Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The project the most popular language of music domodedovo school 1 teacher: yamanova elena nikolaevna the research work has been

The project

«The most popular language of music»

Domodedovo school №1

Teacher: Yamanova Elena Nikolaevna

The research work has been prepared by:

Student: Beskorovainaia Ekaterina 9″А«



Chapter 1…………………………………………………………………………3

Chapter 2…………………………………………………………………………4-5

Chapter 3……………………………………………………………………….5-7

Chapter 4………………………………………………………………………..7-9

Appendix 1……………………………………………………………………….11

Appendix 2……………………………………………………………………….12

The sounds of music

Music is something which allows a person to relax, to save inner balance and to calm down.

There are a lot of music genres: rock, pop, jazz, blues, rap and so on.

The hypothesis:

Modern music and songs in English are more popular than songs in other languages.

The problem:

Music and songs in English are very popular all over the world.

The Main part:

As we know English is the most common used and popular language in the world.
So, let`s take as an example the Spanish song «Despacito».
It was a very popular summer hit. And Justin Biber translated the composition in English.
So, guess what happed?
At present all radios include a track «Despacito» in its English version.

Also I can tell you about Eurovision. All the participants usually sing songs in English.

Eurovision is the longest-running annual international TV song competition.
The worst place among Russian performers was taken by Philip Kirkorov in 1995. Phil took the 17th place for the song, which was performed in Russian. Then, after him his ex-wife Alla Pugacheva took part in Eurovision in 1997 with a Russian song again, which had got only the 15th place.

Let us see how the Eurovision rules have been changing since this music competition had appeared.
«LanguageEvery successful hit must have vocal; purely instrumental music has never been allowed in Eurovision. «In the past, competitors had been required to sing in one of their own national languages, but this rule has been changed several times over the years.

From 1956 until 1965, there was no rule restricting the languages in which the songs could be sung. In 1966 a rule was imposed stating that the songs must be performed in one of the official languages of the country participating, after Sweden was the first country to not sing in their own language, with opera singer Ingvar Wixell performing Sweden’s 1965 entry in English. The Swedish-language version of the song was originally selected at Melodifestivalen 1965, but it was later translated into English for the Eurovision contest.
The language restriction continued until 1973, when performers were again allowed to sing in any language they wished. Several winners in the mid-1970s took advantage of this: performers from non-English-speaking countries sang in English, including ABBA in 1974.

In 1977, the EBU decided to revert to the national language restriction. However, special dispensation was given to Germany and Belgium as their national selections had already taken place before the decision was made; both countries’ entries that year were in English.
In 1999 the rule was changed again to allow the choice of language once more, which resulted in 12 out of 23 countries, including United Kingdom, singing in English that year. Belgium entered the 2003 contest with «Sanomi», a song sung in a constructed language, finishing in second place. In 2006 the Dutch entry, «Amambanda», was sung partly in English and partly in an artificial language.

In 2008 the Belgian entry, «O Julissi», was sung in an artificial language.
In 2011 the Norwegian entry, «Haba Haba», which was sung in English and Swahili, was the first song to be sung in an African language, apart from Arabic. In 2016 all but three out of 36 semi-finalists had songs in English, with only two (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia) performing songs in their native languages, as Austria sent a song in French. In the final, all but three out of 26 contestants had songs in English.


For one more example, I can tell you a story about Moldavian singer Dan Balan (he was born on 6th of February in 1979 in Kishinev).

He is a singer who was popular only in Moldova and Russia, until he began to write songs in English. Today he lives in New York, the USA, and he became very popular all over the world.

Let`s look what tells us about Dan Balan.

Dan Balan is a Moldovian musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is the first and only Moldovian musician to be nominated for a Grammy as co-writer of Rihanna and T.I.’s «Live Your Life». He is the founder of European band O-Zone, and wrote and produced their international hit single «Dragostea Din Tei», which topped the charts in over 30 countries and sold over 12 million copies worldwide.


1995–1998: Beginnings and «Inferialis»
After Balan formed the band «Inferialis», it held its first concert in 1995 in a concert hall in one of Kishinev ‘s factories. His entire family was present at the concert, and his parents having been impressed by the performance bought him an expensive synthesizer. He spent the next two years performing with the band, taking several small gigs, and then decided to move to commercial-sounding music. In an interview, he explained that he had never considered himself a heavy metal musician and instead identified as a producer with an interest in working with varying musical styles. He started experimenting and exploring a new, commercial pop sound, and recorded and released his first solo song, «De la Mine», in 1998.

1998–2005: Breakthrough and O-Zone

In 1998, Balan formed O-Zone, a new musical project, with Petru Jelihovschi, former vocalist in Inferialis. The duo released their first album entitled Dar unde esti? later that year and it became a commercial hit with seven of the album’s ten songs reaching number one on the charts of the main radio stations in Moldova. At the same time, he became a producer of a new children’s TV show called Tanti Ludmila Show, which was hosted by his mother. When the show needed a title song, the singer offered up a track he’d written when he was younger. performer of European hit-singles «Chica Bomb», «Justify Sex» and «Freedom».

As we can see, songs in English are more popular, for example we can take an indi-rock band «Imagine Dragons».

This indi-rock band is loved by many people. Band was created in 2008 in Las Vegas.
Step by step Imagine Dragons band became popular among other countries.

Let`s look through what tells us about Imagine Dragons. This is a short variant and the most important information about them from my point of view.

«Imagine Dragons is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, consisting of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist and keyboardist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.

Imagine Dragons has won two American Music Awards for Favorite Alternative Artist, a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, five Billboard Music Awards, and a World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for fourteen Billboard Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone Award, which recognizes innovation and creativity of artists across different genres. Imagine Dragons have sold 9 million albums and 27 million singles worldwide.

The band released EPs titled Imagine Dragons and Hell and Silence in 2010, both recorded at Battle Born Studios, in Las Vegas. They returned to the studio in 2011. The third EP, It’s Time, was made before they signed a record deal.

