Album: The Definitive Collection
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Wow. Um, pop disco has sold tons of records and "Dancing Queen" will live on at weddings until the sun engulfs the Earth in several billion years.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Like The Carpenters is there anyone out there who calls ABBA their favorite band? Honestly?
Best song: This is the third greatest hits compilation in a row and I'm kind of getting tired of hearing scores of songs I already know. Still, "Dancing Queen" is probably the best ABBA song.
Worst song: "When All Is Said and Done" isn't very good.
Is it awesome?: Not really.
I'll say this, though: ABBA is slightly darker than you'd think they were. Some of their songs -- "Take A Chance On Me," for example -- have some real dreariness to the lyrics. You have to assume this has something to do with their being Swedish; If I'm correct, Sweden isn't a really sunny place.
Things you may not know about ABBA
- An ABBA museum is opening in the next few years in Stockholm. Seriously. They have a whole Web site up for it and everything.
- There's a very popular ABBA tribute band,Björn Again. They've been touring under various lineups for 15 (!) years. That's longer than ABBA was together.
- According to our good friend Wikipedia, Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merrit names ABBA as one of his favorite bands. He also hates hip hop, so take that for what it's worth.
- Bands that have performed/record ABBA covers include Madonna, Erasure, U2 and Kylie Minogue.
- ABBA is an acronym of the four members first names, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog.
- There was an ABBA movie.
All kidding aside, ABBA is important largely because the band showed that Northern European groups could make an impact in the U.S. There's a black metal tribute album to ABBA, featuring entirely Scandinavian bands, which shows how large their net of influence was cast.