Friday, September 28, 2007

Random Top 10: "Dancing Queen"-ed Out and the Great ABBA songs

ABBA is, bar none, my favorite musical group ever. Screw The Beatles. Fuck The Rolling Stones. Even The Sex Pistols and the Spice Girls can't compare to this supergroup from Sweden. They, during the hey-day of Disco, made cheesy pop music classy and respectable and, more importantly, their music doesn't sounded dated or as rooted in the 70's as many of their counterparts (Listen to "Ring My Bell" and you can definitely tell it's a disco song, but ABBA's "Lay All Your Love on Me" could have been made a year ago). Unfortunately though, whenever most people think of ABBA nowadays, all they can talk about is "Dancing Queen." I have no problem with this song whatsoever (it's really a fine tune), but for the past year or so I've just gotten so sick of the song that I can't even listen to it anymore. The same thing with "Mamma Mia." It's just a shame that people are all stuck on this song when ABBA has created a multitude of other songs that are just as good (if not better) than "Dancing Queen" and "Mamma Mia." So, here's my list of the 10 best ABBA songs that everyone should listen to right now and immediately fall in love with.

10. Voulez Vous (Voulez Vous)
Not only can you create fabulous choreography to it (my friend Ashley and I have done it on a long car ride home) but that line "Voulez vous! Ah-hah" can get stuck in your head for days.

9. Super Trouper (Super Trouper)

A lovely and simple pop song about being a pop star that is made even greater by the chorus where the men sing in the background "Sup-per-per Troup-per-per." It's so much fun that you can go listen to the whole song and just sing that section.

8. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) (Super Trouper)

When The Madonna sampled this song in her hit "Hung Up" not only was it a brilliant choice on her part (this song definitely has the catchiest hook ABBA ever created) but it made me realize just what a great song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" is.

7. Money, Money, Money (Arrival)

The ultimate gold digger song.

6. Knowing Me, Knowing You (Arrival)

The realization that a relationship is never going to work captured in a brilliant pop song. I don't know how they did it, but they did.

5. Angeleyes (Voulez Vous)

Agnetha and Ann-Frid's voices go so beautifully together on this song that they could have been singing the alphabet for three and a half minutes and it still would have been great. "Angeleyes," luckily, is a really well written song- it's a shame it's relatively ignored when discussing the best ABBA songs.

4. Waterloo (Waterloo)

ABBA's breakthrough hit (it won the Eurovision contest the year it was entered) is still one of their best because their is just so much energy behind this song that you can just feel their desire to create the perfect pop song. Besides, what other song can you think of that draws parallels between Napoleon's surrender at Waterloo and a power struggle in a relationship...I didn't think so.

3. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (ABBA)

From the moment I saw Toni Collete march down the aisle to this song at her wedding in Muriel's Wedding, I realized two things: 1) I'm totally doing that at my wedding and 2) This song is the shit. Fabulously over-the-top (listen to that wailing saxophone!) and not ashamed of this at all, it's ABBA's best pure pop song.

2. Chiquitita (Voulez Vous)

ABBA very rarely dabbled in the serious, but when they did, it was golden. "Chiquitita," which tells of a person trying to understand why a good friend is retreating away from everyone and into them self, would be good on it's own with lyrics as beautiful as "Chiquitita, you and I know, how the heartaches come and they go and the scars they're leaving" but it also happens to contain one of ABBA's most haunting melodies.

1. The Winner Takes It All (Super Trouper)

"The Winner Takes It All" is another serious song (this time about the pain of divorce and/or breaking up) and also one of their most personal (the group members were all divorcing/had divorced each other at this point). It's so emotional and raw that you can't help being compelled by it. Plus, that note at the end is one for the ages: Agnetha rips into it with all the power and bitterness she can muster...a spectacular feast for the ears.

So what do you think? What are your favorite ABBA songs? Which songs of mine do you disagree with?

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