Blah, Blah, BlABBA… Now that the ‘70s nostalgia has been usurped by ‘80s nostalgia, how are we to view those Nordic superstars of pop, ABBA? It was good kitchy fun when drag queens vogued to “Dancing Queen” in the film Muriel’s Wedding, and shaking your booty at one of endless “‘70s parties”, was certainly a hoot, but now that the retro party’s over how often do you get the urge to crank up the 8-track and sing along to “Fernando”?
The Best Of ABBA is part of the never-ending “Millennium” series on Universal Records. The fact that there are already over 20 (yes 20) ABBA greatest hits CDs on the market, it’s a wonder that the world needs another. I’m sure that Benny, Frida, Bjorn and Agnetha don’t need the cash, after all they turned down the very doctor evil sum of one billion dollars to reunite for a tour.
Well, regardless of the obvious fact that this CD is another attempt by a record company to cash in on their back catalog, the music is undeniably good. ABBA didn’t get to be the biggest selling musical group of the ‘70s by chance. “Waterloo”, “SOS”, Take a Chance on Me”, and of course the anthem of disenfranchised Austrian youth “Dancing Queen” are among the 11 top ten chart topping hits on this CD. While many “Greatest Hits” packages are mostly filler, it’s hard to argue with ABBA’s bionic output of top tens. They raided the ‘70s like a band of Swedish Vikings (even though Frida is really from Norway) hell-bent on ruling the world of pop. Why did it take 15 years for punk rock to get it’s due in the mainstream media? Blame it on ABBA. They never let anyone else have a chance. That’s why The Sex Pistols had to sell-out for their “Filthy Lucre” tour while the super troupers of pop can sit in Stockholm counting their piles of money. If there’s one lesson to learn from ABBA it’s “Let the Winner Take It All”.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/abba-best/