I would like to raise a few points on the subject a being a real fan of ABBA. A real fan always has favourite songs, OK songs and songs that he/she dislikes. This applies to any musical act from The Bee Gees to Take That. I suffer from acute anxiety and become upset when fans are slating the ABBA classics. "Dancing Queen" and "The Winner Takes It All" seem to be constantly in the firing line. These two are iconic classics and important songs in ABBA's career. The first completely euphoric while the second utterly devastating in its sadness. I do not know why some people dislike these two songs. I am a fine one to talk as I dislike "Super Trouper" and other ABBA songs such as "Under Attack", "Money Money Money", "Does Your Mother Know" and quite a few others ( as you will see if you look at my Top 20 Bottom ABBA songs ). I appreciate that every fan has a particular favourite and it is simply a matter of personal taste and not irrationality. Yes, the world would be incredibly boring if we all liked all the same songs. However, should we dislike a particular song maybe constructive criticism is better. A true ABBA fan will not like every single song that the band recorded. That is an impossibility.
There are some hardcore fans who claim not to dislike a single ABBA song. I find that bizarre but who am I to question that. I may not understand why a person likes some songs and not others but it's not for me to understand or even care that much. For instance, I think Money Money Money is a Frida tour de force and a wonderful nod to the film 'Cabaret'. Musically, it's pure theatre and vocally Frida is on top form. Similarly with Super Trouper. It may not be perfect but it's a beautiful, wistful song about the loneliness of fame and life on the road sung with plaintive yearning by Frida.
I was guilty for many years of dismissing certain songs until I opened my mind (and ears). I didn't 'get' 'When All Is Said And Done' until finally it all fell into place. Now it's one of my firm favourites.
I don't think there's something especially wrong with disliking even the most famous ABBA tracks - it all comes down to personal tastes. Look at your choices - for me, as well as for Josef, Money Money Money is one of ABBA's best songs ever and it's hard for me to understand why you don't like - Just like you don't understand how somebody can dislike Dancing Queen
As for liking all ABBA songs or not... that's a question. Personally, I think it's possible. There is no song in ABBA's catalog that irritates me so much that I never listen to it. There are some that I listen to very rarely, but there's none that I just can't stand listening to...
My bottom 10 would have to include I saw it in the Mirror, Man in the Middle, I am just a girl, intermezzo No.1, Lovers LALL, two for the price of one, crazy world, thank you for the music, the king has lost his crown and the way old friends do. Having said that I struggled to find 10. To think I used to love Thankyou for the music when I was young. Over the years I have grown tired of it. Why it ended up on Abba Gold is beyond me. Dum dum diddle was nearly in there because of the lyrics but it’s such a catchy tune. Intermezzo is interesting to listen to. But to me it’s not an Abba song..more a solo project. I like the verses of LLALL and TKHLHC ....just not keen on the choruses. A case of Don’t bore us when you get to the chorus(Roxette fans will get it 😉 ).Strangely two of my least favourites have been covered more by other artists...Thankyou for the Music and The Way Old Friends Do.
Hi, Maybe I have been a bit harsh with my criticism but " Money Money Money " does not float my boat. I have grown tired of it. Likewise, " Super Trouper " and " Does Your Mother Know ". I used to like these songs years ago, however they no longer appeal to me. " Under Attack " is , also , a very weak song and not a favourite of mine. I hope I like the new songs.
I dont see Dancing queen as iconic in any way . ? Just one of their songs. To me, it is a pretty average song and dont like the way it has been THE Abba song. Probably at least 3 things have contributed. 1, Their only big hit in the USA and the only song there they know if they know any. 2, Many non-fans recognize it. 3, The gay community has made it their song.
What amazes me on these Abba forums is how hated I have a dream is . To me, it is classic Abba and alongside Chiquitita the only good songs on the VV album. Being a fan does not always mean you like their biggest hits . As a teen in the 80s used to like for example Madonna and The Pet shop boys. But was really embarrased when Papa dont preach came . A piece of stuffe really. And It´s a sin also think is a bad song. Dont understand how the classic Live to tell is totally forgotten today and the follow up What have I done to deserve this great pop but not seen as that.
^Millions of people would disagree with you. Hell, even FRIDA would disagree with you. It's clearly NOT "just one of their songs". That's really a rather silly thing to say. It clearly IS iconic, and the "gay community" (whatever that is) has not made it their song. Many of their songs are greatly loved by gay people but I know many heterosexual people who appreciate ABBA, too. And even if it is, so what? It's a beautiful song that touches heaven. And for your information, Dancing Queen is not their only big hit in the USA. Take A Chance On Me was very successful- I think it may even have sold more.
