ABBA from Sweden are the kings and queens of rock n roll. The music of the 1970s became the music of the 1990s, and the ABBA revival was the tip of the spear. ABBA Gold went double platinum in the U.S. More ABBA Gold and the Thank You For The Music box set also sold. Classics like "Dancing Queen," "Take A Chance On Me" & "Waterloo" again rode the airwaves. ABBA books were published, and VH1 featured The Movie.
ABBA sold 300 million records between 1972 and 1982. Nearly every country in the world bought ABBA. They had 9 number ones in the U.K. "Fernando" became the biggest selling record in the history of Australia's music business. ABBA toured the States in 1979 and Japan in 1980.
There was a distribution of labor in ABBA. Each member had his or her niche. Each brought something to the group that the others could not. Agnetha was the blonde who sang high. Frida was the brunette who sang low. Benny was the pianist who composed music. Bjorn was the guitarist with a knack for lyrics. On stage, the girls were beautiful bookends!
ABBA combined classical music with rock n roll. Their lyrics are autobiographical from the female point of view, reflecting the lives of Agnetha and Frida even though Bjorn wrote them.
Pop music went to the city in the 70s, and ABBA songs are the city incarnate. They typify the young, urban female working office jobs and looking for love.
ABBA continued the depolarization of the sexes which began with Elvis Presley. Although Elvis was in the army, he was no General MacArthur.
If Elvis was a teddy bear, The Beatles were 4 teddy bears. The Beatles showed that men could be sensitive and even grow long hair.
ABBA spotlighted the women, a fitting gesture since theirs was the decade of women's liberation.
ABBA took rock n roll to the European continent and performed it in 5 languages as disco became the soundtrack of the women's decade.
ABBA recorded 110 songs in English in 10 years. Their music is art! It has literary, poetic & dramatic qualities which exist nowhere else in pop music. Each song is like a little play, a painting hanging in a gallery. Their work appeals to all ages.
ABBA pioneered rock video, and their clips were made available in compilations.
Agnetha produced 3 albums during the solo period. Frida had 2.
Benny and Bjorn entered the theater with CHESS and in the 90s, staged Kristina, a musical about Swedish emigrants. Mamma Mia! grew from the revival.
ABBA's legacy is apparent in the music of Shania Twain and Little Big Town.
ABBA was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in New York. Benny Andersson and Frida Lyngstad showed up for the ceremony. Faith Hill performed "The Winner Takes It All" with Benny on the piano.