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ABBA: The Hit Songs

Updated on September 16, 2016
ABBA in 1974
ABBA in 1974 | Source

The Songs and Videos of ABBA

The Swedish pop group ABBA came to my attention, along with the rest of Europe when, on a cool April evening in Brighton, England, they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song, Waterloo.

The Waterloo single introduced the world to the phenomenon that was ABBA. The song shot to Number 1 in the UK and stayed there for two weeks, becoming the first of the band's nine UK chart-toppers. It also hit Number 1 in Ireland, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, West Germany and South Africa, France and Spain.

Amazingly for a Eurovision winning song, Waterloo also reached the Top 10 in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Of course, that hit was just a springboard for several years of classic and memorable ABBA recordings, many of which are shared here in video form.

The Early Years

Although the four members of ABBA had started working together during 1970, it was not until 1972 that the quartet released material as a foursome.

The first singles were People Need Love and He is Your Brother, neither of which were hits outside of their native Sweden.

It would be the rejected Eurovision Swedish qualifier, Ring Ring, that would become their breakthrough song in many European territories during 1973. However, not so in the UK, where a remixed version would only chart after the Number 1 success of Waterloo.

ABBA Singles: 1973

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Ring Ring
32
--
Love Isn't Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough)
--
--
Nina, Pretty Ballerina
--
--
Another Town, Another Train
--
--

1973: Ring Ring

A Eurovision Winner

With the failure of Ring Ring to represent Sweden at the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, ABBA decided to try again with a song for the 1974 Contest.

As history shows, Waterloo easily qualified as the country's entry that year, eventually taking the Contest by storm when performed at The Dome in Brighton, England.

This became the international hit the group was looking for: Number 1 in the UK and across Europe. Unusually, even the US fell for the charms of a Eurovision song, sending Waterloo to a peak of Number 6 on the Billboard Pop Chart.

However, the quartet struggled to garner an immediate follow-up hit, leading to the belief that ABBA was just another One Hit Wonder.

ABBA Singles: 1974

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Waterloo
1
6
Honey, Honey
--
27
Hasta Mañana
--
--
King Kong Song
--
--
So Long
--
--

1974: Waterloo

ABBA in 1974
ABBA in 1974 | Source

The Breakthrough

Although much more familiar now, songs such as So Long and I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do were largely ignored by UK radio stations and consequently flopped.

However, it was the third single from the group's eponymous album which signified a reversal in ABBA's fortunes, particularly in the UK and the US. SOS brought them back into the UK Top 10, while the song managed to peak at Number 15 in America.

Even greater success for the band followed in the UK later in 1975, when Mamma Mia entered the charts and went on to hit Number 1 for two weeks in early 1976.

ABBA Singles: 1975

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
I've Been Waiting for You
--
--
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
38
15
SOS
6
15
Bang-A-Boomerang
--
--
Mamma Mia
1
32

1975: Mamma Mia

True International Success

ABBA were finally established worldwide, although in the States their popularity was never on the same scale as elsewhere.

For a while both Fernando - and especially Dancing Queen - changed all that. The latter song finally took the group to the top of the American charts, although it would have to wait a further six months beyond the British hit to achieve it.

In the UK, ABBA were on a roll of three consecutive Number 1 songs.

ABBA Singles: 1976

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Fernando
1
13
Rock Me
--
--
Dancing Queen
1
1
Money, Money, Money
3
56

1976: Dancing Queen

Two Number One Hits

This period of the 1970s witnessed ABBA truly dominate the music charts of the world - particularly those in the UK, Europe, and Australia.

The final single release from the album Arrival, Knowing Me Knowing You, became the group's fifth Number 1 song in the UK while a brand new album, ABBA: The Album, produced yet another with The Name of the Game.

ABBA Singles: 1977

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Knowing Me, Knowing You
1
14
The Name of the Game
1
12

1977: The Name of the Game

One of the Biggest Bands

By 1978, ABBA was one of the most commercially successful bands in the world and their sales data continued to reflect this.

