The Incredible Rise and Fall and Rise and ABBA – Musicians
Come on, who doesn’t cherish the memories of roller skating round and round at a local rink to the pop sounds of ABBA? Sweden may have plenty of popular musicians in its own country, but only ABBA made it passed the border to an undreamed of career. From their first place win in the musical Eurovision competition in 1974 to their last “official” album “The Visitors” in 1982, ABBA (Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Anderrson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad) enjoyed unparalled success that extended far beyond the short-lived hysteria of disco in the 1970’s.
Thanks to the mega-platinum sales of hits like S.O.S, Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, the group was already reaping the benefits of a “Greatest Hits” package after just 2 years of mainstream success. Some 20 million records and an unlikely feature film later (ABBA — the Movie, 1978) and life — it seemed couldn’t get much sweeter.
Two incidents derailed their success; the disco craze faded almost as quickly as it arrived, and the dual marriages of Andersson/Lyngstad and Ulvaeus/Faltskog came to a halt as well. The challenge of producing hit songs that spoke of love and optimism with ex-spouses and alimony hanging over everyone’s heads proved to be daunting to say the least.
ABBA officially disbanded in 1982, but their worldwide coterie of fans refused to let the dog lie. Despite critical panning — and after being largely forgotten throughout most of the 1980s — ABBA experienced resurgence thanks to their 1992 release of the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits compilation. The disc sold millions worldwide. There is no denying that ABBA were masters of the game: they were able to electrify audiences with catchy made-for-radio tunes that are still being played somewhere around the globe to this day.