Mamma Mia, I’m glad ABBA’s back


Who cares about Spice Girl reunions, what about ABBA?

Last Sunday night, the four members of the – legendary – group slyly got together, to perform for the first time in 30 years.

30 years! That’s too long if you ask me. And my goodness I am glad that they’ve come out from hiding. The band was performing at Stockholm’s Berns Hotel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the day when Bjorn and Benny met.

How I wish I’d been there to sing along. How I hope there will be more ABBA reunions. For sometimes I worry that their legacy is dying out – and that they need some sort of modern day Homer to tell others of their legend; of their odyssey of love and interesting 70s outfits.

Over the decades, ABBA’s music has increasingly fallen on deaf ears. To my generation, they’ve never been particularly cool. I know, because sometimes I say to my friends: “Weren’t ABBA amazing?” and they look at me like I’ve invited them to a Nigel Farage coffee morning.

In the (current) dark days of pop and rap, and ambient jazz – which someone recently told me was a thing – the lightness of ABBA has been lost. People forget that these Swedish swayers essentially created the genre of “Scandipop” – a movement that gave rise to the likes of Tove Lo, Alphabeat, Robyn, Erlend Øye and Lykke Li (the list goes on). From the high vocals, to the bouncy beats, ABBA gave Scandipop its DNA.

Anyway, what kind of miserable person do you need to be to not appreciate Waterloo, Dancing Queen and Super Trouper. If only we’d listen to these classics more often, perhaps we wouldn’t be 23rd in the world happiness ratings. Further up, perhaps, maybe even 10th – where Sweden sits. A coincidence you say? Or could it be listening to ABBA?

Like I say, ABBA isn’t the trendiest band to like in 2016 – and Benny and the gang have always been criticised for making ‘trivial’ songs. But even the up-tempo Take A Chance On Me has its vulnerable lyrics. Then there’s The Winner Takes It All – one of the saddest songs in music history (with an even more depressing video, in which Agnetha looks in desperate need of a handkerchief).

I even think ABBA had feminist credentials (oh no she didn’t). With Agnetha and Anni-Frid centre stage, and Bjorn and Benny happy to provide the background music (literally and metaphorically), the songs were designed to show off the women’s voices. You don’t get many bands geared up towards highlighting female talent.

Anyway, in case you haven’t realised, I really, really like ABBA. And my gosh am I glad they’re back again. I just want them to be less embarrassing to like; less ‘raiding Mum and Dad’s CD collection’, and more ‘The CD collection’. If you get me… With their reunion, I hope they can reignite – and ignite – some spark for the power of ABBA.