First, you need a copy of the DVD ABBA: The Definitive Collection.
ABBA will always be remembered for their unfortunate and tacky outfits. We need to remember that was the seventies after all. Is Bjorn wearing mascara? Agnetha is the pretty one here – nice use of blue in her outfit – not sure about the cap though. Frida doesn’t seem to have it “goin’ on” yet. It’s something to do with the frizzy hair.
I loved this one as a kid. Frida is wearing a snake skin body suit, Bjorn is in glam rock Swedish style and what is Agnetha doing in that red number with the polka dot sequins? Frida’s flinging her arms around like a windmill, while Agnetha is more restrained and a bit more together. Frida seems to be trying too hard. Benny’s at the piano – I’ve always wanted to play the piano.
Love that close up of the piano keys. I just need to stop the DVD now – can you believe what they’re wearing? There’s a moment when they’re first shown and both the women have a slightly awkward, almost embarrassed looks on their faces like they’re apologising for their costumes. Agnetha is wearing the skin tight white body suit with ruffles on the legs from mid-calf. Frida is in white too. The problem with wearing white is that it really shows up how yellow people’s teeth were in the past. Teeth will be a running theme throughout this commentary. Does Bjorn have false teeth? They really stick out.
This is one of my faves. I used to listen to this one as a kid. For some reason I used to imagine that Agnetha broke her leg in the snow (hence the need for an SOS) and then a bus would come and rescue her (hey, I was five). She would then be singing at the back of the bus, obviously her broken leg no longer bothering her. As for this video – highly experimental with the use of crazy mirrors and reflections. They also seem to enjoy looking up at the camera from below.
Bang A Boomerang
The title is clearly nonsense. It didn’t have weird sexual innuendo, though, until much later.
I do, I do, I do, I do , I do
Nice use of back lighting on the girls.
One of the best. Those stars are so fake though. I love the flute (I think it’s a flute). Finally Frida has a moment to shine. Her mezzo soprano voice is perfect in this song – a bit deeper and richer than Agnetha’s. Finally Frida’s put a straightening iron through those tresses – she’s much better with straight hair. Beautiful song.
What sort of a disco is this? The crowd is wearing tweed jackets. Finally a bit of controlled choreography for the girls. Work those shoulders Agnetha! She’s really got it all together in this one. Frida needs to stop improvising though – she’s just too much with all that jumping up and down all the time – flinging that newly straightened hair around.
When I Kissed the Teacher.
Fun. But they’ll never get away with being mistaken for teenagers.
Money, Money, Money
A great sense of tension and darkness in this song. Great hat Frida! Now they’re all wearing white silk pajamas! Dramatic lighting. Those close up teeth shots – there’s something stuck in between Frida’s two front teeth!
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Whenever I’ve packed up a house and have moved out, I like to return to my old address and sing to myself: “Walking though and empty house, tears in my eyes. Here is where the story ends, this is goodbye – eye – eye – eye”. I manage to make myself sad even though I’m happy to be moving on. Is Frida wearing real fur? Probably.
They’ve pretty much just edited together some shots from other videos. They really have overdone the double-shot close up of mouths: one side-view the other front-on. We’ve been there, done that, thanks ABBA!
The Name of the Game
Frida loves her chunky knits doesn’t she? They’re playing board game – it’s called Fiaspel. That’s Swedish for Ludo according to Wikipedia. Therefore – the Name of the Game: is LUDO! Gingham curtains – big mistake.
Take a Chance On Me
So much fun! It’s like the Brady Bunch with all those squares with different people in them. Frida has discovered a crimper – truly tragic.
Is this an early Bowie video? They’ve just invented the wind machine too.
One Man, One Woman
But there’s two of each! Benny’s wearing Frida’s jumper from Take A Chance On Me!
Thank You for the Music
I wish I could sing with the effortless-ness of Agnetha. I think that people who can sing are truly blessed. Strange to think that she would become the reclusive person she is today. Did you know that she no longer even speaks English very well? I bought her last album a couple of years back “My Colouring Book” – it was great, she’s still got it.
Summer Night City
It’s just so DISCO! Glossy and well lit. Frida continues to insist on the hair crimper though. Great final shot of a city in the cold morning light.
That’s one big snowman. Great sunglasses, Agnetha. Frida spends the entire video trying to scoop her hair out of her face. She must have been acting as a windbreak for Agnetha, who never has a hair out of place in this one. I really like this song, it has a great folk-song tempo, and as always, the ABBA harmonies are sublime. Bjorn continues to look like a happy elf. At the very end of the video, if you look closely, there’s a man in the background hiding from the camera – unfortunately he just happens to pause in between Bjorn’s legs.
Does Your Mother Know
Bjorn gets a shot at lead vocals. Shame it’s a song about statutory rape. At least he declines the invitation. As he should.
I had this album as a cassette. I remember it so well. They looked like they had Luke Skywalker light-sabres on the cover photo. And those satiny-silver-blue dresses. Oooh – this video is experimenting with strobe lighting!
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
I LOVED this one. No wonder Madonna sampled it – she could never come up with something so memorable. I bought this one as a single when I was 11. The thing was I had no idea why she wanted a man after midnight – to hang wallpaper?
On and On and On
This is another one from the Super Trouper album. It seems to be about secret agents hanging out at a disco giving away state secrets. I’ve always loved the line “So I took advantage of the fact that I was star; shook my hair and took a casual stroll up to the bar”. What lyrics! Unfortunately the video looks like a You Tube fan photo-story.
The Winner Takes It All
The most memorable and moving song in the ABBA songbook. Meryl Streep was never going to be able to live up to the original. Unfortunately Agnetha not looking her best with that panda blue eyeshadow and frizzy hair. Incomparable voice. Incomparable emotion. Excerable red pantsuit.
An all time favourite – what’s Agnetha doing thusting her arm in the air like the Statue of Liberty?
Happy New Year
Another bittersweet masterpiece. The Carnival has arrived and Agnetha is sitting in a lounge much like the ones in vogue now – simple white square low leather settee and textured woolly rug – what goes around comes around, I guess.
When All Is Said And Done
You can tell when they moved from film to video: there’s a sense of clarity, but also a grainy sharpness that’s unnerving.
One Of Us
Agnetha redecorating. Yawn. Why paint everything mustard yellow (and wear a matching yellow outfit)? Although did you notice that one of the picture she’s hanging is a Chagall original?
Head Over Heels
What’s that dabbing thing Frida’s doing with that lipstick? And as for that shocking gold metallic frilly outfit – it was the eighties that killed ABBA. The fashions just didn’t suit them.
The Day Before You Came
Horrid, grey, cold. Like an ABBA post-mortem. Great aerial shots, plus the guy she falls for is much better than Bjorn. Agnetha – look where you’re driving – it’s raining! A dramatic theatrical finale. How fitting.
I was ready to turn it off and now another video – Under Attack – it’s superfluous really.
Well, I’ve had enough. Agnetha is now singing a Spanish version of Happy New Year. Oh dear. We should do this again sometime! Thanks for dropping by!