Moopy's Top 50 ABBA Songs - FULL RESULTS ON PAGE 14

Pingu

Noot noot
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Oct 14, 2009
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Evening all.

It's a HUGE day for ABBA today (well, for ABBA fans anyway... I'd imagine Frida is just tending to the hyacinths while her bloody Englishman sorts the wine cellar), as the group is 50 years old! :disco:

After almost decade in the business individually, years of friendships, relationships and marriages blossoming, and various attempts to work together in various combinations, 50 years ago today, Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida went into the studio with the specific aim of recording a song together as a four-piece for the first time; a pop song, in English.

At the end of the day, what would become ABBA's very first song (and Moopy's 84th favourite), People Need Love had been born.



Now, 50 years later, after amassing millions of fans, 22 of them (well 20 and another couple who clearly aren't fussed) have decided once and for all upon the greatest songs of ABBA's immense back catalogue.

Starting tomorrow evening, I'll be counting down the 50 ABBA songs that Moopy has declared to be the best of all time, and eventually revealing the song that will forever be known as ABBA's greatest in history, or at least in internet gay folklore.

Hope you'll join me! :sweden::sweden::sweden::sweden:

 
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Thank you to everyone who took the time to cast their votes, namely the following posters:

@Ag
@BoysForSeles
@Christian
@Devil
@dmlaw
@dUb
@Hak
@HerSereneHighnessAnniFrid
@Iguana
@Ill Advised
@Jark
@Lockhart
@lolly
@Madison
@Marilyn
@Penelope
@Pingu
@Sheena
@Suomi
@Tisch
@VoR
@ZenGiraffe

A good cross-section there I think of hardcore fans who know every song inside out, old fans who were keen to revisit the albums, new fans who were delving into them for the first time, casual fans with a passing familiarity with their work, and non-fans with only a passing familiarity with taste. All there, I'm sure you'll agree!
 
I’m trying to work out what category of fan you’d assign to me and which one I’d place myself in.
 
Yes I’ll post the full ranking at the end.

I enjoy the prospect of @HerSereneHighnessAnniFrid hopelessly waiting for Suzy Hang Around to make an appearance too much to give it away beforehand.

Suzy Hang Around is absolutely amazing. That vocal and that foreshadowing of Benny’s cruel streak. Exceptional.
 
50. My Love, My Life
Album track from Arrival
Released: 1976
Score: 7.17

It may have took several years for what we know and love as "the ABBA sound" to fall into place, but one ingredient that the group sussed out very quickly was Agnetha and her capability to produce an emotive vocal. The Agnetha ballad was a staple from the beginning, with Disillusion (charting here at #80), Hasta Mañana (#71) and I've Been Waiting For You (#51) featuring on the first three albums, but the first one to make the cut in this chart is the iteration from the album where the group really found confidence in what they were doing, Arrival.

You can already hear a bit of progression from the first iterations mentioned above, with some pleasing and ever-so-slightly unconventional melodic progressions sneaking in there. The song was originally called Monsieur, Monsieur and was written about a summertime romance in Paris. That lyrical theme was shelved, to be revisited in the future, and the resulting track was left as one of the lesser-known gems in the catalogue, at least until Meryl Streep murdered it in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

Highest scores: @dmlaw (10)
Lowest scores: @ZenGiraffe (0)

 
50. My Love, My Life
Album track from Arrival
Released: 1976
Score: 7.17

It may have took several years for what we know and love as "the ABBA sound" to fall into place, but one ingredient that the group sussed out very quickly was Agnetha and her capability to produce an emotive vocal. The Agnetha ballad was a staple from the beginning, with Disillusion (charting here at #80), Hasta Mañana (#71) and I've Been Waiting For You (#51) featuring on the first three albums, but the first one to make the cut in this chart is the iteration from the album where the group really found confidence in what they were doing, Arrival.

