God Only Knows is a sublime song, with both a beautiful tune and beautiful lyrics. But I always thought that Pet Sounds was overrated, even though I am quite a fan of the Beach Boys. I only really like the 'famous' songs on it, and the rest sound like filler to me. But I also think that Sgt Pepper - often considered the best album of all time - is overrated. The first side (referring to vinyl here) is great, but the second side has some real clunkers.
And yes, it is a bit sad that most, if not all, of the great pop songwriters seem to peak very young.
And in answer to this thread's original question, I think the answer is 'no', unfortunately. While I personally think at least four ABBA albums are virtually perfect, there are reasons why they never feature in lists of the greatest albums of all time. Although there may be some snobbery involved, I don't think ABBA's music is very influential. It's merely wonderful!
I always thought that one of the most impressive things about ABBA's run of hits in the UK was how (from Mamma Mia to Super Trouper at least) they were all awarded at least a silver disc. Indeed, the majority of that run were awarded gold discs. It's quite amazing consistency, and the run was only broken when they released the 12-inch-only Lay All Your Love On Me.
(I am aware that The Winner Takes It All didn't get any awards, but that was only due to an oversight. In fact, it should have a gold disc.)
I would guess that only the Beatles ever surpassed that degree of consistency.
What would you cite as prime examples of their originality?
OK, that's a good question. The three consecutive singles of Knowing Me Knowing You, The Name Of The Game and Take A Chance On Me sound like nothing I have ever heard elsewhere. But I have a feeling I am about to be shot down... :-)
There are a few (very few) parts of ABBA songs that were, accidentally or otherwise, 'borrowed' from earlier songs. Examples might be that line in Knowing Me Knowing You, or some bits of On And On And On, Ring Ring and Waterloo. But IMHO Benny and Bjorn were almost always astonishingly original and inventive composers.
There is a film out at the moment (though only in 'art house' cinemas in the UK) called Souvenir, starring Isabelle Huppert, the wonderful French actress. She plays a singer who came second to ABBA in Eurovision (it's fiction). There are numerous references to ABBA, including one comment to the effect that 'the Swedes cheated'!
Great to hear that When I Kissed The Teacher will be featured. One of my favourite ABBA songs, incredibly commercial, and deserving of a wider audience.
Disappointing that Knowing Me Knowing You will be sung by Pierce Brosnan, but at least what is possibly the greatest ABBA song of all will be used. I was surprised it wasn't in the first film, but I guess it didn't fit the story.
Looking forward to more revelations about the song list! Hopefully plenty more less famous songs.
^I think the trouble is there isn't much of a sense of 'community' here, at least not from my perspective. The old forum abba4ever had it's flaws but it did have a cohesive feel and seemed friendlier. There was more interaction and humour, imo. Still, it's not nearly as bad as some Facebook groups where some people post photoshopped/fake pictures of the ABBA members and get all touchy when you correct them. Not to mention the endless stupid emotjis of rabbits presenting huge bouquets, etc instead of real discussion and interaction. I guess for some English isn't their native tongue but even so, it's irritating, especially when you look at the comments and see there aren't actually any, just silly hearts and flowers.
I do like a forum layout so I hope it continues. You could argue that everything ABBA-related has been said and done but I disagree. The group may have split many years ago but the music is still alive (as are the members lol) and new fans are born every day. There's even going to be a new Mamma Mia! film! Hurrah! Not. Only joking, the jury is out, we shall see.
Yes, I agree with everything you say here. The previous forum, abba4ever, was more interesting and seemed friendlier. (Not that this forum is unfriendly.) Still, I guess any forum is only what its members make it. I also noticed recently that a few stalwarts seem to have disappeared (Alan in particular comes to mind), which is sad. I hope they are OK.
I'm certain you already knew how the reference of the ratings would go, but here's my reference: 1-2-3-4 = Poor 5-6-7 = Don't care 8-9-10 = Like
I must say I approached it differently. Even if I rated some of the songs 3 or 4, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't like them. It's just that when I compare, say, Ring Ring to e.g. Dancing Queen or The Winner Takes It All, there is a huge difference in how I feel about the songs and even if I like Ring Ring too, I felt it would be unbalanced to give it more points. Generally I like all ABBA songs (I don't skip even I Saw In In The Mirror, which I rated 1) and it would be immensely difficult to score their songs with regard to other groups or singers. It would take me definitely much longer and I guess I would need a much wider scale.
Yes, I agree. That's pretty much how I approached it. There are only two ABBA songs I actively dislike, and those are the only two I gave one point to.
Like wombat, I've just rated the officially released stuff in English. I don't consider She's My Kind Of Girl, Santa Rosa etc to be 'proper' ABBA songs. I like a few other artists as much as, if not more than, ABBA, but no-one else would score such a high average.
RING RING Ring Ring 8 Another Town Another Train 8 Disillusion 4 People Need Love 4 I Saw It In The Mirror 2 Nina Pretty Ballerina 4 Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) 6 Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother 3 He Is Your Brother 4 I Am Just A Girl 1 Rock 'N' Roll Band 7
Merry-Go-Round 2 Ah Vilka Tider 2
WATERLOO Waterloo 7 Sitting In The Palmtree 2 King Kong Song 4 Hasta Manana 3 My Mama Said 4 Dance (While The Music Still Goes On) 9 Honey Honey 8 Watch Out 3 What About Livingstone 7 Gonna Sing You My Lovesong 7 Suzy-Hang-Around 6
ABBA Mamma Mia 9 Hey Hey Helen 4 Tropical Loveland 3 SOS 10 Man In The Middle 3 Bang-A-Boomerang 9 I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do 5 Rock Me 2 Intermezzo No 1 4 I've Been Waiting For You 10 So Long 3
Crazy World 5 Medley 3
ARRIVAL When I Kissed The Teacher 10 Dancing Queen 10 My Love My Life 8 Dum Dum Diddle 6 Knowing Me Knowing You 10 Money Money Money 8 That's Me 7 Why Did It Have To Be Me 8 Tiger 10 Arrival 6
Fernando 10 Happy Hawaii 8
THE ALBUM Eagle 10 Take A Chance On Me 10 One Man One Woman 8 The Name Of The Game 10 Move On 10 Hole In Your Soul 8 Thank You For The Music 3 I Wonder (Departure) 8 I'm A Marionette 6
Get On The Carousel 4
VOULEZ-VOUS As Good As New 8 Voulez-Vous 4 I Have A Dream 4 Angeleyes 8 The King Has Lost His Crown 6 Does Your Mother Know 6 If It Wasn't For The Nights 10 Chiquitita 10 Lovers (Live A Little Longer) 6 Kisses Of Fire 10
Summer Night City 10 Lovelight 6 Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) 6 Dream World 4
SUPER TROUPER Super Trouper 8 The Winner Takes It All 10 On And On And On 7 Andante Andante 6 Me And I 8 Happy New Year 6 Our Last Summer 10 The Piper 8 Lay All Your Love On Me 4 The Way Old Friends Do 4
Elaine 6 Put On Your White Sombrero 5
THE VISITORS The Visitors 8 Head Over Heels 5 When All Is Said And Done 6 Soldiers 9 I Let The Music Speak 9 One Of Us 10 Two For The Price Of One 1 Slipping Through My Fingers 7 Like An Angel Passing Through My Room 8
Should I Laugh Or Cry 8 I Am The City 9 You Owe Me One 4 Cassandra 8 Under Attack 4 The Day Before You Came 7
Other than that, I am trying to visit every country in the world. I'm at 105 out of 196 at the moment.
Hats off! Any favourites so far? And have you been to some of the "problematic" ones such as North Korea yet? Now I feel like an absolute loser, planning (and failing) to visit Sweden for more than a decade!
To be honest, I haven't been to any of the very difficult countries yet, although I have been to quite a few out-of-the-way places. Strangely, North Korea is not very problematic. There are several travel companies in the UK that offer package holidays there! The most difficult countries are either war zones (!) or have very onerous visa requirements. My favourite is probably the USA, which is not a very adventurous choice! You should definitely get yourself to Sweden - it's terrific (if rather expensive). And the best pop group ever have a museum there, in case you didn't know! :-)
I know it is an old and irrelevant issue now, but why is Elvis Presley considered to have 21 number one singles? Surely it is really only 18 (still the most by any artist!), as the last three are only reissues of previous number ones, and shouldn't be counted twice.
A friend of mine, a Belgian guy called Jos Willems, died on May 28. Some of you may know him, or have heard of him, as he was very active in European ABBA fandom. He had the biggest ABBA collection I have ever seen (a whole room!). He was also a regular attendee at the ABBA Roosendaal days, I believe. RIP.
It'll be interesting to see what songs are used in the new film, given that most of the big hits were used in the first film. I somehow feel that a character called Fernando will have to make an appearance!
I don't hate the first film as much as many ABBA fans seem to, so I'm quite looking forward to seeing the new film. But I shall keep my expectations low!