They got their first big break when Train’s frontman Pat Monahan fell sick just prior to the Bite of Las Vegas Festival 2009. Imagine Dragons were called to fill in and performed to a crowd of more than 26,000 people.[20] Local accolades including «Best CD of 2011» (Vegas SEVEN), «Best Local Indie Band 2010» (Las Vegas Weekly), «Las Vegas’ Newest Must See Live Act» (Las Vegas CityLife), Vegas Music Summit Headliner 2010, and more sent the band on a positive trajectory. In November 2011 they signed with Interscope Records and began working with English Grammy winning producer Alex da Kid. Eventually the Tolmans would leave the group and Daniel Platzman would be recruited in August 2011 by invitation from Ben McKee, prior to the signing of band’s label deal in November 2011, alongside keyboardist Theresa Flaminio.

Musical style and influences

The band embarked on the Night Visions Tour in 2013.

«On Top of the World»

«On Top of the World» is a sharp contrast to the darker, thematic songs on Night Visions.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Imagine Dragons’ musical style has mainly been described as alternative rock, indie rock, pop rock, indie pop, electronic rock, synth-pop, electropop, and pop. The band’s sound has also been described as arena rock. Their music also has some influences of folk, R&B, hip hop and EDM.

Dan Reynolds cites Arcade Fire, Nirvana, Muse, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Coldplay, Harry Nilsson, and U2 as some of his and the band’s artistic influences. In terms of success, Reynolds credits bands like Foster the People and Mumford & Sons for bringing alternative pop music to a new level of commercial success in recent years.

Band members Current members

Current members

  • Dan Reynolds – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion (2008–present)

  • Wayne Sermon – lead guitar, backing vocals, mandolin (2009–present)

  • Ben McKee – bass, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals (2009–present)

  • Daniel Platzman – drums, percussion, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, viola, keyboards (2011–present)

Former members

  • Andrew Tolman – drums, percussion, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (2008–2011)

  • Brittany Tolman – piano, keyboards, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (2009–2011)

  • Theresa Flaminio — piano, keyboards, backing vocals (2011–2012)

  • Dave Lemke – bass, backing vocals (2008–2009)

  • Aurora Florence – piano, keyboards, backing vocals, violin (2008)

  • Andrew Beck – guitar, backing vocals (2008)

Touring musicians

  • Ryan Walker – piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, mandolin, backing vocals, tambourine (2012–2015)

  • Will Wells – piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2015–2017)

  • Elliot Schwartzman – piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2017-present)

Conclusion: from the facts above, it can be concluded that my hypothesis was confirmed, songs in English are more popular than songs in other languages.

Appendix 1



Appendix 2


For music from a year in the 1970s, go to 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79

This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 1970s.

In North America, Europe, and Oceania, the decade saw the rise of disco, which became one of the biggest genres of the decade, especially in the mid-to-late 1970s.[1] In Europe, a variant known as Euro disco[1] rose in popularity towards the end of the 1970s. Aside from disco, funk, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and soul music remained popular throughout the decade. Rock music played an important part in the Western musical scene, with punk rock thriving throughout the mid to late 1970s.

[2] Other subgenres of rock, particularly glam rock,[3] hard rock, progressive, art rock, and heavy metal achieved various amounts of success. Other genres such as reggae were innovative throughout the decade and grew a significant following.[4] Hip hop emerged during this decade,[5] but was slow to start and did not become significant until the late 1980s. Classical began losing a little momentum; however, through invention and theoretical development, this particular genre gave rise to experimental classical and minimalist music by classical composers. A subgenre of classical, film scores, remained popular with movie-goers. Alongside the popularity of experimental music, the decade was notable for its contributions to electronic music, which rose in popularity with the continued development of synthesizers and harmonizers; more composers embraced this particular genre, gaining the notice of listeners who were looking for something new and different. Its rising popularity, mixed with the popular music of the period, led to the creation of synthpop. Pop also had a popularity role in the 1970s.

In Africa, especially Nigeria, the genre known as Afrobeat gained a following throughout the 1970s.[6]

In Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, the Nueva canción movement peaked in popularity and was adopted as the music of the hippie, Liberation Theology, and New Left movements. Cumbia music began its internationalization as regional scenes rose outside Colombia. Merengue experienced mainstream exposure across Latin America and the southern US border states.

In Asia, music continued to follow varying trends. In Japan, the decade saw several musical trends, including pop music, folk music, rock music, disco music, while the rock group «Spiders» disbanded in 1970.[7]


Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

In an essay published in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote:

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

«The decade is of course an arbitrary schema itself—time doesn’t just execute a neat turn toward the future every ten years. But like a lot of artificial concepts—money, say—the category does take on a reality of its own once people figure out how to put it to work. ‘The ’60s are over,’ a slogan one only began to hear in 1972 or so, mobilized all those eager to believe that idealism had become passe, and once they were mobilized, it had. In popular music, embracing the ’70s meant both an elitist withdrawal from the messy concert and counterculture scene and a profiteering pursuit of the lowest common denominator in FM radio and album rock.»[8]

According to Christgau, the decade also saw greater fragmentation along stylistic lines because of the rise of semipopular music: «It goes back to whenever arty types began to find ‘the best’ rock worthy of attention in the ’60s, but in the ’60s tolerance was the rule; it was easier to name rough substyles—say British invasion, folk-rock, psychedelic, and soul—than to analyze their separate audiences (even racial distinctions were fuzzy). Not until 1968 or 1969, when it became a hippie commonplace to dismiss soul as ‘commercial’ and when bubblegum and ‘white blues’ developed into clear categories, did the breakdown really begin. And only in the ’70s did genres start asserting themselves: singer-songwriter and interpreter, art-rock and heavy metal and country-rock and boogie, fusion and funk and disco and black MOR, punk and new wave, and somehow straddling them all (except for punk, God bless) the monolith of pop-rock.»[9]

North America[edit]

Hard rock, arena rock and heavy metal[edit]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2010)

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The 1970s saw the emergence of hard rock as one of the most prominent subgenres of rock music. During the first half of the decade, British acts such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath were at the height of their international fame, particularly in the United States. By the second half of the decade, many other acts had also achieved stardom, namely, Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Cactus, James Gang, AC/DC, Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen, and Ted Nugent.

