Most people remember the fresh faced full colour all out pop that Abba brought into the music world. Most of us probably have our first memories as they strolled out onto the stage at the Eurovision Song contest and gave us our first taste of their musical gift with the everlasting Waterloo and from that moment we were hooked. It wasn’t their first attempt at Eurovision song glory but actually their third but it was the first time they’d managed to capture a bigger audience to showcase their talents. The contest was a much more serious affair back then and it was utilised to demonstrate their song writing talents on a larger scale but back then they surely couldn’t have seen just how popular they’d become in culture and just how many people to this day still lovingly sport their Abba t shirts with of a memory not lost but lent to nostalgia.
It was certainly a time that captured pop and its new movement to a more glamorous phase. The songs were not just well put together and catchy but the production that went into them extensive. Few people realise just how hard Benny, Bjorn, Frida and Agnetha worked but there were reports of the back working non-stop during recordings and never taking a break and revisiting songs but not stopping one recording until they came up with something better. However the beautiful package Abba produced looked almost effortless when performing like it had all been done at a canter. It had to be this was seamless beautiful pop that should look easy and it’s that relaxed, perfect blend that made them such fashion icons and why so many Abba t shirts are still sold to this day.
The Rise To Popularity and The Split That Never Happened But Happened
Abba quickly became a modern phenomenon and not quite as meteoric as the Beatles they were quickly establishing themselves across Europe as the number one popular culture band. An array of dance floor classics that get played to this day came out and despite having just six major hits the band released its greatest hits album so proud of their first few songs. It almost cemented their position early on as one of major bands around. Tours came thick and fast and the word was spreading all over the globe about their popularity and of course the marketability in terms of the two beautiful women that often stole the show in their on stage performances.
It was often famed that the girls didn’t actually understand the words to the songs that were written because they didn’t speak English and that may well be true. Some critics actually point to this as being a positive factor in their vocal talents as there was a growing tendency to over sing or over act certain parts of the songs when actually it was the melody and hook to the song which they really wanted to bring through rather than putting too much emphasis on the delivery of the lyrics. It all sounds good but you can’t really bottle the magic they brought or people would replicate it and few have. Walk down any area with music at night and there’s a chance you will hear and Abba song or walk down a high street in the day and there's good chance you’ll see an Abba t-shirt and that’s how they’ve lived on.
Nobody really understood the split apart from the usual pressure, divisions in relationships within the group and with management but nothing was ever announced. What became clear was that there would be no reunion musically even if they did all meet again for the premiere of the musical movie in 2008. The reasons given behind the lack of music return were delivered perfectly by Bjorn Ulvaeus when he said they didn’t need the money and there were enough ‘cover’ bands of Abba already they didn’t need another one returning to cover their own songs. That leaves us with just the beautiful musical memories and those Abba t shirts we all secretly have and love.