That year, only two records were released in the US and UK markets - although the song Eagle became a hit throughout Continental Europe, as well as South Africa.

However, Take A Chance on Me returned the group to Number 1 in the UK and the Top 3 in America, while the non-album single, Summer Night City, became ABBA's lowest placing song on the UK chart for three years.

ABBA Singles: 1978

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Take a Chance on Me
1
3
Eagle / Thank You for the Music
--
--
Summer Night City
5
--

1978: Summer Night City

The Tours

During 1979, ABBA were playing in sold-out venues across the world, primarily to promote their sixth album called Voulez-Vous.

Predictably, that long player went to Number 1 in many territories and spawned four huge hit singles in the UK. A non-album disc, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), added to the group's haul of hits that year which eventually numbered a staggering five Top 5 songs.

As a consequence of these highly successful records, ABBA found themselves amid one of their most commercially productive assaults on the British Singles Charts.

ABBA Singles: 1979

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Chiquitita
2
29
Does Your Mother Know?
4
19
Voulez-Vous / Angeleyes
3
80 / 64
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
3
--
I Have a Dream
2
--

1979: Voulez-Vous

More Number One Songs

While personal problems bedeviled the private lives of ABBA — Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus divorced - the Number 1 hits in the UK and across the world continued unabated during 1980.

The first of their eighth and ninth (and last) chart toppers was a song that has often been associated with the couple's divorce. However, the pair have always denied that the lyrics to The Winner Takes It All have anything to do with their marital problems.

Like Winner, the title track from the album Super Trouper also climbed to the top spot on the UK Singles Chart, but it would prove to be the group's last Number 1 song.

ABBA Singles: 1980

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
The Winner Takes It All
1
8
On and On and On
--
90
Super Trouper
1
45

1980: The Winner Takes It All

The Beginning of the End

The album Super Trouper produced a third hit single for ABBA in the summer of 1981.

However, as far as chart placings were concerned, Lay All Your Love On Me was the group's lowest ranking song for six years. It only peaked at Number 7 in the UK; nevertheless, it earned the distinction of becoming the highest charting 12-inch only single release of the time.

Meanwhile, One of Us would prove to be the group's last major hit. Included on ABBA's final album The Visitors, it was released in early December 1981. The song climbed into the Top 10 in many countries across Europe, but failed to impress in the USA.

ABBA Singles: 1981

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Lay All Your Love on Me
7
--
One of Us
3
--

1981: One of Us

When All Is Said and Done

Both The Visitors (the title track from the group's then-latest album) and When All is Said and Done received limited releases around the world - the latter proving to be the group's final Top 40 single in America.

Head Over Heels was also included on the same album, but this jaunty tune failed to make the UK Top 20, the first time that this had happened to an ABBA song in seven years.

The group's last single of the year, The Day Before You Came fared even more badly. It was unable to penetrate the British Top 30 - although the compilation album on which it was included sailed to Number 1 in the equivalent album chart.

ABBA Singles: 1982

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
When All Is Said and Done
--
27
Head Over Heels
25
--
The Visitors
--
63
The Day Before You Came
32
--

1982: The Day Before You Came

Goodbye to ABBA

Like The Day Before You Came, Under Attack was included on The Singles: The First Ten Years but equally failed to impress singles buyers — only peaking just inside the British Top 30.

Still, in some European markets it fared better, but overall its relative commercial failure highlighted ABBA's decline in popularity and ultimately became the group's final single.

A delayed release of Thank You For the Music appeared in the UK charts as ABBA's swansong, but Under Attack was the last of the band's new material.

They appeared together on UK television in mid-December 1982 for a final appearance to promote the song, but this marked their farewell as one of the most successful pop groups of the previous decade.

ABBA Singles: 1983

Song
UK Chart
US Chart
Under Attack
26
--
Thank You for the Music
33
--

1983: Under Attack

© 2007 Richard

What Are Your Thoughts About ABBA's Music?

