After the absolute marathon that was listening to almost 500 Prince tracks for the seventh playlist in The Legend Slot, I felt like I needed to keep it simple with this next artist. So, for the eighth playlist in the Legends Slot, I’ve chosen the fun, light and upbeat ABBA as my featured band. I listened to all of their albums in ONE month and picked out 40 of, what I thought were, the best ABBA songs. The Legends Slot is an ongoing music series that I run here on Female Original. Each post focuses on a specific legendary musician or band. I listen to all of their studio albums and put together a playlist of what I thought were their best songs. To read the other posts in the series, click here.
ABBA: A Brief History
Formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972 ABBA is a pop supergroup made up of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Their group name is an acronym of the first letters of each of their first names, A-B-B-A. They’re most well known for their success in winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, which gave Sweden its first-ever win in the competition, and are the most successful group to have ever taken part in the competition.
During their main years as a group, ABBA was actually made up of two married couples; Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. However, as their success skyrocketed their relationships suffered and both couples ended in divorce. Despite the collapse of their relationships, ABBA continued to make new music as a group. But, of course, their personal lives were reflected in their music which led to them producing darker tracks.
‘Voulez-Vous’ (1979) – ABBA.
In 1982 ABBA disbanded, with each member going on to pursue separate careers. Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage, while Lyngstad and Fältskog went on to pursue solo careers. They group reunited back in 2016 at Mamma Mia! The Party and are currently working on new music that is set to release this year (although this may be delayed due to COVID-19).
Throughout their career so far ABBA has estimated over 200 million records sold, have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have seen their hit Dancing Queen inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame. Also of course their music has been adapted into a stage musical which toured worldwide and the smash hit film of 2008, Mamma Mia! (and 2018 sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again).
The Legend Slot: ABBA
Similarly to Led Zeppelin, I decided to listen to each of ABBA’s albums a couple of times. Since there were only eight studio albums I thought I’d give them a few listens through. I mean, I had the time after all. Getting the chance to listen to albums over and over when it comes to this series is something that I love doing. I think it gives me a chance to properly digest each track and album and put together a more in-depth review of the whole discography. Plus, ABBA was a lot of fun to listen to so I thought I might as well extend the fun by listening a few times!
A Few Of My Favourites…
Going into this month I already had LOADS of favourites when it came to ABBA. My ultimate favourites have to be ‘Thank You For The Music’ from The Album (1977) and ‘The Winner Takes It All’ from Super Trouper (1980). I love the piano in both of them and how both show a more relaxed and less ‘poppy’ version of ABBA. They have great upbeat pop tunes too, of course, but I really do love a more toned-down ABBA.
‘Super Trouper’ (1980) – ABBA.
Speaking of upbeat pop tunes, another favourite is ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ from Voulez-Vous (1979). I can’t remember the first time I heard the song but what I do remember is being around 7 or 8 and hearing Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ which of course samples ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’. I was obsessed with ‘Hung Up’ as a kid and it’s so funny to look back now and think that at that time I thought it was a completely new Madonna song. Both are absolute tunes but I’m team OG now, sorry Madonna.
In case you wanted to give Madonna’s track a listen…
Given that I’ve seen both of the Mamma Mia! films, there were loads of ABBA songs that I already knew. That being said, I did also pick up a few new favourites along the way. The first of them was ‘Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)’ from their first album Ring Ring (1973). I loved the little pauses and drum beats in the chorus after the lyrics ‘some of the time it gets rough’ and ‘but a few things can be tough’.
‘Ring Ring’ (1973) – ABBA.
Next up is ‘Dance (While The Music Still Goes On)’ from Waterloo (1974) which, to be honest, I’m absolutely baffled wasn’t on either of the Mamma Mia! film soundtracks. It would’ve fit in so well with either of the films. The same goes for ‘If It Wasn’t For The Nights’ from Voulez-Vous (1979). Both were film-soundtrack-worthy tracks in my opinion
Also I was low-key really into rock ABBA when it came to ‘Watch Out’, again from Waterloo (1974). The intro just instantly had me hooked. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
‘Waterloo’ (1974) – ABBA.
So there you have it… the Swedish sensation that is ABBA. Are you familiar with ABBA’s music? What’re some of your favourite songs of theirs? Let me know in the comments.