Arena rock grew in popularity through rock acts such as Boston, Kansas, Styx, Journey, Toto, Foreigner, and Heart.

Psychedelic rock declined in popularity after the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison of the Doors, the self-imposed seclusion of Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd, and the break-up of the Beatles in 1970.

Progressive rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The American brand of prog rock varied from the eclectic and innovative Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and Blood, Sweat and Tears,[10] to more pop rock oriented bands like Boston, Foreigner, Journey, Kansas, and Styx.[11] These, beside British bands Supertramp and Electric Light Orchestra, all demonstrated a prog rock influence and while ranking among the most commercially successful acts of the 1970s, ushering in the era of pomp or arena rock, which would last until the costs of complex shows (often with theatrical staging and special effects), would be replaced by more economical rock festivals as major live venues in the 1990s.

New wave[edit]

Successful American new wave bands in the late seventies included Talking Heads, the Cars, the Knack, the B-52’s, and Devo. Some of the Canadian new wave groups included Rough Trade, the Payolas, and Martha and the Muffins. After the success of British synthpop acts in the U.S. such as Gary Numan and the Buggles, a number of American bands also began experimenting with synthesizers. In the early 1980s, bands from the United Kingdom became immensely popular in the U.S., and this phenomenon became known as the Second British Invasion which mainly consisted of British new wave and synthpop acts, therefore broadening the definition of «new wave».

Punk rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The mid-1970s saw the rise of punk music from its protopunk-garage band roots in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie were some of the earliest American punk rock acts to make it big in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Punk music has also been heavily associated with a certain punk fashion and absurdist humour which exemplified a genuine suspicion of mainstream culture and values. Blondie quickly lost their punk roots going on to become a pop/ska/reggae band.

Blues rock[edit]

Blues rock remains popular, with Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, and George Thorogood seeing the greatest success. Freddie King started moving from straight blues to blues rock since the genre was now mostly popular among white audiences. Stress from nonstop touring resulted in his death at the age of 42 in 1976.

Soft rock and pop[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Billy Joel performing in Perth Western Australia in 2006

Some of the more notable pop/soft rock groups during the 1970s were the Carpenters, the Jackson 5, Seals & Crofts, the Bee Gees, the Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates, Bread, Captain & Tennille, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Bay City Rollers, and the Osmonds.

Soloists who characterized the pop music of the era included Barry Manilow, Andy Gibb, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Barry White, and Rod Stewart. Female soloists who epitomized the 1970s included Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Roberta Flack, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Rita Coolidge, Olivia Newton-John, and Helen Reddy.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Some of the most popular music acts of the day got their own network television variety shows, which were very popular in the ’70s. Acts like Sonny & Cher, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Tony Orlando and Dawn, husband and wife team Captain & Tennille, brother and sister Donny & Marie Osmond.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Soft rock was prominently featured on many top 40 and contemporary hit radio stations throughout the 1970s. Soft rock often used acoustic instruments and placed emphasis on melody and harmonies. Major soft rock artists of the 1970s included Carole King, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Chicago, America, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade.[12][13][14] (See the country music section of this article for more about country music that crossed over onto the pop charts.) Bob Dylan’s 1975–1976 Rolling Thunder Revue reunited him with a number of folk-rock acts from his early days of performing, most notably Joan Baez, who returned to the charts in 1975 with «Diamonds & Rust».

Some of the most successful singers and songwriters were: Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Jim Croce, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Barry Gibb, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Carole King, Elton John, Don McLean, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Donna Summer, Gordon Lightfoot, and Harry Chapin— some had previously been primarily songwriters but began releasing albums and songs of their own. King’s album Tapestry became one of the top-selling albums of the decade, and the song «It’s Too Late» became one of the 1970s biggest songs. McLean’s 1971 song «American Pie», inspired by the death of Buddy Holly, became one of popular music’s most-recognized songs of the 20th century, thanks to its abstract and vivid storytelling, which center around «The Day the Music Died» and popular music of the rock era.

The early 1970s marked the departure of Diana Ross from the Supremes and the break-up of Simon & Garfunkel and the Beatles. All continued hugely successful recording careers throughout the decade. Some of their songs that are among the hits of the early 1970s: Simon & Garfunkel’s «Bridge Over Troubled Water», Simon’s solo hit «50 Ways to Leave Your Lover», Paul McCartney’s «Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey», George Harrison’s «My Sweet Lord», and Ross’ «Ain’t No Mountain High Enough».[15]

Popular British acts were the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Leo Sayer, the Bee Gees, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, and the Who; whose lead singer Roger Daltrey made a splash in the 1975 film Tommy, playing the title role, based on the groups 1969 album of the same name. Elton John, Tina Turner, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson, and the other band members made up the ensemble cast.

Disco, R&B and urban[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Herb Alpert at Schiphol Airport (1974). Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist («This Guy’s in Love with You», 1968) and an instrumentalist («Rise», 1979).

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Stevie Wonder became one of the most popular R&B artists during the 1970s.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The Bee Gees dominated the 1970s music scene, and have been regarded as the decade-defining act of the 1970s.

The Bee Gees were one of, if not the 1970s biggest musical act dominating album sales, singles sales and music charts of many countries including the U.S. and UK. Most notably, they spearheaded and led the disco and pop music scenes of the 1970s at one point they had 5 songs in the top 10 and 3 songs in the top 5 of the U.S. Billboard charts according to Barry Gibb. They were the main artists and songwriters of the cultural and revolutionary music soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever which went on to become the second biggest-selling soundtrack of all time and up until Thriller it was the biggest-selling album of all time selling between 40 and 50 million copies worldwide. After achieving all of these huge records and milestones, some critics have labeled the Bee Gees as the decade-defining act of the 1970s.

