ABBA, better known by the acronym ᗅᗺᗷᗅ, is a Swedish band formed in 1972 in Stockholm and made up of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. A group that can boast of having sold around 380 million albums worldwide to date, making them one of the best-selling groups of all time.
ABBA is in fact an acronym of the first letters of the first names of the different members. During the “great” years of the group, Fältskog and Ulvaeus, as well as Andersson and Lyngstad, will be husband and wife. Couples who will end up divorcing shortly before the separation of the group.
Benny Andersson began his artistic career in 1964 at the age of 18 with the group "Hep Stars", nicknamed the "Swedish Beatles" and specializing in the cover of international standards. Björn Ulvaeus also began his artistic career at the same age in the group "The Hootenanny Singers", a rather folk-oriented group. The 2 friends meet frequently during respective tours and end up sympathizing. To the point of composing a first piece together in 1966. They did it again in 1969, notably on the Hep Stard hit “Speleman”.
Agnetha Fältskog, like the other two, saw her artistic career take off at the age of 18 when she had a first hit on a track that she composed herself and which would sell for more than 80,000 copies. She will release 4 albums between 1968 and 1971 and will see several of her singles very well classified in the Swedish Charts. She met Ulvaeus on a TV show in 1969, which ended in a marriage two years later in 1971.
As for Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, she began singing at the age of 13 but it was at the age of 22, in 1967, that she would experience her first moment of glory when she won a national song contest. Which allows her to sign a contract with EMI Sweden and perform in the most popular TV show of the moment.
In 1969 Andersson composed "Hej, clown", a song he presented to the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Title which fails narrowly but which nevertheless allows Andersson to cross for the first time the path of Anni-Frid Lyngstad. With whom he gets into a relationship a month later.
The respective groups of Andersson and Ulvaeus also explode this same year, allowing them to release their first joint album "Lycka" in 1970. Agnetha and Frida being often present during the recording sessions, they take the opportunity to play the backing vocals of luxury.
It was from 1971 that things got serious for the quartet, which worked more and more in concert. The 2 boys released several titles which knew various fortunes.
The beginning of international recognition came in 1972 with the title "She's my kind of girl" which was a great success. Little followed by the single "People need love", single which sees the 2 girls rise in power in terms of vocals. The disc was a notable success in Sweden and became their first title classified across the Atlantic.
The decision is made to record a debut album for four and to leave the vocal leadership to Agnetha and Frida. Their 2 voices harmonize perfectly and the result exceeds the expectations of the group.
The album "Ring Ring" was released in 1973 and the single of the same name had a great global journey. The same year, the group was officially called ABBA. And it was not until 1976 that the band's logo became ᗅᗺᗷᗅ, the mirror effect pleasing the band a lot. Logo affixed for the first time to the single "Dancing queen".
It was in 1974 that everything suddenly accelerated when the group won the preselections for the Eurovision Song Contest after failing twice in previous years. Victory thanks to a title named… .. "Waterloo".
We know the rest. The group wins the competition and the title will be a huge success on a planetary level. The eponymous album from which he is taken has itself been critically acclaimed.
The single "Honey, honey" was released in the wake and was an honest success, without commensurate with the previous one. Some bad tongues even predicting in the group an inability to release new tracks equivalent to "Waterloo".
The single "I do, I do, I do, I do, I do" which came out in 1975 seems to prove the detractors of the group right.
Things change at the end of 1975 when the album "ABBA" is released, an album which will produce 2 huge tracks which are "SOS" and "Mamma mia". Success is again at the rendezvous. Especially in Australia where the group's notoriety is literally exploding.
A year later in 1976 released the single "Fernando" which in turn was a hit. It will sell over 10 million copies worldwide ! Shortly followed by the album "Arrival". Huge album which will produce 2 new mega hits with "Money, money, money" and "Knowing me, knowing you".
But also and above all, the intergalactic hit "Dancing queen" which becomes the first title of the group ranked No.1 in the United States. The group is at the zenith of the fame and connects the tubes at a phenomenal speed.
1977 saw the release of the album "ABBA : the album", an album that sold even more than the previous one which had reached records. Album from which 3 new hits will be extracted : "The name of the game", "Take a chance of me" and "Thank you for the music". Hits with less success than the previous ones.
In 1978 the single “Summer night city” was released once again with average success.
A mixed year 1979 with a good news side, a comeback thanks to the title "Chiquitita", a title created especially for UNICEF and which will finish No.1 in a dozen countries. And side bad news, Ulvaeus and Fältskog announce their divorce, creating by the same a certain unhealthy effervescence around the group.
This did not prevent the release of the album "Do you want", album which will record still considerable sales scores. In particular thanks to titles like "Chiquitita", "Does your mother know", "Angeleyes" and other "I have a dream".
Also in the same year, the title “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A man after midnight)", a title that will hit the mark and remains to this day as one of their most beautiful gems and the most broadcast in the evening.
A year later in 1980, the single "The winner takes it all" was released, the lyrics indirectly dealing with the divorce of Ulvaeus and Fältskog. The title is a real hit. Shortly followed by the album "Super Trooper", an album whose sonic evolution is obvious and which gives pride of place to synthesizers. Over a million copies of the album have been pre-ordered in England alone.
A new super hit, named after the album, is extracted. As well as "Lay all your love on me" which will also make a good course in the Charts.
In 1981, it was Andersson and Lyngstad's turn to divorce. The same year released the last album of the group "The visitors", which produced only one hit, "One of us". Abbamania is on the decline and sales are coming off strongly.
Finally, in 1982, they will experience a last notorious success with the title "The day before you came", just before the group broke up.
Definitive separation of a group which will leave a unique, mythical, even mystical trace in history. And which will have produced an incalculable number of pieces of anthology of which a certain number still make dance today the ¾ of the planet on Saturday evening.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
People need love 1972
Ring, ring 1973
Love isn't easy (But it shure is hard enough) 1973
Nina, pretty ballerina 1973
Honey, honey 1974
Hasta Mañana 1974
So long 1974
I've been waiting for you 1975
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do 1975
Mamma mia 1975
Rock me 1976
Dancing queen 1976
Money, money, money 1976
Dum dum diddle 1976
My love my life 1976
That's me 1977
Knowing me, knowing you 1977
The name of the game 1977
One man one woman 1977
Take a chance of me 1978
Sumer night city 1978
Does your mother know ? 1979
Angel eyes 1979
Gimme ! Gimme ! Gimme ! 1979
I have a dream 1979
If it wasn’t for the nights 1979
The winner takes it all 1980
On and on and on 1980
Super trouper 1980
Our last summer 1980
Happy new year 1980
One of us 1981
When all is said and done 1981
Like an angel passing trough my room 1981
Head over heels 1982
The day before you came 1982
Under attack 1983
Thank you for the music 1983
1972 ... there are 4, two women, two men, come from the cold and sing in English. The first hit from a quartet of strangers who won't stay that way for long .... strangers !
1973 ... after a first title whose success was limited to the Scandinavian sphere, they finally obtained their first world-class success. A first step taken and not the least ...
1973 ... the rest is nice but the group does not manage to capitalize on the enormous success of the previous title. Must and can do better !
1973 ... unfortunately, the sequel does not turn out to be as idyllic as expected. The bellows falls as quickly as it is mounted and success eludes them. A "shooting star" group ? What is looming on the horizon will demonstrate just the opposite !
1974 ... then comes THIS title. A first place at Eurovision which offers them in a masterly way their first global mega hit and literally explodes their notoriety. The group could not ask for a better springboard. MAS-TER-FUL !
1974 ... the hits will now follow one another at an incredible speed and propel the group to heights of renown rarely reached for the time
1974 ... very simple melodies but formidably effective. And 2 female voices that blend together to perfection. The keys to a success that will prove to be extraordinary !
1974 ... the group demonstrates a know-how and a melodic quality among the best of the moment. All they have to do is unroll and to unroll, that will unroll !
1975 ... very quickly they show skills as powerful and formidable on the Dance side as on the Intimate side. A truly incredible versatility that will lift them to the highest peaks of glory at the speed of light. MA-GIC !
1975 ... the first year at 3 mega planetary hits. Starting with this one. From now on, each title released becomes almost a planetary event on its own. And that's only the beginning...
1975 ... everything rings true, the sound, the style, the 2 singers. A perfect set that propels the group among the very best of the moment. And it is well deserved !
1975 ... surprisingly, this title will have only a very limited success. And yet, nothing really differentiates it from the rest of their discography ...
1975 ... almost every title could be called a legendary title. Here is another one that will surely remain as one of their most famous ...
1976 ... a first WONDER that will call for many others. And a new planetary mega-hit top that once again strengthens their status as an ESSENTIAL group of the moment
1976 ... between 2 mega hits, they happen to miss the target. And yet, this title is not without interest, far from it. But they set the bar so high that the slightest difference in inspiration pays off !
1976 ... their Mona Lisa. An amazing Dance title that will surely remain as their most famous. And which still continues today to make the beautiful 'evenings' of many parties and Dance parties. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1976 ... a hallucinating year with a 3rd intergalactic hit and which will also remain as one of their most emblematic titles
1976 ... a prolific year that ends in style with a new title that works perfectly. Surely not the most famous but which holds up well !
1976 ... a little gem that won't even be classified, go figure. A title which literally floats in the air and which once again shows the extraordinary know-how of the group in the Intimist field. MA-GIC !
1977 ... the quartet works wonderfully and the girls are at the peak of their possibilities, title after title. Who could stop them? Apart from fate, no one ...
1977 ... will 1977 be at the incredible height of the previous 2 years. Years that have made it possible to reach hallucinating heights both on the sales side and on the reputation side ...? And the answer is necessarily : YES !
1977 ... yet another year which ended in apotheosis with a title whose sales scores still broke the ceilings. And yet, this title will not necessarily remain as their best known ...
1977 ... an unranked title for this year 1977, surprisingly. A sumptuous ballad which will have passed under the radars but which it would have been a shame to hide ...
1978 ... new vintage change. This is the only thing that changes, because for the rest, it is once again a planetary tidal wave in terms of success. An inspiration which is constantly regenerating and which produces exceptional title after exceptional title !
1978 ... amazing thing, in an ocean of mega hits, they have at least 1 title that gets 'through' on average every year. For the year 1978, it will be this one. An eagle that did not know how to take off ...
1978 ... yet another title whose Aura does not equal the others and which nevertheless will also greatly benefit from the game. This is where we realize the incredible density of their discography !
1979 ... the end of the decade that promises to be incredible once again. The group signs a new WONDER, yet another title among their most emblematic. All against the backdrop of a partnership with UNICEF. Super talented and altruistic, they really have it all !
1979 ... extremely rare to see Björn Ulvaeus ensure the vocals part of one of the group's titles. As soon as the girls are no longer in charge, the result is somewhat affected. This time around we will talk about mixed success ... for once !
1979 ... still a paradoxical title with average sales scores but which will remain as one of their best known. On the other hand, what is certain is that the group begins, slowly, very slowly, its fall ...
1979 ... ABBA makes ABBA but the mayonnaise takes less and less. And this despite the certain quality of the title. It was obvious that the band could not continue on such a level for decades ...
1979 ... of course, sales begin to fluctuate but that does not prevent the group from continuing to deliver exceptional titles, of which this one is one of the most AMAZING. A new mega top hit Dance that continues to set Dancefloor all over the world on fire even today. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1979 ... the last title in a decade that turned out to be absolutely incredible for the group and that propelled them to the top of fame and success
1979 ... ah, no, there is yet another ... and not the least. Maybe not the most famous but surely one of the most inspired !
1980 ... their new WONDER. Surely one of their most beautiful titles and which, despite its exceptional quality, carries a heavy message and premonitiously announces the end of the group ...
1980 ... for the year 1980, the title that goes 'through', it will be this one. Despite a frenzied rhythm and a hell of a potato, the title will find little echo with the public. Pity...
1980 ... the last dance mega hit of the group. The 80s will unfortunately be fatal to the group, as to the couples from which it was formed. An extraordinary adventure which will have seen these 4 enter the legend like few groups before and after them ...
1980 ... new title not classified but of obvious qualitative interest. So we were not going to deprive ourselves of bringing it up to date !
1980 ... another title outside the Charts and which would nevertheless have largely deserved to be there. A special 'end of the year' song where the 2 girls once again give the best of themselves. MA-GIC once again !
1981 ... the end of an undisputed reign that lasted almost 10 years. This is not the last title of the group but something has changed, it's clear. The dynamic is no longer there and the girls are starting to fall into caricature ...
1981 ... as the title of the song says so well, when all is said and done, no need to go further in the adventure. A premonitory title for an end which is fast approaching ...
1981 ... a title totally out of time and which takes us to absolutely sumptuous imaginary melodic lands. What talent !
1981 ... an unclassifiable title which alone sums up the end of the group's career. Quality as always but the Dance tube factory is more and more put aside in favor of more serious and dark tracks ...
1982 ... of course, the heart is no longer there, but the group still manages to produce quality songs. We are far from the big hits of yesteryear but we will still be satisfied with it !
1982 ... the last notorious hit. Everything becomes dark, and it becomes more and more obvious that the adventure must end quickly. For the good of all...
1983 ... this time it's well and truly over. But what an adventure ! The quartet will have left a mark in the musical history of the 20th century like few others and can boast of continuing to make the entire planet dance, 40 years after their debut ...
1983 ... initially produced in 1977, this title will not be released until 6 years later. A title in the form of a testament and ideal to close this totally extraordinary adventure and which will have hoisted this group among the greatest legends of song and all centuries !
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Greatest Hits :