ABBA-Do-Do-Do | DaysAreNumbers
When I think of ABBA (almost everyday), this is what normally comes to mind :
And in my opinion a much better homage to pay to the Swedish uber-pop gods than you know what. Despite their legendary status, I’ve always thought ABBA were misunderstood. Alan Partridge aside, they produced some of the most incredibly mournful and achingly beautiful songs of all time. Like The Carpenters, many dismiss ABBA as a naff 70’s pop band, that you always hear at weddings (btw. do you know anyone who hates ‘Dancing Queen’? No, me neither) or the group your mum likes or the soundtrack to many a Aussie movie. Despite all of this, I can remember that there has always been a revival every odd year or so . Y’know what i mean, normally lead by the annoying broadsheet music journalists raising an celebratory eyebrow in the direction of irony, when you know they were cheering and sneering their demise whilst wetting their pants to The Smiths in the Eighties. Or even worse, an ITV tribute show with B*Witched. Anyway I digress, the first one I can remember was the fabulous OTT campness of Erasure’s ‘Abba-Esque’ EP. Then came Bjorn Again at Reading and Kurt Cobain’s unabashed endorsement, then onto ’Muriel’s Wedding’, ‘Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert’ etc.. The list goes on right up to present day with Meryl ‘Can Only Act From The Neck Up’ Streep. I’ve waffled on a bit too much so I’ll get to my point. This post is to show the many talents of a truly unique band. I’ve picked a selection that many might not recognize (mainly cuz they’re not on ‘ABBA Gold’) so I hope you enjoy. I promise we’ll get back to the trendy disco shit tomorrow.
My favourite ABBA album and one of my all time favourite albums too. Incredibly dark and melancholic, ‘The Visitors’ (1981) was ABBA’s last studio album and chronicles the divorce between Benny and Anni-Frid. So cheery stuff then. Three choice cuts, including ‘The Day Before You Came’ which was meant to be included on the album but was pulled at the last minute (more of which later).
There’s many theories about the nature of this song. Is it about aliens? Is it about mental illness? Have a listen and decide for yourself.
‘Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’
Eerie stuff. Starts off with a faint-sounding ice cream van jingle you hear from the bottom of your street (well to me it does) followed by a sparse backing arrangement with a clock ticking in the background. With only Anni-Frid on vocals, it all adds up to a haunting and memorable track.
‘The Day Before You Came’
Ever had a shit day at work? Ever felt your life is slipping away in the rat race? If the answer is yes, then this song is for you. Who would have thought that the simple story of a young office girl’s daily routine would be so sinister? With a sombre, haunting melody reminiscent of horror films of yore, it evokes images of the Grim Reaper, misty moors and classic 80s TV. ’80s TV?!’ i hear you cry, well listen out to the Dallas reference. Genius. Going to work will never be dull again.
Quite possibly one of ABBA’s strongest songs ever. Sounding like a slow-motion disco song with ELO’s ‘Eldorado’ overtones, this should have been a bigger hit than it was. But hey, what can you do? A soaring and triumphant song.
So, there you go. A quick reminder or introduction to ABBA’s relatively unknown material. Good eh? (before i forget, there will be a ABBA solo special coming soon. Bet you can’t wait for that.)