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YMMV / ABBA

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  • 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. It also doesn't help their American popularity that one of their Signature Songs, "Dancing Queen", is a disco song.
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  • Cargo Ship: "Dum Dum Diddle" from Arrival. Some guy/violin.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: It is widely believed ABBA entered Eurovision to represent Sweden twice, once in 1973 for "Ring Ring" (and came third) and another for "Waterloo" in 1974 (when they won), which is slightly wrong. Their first entry actually refers to them entering Swedish music festival Melodifestivalen, the winner of which goes forward to the Eurovision Song Contest. The confusion arises from people failing to make the distinction between a song being in contention for the ESC (which "Ring Ring" was) and actually being entered into the ESC itself (which it wasn't). note  Carl Magnus Plum (ABBA's official historian) is a regular victim of this error.
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  • 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" is one good example. It gets bonus points in particular for having been covered by none other than the Swedish virtuoso guitar-player Yngwie Malmsteen. And yes, he sweep picks those arpeggios on a guitar, instead of having a keyboard play them as done in the original!
    • "Dancing Queen" accomplishes this instantly by starting with a glissando on a piano.
    • Even the album tracks have their share of these; take "Eagle", for example.
    • "Mamma Mia" has some pretty cool riffs too, although it's more famous for its overly epic chorus-melody.
    • "SOS"'s opening riff (which Björn credited as solidifying the band's style), which was famously used as the basis for the opening riff of "Pretty Vacant" by Sex Pistols (of all bands) after Glen Matlock heard it on the radio.
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Music videos that featured a vehicle at fast speed, like "Money, Money, Money", "That's Me", and "Tiger" could fall under this when one thinks about Agnetha Fältskog getting involved in a bus crash in 1983, with a minor concussion considering the fact she was thrown out a window from the force of impact and lived. "Tiger" in particular has the male members as backseat passengers (with the ladies at the front) looking worried, seeminly at the speed.
  • 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. Ironically, "Take A Chance On Me", their second highest-charting 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, to the point that they recorded an album of Spanish versions of their greatest hits for the region, and their Gold: Greatest Hits album got its own Spanish equivalent.
  • 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:
    • The band's particular situation of being composed of two couples makes their Break-Up Songs like "SOS" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" much harder to listen to while having in mind what happened afterwards to them.
    • "Under Attack" has two:
      • It's hard to listen to the already-dark song, without thinking about how Agnetha was in a romantic relationship with a man who would eventually stalk her some 15 years later...
      • And there's also the fact that the music video ends with the band members walking out of the warehouse into the daylight, reminiscent of an "And the Adventure Continues" ending, but would later become the last time the world would see ABBA together.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The song "Nina, Pretty Ballerina" from Ring, Ring has two:
    • The song is about a shy woman who wows night club crowds with her dancing every Friday night. Almost 40 years later, the movie Black Swan starring Natalie Portman was released, which was about a trainee ballerina with self-esteem issues called Nina.
    • The song includes the line "Just like Cinderella!" Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again would feature among its main cast Lily James, who among her best-known roles is playing the title character in Cinderella (2015).
  • Internet Backdraft: Criticism of this group is near impossible due to the fans.
  • Memetic Mutation: Keep in mind that ABBA memes are only known within the fandom.
    • ABBA: The X.note 
    • "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 
  • Narm Charm:
    • Their videos.
    • Most of their songs, really.
  • Sampled Up: The riff of "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" is nowadays recognizable for how Madonna sampled it for her song "Hung Up".note 
  • Signature Song: "Dancing Queen".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some fans blast Voulez Vous for being more disco-oriented.
    • This was the general hit-buying public's reaction to The Visitors' Darker and Edgier sound. It's regarded as one of their best works, but remains their most traded in album.
  • 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. Then again, given that the student is pushing herself on her male teacher, some may now see it as a Take That! to the Double Standard presented with most Teacher Student Romances. It's also possible to view an element of Unreliable Narrator on the student's part, as the teacher seems more than a bit taken aback by the situation.
  • 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". Specifically, people like to mention how dark The Visitors (their last album) is, 'dark' being a codeword for cool amongst music critics. These days, a lot of people appreciate the group for their musical and vocal craftsmanship.
    • It has also been made clear that rather than a faceless pop band, ABBA played pop and disco music because they were the most popular amongst the various styles they did. Björn 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, Björn 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 who's 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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