Tonight, we begin a new aspect of Aloha Promises Forever.
We are going to explore recordings that it is said that we should all hear before we die.
Tonight, we are starting with Abba. This is a group that most folks either love or hate. There seems to be very little middle ground. Their name is an acronym of the members’ first names. Oddly, the decision to take this name was made official as the result of a local newspaper competition.
Abba was a Swedish pop group formed in 1972 and came to be one of the most commercially successful musical acts in popular music, repeatedly topping the charts from 1972 through 1982. The band was formed by Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. This group began their climb in earnest by winning the Eurovision contest in 1974.
An interesting, but sad, aspect of this band is that at the height of their success the four members consisted of two couples. When their marriages fell apart so did their music. After Abba disbanded, the men went on to successfully write music for the stage. Their music as Abba declined until the release of Gold. Then interest in this group grew so strongly that the CD was judged an international smash hit.
In 1999, Abba’s music was adapted into a hugely successful musical called Mamma Mia! In 2005, they were honored by Eurovision by having their hit Waterloo chosen as the best song in the competition’s history. In 2010, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015, Dancing Queen was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.
The fans of Abba might want to know that there is a project reuniting the band that is expected to be released sometime in 2017. They had best hurry on this production. The year is nearly done.
It seems that in reviewing their career it is easy to see why they were so loved within their genre. The songs offered on tonight’s CD are consummate examples of pop music craftsmanship. All in all, anyone wishing to start a pop music group would be well advised to be familiar with what worked so well for ABBA.
The singular recording that seems to introduce us well to this musical group is called Gold. It may be listened to in its entirety here: