Isn't this a (largely) subjective thing? Are any of us owed an explanation if someone has a different opinion?
It's not my favourite song but I think it is pretty special. The melody, the arrangement and the performance are spectacular. For me, it's greater than the sum of its parts. For instance, the lyrics seem to be fairly simple. But the core vocal melody hides a melancholia among all that euphoric singing and playing. It tells you that being 17 is fleeting, that your ability to tease and turn 'em on won't last for ever, that Friday night ends. Equally, the song is a celebration of youth and sexuality and music. And those vocals! The close harmonic blend of two exquisite voices is already pretty amazing but when they they reach up to that "oh yeah!" in the chorus... that, for me, is magic. The planets aligned for this song. In anyone else's hands, this would not have worked half as well. For a supposed dance track, the pace is remarkably slow but the combined energy of everyone on the recording results in a musical jet fuel.
Naturally, every sentence in that paragraph should be prefaced with a great big IMHO. Is it any better/worse than any of the songs you mentioned? That depends on the opinions and feelings of who you ask. As someone who leaps for the skip button every time Bohemian Rhapsody starts, I understand that one man's meat is another man's poison.
A victim of its own success played everywhere at all occasions even funerals. It is my favourite. I can’t help but feel happy when I hear it.Takes me right back to the never ending summer of 1976. What a great year. Best summer ever and Abba churning out the hits. But Fernando and KMKY are up there too. We are lucky that Abba have such a fabulous catalogue good songs.
Here's one reason. The song is a million years old and yet it can still inspire joy and euphoria on the faces of these young people.
It's not only ABBA's (arguably) 'best' song, it's one of THE greatest pop songs EVER.
It's a million times better than I Have A Dream and the likes of Does Your Mother Know.
It may not be my absolute favourite but it's up there- its way up there. It's unquestionably one of the greatest songs ever written- melody, vocals...EVERYTHING. Those flourishes on the piano...the violins. The song is both happy and sad. You either get it or you don't. To me, it's plainly obvious in that exquisitely beautiful melody. Take everything away, the vocals, guitars, piano and just hum it and what you are left with is still heartbreakingly sublime. It's celestial.
If this song isn't played in heaven then I'm off to hell where it most definitely WILL be played!
Yes, it is a great song without any doubt. Even though I’ve probably heard it more times than any other ABBA song in the last 27 years, I still don’t tire of it (it only seems to have attained iconic status since 1992).
There always has to be a most famous song for any act, whether it’s Wuthering Heights, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t You Want Me or Vienna. I’m glad ABBA’s is Dancing Queen. A song has to be special if it reaches so many people.
Plus it’s right in the middle of the classic ABBA period (that starts with SOS and ends with Take A Chance On Me). All of the singles in that period are faultless but Dancing Queen just has the edge.
What's beyond dispute, I'd argue, is that DQ is THE iconic ABBA song. Why? Obviously being a bloody good song helps. But there are other factors too. It not only perfectly captured the zeitgeist that was abroad in 1976. (More than that, the fact it came out in SUMMER helped secure its place in the pop pantheon. Would it have caught the mood and the imagination in quite the same way if it had been released in dreary November? I don't think so.) It also came out at exactly the right moment in ABBA's career trajectory. It represented that last step forward after the perilous ascent, the final defiant planting of the flag in the summit of pop music - a flag that said: "We're here - and we're going nowhere for the foreseeable future". If 'Waterloo' represented Base Camp and 'SOS' represented the long-awaited, tricky and successful negotiation of a treacherous icefield, then 'Mamma Mia' and 'Fernando' saw them confidently strike out for the top in fair conditions. DQ, though, gave them - finally - the ability to look down from the roof of the musical world.
Part of that was the fact that it summed up in three minutes who ABBA were, what they could do and what they were about. Of course, there were many other sides to ABBA. But DG is as good a mission statement as they ever produced. Plus, of course, its mega-success (for all the reasons stated above) gave it an almost mythical status almost immediately. HOWEVER, its standing would undoubtedly have eroded over time if ABBA hadn't been able to back it up with a blistering series of further mega-classics. Otherwise, might it perhaps have ended up as another piece of mid-70s pop flotsam, now largely forgotten? Yes, the fact that DQ sits as (arguably) the centrepiece of an unbelievable body of work has only added to its allure and renown.
Having said all that, I'd probably place it at around number 25 in my personal ABBA Top 100! But that doesn't detract from its status as the iconic, surely the quintessential, ABBA song.
...It not only perfectly captured the zeitgeist that was abroad in 1976. (More than that, the fact it came out in SUMMER helped secure its place in the pop pantheon. Would it have caught the mood and the imagination in quite the same way if it had been released in dreary November? I don't think so.)...
1976 was the mother of all summers too, the longest, hottest and driest I've ever known.
Dancing Queen tackles just about everything a music connoisseur wants in a perfect song:
-A driving groove (thanks Rutger and Ola) -The turn-it-up arrangement -A crossover between electronic and acoustic (Benny's synthesiser and the Swedish strings blending it together) -Something that stands out (the girls' glamourous war cries) -Smooth and edgy - we already have that with the melodies and the bass
And what a feeler of music wants: -The ambiguity between the positive connotation and negative connotation of what it means to be a dancing queen, what it feels to see a dancing queen. Even VICE claimed it was the saddest song ever made because they said the narrator knows she is no longer the dancing queen and has little choice but to accept that "you" are the dancing queen. It's kept simple and tidy. -Catchy lyrics. The abundance of active verbs keeps the listeners occupied; YOU dance, YOU jive, SEE the girl, WATCH that scene, they PLAY the right music, LOOKING out, GET the chance, etc. -Straight up telling of the scenery. It's hard to define the song without scenery and it's obviously a nightclub.
It's apolitical, irreligious (unless you may interpret Dancing Queen is a Quinceanera thing, which is unlikely, because it's "17"), innocent, and free from tragedies. It's a three-minute lecture of why it's worth partying when you're a teenage (lady).
DQ will always be such an iconic song as soon as the intro starts you know exactly what it is, instantly recognisable, its pure pop gold . I guess DQ just connects with most people and a dance floor will fill up as soon as it starts.