Along with disco, funk was one of the most popular genres of music in the 1970s. Primarily an African-American genre, it was characterized by the heavy use of bass and «wah-wah» pedals. Rhythm was emphasized over melody. Artists such as James Brown, the Meters, Parliament-Funkadelic and Sly and the Family Stone pioneered the genre. It then spawned artists such as Stevie Wonder, Rufus, the Brothers Johnson, Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Spinners, King Floyd, Tower of Power, Ohio Players, the Commodores, War, Confunkshun, Gap Band, Slave, Cameo, the Bar-Kays, Zapp, and many more. Other popular artists in the mainstream were Bill Withers, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Three Dog Night, the Stylistics, the Fifth Dimension, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the O’Jays, Barry White, and Issac Hayes.

The 1970s saw African-American audiences shift away from genres like rock and blues which had originally been invented and dominated by black musicians. While blues performers like B.B. King and Albert King remained successful, they changed to a mostly white audience. Soul, R&B, and funk became the predominant music styles among black artists and audiences.

Roberta Flack had two of the biggest hits of the decade with «The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face», from the Clint Eastwood film Play Misty for Me; and «Killing Me Softly». Both were #1 hits on the pop charts and she became the first and the only female artist to win back to back Grammy Awards for Record of the Year.[16] Stevie Wonder who topped the charts five times during the decade with songs such as «You Are the Sunshine of My Life» and «Sir Duke» had a unique treble. He won Grammy Awards for both Best Male Pop and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1974, 1975 and 1977.[17]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The Jackson 5 became one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s,[18] playing from a repertoire of rhythm and blues, pop and later disco. The Jacksons — brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael — were the first act in recording history to have their first four major label singles, «I Want You Back», «ABC», «The Love You Save» and «I’ll Be There» reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, who both had some solo success in the early part of the decade; Jermaine with the top 10 hit «Daddy’s Home»[19] and Michael who topped the charts with «Ben». Other family acts included Gladys Knight & the Pips who topped the charts with «Midnight Train to Georgia», and Sly & the Family Stone who brought «Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)» and «Family Affair» to the top spot. Other groups who had hits include the Staple Singers with «I’ll Take You There» and «Let’s Do It Again», the theme song to a 1975 Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby film, the Sylvers with «Boogie Fever» and the Emotions with «Best of My Love».

Honey Cone had a chart-topping hit with «Want Ads», as did Labelle with «Lady Marmalade» and A Taste of Honey with «Boogie Oogie Oogie». Other successful girl groups were Love Unlimited and the Three Degrees who scored a U.S. No. 2 and UK No. 1 hit with «When Will I See You Again» as well as the U.S. No. 1 «TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)» with Mother Father Sister Brother (MFSB).[20]

The Commodores were another group that played from a diverse repertoire, including R&B, funk, and pop. Lionel Richie, who went on to even greater success as a solo artist in the 1980s, fronted the group’s biggest 1970s hits, including «Easy», «Three Times a Lady», and «Still».


Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Willie Nelson became one of the most popular country music artists during the 1970s.

A number of styles defined country music during the 1970s decade. At the beginning of the decade, the countrypolitan — an offshoot of the earlier «Nashville Sound» of the late 1950s and early 1960s — and the honky-tonk fused Bakersfield Sound were some of the more popular styles.

The countrypolitan sound — a polished, streamlined sound featuring string sections, background vocals and crooning lead vocalists — was popularized by artists including Lynn Anderson, Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, and others, achieving their successes through such songs as «(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden», «Snowbird», and others. The Bakersfield sound, first popularized in the early 1960s, continued its peak in popularity through artists such as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

But other styles began to emerge during the 1970s. One of the more successful styles was «outlaw country», a type of music blending the traditional and honky tonk sounds of country music with rock and blues music, and mixed with the anger of an alienated subculture of the nation during the period. The leaders of the movement were Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, although others associated with the movement were Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, Jessi Colter, Tompall Glaser, Gary Stewart, and Billy Joe Shaver. The efforts of Jennings, Nelson, Colter, and Glaser were encapsulated in the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws.

The 1970s saw the rise of country music groups. The most successful act by far during the first half of the decade was The Statler Brothers, a Stanton, Virginia-based group that had gotten its start performing with Johnny Cash in the 1960s. The group – several years removed from their 1965 hit «Flowers On the Wall» – successfully used their vocal harmonies on songs including «Bed Of Rose’s,» «Do You Remember These,» «The Class of ’57,» «I’ll Go To My Grave Loving You,» and «Do You Know You Are My Sunshine.» Until 1977, the Statlers – who in the 1970s had brothers Harold and Don Reid, Phil Balsley, and Lew DeWitt – were the only group to achieve sustained success; that year, the Oak Ridge Boys, a country gospel group, switched to a country-pop direction, and their first single release, «Y’all Come Back Saloon,» was a top-5 hit on the country chart; their lineup in the late 1970s was Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban. Both groups remained firmly committed to gospel music, but it was with country-pop that they had their most success and the rise in country groups began to take shape. In 1979, a third group – the Fort Payne-based band Alabama, the core being cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook, along with drummer Mark Herndon – released the mellow love ballad «I Wanna Come Over»; although only reaching the mid-30s on the country chart, «… Over» was a foreshadowing of what was to come for one of the most successful country music groups/bands of all time, with their blend of soft rock and Southern rock (which would be featured on their next single, «My Home’s In Alabama,» recorded in 1979 and released in January 1980).

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The country pop sound was a successor to the countrypolitan sound of the early 1970s. In addition to artists such as Murray and Campbell, several artists who were not initially marketed as country were enjoying crossover success with country audiences through radio airplay and sales. The most successful of these artists included The Bellamy Brothers, Charlie Rich, John Denver, Olivia Newton-John, Marie Osmond, B. J. Thomas, and Kenny Rogers. Newton-John, an Australian pop singer, was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1974, sparking a debate that continues to this day — what is country music? A group of traditional-minded artists, troubled by this trend, formed the short-lived Association of Country Entertainers, in an attempt to bring back traditional honky-tonk sounds to the forefront, setting the stage for the neotraditional country revival that would become particularly prominent in the early 1980s. The debate continued into 1975, a year where six songs reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts. Things came to a head when, at that year’s CMA Awards, Rich — the reigning Entertainer of the Year, and himself a crossover artist — presented the award to his successor, «my good friend, Mr. John Denver.» His statement, taken as sarcasm, and his setting fire to the envelope (containing Denver’s name) with a cigarette lighter were taken as a protest against the increasing pop style in country music (this despite Rich himself having made his name with songs that crossed over from country into the pop and adult contemporary charts).