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    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      Its interesting I was just thinking about them and checked my email. Wham there was this notification. Thanks for the updates and the videos. They helped me remember.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 3 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Not my cup of tea but they were good at what they did. Did you know that Agnetha has been doing things in recording studios in recent years?

    • KateAdamsUSA profile image

      KateAdamsUSA 4 years ago

      One of the greatest bands of all time. Go Abba!

    • profile image

      flipflopseason 5 years ago

      So many great songs from ABBA!

    • razeitup profile image

      razeitup 5 years ago

      i love ABBA! great lens thanks :)

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      Thankyou for the music... you included in this lens. Abba is part of musical history.

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Enjoyable lens!

    • BSieracki profile image

      Bernie 6 years ago from Corbin, KY

      great group

    • pacrapacma lm profile image

      pacrapacma lm 6 years ago

      I absolutely love this lens! Mamma Mia is one of my favorite movies. I'm not good at knowing whose song is whose. I just enjoyed the music in the movie and didn't think twice about the group.

      I tweeted and shared this lens on my facebook page. I loved the few videos I watched this morning. I'll be back to watch more. What a fun time and group! I knew the name ABBA, but didn't know much about them or their songs.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 6 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love Abba

    • desdemony profile image

      desdemony 6 years ago

      ABBA are the best from my teens. Love 'em.

    • LesleyJohnston1 profile image

      LesleyJohnston1 6 years ago

      What a great lens with all the Abba songs on here, could easily spend a few hours on here listening to them all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Lens, I love the music videos!

    • profile image

      quantummike 6 years ago

      great 70's band

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love Abba called "Mamma Mia" I love my old seventie

    • frances lm profile image

      frances lm 6 years ago

      Agree with JamesPittman - a really fun lens. Bet it was fun to make too. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love Abba in 1974 song called "waterloo" long time ago! so I was aged 6 year old!!! So I lovee! Abba!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love Abba are best this year 2011 so I am so happy now. Lisa

    • lankanwriter profile image

      lankanwriter 6 years ago

      Abba is one of my favorite bands as well, and some of my favorites are featured in Mama-Mia

    • JamesPittman LM profile image

      JamesPittman LM 6 years ago

      A great list of Abba videos! This is such a fun lens!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      I have been a fan of ABBA since 1976. The very first ABBA song I ever heard was Money Money Money. I think the second and third songs I heard were Mama Mia and Fernando. I still love their music more than 30 years later. The song widget you have on this lens is wonderful. I am sitting here listening to Abba songs while I type. Wonderful memories. And yes I saw the Mama Mia movie with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan.

    • SweetMarie83 LM profile image

      SweetMarie83 LM 6 years ago

      What a fantastic, thorough lens! I love Abba, I grew up listening to them because my parents were both fans...I still listen to them on a regular basis and Mamma Mia is one of my favorite movies.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      Great lens for a great band.

    • beerhead profile image

      beerhead 6 years ago

      I love all abba music nice lens.

    • profile image

      ChamberLynn 6 years ago

      I am a big fan of ABBA since before..nice!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yep. Great lens.

    • profile image

      Gail47 6 years ago

      They have been my favorite group for many years! Absolutely love their music. Thanks for putting this lens together. Angel dust left along the way!

    • Catalysthere LM profile image

      Catalysthere LM 6 years ago

      Yes-Thank you for the Music!!

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 6 years ago

      What a fun lens! I really enjoyed seeing the video that propelled them to fame! (Although I didn't enjoy their clothes in that vid... the 70s was not a good time for fashion!)

      *Blessed by a Squid Angel*

    • jolielaide75 profile image

      jolielaide75 6 years ago

      Dancing Queen is the best wedding song ever!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Abba is one of my favorite bands too.