You don't have to like the biggest hits, no one's saying you have to. It's true I Have A Dream isn't a massive favourite amongst fans in general but it does have its supporters. On an old ABBA forum it was even someone's No.1 favourite.
As for Live to Tell, it's one of my favourite Madonna songs (for what it's worth ( and the Dusty/PSB collaboration is definitely seen as a highlight within both artists careers.
Hi, I love Dancing Queen but even I have now placed the song at No 27 in respect of my countdown of my ABBA Top 50. I don't listen to it as much as " SOS ", " Knowing Me Knowing You ", " The Winner Takes It All " or " The Name Of The Game ". I listen to these more. I have ranked the songs in order of preference and the most listened to. However, ABBA's hits are equally iconic in their own way. ABBA have more credibility than any of today's artists with the exception of Adele and Ed Sheeran. The Spice Girls, Girls Aloud and even Little Mix are rubbish just as today's pop charts.
I'm sure many of us have listened to some ABBA songs so many times over the years that we couldn't even guess how big a number that would be! For the time being, and maybe longer, I can do without listening to their hits, for example. But there are also quite a few of their earlier tracks, such as Santa Rosa, and I Am Just A Girl, that I feel no willingness to seek out and hear. I brazenly maintain, however, that I am still an ABBA fan!
I happen to like the Beatles, too, and I've experienced the same sort of thing with regard to a number of their songs - and with other favourites, also.
Dancing Queen is not their only big hit in the USA. Take A Chance On Me was very successful- I think it may even have sold more.
I'm glad you pointed that out, Josef. Dancing Queen was their only number one hit here, but it is far from their only song we know here. I don't know the sales numbers, but Take A Chance On Me was number three on the charts. ABBA had 14 Top 40 hits here.
I´m continuing my previous post. In my country, Papa don´t preach and It´s a sin are on the radio every day. You never here Live to tell and only sometimes WHIDTDT. Because all 4 were released over 30 years ago, it must mean the 2 first one are " iconic" because they are still played and the two latter ones are bad songs because not on the radio. Of course not , people simply have different tastes.
Here in the Abbaworld, I do x5 is despised. Actually I avoided it for 30 years because of the reputation. When you looked for information about the song often only 2 things were mentioned. 1, Uk flop. 2, A British paper wrote at the time " so bad it hurts " . The song was number one in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland . Top 5 Austria, Holland, Belgium , Number 6 West Germany and 15 in the USA. So it was a sizeable hit but flopping in the UK sealed the faith. Recent years I have changed my mind totally and the song is now a favouirite of mine. And because I like it, it seems l Iike crap because what the British think of it.
I always get upset when The Winner Takes It All gets included in ABBA's pantheon of iconic songs. The melody is wan and fussy, miles away from the quality of Benny and Bjorn's best efforts, and Agnetha's singing is too histrionic, too much of an acting performance. 'Telegraphed' emotion is never as effective as emotion that the listener has to infer or create within themselves from 'clues' provided by the performance; it's one of the blights of modern pop that so many singers are convinced that in order to express emotion you have to sound emotional.
^I disagree strongly. The melody is anything but fussy- it's simple and uncluttered. It's actually beautiful in its simplicity and very affecting. As for Agnetha being histrionic- 😆 if you're referring to the chorus, I guess you could say that if you want to be mean but I see it more as her interpreting the very strong emotions evident in those lyrics. Is it a crime to hit a high note when it's called for? There is a point during a break- up when a lot of people might indulge in a little reflection, a smidge of self-pity (not a place to stay, it's dangerous ground). When you lose someone you loved very dearly, it HURTS. It can hurt like hell. The song expresses that aspect of it. Frida may have sang When All Is Said And Done with verve and "survivor spirit" but it's a safe bet she didn't always feel that way when her and Benny split. It takes time. Both songs exemplify two stages in that healing process.
In the verses to TWTIA Agnetha's actually restrained and far from histrionic.
Actually, I get upset (not really, it's all subjective opinion) when people slate this song and performance. Newsflash: all singing is a performance- you could say life itself is a performance. Or a stage or summat.💃
I don't get upset about anyone else's taste at all. It's none of my business. Personally, I recognise the strength and simplicity of TWTIA. Even if it's not my favourite song, it's up there among the ones I admire and enjoy the most. Personally, I think Agnetha turned in a well-judged performance. Neither of the girls were histrionic singers - certainly not compared to, say, Celine Dion or Mariah Carey. Again, a purely personal view.