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

By the later half of the 1970s, Dolly Parton, a highly successful traditional-minded country artist since the late 1960s, mounted a high-profile campaign to crossover to pop music, culminating in her 1977 hit «Here You Come Again», which peaked at No. 1 country and No. 3 pop. Of her 25 career No. 1 hits, 11 of them came during the 1970s. Parton, also became the female country music artist to host her own variety show, Dolly!, which aired during the 1976–77 season. Rogers, the former lead singer of The First Edition, followed up a successful career in pop, rock, and folk music by switching to country music. Like Parton, whom he would record with in the 1980s and thereafter, Rogers enjoyed a long series of successful songs that charted on both the Hot Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts; the first of the lot was «Lucille,» a No. 1 country and No. 5 pop hit. Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Eddie Rabbitt, and Linda Ronstadt were some of the other artists who also found success on both the country and pop charts with their records as well.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The most successful of the female artist in the 1970s was Loretta Lynn, releasing her best selling album Coal Miner’s Daughter in 1970. She gained a total of seven number one albums, and 20 number one hit singles including her biggest hit single, 1970s «Coal Miner’s Daughter,» which went on to sell more than 500,000 copies to date. Several of Lynn’s siblings gained national recording contracts, and it was her youngest sister, Crystal Gayle (born Brenda Gail Webb), who would become by far the most successful. Although she has recorded and/or performed traditional country, Gayle’s primary style was country pop, and by forging her own path rather than mimicking her famous sister’s style, she had several tremendously successful songs, most notably «Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.» Lynn also recorded with Conway Twitty multiple times during the 1970s, and had five No. 1 singles together, including «After the Fire Is Gone.» Like Lynn, Twitty had family—in this case, his children—who also recorded and had songs make the top 40 of the Billboard country chart, but none of them had sustained, long-term success.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Besides Lynn-Twitty duet pairing, there were other notable duet pairings during the 1970s, including George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Married in 1968, the two had their first duet hit together in 1972 with «Take Me» (a remake of Jones’ 1965 solo hit), and went on to have three No. 1 hits together. The two went through an acrimonious divorce in 1975, due in part to Jones’ increasingly erratic behavior worsened by substance abuse problems, but the two did continue recording together afterward, releasing their most successful hit, the ironic «Golden Ring» (a song about how a wedding ring is meaningless without true love) in 1976. As a solo artist, Jones continued to maintain his hold as the premiere honky-tonk artist of the genre, recording songs of broken relationships («The Grand Tour,» «The Door», and «Her Name Is») and bitterness («These Days I Barely Get By»), but the aforementioned substance abuse and behavioral issues restrained his own success and by the end of the decade, his life was wildly out of control. Wynette, meanwhile, remarried to producer and songwriter George Richey, and continued to perform songs in her signature style, alternating between heartbreak and marital difficulty to loyalty and fidelity. Although she would have health and legal issues of her own, Wynette remained highly successful, achieving 10 of her 16 solo number one hits during the 1970s, including «‘Til I Get It Right,» «Another Lonely Song», and «‘Til I Can Make It on My Own.»

The 1970s continued a trend toward a proliferation of No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. In 1970, there were 23 songs that reached the top spot on the chart, but by the mid-1970s, more than 40 titles rotated in and out of the top spot for the first time in history. The trend temporarily reversed itself by the late 1970s, when about 30 to 35 songs reached the pinnacle position of the chart annually.

Country rock and Southern rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Country rock, a subgenre of country music formed from the fusion of rock music with country music, gained its greatest commercial success in the 1970s, beginning with non-country artists such as Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, and The Byrds. By the mid-1970s, Linda Ronstadt, along with other newer artists such as Emmylou Harris and The Eagles, were enjoying mainstream success and popularity that continues to this day. The Eagles themselves emerged as one of the most successful rock acts of all time, producing albums that included Hotel California (1976).[21] The year 1975 was big for Ronstadt, Harris and the Eagles as each had their first top 10 country hits during the year: Ronstadt with a cover of Hank Williams’ «I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You),» featuring Harris on backing vocals; Harris, with «If I Could Only Win Your Love»; and the Eagles with «Lyin’ Eyes.»

During the 1970s, a similar style of country rock called southern rock (fusing rock, country, and blues music, and focusing on electric guitars and vocals) was enjoying popularity with country audiences, thanks to such non-country acts as The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

It was with both country rock and southern rock that Hank Williams Jr., a longtime stalwart of country music, used to resurrect his career. The son of pioneering legend Hank Williams, the younger Williams (who adopted the nickname «Bocephus,» an affectionate nickname given to him by his father) recorded in a primarily countrypolitan style in the 1960s and early 1970s, including many of his famous father’s songs and often performed in his father’s style. By the mid-1970s, several career- and life-changing events shaped his future. He began recording and performing with recording artists including Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Charlie Daniels, and recorded a Southern rock-heavy album showcasing his new style called Hank Williams Jr. and Friends. On August 8, 1975, Williams was nearly killed in a mountain climbing accident on the Ajax Peak in southwestern Montana; his recovery took two years, and it was thereafter that he adopted his signature look – a beard, sunglasses, and a cowboy hat. In 1979, after a string of modestly-performing singles in his new style, he broke through with «Family Tradition,» an autobiographical song about his heritage and new musical identity. Williams went on to become one of country music’s top superstars of the 1980s and beyond with his blend of country, rock, Southern rock and blues, and with songs having themes of soul-searching, rebellion, wild living, and political and societal activism.

