ABBA

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Skapad den: 14 aug 2004
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Swedish pop group of the 70's.

ABBA (1972–1982) was a Swedish pop music group.

They remain the most successful Swedish music act and were one of the most popular groups in the world. The group dominated charts worldwide during the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s, selling many hit singles and albums. Estimates of ABBA's total worldwide sales vary from 360 to 400 million (360 million albums in 1999), which makes them the second most successful band of all time after The Beatles. They were the first act from the European mainland to become a regular fixture in British, American and Australian charts, and their success subsequently opened the doors for many other European acts. Their lasting legacy is the legitimisation of the Swedish music industry as a mainstream player.

ABBA was formed around 1972 by Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (nicknamed "Frida"). They became widely known after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo". The group consisted of two couples, Björn and Agnetha along with Benny and Frida. ABBA collectively decided to take a break at the beginning of 1983. They have yet to record together again in the studio.

ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of each group member's name. It is usually written ABBA but is sometimes written as a word, Abba. The first B in the logo version of the name was reversed on the band's promotional material from 1976 onwards.
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Trivia
Songwriters Benny and Björn were unable to notate music on paper. Only Agnetha could (as revealed in a Dick Cavett interview with the group).

Abba have been spoofed by many TV shows, including French & Saunders, Not The Nine O'Clock News and Fast Forward. In addition, the character of "Alan Partridge" is noted as being a huge ABBA fan, especially on his television show "Knowing Me, Knowing You...with Alan Partridge" where all the hosts and all guests were introduced with different ABBA songs.

At the height of their success ABBA was Sweden's biggest export, exceeding even Volvo cars.

While selling their music into Russia during the late 1970s ABBA were paid in oil commodities because of an embargo on the ruble.

The song Chiquitita was first performed at the Music for UNICEF Concert in 1979. ABBA's performance at the concert was, however, lip-synched. All royalties from the song were donated to the children's charity UNICEF in perpetuity.

In 1981, ABBA sponsored the ATS Formula One racing team, for whom Slim Borgudd, a former drummer who appeared on some ABBA recordings, was a driver.

One of the songs from the Musical Chess (Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok) became a hit in several European
countries in late 1984/early 1985

The hit song "Bring Me Edelweiss" (1989) by Edelweiss features the tune and some lyrics from "S.O.S". This caused some controversy between Bjorn & Benny, and manager Stig - Stig had granted approval to use the song without consulting the others.

The sound track of the successful Australian film Muriel's Wedding (1994) prominently featured ABBA songs: The two female leads lip sync "Waterloo" and the wedding scene is scored to an orchestral rendition of "Dancing Queen". The movie also features "Mamma Mia", "Fernando" and "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do".

Another 1994 Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert features a performance of Mamma Mia! by two drag queens, furthering ABBA's status as a gay icon.

The ABBA tribute band Björn Again became so successful that as of 2004 there were five casts of Björn Again performing in various parts of the world. The original Björn Again had been touring for 15 years, longer than the original group.

Techno and house remakes of many original ABBA hits were released under the name Abbacadabra.

Mamma Mia! was nominated for a Broadway Tony Award as Best Musical in 2002.

In 2000 ABBA were reported to have turned down an offer of approximately $1,000,000,000 (one billion American dollars) to do a reunion tour. (!)

In 2005 ABBA's 1976 hit single "Fernando" still held the record for the most weeks spent at number one in Australia (along with The Beatles' "Hey Jude").

In addition to being an acronym, the name "ABBA" is also a palindrome. In 1975, ABBA's "SOS" became the first song with a palindromic title recorded by a group with a palindromic name to hit the pop charts.

ABBA was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.

In the film Johnny English, the title character (Rowan Atkinson) is discreetly characterized as an ABBA fan. He sings "Thank You for The Music", and lip-syncs to "Does Your Mother Know" in front of a mirror.

The Fugees sampled ABBA's "The Name Of The Game" (as well as Crystal Gayle) for their contribution to the 1996 "When We Were Kings" soundtrack, "Rumble in the Jungle"

Madonna sampled the group's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" in her 2005 single "Hung Up".


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From the First Saga Journal of the Whills

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