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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

70s Music Video Flashback: 2 For Tuesday

ABBA - SOS
video
ABBA - Money, Money, Money
video

ABBA was a Swedish pop music group formed in Stockholm in 1972, consisting of Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog (Anna). Fältskog and Ulvaeus were a married couple, as were Lyngstad and Andersson during their career, although both couples later divorced. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, and they topped the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982.

ABBA gained international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, sound effects (reverb, phasing) and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of ardent fans, notably in Australia.

ABBA remains a fixture of radio play lists and is one of the world's best-selling bands, having sold over 375 million records worldwide, making them the fourth best-selling popular music artists in the history of recorded music. They still sell two to three million records a year. ABBA was also the first pop group from mainland Europe to enjoy consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, South Africa/Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand. Their popularity in Latin America was also undeniable, as well as reaching the top of the charts in different countries like Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru among others, the band also released a compilation of their hit songs translated into Spanish.

"S.O.S.", first called "Turn Me On", was the 3rd single from ABBA's self-titled 1975 album, their 3rd for Polar Music and their 2nd for Epic and Atlantic. It was released with "Man in the Middle" as the B-side. Agnetha Fältskog recorded the song in Swedish on her 1975 solo album Elva kvinnor i ett hus.

"S.O.S." was ABBA's British comeback single, reaching #6 & also became the group's 3rd U.S. Top 15 hit. It reached #1 in Australia, Belgium, West Germany (where it spent 7 weeks at #1), New Zealand & South Africa, while reaching the Top 5 in Austria, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Zimbabwe.

"S.O.S." has a number of musical fans: John Lennon had declared that it was one of his favorite pop songs, and Pete Townshend in particular said it is probably his favorite pop song.

"Money, Money, Money", originally "Gypsy Girl"; the song, like most ABBA songs, was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It was released as a single on November 1, 1976 & was included on the group's album Arrival. It was the follow-up single to Dancing Queen. The song also features on the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits compilation & in the musical Mamma Mia! The dramatic structure of the song was well-suited for Anni-Frid Lyngstad's mellow lead vocal.

"Money, Money, Money" is an early indication of Björn & Benny's abilities to write dramatic music suitable for a musical.

Like most ABBA singles, a video for "Money, Money, Money" was later made. The video for the song was inspired by the film Cabaret, showing Frida wearing a hat typical of the 1920s. The video varies from her determined presence in reality during the verses, to the dream sequences about money and "the good life" in the chorus. The video's director, Lasse Hallström, later acknowledged "Money, Money, Money" as the best ABBA video he ever directed.

"Money, Money, Money" was the 2nd worldwide hit from Arrival. The song reached #1 in Australia, Belgium, France, West Germany, The Netherlands & New Zealand, while reaching the Top 3 in Austria, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway & Switzerland.

On the Web:

ABBA's Official Web Page

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