And, Josef, I think you're right about Frida's performance on WAISAD. I have the feeling that LAAPTMR speaks way more truth about her feelings at the time.
That reminds me of something I read somewhere, Tony. Something about how other people's opinion of us is none of our business. Words to that effect. Anyway, it really is true that we all have our tastes and no one is 'right'.
I do have respect for others' views, though. And some hold more sway than others. Didn't Agnetha say she believed TWTIA was a mini-masterpiece? Benny considers it one of their best, too. That's good enough for me- and from the maestro himself. It's not my favourite song by a long shot but it definitely deserves every bit of kudos. To deny that would just seem disingenuous.
Yeah, I think that line went something like "what other people think of me is none of my business" - although I don't know who said it. (And I'm not sure I agree with it entirely: if someone expressed a defamatory opinion of me, I think I'd regard it as very much my business. But I digress).
It's always nice to hear what the ABBA members think of their music, but I don't always agree with them. For instance, I don't like TYFTM at all. Many other fans don't share my fondness for songs like "Lovers" or "Hey Hey Helen" but so what? We'd have no discussions here if we all agreed.
I am concerned that edmfio76's anxiety might be triggered by any of our comments. I hope s/he can see that these are all personal views and that they are no more or less valid than his/hers. I love hearing other's views. Even if I'm not always swayed, I sometimes come away with a slightly different point of view. Please see this as a safe space.
Well, expressing and thinking something are rather different. But I take your point. Me, I couldn't care less what anyone thinks of and if they say it, well at least they're leaving some other poor bugger alone. Perhaps a little bravado from me there. ... 😎
A quick aside: I absolutely adore Lovers (Live A Little Longer). It's so damn good and different to anything else ABBA did. It has really grown on me the last 18 months (but I always liked it, I've just grown to fully appreciate it).
Lovers was one of those songs I should have mentioned in the remix thread. Can you imagine how sultry it could be if the backing vocals in the chorus were sung by B&B in the style they used on Lovelight and TACOM? Ocatves down, Barry White style?
^I disagree strongly. The melody is anything but fussy- it's simple and uncluttered. It's actually beautiful in its simplicity and very affecting. As for Agnetha being histrionic- 😆 if you're referring to the chorus, I guess you could say that if you want to be mean but I see it more as her interpreting the very strong emotions evident in those lyrics. [...] In the verses to TWTIA Agnetha's actually restrained and far from histrionic. [...] I get upset (not really, it's all subjective opinion) when people slate this song and performance. Newsflash: all singing is a performance- you could say life itself is a performance. Or a stage or summat.💃
I didn't mean cluttered fussy; I mean high-strung fussy - e.g. those little staggered patterns that pop up at the start and then here and there, like a fop hoofing down a flight of stairs in stages. There's also something washed-out about it; the glassy piano tone may have something to do with it. And I'm sorry, but for me there's something hard to accept about Agnetha's choice of approach. When there are, as you say, lyrics that already pack an emotional punch, the singer ought to compensate and be especially wary of 'interpreting'. Agnetha may not outright sob or wail, but that self-pitying waver in her voice in the verses, for me it's needless dramatising and it grates (as Alan Bennett once remarked in response to someone's heavy-handed performance in a stage adaptation of Kafka: "just play the text; don't play the implications of the text"). I remember either Benny or Bjorn, I can't recall which (actually, it may even have been Carl Magnus Palm!) saying that in retrospect The Day Before You Came would've benefited from Agnetha singing it 'straight' instead of doing that rather plain 'talk singing' style, and I think a similar sort of thing could be said about the way TWTIA got made. Anyway, it's one of the few ABBA tracks I really can't stand (You Owe Me One is another); and my negative feelings towards it really are true and heartfelt, even if I'm not very good at explaining how and why I feel like that!
Well, I'm either hallucinating or a post was removed? Anyway, it was informative and I enjoyed reading it, orf.
Oh, 'Lovers', Tony! It's great as it is but it has so much potential. People rave about IIWFTN and I like that too but 'Lovers' is the real deal. I am CAPTIVATED by it, everything about it. When I heard those backing vocals....OMG. Anyhoo...a real fan? What is one of those, really? There are different types, of course, but we're all fans. I rarely play Intermezzo No.1 and I'm not mad about YOMO or TYFTM but I'll give them all a whirl now and again.
As for I'm a Marionette. Now, THAT is another true undiscovered ABBA gem for the masses.
