“Mamma Mia! Here we go again!”
It has been more than 40 years since Swedish pop group ABBA have won at Eurovision, and amidst rumors of a possible reunion, it is undeniable that their music, personalities, and work ethic have made a significant impact to everyone around the world, including those who have not seen them during their peak years.
With songs that have a meaning deeper than the lyrics itself (take the case of their career-launching single “Waterloo”, which is not about the 1815 British war event), ABBA still remains as one of those iconic acts who carefully crafted songs not just for melody, but for its message and story.
Also, the working relationship with the members of ABBA, comprising of couples Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, is something that is definitely worth noting. These facts about them highlight why they continue to move people.
How has ABBA inspired several generations of fans and inspired several musicals, tributes, and a few movies?
They continually proved their critics wrong
Their success in winning at Eurovision in 1974 was a product of repeated attempts (three to be exact) in perfecting their performance as a group. Even after their phenomenal win that year, there were still many naysayers thinking that they are just a one-hit wonder, which was evident with their early struggles in filling up venues for their shows.
Despite that, they gave their best effort in proving their critics wrong, as they become global superstars a few years later with their single "SOS". After all, achieving success in life means not just knowing the right people and making the right choices, but also working hard as well. Also, success does not come overnight; even Sam Milby can relate to ABBA’s early years.
They perfectly tug the strings of those who are in a relationship (or its demise)
When we would talk about hugot lines these days, it is safe to say that ABBA was one of those who know how to do it best. Try listening to “Knowing Me, Knowing You” carefully and you would see that the upbeat song talks about relationships that are in the rocks.
Even “Mamma Mia”, their popular song that spawned several musicals and a movie, actually talks about heartbreaks in spite of the song being upbeat. And, the obvious clincher? "The Winner Takes It All," a song about actual separation and finding new love (Sadly, it was your ex who moved on, not you).
If one asks what makes several generations like their songs, it has to be the fact that everyone, at one point or another, can relate to the message and story of the song. ABBA may be classified as pop but a careful analysis of their songs makes you realize that they reach out to people, particularly with their feelings and emotions.
They remained professional towards one another in spite of personal issues
“While other stars were suffering at the hands of drink and drugs, ABBA's difficulties were tangible to ordinary people, more relatable,” said in a South China Morning Post article on the group.
It is not that much of a secret that the four faced personal issues, most notably involving their marriages. As both couples have divorced toward the latter years of ABBA, they still remained professional in making music and performing in public. In fact, throughout their career, ABBA has never been involved in a scandal or controversy, proof that their clean image is another big reason why their fans look up to them.
With different groups reliving the glory days of ABBA, like the ABBA Reunion Tribute happening at The Theater at Solaire on November 27-28, ABBA remains an icon that everyone can relate to, from their songs down to their personalities.
The closest we can get for a real ABBA reunion!