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ABBA

The most commercially successful pop group of the 1970s, the origins of the Swedish superstars ABBA dated back to 1966, when keyboardist and vocalist Benny Andersson, a onetime member of the popular beat outfit the Hep Stars, first teamed with guitarist and vocalist Bjorn Ulvaeus, the leader of the folk-rock unit the Hootenanny Singers. The two performers began composing songs together and handling session and production work for Polar Music/Union Songs, a publishing company owned by Stig Anderson, himself a prolific songwriter throughout the 1950s and 1960s. At the same time, both Andersson and Ulvaeus worked on projects with their respective girlfriends: Ulvaeus had become involved with vocalist Agnetha Faltskog, a performer with a recent number one Swedish hit, "I Was So in Love," under her belt, while Andersson began seeing Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a one-time jazz singer who rose to fame by winning a national talent contest.

In 1971, Faltskog ventured into theatrical work, accepting the role of Mary Magdalene in a Swedish production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar; her cover of the musical's "Don't Know How to Love Him" became a significant hit. The following year, the duo of Andersson and Ulvaeus scored a massive international hit with "People Need Love," which featured Faltskog and Lyngstad on backing vocals. The record's success earned them an invitation to enter the Swedish leg of the 1973 Eurovision song contest, where, under the unwieldy name of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida, they submitted "Ring Ring," which proved extremely popular with audiences but placed only third in the judges' ballots.

The next year, rechristened ABBA (a suggestion from Stig Anderson and an acronym of the members' first names), the quartet submitted the single "Waterloo," and became the first Swedish act to win the Eurovision competition. The record proved to be the first of many international hits, although the group hit a slump after their initial success as subsequent singles failed to chart. In 1975, however, ABBA issued "S.O.S.," a smash not only in America and Britain but also in non-English speaking countries such as Spain, Germany and the Benelux nations, where the group's success was fairly unprecedented. A string of hits followed, including "Mamma Mia," "Fernando," and "Dancing Queen" (ABBA's sole U.S. chart-topper), further honing their lush, buoyant sound; by the spring of 1976, they were already in position to issue their first Greatest Hits collection.

ABBA's popularity continued in 1977, when both "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "The Name of the Game" dominated airwaves. The group also starred in the feature film ABBA -- The Movie, which was released in 1978. That year Andersson and Lyngstad married, as had Ulvaeus and Faltskog in 1971, although the latter couple separated a few months later; in fact, romantic suffering was the subject of many songs on the quartet's next LP, 1979's Voulez-Vous. Shortly after the release of 1980s Super Trouper, Andersson and Lyngstad divorced as well, further straining the group dynamic; The Visitors, issued the following year, was the final LP of new ABBA material, and the foursome officially disbanded after the December 1982 release of their single "Under Attack."

Although all of the group's members soon embarked on new projects -- both Lyngstad and Faltskog issued solo LPs, while Andersson and Ulvaeus collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical Chess -- none proved as successful as the group's earlier work, largely because throughout much of the world, especially Europe and Australia, the ABBA phenomenon never went away. Repackaged hits compilations and live collections continued hitting the charts long after the group's demise, and new artists regularly pointed to the quartet's inspiration: while the British dance duo Erasure released a covers collection, ABBA-esque, an Australian group called Bjorn Again found success as ABBA impersonators. In 1993, "Dancing Queen" became a staple of U2's "Zoo TV" tour -- Andersson and Ulvaeus even joined the Irish superstars on-stage in Stockholm -- while the 1995 feature Muriel's Wedding, which won acclaim for its depiction of a lonely Australian girl who seeks refuge in ABBA's music, helped bring the group's work to the attention of a new generation of moviegoers and music fans. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live At Wembley Arena

Disc 1

1. Gammal Fabodpsalm (Live At Wembley)

2. Voulez-Vous (Live At Wembley)

3. If It Wasn't For The Nights (Live At Wembley)

4. As Good As New (Live At Wembley)

5. Knowing Me, Knowing You (Live At Wembley)

6. Rock Me (Live At Wembley)

7. Chiquitita (Live At Wembley)

8. Money, Money, Money (Live At Wembley)

9. I Have A Dream (Live At Wembley)

10. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) (Live At Wembley)

11. S.O.S. (Live At Wembley)

12. Fernando (Live At Wembley)

Disc 2

1. The Name Of The Game (Live At Wembley)

2. Eagle (Live At Wembley)

3. Thank You For The Music (Live At Wembley)

4. Why Did It Have To Be Me? (Live At Wembley)

5. Intermezzo No.1 (Live At Wembley)

6. I'm Still Aive (Live At Wembley)

7. Summer Night City (Live At Wembley)

8. Take A Chance On Me (Live At Wembley)

9. Does Your Mother Know (Live At Wembley)

10. Hole In Your Soul (Live At Wembley)

11. The Way Old Friends Do (Live At Wembley)

12. Dancing Queen (Live At Wembley)

13. Waterloo (Live At Wembley)

x

Track List: The Definitive Collection

Disc 1

1. People Need Love

2. He Is Your Brother

3. Ring Ring

4. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)