Liked this post? Go back and check out the full ‘Legend Slot’ series here: 40 Best Elton John Songs: (Legends Slot)
54 thoughts on “The best ever ABBA songs (Legends Slot)”
ABBA are just the best! My Mum is the hugest ABBA super fan I know and she knows every song, what number each song was in the charts when it came out and she has every album and single! One of my favourite ABBA songs is One Of Us, I just love that song! Also Dancing Queen is a classic dancefloor filler! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Aw I love that your mum is a super fan! One Of Us is a great tune and of course Dancing Queen too x
Yay I’m so happy you did ABBA, they are my faves!
Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to ABBA as they’re not my kinda of music but I mean, they definitely deserve a spot in this series!
They definitely aren’t my everyday kinda music either but I enjoyed listening to them last month! 🙂
I’ll admit, the only reason I’ve ever known ABBA music was due to Mamma Mia. My mom grew up with their tracks, so she’s much more knowledgable than I am. I’ll have to do a little more deep-diving, because everything that I have heard, I’ve loved! I adore this series that you write because it opens my eyes to artists/bands in a whole new way, and it pushes me to do my own research and discover what I enjoy!
I think Mamma Mia was how a lot of people discovered ABBA’s music! Aw thanks so much, that really means a lot! So glad you’re enjoying the series 🙂
ABBA is a guilty pleasure for me. Their stuff is so catchy! I didnt know Ring Ring though
Agreed! Ring Ring is such a great song, and I love that it was their initial entry into Melodifestivalen but didn’t get through to Eurovision 🙂
I had no idea that ABBA stood for the letters of their first names! ABBA are not a band I have particularly listened to, apart from the mainstream songs of course. It was great to read a little more about their lives and get an insight to tracks I wasn’t familiar with!x
Neither did I until quite recently! Glad you enjoyed reading 🙂
I love Abba! Their music reminds me of my youth!
I had a lot of fun listening to their music! Hope you enjoyed listening 🙂
Great playlist, ABBA is definitely up there with some of the most memorable and iconic bands!
Anika | chaptersofmay.com
Thank you! Oh definitely, their music is iconic 🙂
My mum absolutely loves ABBA, whenever she had a big party she would always play some ABBA. I think because she loves their music so much, that dancing queen is definitely a song I enjoy listening to because it’s one of her favourites too. I don’t tend to put ABBA on when I’m just relaxing and just want some background music, it’s more if I’m having a lil party now or if I’m at a party as they definitely have a lot of upbeat songs to dance along too. xx
Aw love that! Yeah I’m with you, they’re definitely more of a party vibe for me as well in general. I do have to say though that I really enjoyed their more mellow music too, I could see myself putting on some of those sort of tracks as background music 🙂 x
I love this series! I’m not too familiar with a lot of ABBA’s music, but the songs I have heard before I absolutely love! I definitely want to dive deeper into their discography! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂
Aw thank you so much, that really means a lot! They have some really great lesser known tracks. I hope you enjoy listening and learning a bit more about them 🙂
Here is a band I have not yet heard about! It is sad their personal life drove their music into a darker grove, but all music has qualities in it to make me smile and dance a little. I love seeing old pictures of the band and look forward to checking out some of their music; it is awesome each band member went on to have a good career as well.
Thanks for sharing!
Oh really?! I assumed everyone knew ABBA! I hope you enjoy learning a bit about them and their music then 🙂
I’m so annoyed at myself that I never even considered ABBA as a potential for this series but OF COURSE. Reading this has made me so happy. I mean, how can ABBA not put a smile on your face? And I can definitely see how this was a welcome break after Prince. Your favourite ABBA songs are the same as mine, I love the slightly gloomier side to them x
Hahaha I just couldn’t not include them! Oh for sure, ABBA are the ultimate mood booster aren’t they? They were definitely a nice change from the mammoth task of listening to Prince last month. Glad you enjoyed it – love that we have a similar taste in ABBA as well 🙂 x
I grew up listening to ABBA a lot at home because my mother loves their music. To this day, when ABBA comes on the radio or in a movie, it brings a smile to my face because I associate it with so many great memories.
