Just Because Music: ABBA’s Soldiers

ABBA was always castigated as the lightest of fuzzy pop.  And yet I liked it….  Go figure.

I’m not sure their music was as uninteresting as ABBA’s critics claimed. It’s always seemed to me that many of their songs build up to some fairly complex harmonies.  I’ve always enjoyed this one:

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  • Stevo

    ABBA’s greatness will prevail long after the critics are gone

  • Ron19

    ABBA’s music, like the music of many others, if you don’t think about the lyrics, is beautiful.  My wife talked me into getting her “The Dancing Queen” movie video;  I enjoyed it as much as she did, but for different reasons.
    Listening to the Beatles as Golden Oldies, years after they broke up, I realized that much of their work was about dysfunctional relationships and hostile breakups.  I still like to listen to their music, though.  I even like most of the Rolling Stones from the same era.  Those were my two favorite groups.

  • Call me Lennie

    Word around the Hollywood campfire, Bookie, is that they’re going rework the Bogart classic, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” into a musical featuring the songs of ABBA called “The Treasure of the Sierra Mamma Mia”  In this retelling, Fred C Dobbs, played by Pierce Brosnan, unearths his mother’s diary while prospecting for gold .. and discovers than any one of three corrupt Federale officials could be his father!

    In the tragic final scene, Fred is gunned down during a show stopping rendition of  “Waterloo” by a gang of ABBA hating bandidos who sneer “ABBA .. we don’t want no stinking ABBA”

  • jj

    It is the lightest of fuzzy – even fizzy – pop.  (Except for when they wrote something serious, which they did often enough.)  But those two laddies, neither one a dope, realized they had those two lassies with those two extraordinary voices that they could drive just about anywhere.  Nothing happened by accident: they quite deliberately set out to create the most commercially viable and profitable fuzzy pop there’s ever been.  And they did.  They had the advantage of being both creative and technically good writers, and they combined that advantage with the power of those voices, (and what they looked like didn’t hurt either, face it), and it should have been simple.  Know what?  It was simple.
    I really enjoy when people are so on top of what they do that they can tell you in advance what the plan is, and then just go carry it out.  (Like the inevitable question at the interview afterward: “did you ever think…?”  Answer: “yeah – that was the plan.  Which we announced you may recall, two years ago.”)  Watson and Crick, deciding they were going to win a Nobel Prize, and then – step 2! – deciding in what branch they were going to win it in and how they’d go about it.  Joe Namath: “oh yeah, we’ll beat them, no problem.  I guarantee it.”  And Benny and Bjorn, not intending to make a couple of successful recordings, goal enough for most people; but fully intending to become the dominant force on the planet in fuzzy pop – and saying so in public well before it happened.  I enjoy that kind of confidence, particularly when married to the kind of ability and talent that then proceeds to bring home the bacon.  It ain’t bragging if you can do it! 

  • Gringo

    I never bought any ABBA records. However,  I got very well acquainted with ABBA in Argentina, where a local restaurant played “Chiquitita” every day. How many times a day, I don’t know. I never got tired of hearing the song. Just as I never tired of eating the same dessert every day- flan with dulce de leche.  Good voices, well-crafted songs, and good vocal harmonies.   Especially the vocal harmonies. What is popular is not necessarily of  mediocre quality.
    I liked jj’s comments- they set out to become pop stars, and they did it. Which reminds me of seeing a Dolly Parton interview, where she was asked if her success was a surprise to her- or some such question. To her credit, Dolly did not reply with the “Lucky lil’ ol’ me” schtick. She replied that for as long as she could remember, she had wanted to be a singing star. She had a goal, and she achieved it. [I  once worked a couple of weeks with an accountant who had some dealings with Dolly Parton. Nothing but good words to say about Dolly.]