Thanks for the clarification, orf. Your knowledge outstrips mine I suspect but even so I like the glassy piano and Agnetha's interpretation in this instance. Perhaps we should be grateful she didn't go for the Marilyn Manson approach or that screeching death metal thing.
Orf, I strongly disagree with you. " The Winner Takes It All " is my ultimate ABBA favourite. Agnetha portrays a truly heartfelt performance. She sings from the heart. It is very emotional and not theatrical at all. The melody is far from fussy. It is beautiful. It is, also, Agnetha's favourite song and also, the other members. I used to have a love/hate relationship regarding " The Day Before You Came ". Recently, I have grown to appreciate it more and add it to my favourite songs. Agnetha's vocals are more theatrical within " The Day Before You Came ". I am very sorry that you dislike " The Winner Takes It All ". Because I suffer from anxiety, to be honest, I was very upset and distressed by your comments yesterday and hope it doesn't escalate further. All I can say every fan has a particular song that they love or hate. It would be boring if we all liked the same songs. I just have to accept that.
^Correct me if I've got this wrong, but aren't there songs you dislike and which you freely commented on in this forum? Super Trouper being one of them. Now, I like this song very much but I'm not upset that you don't. Anxiety aside, you can't expect people not to express how they feel when you do just that. It's double standards. Anxiety is something many, many people experience, myself included, so you're not alone in that. But you simply cannot dictate what others like or dislike. You like or dislike something? Great. We all do. And for no other reason than the fact of our subjective taste- it has absolutely nothing to with other people. You cannot change someone's mind, only inform them and the rest is down to them. Nothing that anyone can say can make me change my mind on certain songs (not ABBA in particular- sometimes, a song will just irritate you for no apparent or logical reason. I cannot STOMACH most rap, for instance. It's just not to my taste).
Someone posts something you dislike/disagree with? Either engage and have a friendly debate or in the words of a lovely ABBA song- 'Move On'. Life's too short to get upset about a different point of view.
Josef, I am very sorry but you are right I am a fine one to talk as there are songs that I do not like. I suffer from depression as well and I think this makes me a little irritational in my criticism but please do not have a go at me. I am not dictating what people should like or dislike it is the irrationality in thinking due to my depression. I am very sorry to hear that you have suffered from anxiety. There is a full blown epidemic these days. I agree with your comments on rap, it is not music. Yes, I have slated some songs by ABBA but on this occasion Orf's comments stung maybe I deserve a bit of own medicine but I am truly sorry for this. It all started, when I read a comment by Orf quite a while ago, I think I was somewhat distressed then. Right, I thought I am not standing for this, which songs do I dislike so I posted my opinions. I wish I hadn't now as it has opened up a can of worms. I sometimes think I am a little crazy. My apologies. Edmund.
I was talking figuratively, Edmund. When I said 'you', I wasn't referring to you specifically- I mean all of us.
You seem like a sensitive person, and I am, too. It's a good quality to have I think. But it does mean we can sometimes misinterpret things. Just please try to keep in mind that we are all of us ABBA fans, we have that in common and most of us are friendly and supportive of each other (well, apart from the odd troll lurking around but they're best ignored).
I don't think you're crazy, just an ABBA fan! Maybe we're all a bit crazy. A bit crazy is ok with me.
I do understand the passion for a song you love and how it can sometimes irk if someone criticises it but rationally I tell myself that it doesn't matter- I'm still going to like and enjoy it no matter what.
Please continue to contribute here, I love hearing other views, even if I don't agree with everything. The point is to find common ground and concentrate on that if any 'negative' opinion upsets you. There are plenty of commonalities.
Oops I meant to say thank you for the apology but really there's no need; I wasn't offended. I don't think anyone here is. We all just want you to be yourself and enjoy it here. Like Tony said, this is a safe place.
This discussion proves, yet again, how deeply music can become a part of us and affect us.
I'm also a Beatles fan ('fraid so ), and I used to get mightily upset inside when I read comments - some from ABBA fans, I'm sure - stating that the Beatles were 'overrated' . I couldn't care less now! As if there aren't any Beatles fans who hold what I regard as similarly complacent and ignorantly dismissive views on ABBA!
The positive remarks from Josef and Tony about Lovers (LALL), got me checking it on YouTube because I hadn't heard it in a while. And there was more than one comment to the effect that 'as per usual' an ABBA song starts working when Agnetha comes to the fore. Their slyly anti-Frida stance yet more cause to be upset for true ABBA fans.