBA!
Well, erm, I just do! I think that there is more to their music than gives them credit, even though they have a cliched image and are mercilessly lampooned, as a favourite sketch of mine from Not the Nine O'Clock News once did, with a brilliant verse in their song "Super Dooper" :


"One of us is ugly, one of us is cute
One of us you'd like to see in her birthday suit
Two of us write music, two have way a song
Sorry, in translation, that line come out wrong"


Which was sharp and irrevrent, but seems to be the general view of ABBA.
If you take their last studio album, The Visitors, it is somewhat different to the others. The lyrics have an added sharpness (although there were strong lyrics in some of their previous songs) and there is a Scandinavian melachony to some of their work, plus their melodies are somewhat catchy.
Besides, who can really, really, dislike Thank You For The Music, or Dancing Queen, or Fernando, or Does Your Mother Know, or Knowing Me, Knowing You!
Okay a no of people, but admit it. You like them really!

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