Music Monday: ABBA

ABBA was arguably the most successful Supergroup of the 1970s. From 1976 to 1982, ABBA sold over 375 million records worldwide, making them the fourth best-selling popular music artist in the history of recorded music. Part pop, part disco, ABBA was the first non-native-English-speaking group to achieve mainstream success in the United States. In 1977 I bought the “ABBA’s Greatest Hits” album – unusual for me, since my LP purchases in the Seventies were mostly relegated to The Beatles, with a few exceptions, and an occasional 45 rpm single by a contemporary artist thrown in.

“Does Your Mother Know” was released in 1979. I bought the single when it came out (by this time I started buying contemporary singles regularly). I also loved the B-side, “Kisses of Fire.” Some ABBA songs have been so overplayed in recent years (“Dancing Queen,” I’m looking in your direction) that they’ve become campy disco stereotypes, thanks in part to movies like “Muriel’s Wedding,” “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and the Broadway musical and subsequent film “Mama Mia.” “Does Your Mother Know” was released as disco fever was waning. It wasn’t one of their super-huge hits, at least not in America, where it only reached #19 on the Billboard Music Charts. So to my ears it still sounds as fresh as when I heard it the first time.

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