Download Songs That Changed Music: Abba - Dancing Queen

Songs That Changed Music: Abba - Dancing Queen

Duration: 16:45

Size: 23 MB

Published: 06 Oktober 2021

Listen: 129,954

Likes: 3,383

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At the start of the seventies, the idea of a musical group from a non-English speaking country having significant and consistent chart success in the English speaking market, seemed unimaginable. But in the mid-seventies, one group transcended all of these expectations, with songwriting and a sound that illustrated pop perfection. 

The group was ABBA and their most iconic hit - “Dancing Queen” - brought an infectious, American disco groove to EuroPop, taking the world by storm and changing the course of popular music history.  

ABBA - as a quartet - was formed in Stockholm in 1972…when two married couples: Agnetha [Ag-neh-tha]  Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus And Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid  (“Frida”) Lyngstad formed a pop group with a name built as an acronym of their first initials..

Agnetha... Björn... Benny... and Anni-Frid 

The group was gaining traction, but their first big break came in 1974, when ABBA earned a spot in the Eurovision Contest with their song “Waterloo.” It was the first time, performers were allowed to sing in their choice of language - rather than the language of the country they represented. ABBA sang in English and eschewed the ball gowns and tuxedos of the other competitors. 

They appeared on stage in their glam-rock attire, singing in English in a style unlike anyone else around them.  

The quartet would go on to win the entire competition,  and the song’s release would be the first one credited under their new name --- ABBA. After its success at Eurovision,  “Waterloo” hit the number one spot in not only Sweden but also, the UK, Germany Switzerland...and it made a powerful showing on the American stage, hitting number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Dancing Queen was written by Benny and Björn, and manager Stig Anderson. They credit George McCrae’s 1974 disco hit, “Rock Your Baby” as a major inspiration. Under the working title of “Boogaloo”, Benny played the instrumental track for his wife Frida who was brought to tears by the sound. She recalled: “Benny came home with a tape of the backing track and played it for me. I thought it was so enormously beautiful that I started to cry.”   

The track was produced by Benny and Björn, with Michael B. Tretow as the engineer.  

On August 16, 1976 “Dancing Queen” was released as a single in Sweden.  The response was massive, as it took the number one spot on charts all over the world - including in the US, when in April of 1977, it became the group’s first and only US number one hit.  

And it remains their most popular and iconic hit. It is the quintessential ABBA recording, showcasing the band’s pop perfection.  In 2015, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

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