Notable deaths in country music[edit]

The decade saw the deaths of several country music performers, many who would come to be regarded as classic stars of the genre. The year 1975 was a particularly difficult year for the genre, as three key performers – Bob Wills, George Morgan, and Lefty Frizzell—all died within a two-month timespan. In 1977, Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby, two performers not directly identified as country but were vastly influential in and/or had substantial successes and fanbases in the genre, died within six weeks of each other. Within a seven-month time span from October 1978 to May 1979, four other notable performers died: Mel Street, a relative newcomer whose honky tonk stylings made him one of the decade’s most promising new artists; «Mother» Maybelle and Sara Carter, of the pioneering Carter Family; and Lester Flatt, an early bluegrass pioneer who formed a successful partnership with Earl Scruggs.

Other developments[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The decade saw commercial success for blue-eyed soul artists, such as David Bowie who released the successful albums Young Americans (1975), which included the number one hit «Fame», and Station to Station (1976).

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

In the second half of the decade, a 1950s nostalgia movement prompted the Rockabilly Revival fad. The Stray Cats led the revival into the early 1980s. Queen participated through their hit «Crazy Little Thing Called Love». Also symbolizing this trend was the hit movie Grease in 1978, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Tying in with the nostalgia craze, several stars of the late 1950s and early 1960s successfully revived their careers during the early- to mid-1970s after several years of inactivity. The most successful of these were Ricky Nelson («Garden Party», 1972), Paul Anka («(You’re) Having My Baby», 1974), Neil Sedaka («Laughter in the Rain» and «Bad Blood», both 1975), and Frankie Valli as both a solo artist (1975’s «My Eyes Adored You») and with The Four Seasons (1976’s «December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)»). In addition, Perry Como—one of the most successful pre-rock era artists—enjoyed continued success, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale (as most of his fans were adults who grew up during the 1940s and early 1950s, and not the rock record-buying youth); his most successful hits of the decade were «It’s Impossible» (1970) and the Don McLean song «And I Love You So» (1973).

Two of popular music’s most successful artists died within eight weeks of each other in 1977. Elvis Presley, the best-selling singer of all time, died on August 16, 1977.[22] Presley’s funeral was held at Graceland, on Thursday, August 18, 1977.

Bing Crosby, who sold about half a billion records, died October 14, 1977. His single, «White Christmas», remains as the best selling single of all time, confirmed by the Guinness Records.[23]

The early seventies also marked the deaths of rock legends Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, gospel great Mahalia Jackson, and Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas. The decade also saw the plane crash in 1977 in which three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed.

The UK and the rest of Europe[edit]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2010)


Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The Swedish band ABBA was one of the most commercially successful European bands of the 1970s

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Elton John was one of the most commercially successful solo pop acts of the 1970s

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The British band The Bee Gees were one of the biggest musical acts of the 1970s leading the disco phenomenon.

Elton John became the decade’s biggest solo pop star,[24] releasing diverse styles of music that ranged from ballads to arena rock; some his most popular songs included «Crocodile Rock», «Goodbye Yellow Brick Road», «Bennie and the Jets», «Philadelphia Freedom», and «Don’t Go Breaking My Heart» (the latter a duet with Kiki Dee). Other European soft rock major artists of the decade included Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, and Joan Armatrading.[13][14] (See the country music section of this article for more about country music that crossed over onto the pop charts.)

One of the biggest bands of the 1970s were the UKs Bee Gees who dominated the 1970s music scene having a string of number one hits and albums in the U.K. the U.S. and Europe they have generally been considered one of the most important acts of the 1970s and one of the most influential and important acts of all time, selling over 220 million albums worldwide to date and have generally been regarded as the decades biggest band.

One of the most successful European groups of the decade, and one of the best-selling acts with 380 million records sold,[25] was the quartet ABBA. The most successful Swedish group of all time, ABBA first found fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. They became one of the most widely known European groups ever, as well as one of the few groups from a non-English speaking country to gain international success with several back-to-back No. 1 albums and singles in most of the major music markets. «Waterloo», «Mamma Mia», «Take a Chance on Me», «Knowing Me, Knowing You», «Dancing Queen», and «The Winner Takes It All» are just some of ABBA’s most popular and most successful songs.

New wave[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

In the late 1970s, many bands in the United Kingdom began experimenting with synthesizers, forming the new wave style known as synthpop. Major synthpop bands around this time included Gary Numan and Tubeway Army, the Buggles, the Human League, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Other successful British new wave bands in the late 1970s included the Police, Echo & the Bunnymen, Adam and the Ants, Roxy Music, Squeeze, XTC, the Cure, the Stranglers, Joy Division, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.


One of the first events of the 1970s was the break-up of The Beatles in the spring of 1970. Paul McCartney formed a new group, Wings, and continued to enjoy great mainstream success. The three other former Beatles — John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — all continued hugely successful recording careers throughout the decade and beyond. Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison all released extremely successful solo albums in 1970, Imagine, McCartney, and All Things Must Pass, and several of their songs are listed among the biggest hits of the 1970s: Wings’ «Silly Love Songs» and «My Love,» and Harrison’s «My Sweet Lord».»[15]

Hard rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Heavy metal music gained a cult following in the 1970s, led by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, with their styles later influencing other bands like Judas Priest and Motörhead, which eventually started the new wave of British heavy metal in the 1980s.

Black Sabbath, formed in 1968 (as The Polka Tulk Blues Band, then Earth), is often credited with inventing the metal genre as well as stoner rock, doom metal, as well as sparking a revolution with much darker lyrics than were the norm in rock at that time.