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      brilliant lens one of my favourite bands

    • profile image

      mioluna 7 years ago

      ABBA!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I'm a fan, huge fan! I listen to their music every day and never getting tired of it. Thank you for such a great lens!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      ABBA music is timeless ~ I enjoyed their music growing up. I watched the musical too a few years ago and it was awesome! Great job with this lens...**Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 7 years ago

      Wow!! This is a fantastic lens!! There are so many great videos and resources. ABBA music is so great. Dancing Queen is amazing!! Thanks for the fun ABBA lens!

      "My my, how can I resist you?"

    • SorinVelescu profile image

      SorinVelescu 7 years ago

      Great lens! My favorite ABBA song in Mamma Mia

    • kimmie1967 profile image

      kimmie1967 7 years ago

      I love ABBA! My Sister (who is 15 years older) listened to ABBA all the time while I was little so I learned to love them from like the age of three. With Mamma Mia I got to share my love of the music with my girls and we love the movie and the music.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love ABBA! When I was a kid I used to listen them alot

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I haven't heard some of these songs for a while which made it all the more fun to listen! What a fun group! With Mamma Mia, a new generation of fans is listening. One of my young music students wanted to learn to play some of their songs.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      Wonderful. Love ABBA and MAMMA MIA.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Love it! Singing along! Blessed by a SquidAngel! Yeah, ABBA!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 8 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      how can i forget them? still listening them. i love ABBA.

    • KathrynDarden profile image

      Kathryn Darden 8 years ago

      I love ABBA!

    • profile image

      GIGI8888 8 years ago

      I have been a fan of ABBA, for many years, and still love them, forever! Agnetha, looks like me, I am told. Very talented group, never heard another like them! Loved all their songs, and videos! Glad I joined this site.,The pictures are out of this world, awesome! Love to You All, ABBA Fans, GIGI8888

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to kathypi] yeah... ABBA songs are just uplifting my kids 5 & 8 luvs it too... they dance with me :D

    • kathypi lm profile image

      kathypi lm 8 years ago

      beautiful uplifting lens, i love ABBA, Funny i still play it all the time, usually when i'm cleaning on a sat morning, keeps me moving, my 3&5 year old grandkids love it too!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      I never thought I would start singing in a movie theater. Nor did I ever think I would want to go back to a movie more than once but that is just the way I felt when watching Mamma Mia.

      I love all the ABBA songs and can hardly wait for my daughter to come home from college so we can watch and sing along.

      I am forwarding this lens to her so she can start to get prepared for the fun.

    • nlwest21 profile image

      nlwest21 8 years ago

      how can you NOT love ABBA!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Mamma Mia, here we go again! Many Abba tunes are permanently etched in my brain!

      Brenda

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 8 years ago

      Very nice lens about good music! :)

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Great lens. I got to refresh my memory when I saw the Mama Mia show in Vegas with my brother a couple of years ago.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens. ABBA were great in their day, good music. Nice to see it brought alive for another generation in Mama Mia. 5*****

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      I always liked their music and have a renewed interest since the Mama Mia CD. Great lens!

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 8 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      I'm not a big ABBA fan, but I am a fan of your lenses =)

    • profile image

      CleanerLife 9 years ago

      I admit it, I grew up listening to Abba. It's nice to listen to them and go back to a simpler time :)

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 9 years ago from Ireland

      Great lens! Just seen Mamma Mia film - it's good. Have always loved Abba, their music is timeless. Waterloo is a favourite. 5*

    • gmarlett lm profile image

      gmarlett lm 9 years ago

      Another superb Lens! Thanks for bringing ABBA back and welcome to the SquidGroovy Group.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I love ABBA! Congratulations on making the Giant Squid 100 Club. I'm featuring this on my Squid Angel Diary.

    • profile image

      corebizstyle 9 years ago

      Oh yeah, LOVE their tunes, 5 stars! PS You're intived to my lenses for a sneak peak and to rate, too, thanx

    • profile image

      rockycha 9 years ago

      I'm the dancing queen! :) Love this squideovideoshowycasey! high fives! carrie

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 9 years ago

      Great lens and thanks for posting it in the squid forum!