ABBA were a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972. ABBA – named after their members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1975 to 1982. They won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 and were the most successful group ever to take part in the competition.
The group’s record sales estimates range from over 140 to over 500 million sold records. This makes them the second best-selling music group of all time, after the Beatles. ABBA were very pop-oriented and they may not be considered to be among the “best” bands of all times, but they have been a highly influential pop act and they still have a cult following today.
The musical Mamma Mia!, based on the songs of ABBA, has been one of the most successful musicals of all time, its Broadway incarnation closed in September 2015 after a 14-year run. The movie Mamma Mia! (2008), starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård received only mixed reviews from critics, but earned $609.8 million on a $52 million budget.
I’d also recommend to take a closer look at their songwriting skills, as Björn and Benny managed to produce a huge number of hits that have become evergreens and classics. You may even say that they followed The Beatles’ strategy by producing songs that were quite simple, while also featuring iconic melodies. They’re also a good example of a band having both a unique look and sound. They have 1 song and 1 album in the Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 lists. Songs you should know:
- Waterloo (1974)
- Mamma Mia (1975)
- I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (1975)
- S.O.S (1975)
- Dancing Queen (1976)
- Fernando (1976)
- Knowing Me, Knowing You (1976)
- Money, Money, Money (1976)
- Take a Chance on Me (1977)
- Thank You For The Music (1977)
- Name Of The Game (1977)
- Chiquitita (1979)
- Voulez-Vous (1979)
- I Have a Dream (1979)
- Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (1979)
- The Winner Takes It All (1980)
- Super Trouper (1980)
- One Of Us (1981)