You can already hear a bit of progression from the first iterations mentioned above, with some pleasing and ever-so-slightly unconventional melodic progressions sneaking in there. The song was originally called Monsieur, Monsieur and was written about a summertime romance in Paris. That lyrical theme was shelved, to be revisited in the future, and the resulting track was left as one of the lesser-known gems in the catalogue, at least until Meryl Streep murdered it in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

Highest scores: @dmlaw (10)
Lowest scores: @ZenGiraffe (0)


As featured on ASFM
 
LOVE My Love, My Life. Obviously not quite top-tier ABBA, but it really is quite beautifully constructed and a fabulous vocal from Agnetha.

Here's Charlotte Perrelli making a very respectable fist of it at some tribute concert a few years ago.

 
@Pingu OMG this level of interpretive discourse you’re starting off with is so exciting in a liberal arts campus university critical analysis style :disco:
 
49. The King Has Lost His Crown
Album track from Voulez-Vous
Released: 1979
Score: 7.2

The initial Voulez-Vous sessions were among the more fraught ones of ABBA's lifespan, with Bjorn and Agnetha's marriage in its final throes, but also the 2 Bs massively struggling to come up with material they thought cut the mustard for the new album. After a few abandoned attempts, as well as completed ones that would ultimately end up off the album, they finally came up with The King Has Lost His Crown.

It's a delightfully playful number with Frida doing an excellent job as a woman scorned taking the high road while her former lover's life falls apart. The camp melodrama of the opening chorus line, "disaster and disgrace!" is certainly earned by the subject matter and Frida's delivery of it. This was a while before Benny and Bjorn's trip to Miami, where the disco sounds that were in vogue at the time would shape the rest of the album, but you can tell from the groove in this track that that's probably the direction they were veering towards anyway.

Highest scores: @Ag (9.5)
Lowest scores: @Tisch (4)

 
Meryl Streep can fuck off. She deserved to die just for that.
 
48. I Am The City
Album track from More ABBA Gold
Released: 1993 (Recorded: 1982)
Score: 7.23

While ABBA's The Visitors album is generally trumpeted by mainstream reviewers as the dark, moody end to their career, of course we know that wasn't the case, and some career highlights were to follow as they staggered on during 1982. The first batch of recordings might not be counted among those career highlights, but they do give a sneaky glimpse of what we might have expected from the group had we not had to wait 40 years for a Visitors follow-up.

If anything, while the songs see ABBA slip effortlessly into the 80s, they are a bit of a regression after the tour de force of the album that preceded them. You Owe Me One, which eventually became a B-side, made it to #59 in this rate, and the mythical Just Like That was never officially released. Indeed I Am The City was left in the vaults for over a decade as well before being deemed worthy of inclusion as a new track in the 90s ABBA Gold follow-up. A regression it may be, but it's a very catchy one, and one of the few tracks where Agnetha and Frida seamlessly share solo lead vocals. @Jark said that this "sounds like the band at the very beginning of their career, but if they had started in 1980" and I can kind of see where he's coming from.

Highest scores: @lolly (10)
Lowest scores: @Suomi (3)

 
50. My Love, My Life
Album track from Arrival
Released: 1976
Score: 7.17

It may have took several years for what we know and love as "the ABBA sound" to fall into place, but one ingredient that the group sussed out very quickly was Agnetha and her capability to produce an emotive vocal. The Agnetha ballad was a staple from the beginning, with Disillusion (charting here at #80), Hasta Mañana (#71) and I've Been Waiting For You (#51) featuring on the first three albums, but the first one to make the cut in this chart is the iteration from the album where the group really found confidence in what they were doing, Arrival.
I think they tended to over rely on Agnetha's plaintive vocal - or at least I don't think her voice was as fully explored within Abba as Frida's. Her vocal on Wrap Your Arms Around Me came as something of a revelation when I first heard it.
 
Love My Love, My Life! That sort of thing being the MEAT of Arrival was one of the things that made it one of the best albums to delve into over the course of this.

I Am The City is a bit lightweight but it's been annoyingly insistent at worming its way into my head at idle moments the last week.
 
I absolutely love I Am The City, very challenged by @Suomi and @VoR, pieces of works the pair of them.
 
47. On and On and On
Album track from Super Trouper
Released: 1980
Score: 7.25

You won't be surprised to hear that not many of ABBA's flirtations with rock make an appearance in this chart. This later attempt slips in though, which has been referred to as a Beach Boys homage, but comes off a little more Status Quo to these ears (although it was covered a year later by one of the Beach Boys who wasn't Brian Wilson).

