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YMMV: Abba
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Not *hate* exactly but still a difference in appeal - North America: pretty successful, but just another group. Rest of the World: popularity rivaled that of the Beatles. One factor could've been that, at the time ABBA was most popular worldwide, Fleetwood Mac had the prime position in the North American market, so to speak, on melodic, harmonic pop. It was pretty hard for anyone to compete against the Mac at the time of Rumours. For that matter, the parallel between the two groups in terms of couples that broke up but kept on working together is pretty eerie... Another factor could have been Americans weren't that used to hearing foreign sounding singers at the time. Even most British pop/rock artists sing with an American accent.
    • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: On the flipside, they were especially successful in Japan and Australia. Just take a look at the massive, screaming crowds in ABBA: The Movie. Ironically, "Take A Chance On Me", their second most popular song in America (after "Dancing Queen"), didn't even crack the top ten in Australia.
    • They were very popular in Latin America, especially in Mexico in the 80s.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Frida
  • Broken Base: Agnetha fans vs. Frida fans. Because two women can't possibly get along with each other.
    • Agnetha and Frida did acknowledge that they had a rivalry - but one that belonged on the stage. They said it added to the dynamic and energy of their performances and made for better shows. Offstage, however, they were quite good friends.
  • Cargo Ship: "Dum Dum Diddle". Some guy/violin.
  • Ear Worm: Just about every song.
  • Epic Riff: "Watch Out", a surprisingly heavy song led by a guitar riff worthy of Black Sabbath.
    • Even some of their more disco/dance songs had pretty rockin' riffs. The opening arpeggios from "Gimme Gimme Gimme" and the main riff from "Voulez-Vous" are good examples.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Hard to believe it when ones really thinks Agnetha and Frida.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Though the group were extremely popular in other places in Europe outside Scandinavia (the UK included), for a time in Australia they were greeted by the type of hysterical mania commonly associated with The Beatles. A special they made for the country had viewer figures outnumbering the moon landing, and at any given time from 1975 to 1977, an ABBA album or single (or both!) was always sitting in the top five. A movie was even made about their tour of Australia when the excitement reached fever pitch.
  • Guilty Pleasure: They're commonly cited as one, due to the way they were great songwriters behind the poppy image. The reanalysis of their music by critics shows this might be fading.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: It's hard to listen to "Under Attack", already a dark song, without thinking about how Agnetha was in a romantic relationship with her stalker some 15 years later ...
  • Internet Backdraft: Criticism of this group is near impossible due to the fans.
  • Iron Woobie: Frida
  • Magnum Opus: Arrival and/or The Album. The Visitors is this for the majority of the critics.
  • Memetic Mutation: Keep in mind that ABBA memes are only known within the fandom.
    • ABBA: The Xnote 
    • "What does kinky mean?"note 
    • "Sweaty, obsessive fans."note 
    • "How can I answer to that. I do not know, I haven't seen it." note .
  • Mondegreen: "Take a chance on me", or "Jackie Chan's on me?"
  • Narm Charm: Their videos.
  • Sampled Up: Madonna sampled "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" for her arguably more famous song "Hung Up".
  • Signature Song: "Dancing Queen", "Mamma Mia".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some fans blast Voulez Vous for being more disco-oriented.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Many critics who diss ABBA tend to sing praises for The Visitors.
  • Values Dissonance: "When I Kissed The Teacher" is a laid-back and cheerful look at a Teacher/Student Romance situation. Guess how that goes down nowadays.
  • Vindicated by History: The more pretentious type of rock critic (and rock fan) liked to deride Abba during their heyday as being little better than bubblegum pop; as Björn pointed out in a 2002 Australian interview, "for the main part of the group's lifespan, the critics despised us". These days, a lot of people appreciate the group for their musical and vocal craftsmanship, and for their innovation in the field of music video (see Trope Codifier).
    • Specifically people like to mention how dark The Visitors is, 'dark' being a codeword for cool amongst music critics.
      • It has also been made clear that rather than a faceless pop band, ABBA's playing pop and disco music because they were the most popular amongst the various styles they did. Bjorn and Benny could easily have been a hard rock band as evidenced by such songs as Watch Out, experimented in funk with Man In The Middle, not to mention the progressive rock stylings of Hole In Your Soul.
      • Furthermore, Bjorn And Benny's self-deprecating sense of humor regarding most of their songs means that you know their cheesiest moments are just as cheesy to them too.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Sure, many of their songs are about love-and-peace-and-some-more-love and the kids love to sing along with them. But:
    • "Honey Honey" is really about sex, so much that in the version heard in Mamma Mia!, when the lines "you do your... thing" and "you're a dog-gone beast" are sung, the singer is clearly enjoying herself.
    • "Voulez-Vous" is about a consensual one-night stand.
    • "The Winner Takes It All" is about divorce.
    • "Does Your Mother Know" is about trying to invoke the Jailbait Wait, in the sense that a legal minor is all but throwing themselves at the singer. Very much not kid-friendly.
    • "Hey Hey Helen" is about a woman whose has recently left her husband for an unspecified reason. It is implied that he was abusive to her. Her kids miss their father, but she never wants to see him again. The song essentially is trying to help them all cheer up. This is quite a dark meaning for such an upbeat tune and it is not surprising it was just an album track.
    • "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" is about being horny.
    • "Money Money Money" is about the singer being sick of being poor and deciding to find a sugar daddy so that she can "fool around and have a ball."
    • "Under Attack" is about someone being chased by a stalker of a lover.
    • "The Visitors" has the singer in a police state about to be hauled off by the authorities. The line "they've come to take me/come to break me" implies that the singer knows she's about to be tortured.
    • "Two for the Price of One" is about pimping.
    • "The Piper" is about a fascistic leader seducing the public.

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