You know them, you love them; they’re ABBA, the Swedish quartet originally from Stockholm. Though they haven’t performed together in over 30 years, the internet is abuzz over an interview singer Agnetha Fältskog gave to German magazine Welt am Sonntag, in which she said that the band is considering a reunion next year to mark the 40th anniversary of their win at the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo”. Wouldn’t that be something? Everyone seems to be excited, so how about another top ten list to celebrate? These are my top ten singles from the band to chart in America:
10. “WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE” [from The Visitors]
Year: 1982 / Peak: #27
We begin with the group’s last ever top 40 single, a minor hit with the lead done by Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It was written and recorded during a period when she and husband, band member Benny Andersson, were divorcing.
09. “MAMMA MIA” [from ABBA]
Year: 1976 / Peak: #32
It topped charts around the globe and even became the name of a musical turned movie that incorporated the band’s music. Despite being so well-known, the song barely scratched the top 40 during its U.S. run as a single.
08. “MONEY MONEY MONEY” [from Arrival]
Year: 1977 / Peak: #56
“It’s a rich man’s world.” So says the fierce foursome on this single which smashed all across Europe, but didn’t light up any cash registers here in the States. A promotional clip for the song is inspired by the 1972 movie Cabaret.
07. “S.O.S.” [from ABBA]
Year: 1975 / Peak: #15
Agnetha Fältskog takes the led on this one, which I still hear occasionally on Classic Hits stations. This release holds the distinction of being the only charting Hot 100 single in which both the artist and single are palindromes.
06. “THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL” [from Super Trouper]
Year: 1981 / Peak: #8
It was a big ballad that led off their 1980 album and one that resonated with many, becoming their last U.S. top ten hit. The band’s never performed the song in concert; understandably, it would be a very emotional experience.
05. “WATERLOO” [from Waterloo]
Year: 1974 / Peak: #6
In most of the world, including in the United States, this was the song that started it all for them. Winner of the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and a 5 million seller worldwide, it’s a classic and a little bit of a history lesson.
04. “DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW?” [from Voulez-Vous]
Year: 1979 / Peak: #19
This disco meets rock release is the only song on here with a lead vocal by one of the males in the group, Björn Ulvaeus. It was their last top 20 hit of the decade, though “Chiquitita” would make the top 40 by the end of the year.
03. “DANCING QUEEN” [from Arrival]
Year: 1977 / Peak: #1 for one week
Don’t you just want to get out on the floor and boogie? As the band’s signature song, it ruled the airwaves and the clubs in 1977, becoming their only #1 on the Hot 100. A cover by the A*Teens made my personal chart in 2000.
02. “SUPER TROUPER” [from Super Trouper]
Year: 1981 / Peak: #45
Named after a type of spotlight, this song from the group features a music video with a massive circus troupe, also depicted on the album cover. Though it missed the top 40 in the U.S., it managed top ten placement across Europe.
01. “TAKE A CHANCE ON ME” [from ABBA: The Album]
Year: 1978 / Peak: #3
Chances are, you know this song pretty well. It was on their biggest singles here, going top 5 here during the summer of 1978. The simple euro-pop number was certified Gold under the old requirement of 1,000,000 copies shipped to record stores. I’m also a fan of the version done by Erasure on their 1992 EP Abba-esque; it was a minor airplay-only single that never made the Hot 100 due to lack of a physical release (which was a rule at the time, now eliminated.)
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