Back in the 70s, I was deeply involved in an evangelical church that told me virtually any pop or rock group that didn’t sing praises to God was of the devil. And the group ABBA, well, that was a name for the Lord, not a group of singing sinners.
But, how could I not be captivated by their bouncy, upbeat music? Their enthusiasm for what they were doing, and those godawful outfits?
Years later I was working in Europe and found myself trapped one Saturday morning in a hotel on the outskirts of the city of Alkmaar, the Netherlands. This hotel could have been on an island for all of its lack of access to anything, and I didn’t have a car. I was stuck while waiting for a ride to the train station.
So I turned the TV to the only station of any remote interest, MTV Europe, where they had a three-hour marathon of ABBA’s greatest hits, that is, any song that boasted a video. There aren’t as many as you might think. Within 45 minutes I was ready to scream. For some reason I had no books, no magazines, nothing, and this was long before laptops, smart phones or anything else I could have used for diversion.
Silence with nothing to fill the time was worse, so for three hours, I watched and listened to Sweden’s pride and joy. There were perhaps seven songs, played in an eternal loop.
As a result, for years, I couldn’t listen to ABBA. But this week I was perusing You Tube and found they’re back for me, a celebrated guilty pleasure. To commemorate the occasion, here’s one of their signature songs.
Photo Credit: (record albums) GraphicStock.com