Updated date:

ABBA: The Hit Songs

Author:
ABBA in 1974

ABBA in 1974

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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS Chart

Waterloo

1

6

Honey, Honey

--

27

Hasta Mañana

--

--

King Kong Song

--

--

So Long

--

--

1974: Waterloo

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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS 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

SongUK ChartUS Chart

Under Attack

26

--

Thank You for the Music

33

--

1983: Under Attack

© 2007 Richard

What Are Your Thoughts About ABBA's Music?

Kon on July 02, 2020:

Great Article On A Great Band Can’t Wait To Heat Their New Material. It’s Been 2 Years Of Waiting

PaigSr from State of Confusion on September 20, 2014:

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 from Liverpool, England on September 15, 2014:

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 on February 22, 2013:

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

flipflopseason on April 12, 2012:

So many great songs from ABBA!

razeitup on February 13, 2012:

i love ABBA! great lens thanks :)

Sher Ritchie on January 01, 2012:

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

cmadden on November 26, 2011:

Enjoyable lens!

Bernie from Corbin, KY on September 02, 2011:

great group

pacrapacma lm on July 07, 2011:

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 from New Jersey on July 03, 2011:

Nice lens!

anonymous on June 16, 2011:

I love Abba

desdemony on April 02, 2011:

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

LesleyJohnston1 on February 19, 2011:

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

anonymous on February 07, 2011:

Great Lens, I love the music videos!

quantummike on January 26, 2011:

great 70's band

anonymous on January 13, 2011:

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

frances lm on January 05, 2011:

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

anonymous on January 03, 2011:

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

anonymous on January 03, 2011:

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

lankanwriter on January 03, 2011:

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

JamesPittman LM on January 02, 2011:

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

TeacherSerenia on January 02, 2011:

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 on December 22, 2010:

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 on December 17, 2010:

Great lens for a great band.

beerhead on December 13, 2010:

I love all abba music nice lens.

ChamberLynn on December 08, 2010:

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

anonymous on December 07, 2010:

Yep. Great lens.

Gail47 on November 28, 2010:

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 on November 26, 2010:

Yes-Thank you for the Music!!

WhitePineLane on November 20, 2010:

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 on November 12, 2010:

Dancing Queen is the best wedding song ever!

anonymous on November 11, 2010:

Abba is one of my favorite bands too.

sallemange on November 05, 2010:

brilliant lens one of my favourite bands

mioluna on October 18, 2010:

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!

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on October 12, 2010:

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 on October 06, 2010:

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 on October 05, 2010:

Great lens! My favorite ABBA song in Mamma Mia

kimmie1967 on October 01, 2010:

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.

anonymous on September 26, 2010:

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

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on July 31, 2010:

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.

kimmanleyort on November 25, 2009:

Wonderful. Love ABBA and MAMMA MIA.

Joan4 on October 12, 2009:

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

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on October 09, 2009:

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

Kathryn Darden on March 27, 2009:

I love ABBA!

GIGI8888 on January 14, 2009:

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

anonymous on November 26, 2008:

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

kathypi lm on November 18, 2008:

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!

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on November 16, 2008:

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 on October 31, 2008:

how can you NOT love ABBA!

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on October 29, 2008:

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

Brenda

dahlia369 on October 27, 2008:

Very nice lens about good music! :)

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on October 26, 2008:

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.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on October 26, 2008:

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

julieannbrady on October 25, 2008:

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

Jeff Wendland from Kalamazoo, MI on October 25, 2008:

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

CleanerLife on September 11, 2008:

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 from Ireland on August 04, 2008:

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 on July 29, 2008:

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

KimGiancaterino on July 21, 2008:

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

corebizstyle on November 09, 2007:

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

rockycha on October 31, 2007:

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

ChristopherScot1 on October 30, 2007:

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