in 1972, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson joined forces and created one of the most iconic Europop bands of the 1970's: ABBA. With their musical talents combined, they were able to find international success with their catchy pop tunes and mournful ballads.
Sadly, the band split in 1982, citing the divorces between Agnetha and Björn and Frida and Benny as major contributors to the band's breakup. However, that wouldn't be the last we'd hear from them. In 1999, Benny and Björn created "Mamma Mia!" a jukebox musical featuring the iconic ABBA songs we all know and love. The musical premiered on the West End in London and became a major hit, eventually being transported to Broadway where it would run for over ten years (the production closed in 2015).
Recently, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" (the sequel to the 2008 film) was released in theatres, energizing the long-dormant ABBA craze. Below, you'll find ten of the best ABBA songs, all ranked. Feel free to argue with me about my placement of each song.
1. "Dancing Queen"
It is impossible to listen to "Dancing Queen" and not feel insurmountable joy from it. The only ABBA song to reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, it was the lead single from their 1976 album "Arrival" which reached number 20 on the US albums charts. It perfectly captured the disco craze at the time with its danceable rhythm and catchy lyrics, it had even had the anti-disco punk kids dancing to it. Put this song on, and you'll feel like the "Dancing Queen," young and sweet, only 17.
2. "One of Us"
Whenever I'm in the mood for an "in my feels" song, I put on ABBA's "One of Us." Written during the divorces of each member, the song tells the story of what happens after the break-up of a long-term relationship. Featuring the angelic vocals of Agnetha, the song reached only number 33 on the US Billboard charts but hit number one on the European charts, making it an ABBA classic. Whenever you need to cry, I recommend putting this tear-jerker on and letting the tears flow.
3. "Take A Chance On Me"
Is there someone you like that doesn't seem interested? Just play them this song and maybe they'll change their mind (and you'll be the first in line). Released in 1978 as the second single from "ABBA: The Album," "Take A Chance On Me" managed to reach number three on the US Billboard charts, making it yet another chart-topping hit.
4. "Knowing Me, Knowing You"
Breaking is never easy, but at least we can do it in an adult sort of way. What I love about "Knowing Me, Knowing You" is that it as such a grown-up view on break-ups and relationships. While it still acknowledges the pain of a difficult break-up, they decide to move on with their lives and hopefully make some sense out of what went wrong. The song managed to chart within the top ten of the US charts, making it one of America's quintessential break-up songs
5. "The Name Of The Game"
Have you ever started a new relationship and didn't know where you stood with the other person? ABBA does. Released in 1977, "The Name Of The Game" goes into detail about what it feels like to be in a new relationship, especially one where you haven't known the other person for very long. "The Name Of The Game" is one of the many ABBA songs covered by the A*Teens, the attempted second coming of ABBA in the late 1990s. I guess that tells you how old I am.
6. "The Winner Takes It All"
Why does ABBA make the best break-up songs? it's probably because they understood what it felt like to lose someone you once loved. "The Winner Takes It All" is a ballad sung solo by Agnetha which details the experience of a woman who's ex-lover has moved onto a new beau. The song was released in 1980 as the leading single from the album "Super Trouper," making it the seventh studio album to be released by the band. The song managed to hit number one in the US, making it the second ABBA song to hit number one in America after "Dancing Queen."
7. "Super Trouper"
Only ABBA could make feelings of loneliness so appealing. One of the few solos sung by Frida alone, "Super Trouper" tells the story of what it feels like to travel the world while missing someone dear. Off of their album of the same name, "Super Trouper" managed to hit number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play, making it ABBA's third number one single in the US.
This is probably one of the most sexed-up ABBA songs there is (that, and "Lay All Your Love On Me" is pretty sexy too). Although this song didn't manage to become a big hit, it is still a big favorite with many ABBA fans. With its heavy-hitting beats and intense lyrics, this song is perfect for dancing at a dimly lit nightclub with your friends, or with a handsome stranger.
9. "Lay All Your Love On Me"
There's nothing sexy about jealousy, but ABBA is the only band is able to make it so. It is also ABBA's first ever foray into '80s synthpop, proving that ABBA is able to stay relevant even in a period when the British were reinvading the American music charts.
10. "Under Attack"
And with this single, we say goodbye to ABBA. Considered the final single to be released by the band, "Under Attack" didn't manage to chart in the US, but managed to maintain the top-10 spot in most European countries. The music video would also be ABBA's final appearance together, symbolized by the end of the video where the group turns their backs on the camera, and walk off into the sunset.