My Ten Greatest ABBA songs

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Tags: 
  • 1) Mamma Mia (the most danceable, the most sing-able, the most exuberant)
  • 2) Waterloo (clever lyrics, great to sing, ABBA won the Eurovision contest that launched their careers with this single.)
  • 3) Super Trouper (great harmonies, beautiful singing, l wish I knew more "music talk" so I could explain why I think this song is one of the reasons the Beach Boys were fans.)
  • 4) S.O.S. (a great bittersweetness pervades this catchy tune.)
  • 5) Does Your Mother Know (this song manages to be so innocent and sweet and poppy while essentially talking about saying no to jailbait. The tempo of this song and the rare singing by Benny and Bjorn, are great.)
  • 6) Take a Chance on Me (there are tons of reasons this is a great song, but what makes it worthwhile for me are those dramatic interjections "C'mon, give me a break honey", and "That's all I ask of you, honey." Ace of Base, eat your hearts out.)
  • 7) Knowing Me, Knowing You (the best divorce song ever, ABBA, not coincidentally, wrote a few of them.)
  • 8)One of Us (What a sad yet hopeful song about a break-up where one person changes their mind. Too late? Who can say? Great sing-a-long song, great comforter in sad times. I should know, I nursed at least 2 break-ups with heavy doses of ABBA.)
  • 9) Move On (arguably ABBA's only spiritual song, contains the lyrics: "Like a roller in the ocean, life is motion, move on/Like the wind that's always blowing, life is flowing, move on/Like the sunrise in the morning, life is dawning, move on/How I treasure every minute, being part of, living in it with the urge to move on."
  • 10) Happy New Year (this is not a great song, yet it is. This is a very cheesy song, yet it's perfect. This song has rung in the New Year for me since I first heard it. Even though it references 1989 as being ten years in the future, or maybe because of that.The innocence and seeming artlessness of ABBA's music is one of its greatest charms to me. Something that's missing in almost all pop music today.)
Author Comments: 

I have been an ABBA fan since 1994 when I first saw "Muriel's Wedding" and then '"Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert". Many trips to Goodwill later, I've listened to probably everything anyone can get their hands on by ABBA. These are my personal greatest ABBA songs. Of them, I think only One of Us, Move On and Happy New Year would not qualify to be on another's list.
Note the absence of "Dancing Queen" - I think it's ABBA's most overrated song. It doesn't stand up nearly as well to repeated listening as the songs on this list. And you can't, remarkably, really DANCE to it.

Since I only really like one ABBA cover, here's my best ABBA cover nominee;
The A-Teens cover of "Mamma Mia". Drive to it and you'll see what I mean. The rest of the album, however, was pretty much crap.