Best ABBA songs | ‘Women in Music’ series

The Legend Slot: ABBA - Female Original

Next up in the ‘Women in Music’ series is a female-fronted band who found their fame in the 1970s. For this instalment of the ‘Women in Music’ series, I listened to every one of ABBA’s studio albums in one month and picked out what I thought were their best tracks to date. Join me to learn more about ABBA’s history as a band and discover their best tracks.

The ‘Women in Music’ series

The ‘Women in Music’ series is an ongoing music-focused series that focuses specifically on sharing the music of iconic women, and female-fronted bands. In each post within the ‘Women in Music’ series, I’ll take you through a woman, or women-led band, from music that I think is iconic in their own right. I’ll share a bit about their background, their journey in the music industry, and also curate a playlist of my favourite tracks of theirs. This time I’m focusing on the ’70s Euro-pop group, ABBA, but if you want to discover more women in music be sure to check out the full series.

The Legend Slot: ABBA - Ring Ring (1973)
The Legend Slot: ABBA - Super Trouper (1980)

ABBA | Women in Music

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 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.

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. The group reunited back in 2016 at Mamma Mia! The Party and have since released new music together. 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).

Best ABBA songs | Women in Music, the playlist

ABBA | old favourites & new discoveries

Given the fact that I was already an ABBA fan, I had a list of favourite tracks ready to go. My all-time favourite ABBA songs have to be; Thank You For The Music and The Winner Takes It All, but there were plenty of others that already knew and loved. There were also plenty of new discoveries that I made making this playlist – and a few new favourite tracks that I picked up too. My top three picks had to be Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough), Dance (While The Music Still Goes On), and If It Wasn’t For The Nights. I was surprised that none of these tracks didn’t make it into either of the soundtracks for the Mamma Mia! films, to be honest. If It Wasn’t For The Nights would’ve been a perfect fit for the films but I guess it wasn’t meant to be!

The Legend Slot: ABBA - Voulez-Vous (1979)
The Legend Slot: ABBA - Waterloo (1974)

More women in music

Have you listened to much of ABBA’s music before? Which tracks are your favourites of theirs? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to comment below which iconic women in music you want me to feature next in this series.

Nina Simone

Whitney Houston

Kylie Minogue

54 thoughts on “Best ABBA songs | ‘Women in Music’ series

  1. 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

  2. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

  3. 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

  4. 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

    1. 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

  5. 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! 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

    1. Oh really?! I assumed everyone knew ABBA! I hope you enjoy learning a bit about them and their music then 🙂

  7. 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

    Sophie

    1. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  10. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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 :).

    Nancy ✨

    1. 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 🙂

  14. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

  15. 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

  16. 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

    1. 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 🙂

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