Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Random ABBA Thoughts

So I've been terrible about this CD feature so far, but I'm going to try to crank several out over the next few days and get myself in the habit.

Up next is ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits.

I'm not ashamed to say that I love ABBA. I think they're officially the second-highest selling pop group of all time, so I've got company, even if they also personify some of the silly excess of the 1970s. And in my defense, I only love them enough to have their greatest hits. It's not like I've got all their albums, right?

Anyway, I have no unifying thesis for this ABBA fest. Just a potpourri of observations and memories.

First, there are some genuinely poignant and uplifting moments in the music of ABBA. "Chiquitita, you and I cry / but the sun is still in the sky and shining above you." "I believe in angels / something good in everything I see." Maybe the words are a little saccharine on their own, but those voices and the music really make me buy it.

Next, I can't think of ABBA without remembering that there was an ABBA movie, and that I watched it on cable, probably several times, but can only remember one scene from the very end of the film. (Spoiler: I guess the characters in the film spend the whole time trying to see ABBA in concert or meet them or something, and they totally fail, and then in the last few minutes after they've given up, they get on an elevator and ABBA are there. Is this ringing a bell with anybody?)

Finally, there's a snippet in "One of Us" that's pretty much exactly the vocal hook from Ace of Bass's "I Saw the Sign." It was very weird putting this CD in my car player, getting to a track that I'm really quite unfamiliar with, and then hearing this 100% familiar moment that was only familiar because of a different, later song. I'm not accusing Ace of Bass of stealing it, but they totally stole it.

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