Progressive rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Progressive or prog rock developed out of late 1960s blues-rock and psychedelic rock. Dominated by British bands, it was part of an attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility.[26] Progressive rock bands attempted to push the technical and compositional boundaries of rock by going beyond the standard verse-chorus-based song structures. The arrangements often incorporated elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used «concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme.»[26] King Crimson as well as the Moody Blues have been seen as the bands who established the concept of «progressive rock». The term was applied to the music of bands such as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Rush, Supertramp and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.[26] It reached its peak of popularity in the mid-1970s, but had mixed critical acclaim and the punk movement can be seen as a reaction against its musicality and perceived pomposity. Nevertheless, Pink Floyd’s 1973 release, The Dark Side of the Moon, was an immediate success, remaining in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, with an estimated 50 million copies sold. It is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has twice been remastered and re-released, and has been covered in its entirety by several other acts. It spawned two singles, «Money» and «Time». In addition to its commercial success, The Dark Side of the Moon is one of Pink Floyd’s most popular albums among fans and critics, and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

Glam rock[edit]

Glam or glitter rock developed in the UK in the post-hippie early 1970s. It was characterized by outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots.[27] The flamboyant lyrics, costumes, and visual styles of glam performers were a campy, playing with categories of sexuality in a theatrical blend of nostalgic references to science fiction and old movies, all over a guitar-driven hard rock sound.[28] Pioneers of the genre included David Bowie, Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Marc Bolan, and T.Rex.[28] These, and many other acts straddled the divide between pop and rock music, managing to maintain a level of respectability with rock audiences, while enjoying success in the singles chart, including Queen and Elton John. Other performers aimed much more directly for the popular music market, where they were the dominant groups of their era, including Slade, Sweet, and Mud.[28] The glitter image was pushed to its limits by Gary Glitter and The Glitter Band. Largely confined to the British, glam rock peaked during the mid-1970s, before it disappeared in the face of punk rock and new wave trends.[28]

Soft rock[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Singer Rod Stewart performing in 1976. He was one of the major British soft rock artists of the 1970s

From the late 1960s it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft rock and hard rock. Soft rock was often derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies.[13] It reached its commercial peak in the mid- to late-1970s with acts like the reformed Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade.[14] Major British soft rock artists of the 1970s included 10cc, Mungo Jerry, the Hollies, Rod Stewart, the Alan Parsons Project, and Paul McCartney and Wings. Some of the most successful singers and songwriters were Cat Stevens, Steve Winwood, Albert Hammond, and Elton John.[29]

Punk rock[edit]

The mid-1970s saw the rise of punk music from its protopunk-garage band roots in the 1960s and early 1970s. The Sex Pistols and The Clash were some of the earliest British acts to make it big in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Groups like the Clash were noted for the experimentation of style, especially that of having strong ska influences in their music. Punk music has also been heavily associated with a certain punk fashion and absurdist humour which exemplified a genuine suspicion of mainstream culture and values. The Sex Pistols caused a major sensation in 1977 and were the first serious challenge to the established rock groups like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, although the punk era in Britain lasted only three years and effectively ended with the Pistols’ breakup.

Australia and New Zealand[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The mid-to-late 1970s Australian band AC/DC became one of the most popular and successful acts in Australia, scoring a string of hits, albums and singles. They made their international debut in 1976 with High Voltage. The band quickly became successful outside their home country; the Highway to Hell album from 1979 peaked at number 13 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart and they would continue as one of the most popular rock groups in the world through the following decade.

The Bee Gees were a British group who had moved to Australia which consisted of brothers Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb — a successful harmonic act as the 1970s dawned. Aside from the chart-topping «How Can You Mend a Broken Heart» in 1971, the brothers did not make much impact in the US during the first half of the decade and most of their record sales were in Europe, especially on the continent. With the failure of their 1973 album Life in a Tin Can, the Bee Gees appeared washed up. But in 1975, they rebounded with Main Course which added more of a beat to their songs and they began embracing the new disco sound in their next album Children of the World (1976). The musical film Saturday Night Fever (1977) finally propelled the Bee Gees to global superstar status with «Stayin’ Alive», «More Than a Woman», and «Night Fever» (from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack). The Gibbs’ youngest brother, Andy, was a sensation with his own solo career. He made occasional appearances with his brothers and had hits with songs such as «I Just Want to Be Your Everything» and «Shadow Dancing».

The most successful female artist of the decade, English-Australian singer Olivia Newton-John, became a leading singer in the 1970s in both the pop and country genres and realized several number one hits, including the songs «Let Me Be There» and «I Honestly Love You» for which she received three Grammys.

Additional top music acts in Australia and New Zealand included Little River Band, Sherbet, Skyhooks, John Paul Young, Marcia Hines, Jon English, Stevie Wright, Richard Clapton, Dragon, Hush, and the Ted Mulry Gang.

Latin America, Caribbean and Africa[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

Jose Jose big break came on 15 March 1970, when he represented Mexico in the international song festival the II Festival de la Canción Latina (Latin Song Festival II, predecessor of the OTI Festival) with a performance of the song «El Triste». Although José José finished in third place, his performance helped launch his music career to a wider audience.[30] In 1971, Juan Gabriel released his first studio album El Alma Joven…, which included the song «No Tengo Dinero», which became his debut single and his first hit.[31] Vicente Fernández’s greatest hit was «Volver, volver,» released in 1972; his first million-selling album was 1983’s 15 Grandes con el número uno. Rolando Villazón is born.

Nueva canción[edit]

During the 1970s in Latin America, the 1960s music influence remained strong and two styles developed from it one that followed the European and North American trends and Nueva Canción that focused on the renewal of folklore including Andean music and cueca. Some bands such as Los Jaivas from Chile mixed both streams and created a syncretism between folklore and progressive rock. The Nueva Canción movement got an even more marked protest association after all countries in the Southern Cone became (or were already) military dictatorships in the 1970s. In Chile, the Nueva canción styles developed through the 1970s would remain popular until the return to democracy in 1990.


Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

In the 1970s, rock en Español began to emerge (especially in Argentina), and as imitation bands became fewer, rock music started to develop more independently from the outside, although many rock bands still preferred to sing in English. The Argentine defeat in the Falklands War in 1982 followed by the fall of the military junta that year diminished need of Nueva Canción as protest music there in favour of other styles.


Sonora Santanera is an orchestra playing tropical music from Mexico with over 60 years of history.