5. Waterloo

6. Honey, Honey

7. So Long

9. SOS

10. Mamma Mia

11. Fernando

12. Dancing Queen

13. Money, Money, Money

14. Knowing Me, Knowing You

15. The Name Of The Game

16. Take A Chance On Me

17. Eagle

18. Summer Night City

19. Chiquitita

20. Does Your Mother Know

Disc 2

1. Voulez-Vous

3. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

4. I Have A Dream

5. The Winner Takes It All

6. Super Trouper

7. On And On And On

8. Lay All Your Love On Me

9. One Of Us

10. When All Is Said And Done

11. Head Over Heels

13. The Day Before You Came

14. Under Attack

15. Thank You For The Music

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Abba

x

Track List: Oro: Grandes Exitos

1. Fernando (Spanish Version)

2. Chiquitita (Spanish Version)

3. Gracias Por La Musica (Spanish Version)

4. La Reina Del Baile (Spanish Version)

5. Al Andar (Spanish Version)

6. Dame! Dame! Dame! (Spanish Version)

7. Estoy Sonando (Spanish Version)

8. Mamma Mia (Spanish Version)

9. Hasta Manana (Spanish Version)

10. Conociendome, Conociendote (Spanish Version)

11. Felicidad (Spanish Version)

12. Andante, Andante (Spanish Version)

13. Se Me Esta Escapando (Spanish Version)

14. No Hay A Quien Culpar (Spanish Version)

15. Ring Ring (Spanish Version)

x

Track List: Gold - Greatest Hits

1. Dancing Queen

2. Knowing Me, Knowing You

3. Take A Chance On Me

4. Mamma Mia

5. Lay All Your Love On Me

6. Super Trouper

7. I Have A Dream

8. The Winner Takes It All

9. Money, Money, Money

10. S.O.S.

11. Chiquitita

12. Fernando

13. Voulez Vous

14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

15. Does Your Mother Know

16. One Of Us

17. The Name Of The Game

18. Thank You For The Music

19. Waterloo

x

Track List: The Visitors

1. The Visitors

2. Head Over Heels

3. When All Is Said And Done

4. Soldiers

5. I Let The Music Speak

6. One Of Us

7. Two For The Price Of One

8. Slipping Through My Fingers

9. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room

10. Should I Laugh Or Cry

11. The Day Before You Came

12. Cassandra

13. Under Attack

x

Track List: Super Trouper

1. Super Trouper

2. The Winner Takes It All

3. On And On And On

4. Andante, Andante

5. Me And I

6. Happy New Year

7. Our Last Summer

8. The Piper

9. Lay All Your Love On Me

x

Track List: Voulez-Vous

1. As Good As New

2. Voulez-Vous

3. I Have A Dream

4. Angeleyes

5. The King Has Lost His Crown

6. Does Your Mother Know

7. If It Wasn't For The Night

8. Chiquitita

9. Lovers (Live A Little Longer)

10. Kisses Of Fire

11. Summer Night City

12. Lovelight

13. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

x

Track List: The Album

1. Eagle

2. Take A Chance On Me

3. One Man, One Woman

4. The Name Of The Game

5. Move On

6. Hole In Your Soul

7. Thank You For The Music

8. I Wonder (Departure)

9. I'm A Marionette

x

Track List: Arrival

1. When I Kissed The Teacher

2. Dancing Queen

3. My Love, My Life

4. Dum Dum Diddle

5. Knowing Me, Knowing You

6. Money, Money, Money

7. That's Me

8. Why Did It Have To Be Me

9. Tiger

10. Arrival

11. Fernando

12. Happy Hawaii

x

Track List: ABBA

1. Mamma Mia

2. Hey, Hey Helen

3. Tropical Loveland

4. S.O.S.

5. Man In The Middle

6. Bang-A-Boomerang

7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

8. Rock Me

9. Intermezzo No.1

10. I've Been Waiting For You

11. So Long

12. Crazy World

13. Pick A Bale Of Cotton / On Top Of Old Smokey / Midnight Special

x

Track List: Waterloo

1. Waterloo

2. Sitting In The Palmtree

3. King Kong Song

4. Hasta Manana

5. My Mama Said

6. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)

7. Honey, Honey

8. Watch Out

9. What About Livingstone

11. Suzy-Hang-Around

14. Honey, Honey (Swedish Version)

x

Track List: Ring Ring

1. Ring, Ring

2. Another Town, Another Train

3. Disillusion

4. People Need Love

5. I Saw It In The Mirror

6. Nina, Pretty Ballerina

7. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)

8. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother

9. He Is Your Brother

10. She's My Kind Of Girl

11. I Am Just A Girl

12. Rock'n'roll Band

13. Merry-Go-Round

14. Santa Rosa

15. Ring, Ring (Swedish Version)

x

Track List: Ring Ring (Deluxe Edition)

1. Ring Ring

2. Another Town, Another Train

3. Disillusion

4. People Need Love

5. I Saw It In The Mirror

6. Nina, Pretty Ballerina

7. Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)

8. Me And Bobby And Bobby's Brother

9. He Is Your Brother

10. She's My Kind Of Girl

11. I Am Just A Girl

12. Rock'n Roll Band

14. Merry-Go-Round

15. Santa Rosa

x

Track List: Waterloo (Deluxe Edition)

1. Waterloo (English Version)

2. Sitting In The Palmtree

3. King Kong Song

4. Hasta Manana

5. My Mama Said

6. Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)

7. Honey, Honey

8. Watch Out

9. What About Livingstone

10. Gonna Sing You My Love Song

11. Suzy-Hang-Around

12. Ring, Ring (US Remix)

13. Waterloo (Swedish Version)

14. Honey Honey (Swedish Version)

15. Waterloo (German Version)

16. Hasta Manana (Spanish Version)

17. Waterloo (French Version)

18. Ring Ring (1974 Remix, Single Version)

19. Waterloo (Alternative Mix)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
aestrada223
'Waterloo' is what you could have been Kim Brazelle. You were such an attractive and sweet gal, Hope all is well with you. That was a fun summer of '74' but my heart belonged to another pretty brunette (Mary Lou).
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schaubroeckk o r y 9 0 5
Beautiful melodies and surprisingly insightful lyrics...wil l always love ABBA
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aestrada223
'Dancing Queen' was the song that got me a lot of dances when I was stationed at Chanute A.F.B. in '76'. Still gets many a young ladies' feet moving and wanting to shake that ting. Truly having the time of their life. Wonderful times and great memories.
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ABBA just makes you feel good. I was in Stockholm this past July and toured the ABBA museum. My wife actually cried. Makes us both feel 16 again when listening to their music.
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I love Abba and Grease
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Great best song love it
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I'm 51 now, but when I hear this song, I'm 17 all over again!!!
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ABBA!!! NOW I WHY I LOVE THIS S**T!!! IT STILL GIVES ME GOD VIBES & SING(but I'm Hurting My Dog's Ears lol!!!
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Love this jam. Forgive me nights. Love this jam.
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I left Houston for an extended trip to the South Pacific in 1976, ABBA ruled the world everywhere I landed. No matter where the club scene was from Sydney to Fiji and Papeete the common thread was their wonderful, exuberant music! It makes me as happy to hear today at 66 as it did at 26!
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aestrada223
'Fernando' in the Fall of 1976. Will always bring beautiful memories back to me. Some great harmony ABBA has. Their music is so relaxing.
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You are AMAZING
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marhea01
Great and the best radio streaming thanks
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Love you Abba
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T H A N Y O U for the music PANDORA for the joy you bring
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Beautiful memories from my teenage years,I use to go to old San Juan and dance our night.
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Love love the Abba old is gold
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I'm your dancing princess your you can be my dancing prince my prince mike your princess mimi
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tlc1908
I like your Take a Chance on me better than mama mias
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souzaluv
this song is a JAAAAM!
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capcdp
mid 60's MUSIC on, that is
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capcdp
I am an old guy who HATES the mid 60's on with the wonderful exception of ABBA - awesome music. As good as it gets.
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felmachris
Abba has such joyful and beautiful music.
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H who sang the songs take a chance on me in 1978 play this song
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Sing you mean
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Justin hi are you going to song?
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❤️��
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hi
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Some really great music!!
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Does Your Mother Know is my favorite song
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floralovesca t s
My favorite band!
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Beyond any doubt THE finest musical group of ant genre to walk this planet in the past, present or future. Nuff said!
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always will love Abba! just finished watching the movie mamma mia!
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Omg the bestttt band ever ( ;
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Love ABBA and this song Dancing Queen
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Abba is still the most popular group worldwide.
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alexl262
Abba has great music
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Love Abba brings back great memories.
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Oh those days were such a joy and a blur
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Dancing �� is one of my favorite and the best song from abba!����
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OMG this is my favorite group
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This is great I could listen to abba all day long if I had the time I am thankful that I found pandora and I am able to connect
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One of my favorite. Can listen ABBA all day long...
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I love Abba
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randyandjoie
Who doesn't still love singing along and dancing to ABBA?!?
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Abba is just awesome
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I love ABBA!!
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zenas.bakir7
Abba are awesome!!!!
������������
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ruthieballar d
Love!
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11mtmerz
ABBA is the best. I saw the Broadway show and it reminded me of my carefree, younger years. Thanks for the memories.��❤
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