Is ABBA Sweden’s greatest export? With the exception of H&M department stores… arguably yes. Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad make up ABBA, the group that dominated pop music from the 1970’s to the early 80’s. Their band name comes from both their first name initials and the name of the local fish cannery.
The group scored their first hit at Eurovision with “Waterloo”, a song that compares love to Napoleon’s greatest defeat. The members of ABBA had its roots in pop and folk music (coming together from bands with names like the Hep Stars and the Hootenanny Singers). For Eurovision, though, they started paying attention to the glam rock movement that was growing in England. Glitzier, sparkler, and scandalous open V necks. It worked. Since that fateful day in 1974, they’ve been teaching the world how to dance, jive, and have the time of your life.
Success, however, is sometimes the worst thing that could happen to you. As time went on, the strain on the band —- made of two married couples —- began to take its toll. The lyrics would get darker. By the time the band broke up, both couples would be divorced.
Literally every song in ABBA Gold (the “Best of” collection) is perfect for karaoke… which is something you can do at the ABBA: The Museum in Stockholm. You can also get on stage with some ABBA holograms. Or, if you prefer something more old school, you can get a selfie with ABBA wax statues.