The lyrics, while fairly nonsensical on the whole, do raise a smile with a few of the lines describing high society flirting, although the constant instructions to "keep on rockin' til the night is gone" are ever so slightly eyeroll-worthy. Benny's obsession with his synthesiser was at its peak on the Super Trouper album, perhaps to the detriment of this one in particular, which even he admits might have turned out better had it been treated as a full-on rock song with actual guitars. Still, this one for the dads has its fans, even on gay internet where it makes our top 50.

Highest scores: @Marilyn (10)
Lowest scores: @dmlaw (3)

 
It feels like The King Has Lost His Crown fared badly seeing it at no.48 but the score is good and there is so much more to come so it’s actually fine. I really like it though it was the Hazell Dean cover I heard first.
 
I distinctly remember my older sister and me recording ourselves onto a cassette singing On And On And On, I can’t have been more than 7 at the time. It wasn’t in 1980. I kept spoiling it by giggling trying to keep up.
 
I’m so sorry I never got round to voting for the whole thing but love these write-ups ! .. oh and can I just sneak in the highest score possible for The winner takes it all, SOS, Knowing me Knowing you, One of us and The Day before you came ? :weed:
 
46. Honey, Honey
Single from Waterloo
Released: 1974
Score: 7.32

The Waterloo album isn't exactly awash with hits (only two songs received widespread single releases, and are the only two tracks to appear in this Top 50) and it does sound in places like the kind of hurried-together cash-in album expected of Eurovision winners at the time. Thankfully they went with this catchy slice of sugary pop to follow up their winning song instead of one of the glam rock efforts on there, which they very well could have gone with in another timeline.

It was a medium-sized hit internationally, reaching the top ten in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, certainly a respectable showing for a Eurovision follow-up at least. Somewhere it infamously wasn't a hit was the UK, where the British record label decided old single Ring Ring (remixed to sound just a little more like Waterloo :eyes:) would be the better choice. It made the most fleeting of appearances in the UK Top 40, while in the ultimate kick in the teeth, this cover of Honey, Honey by Sweet Dreams made the top ten. Still, Honey Honey seems to be one of their more fondly remembered non-hits by the public at large, and is one of the stronger efforts from their more innocent days (not that there is much innocence about the PANTING in that appears later in the song).

Highest scores: @Lockhart (9), @Ag (9), @Christian (9), @Sheena (9), @Penelope (9)
Lowest scores: @ZenGiraffe (4), @dUb (4)

 
47. On and On and On
Album track from Super Trouper
Released: 1980
Score: 7.25

You won't be surprised to hear that not many of ABBA's flirtations with rock make an appearance in this chart. This later attempt slips in though, which has been referred to as a Beach Boys homage, but comes off a little more Status Quo to these ears (although it was covered a year later by one of the Beach Boys who wasn't Brian Wilson).

The lyrics, while fairly nonsensical on the whole, do raise a smile with a few of the lines describing high society flirting, although the constant instructions to "keep on rockin' til the night is gone" are ever so slightly eyeroll-worthy. Benny's obsession with his synthesiser was at its peak on the Super Trouper album, perhaps to the detriment of this one in particular, which even he admits might have turned out better had it been treated as a full-on rock song with actual guitars. Still, this one for the dads has its fans, even on gay internet where it makes our top 50.

Highest scores: @Marilyn (10)
Lowest scores: @dmlaw (3)


Also, I know I've listed this as an album track but it was a single in a few countries including the home country of its kindest benefactor in this rate.

Apparently it also topped the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. :D
 
Also, I know I've listed this as an album track but it was a single in a few countries including the home country of its kindest benefactor in this rate.

Apparently it also topped the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. :D
America and their ABBA

Episode 1 Premiere GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race
 
OMG, there I was thinking the Hot Dance Club Play chart would've only been invented at the same time as Dannii Minogue and ecstasy (1988)
 
I love how HOT is included as if to say other dance charts are just aren't worth the cost of the icey cold paper they're printed on.
 

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