Saturday, June 15, 2013

"The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  0411
Date:  11/22/1980
Debut:  81
Peak:  8
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Sweden's ABBA were worldwide superstars with #1 hits in many countries beginning with 1974's "Waterloo" (#6 US). And although the group had good success in the US, it seems odd now with their enduring popularity that they only had four Top 10 hits here including their only #1 "Dancing Queen" in 1976. By comparison, they had nine #1's in the UK and multiple #1's in other countries. As 1980 rolled in, the group was experiencing changes. Most notably, one of the two husband-and-wife couples that comprised the group divorced in late 1979. But the foursome remained intact as a musical act and issued their "Super Trouper" album featuring this initial single. It became their fourth and last US Top 10 hit.

ReduxReview:  I've stated many times to folks that ABBA created perfect pop music. Songs like "Dancing Queen" are some of the best examples of pop writing and recording from the era. It's taken folks in the US years to realize this, but thanks to nostalgia and films/musicals featuring their music, ABBA has finally gotten some well-deserved respect. So much so that they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. This song is another great example of what they could create. It's a huge ballad done in their unmistakable style with solid lyrics. For me, it is one of their top songs.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The two women of the group, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (aka Frida), were solo artists before ABBA fully came together. Each had songs reach #1 on the Swedish charts. After ABBA's break-up, each one would have a solo hit reach the Top 30 in the US.  2) Although the song (written by ABBA's two men Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson) is considered a reflection of Ulvaeus and Fältskog divorce, the couple both deny that the song is their story. Regardless, it struck a chord with folks and in two separate polls, the song was voted as the UK's favorite ABBA song.



  1. Just discovered your blog - so sorry you're running out of 80's to review! This was the era I religiously watched the charts every week - it's not as much fun now (how predicatable a comment is that? But I think there are too many charts now and Actual, Physical Sales (TM) are almost a non-entity now in this era of streaming.

    Re Abba: One thing lots of people don't get is just how -dark- theamatically so many of their songs are. I mean if you really study the lyrics . . .

    1. Thanks for looking at the blog! I still have '88 and '89 to go, so will be a while yet. Yes, the 80s charts were awesome. I couldn't wait to get a copy of Billboard every week. These days, the charts don't mean that much to me. I disagree with their methodology. It's a lot of fun to revisit the charts from the 80s. ABBA often coated their dark lyrics with bright music. They had a great knack for that.

  2. Awesome blog! Do you plan on reviewing all the songs that made the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the 90's after finishing 1989?

    1. Thanks! I haven't fully decided on plans after all of the songs in the 80s are done, but I don't think I'll do the 90s as I wasn't a big fan of the decade. However, I do love 70s music and grew up in that era, so I'd most likely revisit the charts from the 70s.