Aw that’s so lovely! 🙂
oh my i really love ABBA! They’re my favourite band from the 70s era
thank you for sharing this wonderful post
Oh fab! Their music really is incredible. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
ABBA is one of my absolute favourite bands. I’ve grown up listening to their songs, and something about their music just makes me my heart feel so full. Thank you for this trip down memory lane.
In terms of favourites – I love, love, love Thank You for the Music. I get weirdly emotional every time I listen to that song. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! a Man is also such a great one. Of course, Dancing Queen is definitely a Top 5 ABBA song for me. Knowing Me, Knowing You is such a sad song, but delivered in the trademark ABBA upbeat style, it still packs a punch.
And while I love Madonna’s Hung Up, I am with you on this one – Team OG FTW! 🙂
Loved this post!
So glad you enjoyed it! I’m exactly the same with Thank You For The Music! Haha Madonna’s is great but it’s gotta be ABBA 🙂
Wow, I’ve loved listening to Abba’s music over the years & I never knew they were married. Sad to hear that due to their fame they all separated. Abba is such a classic band that their music will always stand the test of time.
It was only recently that I found that out as well! I’ve listened to their music a few times over the years but didn’t know anything about them 🙂
You really can’t beat a bit of ABBA! They have some amazing and timeless songs – I’ll have to check out some of the more obscure ones though!
Tash // A Girl with a View
Agreed! It was a lot of fun listening to them this month 🙂
I absolutely love ABBA’s music! It’s the first on at a family get together and it always constitutes a good time. I have to admit, I only really know their hits but I’m intrigued to listen to a bit more now. Great post!
As incredible as their hits are I have to say they have so many amazing album tracks as well! So glad you enjoyed reading and hopefully listening too 🙂
I love ABBA! My mum loved it and so we as children would hear this music and I love it! Thank you for sharing this post.
Lauren | http://www.bournemouthgirl.com
Love that! So glad you enjoyed reading 🙂
Hi Faye. Thanks for this – a trip down memory lane. Although, it’s funny how your memory plays tricks on you – I thought that ABBA were together for a lot longer than 10 years. What always amazes me is when you hear tribute acts, or other singers, trying to replicate ABBA songs – and failing miserably! Just shows how good they were.
I assumed they would’ve been together for longer than 10 years as well! In my head it was more like 20 haha 🙂
I love how you are sharing all of these huge throwback artists. I haven’t heard of ABBA before but wow! Their group name works out well too. It is unfortunate that their relationships didn’t end up too well but they still stuck it through for the sake of success. All of these songs are popping! Thanks for sharing all of this knowledge – so cool to learn :).
I really thought everyone had heard of ABBA but, going off comments, it seems like they mustn’t have been big in the US at all! So glad you’re enjoying the series and I hope you enjoy learning a bit about ABBA. Let me know your favourites once you’ve given them a listen 🙂
Thanks for sharing, ABBA has some really good hits!
Oh definitely, they have so many great tunes!
Ooh I love ABBA! I used to listen to ABBA gold cd constantly when I was a kid 😂
Love that! Hope you enjoyed the playlist 🙂
I love ABBA. Theirs was one of the first albums I bought when I was a teenager. Now, thanks to the Mamma Mia movies and shows, I enjoy their music with my daughters. I love Gimme Gimme Gimme and Thank You For the Music.
Oh that’s so lovely! Me and my mum love the Mamma Mia films and watched them together when they came out. Gimme Gimme Gimme and Thank You For The Music are great tracks! 🙂
I watched Mamma Mia over and over again, one of the reasons is the ABBA songs. Thank you for the music is always our grand finale at the karaoke. lol
Hahah love that, Thank You For The Music is one of my favourites. I bet it’s great to sing on karaoke 🙂
After watching a doc on ABBA a couple of months ago, I decided to start listening to them properly! Before then, I’d only ever had a couple of songs by them on my playlists before, and now, I’m attempting to listen to their albums in full & add more of their music to my monthly listens. Can’t wait to be really familiar with their tracks! xx
Oh that sounds fab! Their music really is amazing so I’m sure you’ll have a great time discovering their tunes. You’ll have to let me know what your favourites are once you’ve given them a proper listen 🙂
I heard about ABBA, Thanks for this post.
They’re a great band!