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Old 06-02-2013, 08:35
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Am I alone in thinking that the Eurovision winner for Abba in 1974, Waterloo is actually one of their worst records, admittedly out of a fantastic bunch? The British jury clearly held my opinion back then because amazing as it seems the UK did not give the winning Abba song a single point so I have heard! How very bizarre in the context of the history of what followed. The hiatus between them winning, their subsequent under performing singles and then smashing into the big time again 2 years later is rather curious, and inexplicable to me. I've heard it said that the 1985 hit I Know Him So Well could easily have been an Abba hit, likely their 10th No1 if they had recorded it, instead of Paige & Dickson for Chess the musical. You can easily see why! Elaine and Barbara almost did the Abba girls moves and looks on TOTP at the time if I recall, and of course it was written by the Abba guys anyway. Wish Abba had done it and topped the charts themselves for that month in February 1985.
I recall the 1974 Eurovision very well and loved 'Waterloo'. Sorry! I think they've made better singles since - but it was a breath of fresh air then. Strangely, the top four singles from the contest that year all made the UK Top 30 - which I don't think has ever happened before or since ...

That hiatus you refer to is unusual compared to other Eurovision winners, who either faded away or sank without trace - but they were different times, with record companies willing to commit to talent for much, much longer than they do nowadays. Abba also had major success in Australia and NZ - 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' hit number one in both countries - so that may have signalled to CBS/Epic that there might be money to be made. Certainly 'SOS' was quite heavily promo'd, with the group making at least one appearance (if not more) on Summertime Special before the single reached the upper echelons of the chart.

As for Abba doing 'I Know Him So Well' - I know what you mean but, given the marital history of Anna/Bjorn and Frida/Benny, it might have invited some speculation about the identity of the 'him' in question ...
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