Reggae and Afrobeat[edit]

Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

The Wailers, a band started by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963 which used to play ska and rocksteady music during the 1960s, became popular in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa since the early 1970s after they started playing reggae music. Later on, the band became very popular in the US. The Wailers broke up in 1974 with each of the three main members going on to pursue solo careers. Despite the break-up, Marley continued recording music under the name Bob Marley & The Wailers. In 1975, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, «No Woman, No Cry», from the Natty Dread album. The success of the album Exodus (1977), which included the major international hits «Jamming», «Turn Your Lights Down Low», and «One Love», propelled Marley to international stardom.

In addition to the Wailers, other significant pioneers include Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Jackie Mittoo, and several others.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, or simply Fela, was a Nigerian human rights activist, political maverick, multi-instrumentalist, musician, and pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre. He has been called «superstar, singer, musician, Panafricanist, polygamist, mystic, legend.» During the height of his popularity, he was often hailed as one of Africa’s most «challenging and charismatic music performers.»[citation needed]


Abba ruled the music world from the mid to late егэ

It was during the 1970s the cumbia became widely popular outside Colombia. Several bands brought Cumbia to Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Chile places that later became major scenes for further developments of cumbia music. While Nueva Canción was the music of the New Left and the rock developments of Argentina reflected the European oriented youth, cumbia became widely popular among the large poor sectors of Latin American countries, to such degree that it came to be associated with shantytowns and low-prestige Native American populations.

Salsa and merengue[edit]

Salsa music developed in the 1960s and 1970s by Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants to the New York City area but did not enter into mainstream popularity in Latin America until the late 1980s. The merengue music experienced during the late 1970s was a golden age of productivity characterized by the rise of a new generation of musicians.

Other trends[edit]

The commercial cinemas around the world tended to imitate nuances of disco beats in their movies to present their movies as western and upbeat. These included the increasingly popular kung-fu movies in far East Asia and Bollywood movies from India. These trends are essential in proving that commercial cinemas were a beneficial investment for the community.

See also[edit]

  • 1980s in music
  • 1990s in music


  1. ^ a b «AllMusic | Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands». AllMusic. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  2. ^ «AllMusic | Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands». AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Auslander, Philip (2006). Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music. University of Michigan Press. p. 49.
  4. ^ «Contemporary Reggae Music Genre Overview». AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  5. ^ «Hip-Hop/Urban Music Genre Overview». AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  6. ^ «Afro-beat Music Genre Overview». AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  7. ^ Martin C. Strong; Brendon Griffin (18 September 2008). Lights, Camera, Soundtracks: The Ultimate Guide to Popular Music in the Movies. Canongate Books. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-84767-003-8.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (1980). «CG 70s: The Decade». Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). «The Decade». Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019 – via
  10. ^ N. E. Tawa, Supremely American: Popular Song in the 20th Century: Styles and Singers and What They Said About America (Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press, 2005), ISBN 0-8108-5295-0, pp. 249–50.
  11. ^ V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, pp. 1330–1.
  12. ^ P. Buckley, The Rough Guide to Rock (London: Rough Guides, 3rd edn., 2003), ISBN 1-84353-105-4, p. 378.
  13. ^ a b c J. M. Curtis, Rock eras: interpretations of music and society, 1954–1984 (Popular Press, 1987), p. 236.
  14. ^ a b c P. Buckley, The Rough Guide to Rock (Rough Guides, 3rd edn., 2003), p. 378.
  15. ^ a b «Top Fifty Hits of the 1970s», American Top 40, Watermark Inc. Aired January 5, 1980. Cue sheet Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ Huey, Steve. «The Jackson 5». AllMusic. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  19. ^ «Daddy’s Home — Jermaine Jackson | Song Info | AllMusic». AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 25, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  20. ^ «Album Search for «great r b female groups in the 70»«. AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  21. ^ N. E. Tawa, Supremely American: Popular Song in the 20th Century: Styles and Singers and What They Said About America (Lanham, MA: Scarecrow Press, 2005), ISBN 0-8108-5295-0, pp. 227–8.
  22. ^ Reaves, Jessica (August 15, 2002). «Person of the Week: Elvis Presley». Time. Archived from the original on August 20, 2002.
  23. ^ «Archived copy» (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007). Top Pop Singles: 1955–2006. Record Research. ISBN 9780898201727.
  25. ^ «Why are Abba so popular?». Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c «Prog-Rock/Art Rock». AllMusic. AllMusic. 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2007.
  27. ^ «Glam Rock». Encarta. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
  28. ^ a b c d «Glam Rock Music Genre Overview». AllMusic. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  29. ^ J. Beethoven and C. Moore, Rock-It: Textbook
    (Alfred Music Publishing, 1980), ISBN 0-88284-473-3, pp. 37–8.
  30. ^ Baustista, Berenice (September 28, 2019). «Muere José José, el «Príncipe de la Canción»«. Houston Chronicle (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  31. ^ «Juan Gabriel, el divo que México y América lloran». La Prensa (in Spanish). August 28, 2016. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Christgau, Robert (1981). «The Decade». Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251 – via An essay on developments and trends in popular music and rock during the 1970s.

External links[edit]

  • Every Artist to have a UK Number 1 Hit in the 70s with links to their websites and videos
  • Top Albums of the 70s
  • Hit Singles of the 70s
  • Official fan page «I Love 70s Music»


United Archives/Getty Images

When ABBA took the stage at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, no one could expect the phenomena that was about to take the world by storm. They became a global sensation and while they were together, their songs would frequently top the charts.

But in the 1980s, ABBA went on an indefinite hiatus, which ended up turning into the dissolution of the band. Although the members went their separate ways, they mostly continued to work in music. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson would end up working together on numerous projects after ABBA, while Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid «Frida» Lyngstad went on to have solo careers. Whenever they were asked about reuniting, the answer always seemed to be a gentle but firm no. Then all of a sudden, ABBA started teasing the idea of a reunion tour with digital holograms and even claimed after 40 years, they’d started making music together again.

But even without the band itself, the music of ABBA has stayed alive in peoples’ hearts. With the «Mamma Mia!» musical and film, ABBA has stretched across generations and shown the nay-sayers from their day that they were the real deal. Here’s what happened to the members of ABBA.

What is Eurovision?

ABBA Waterloo station

John Downing/Getty Images

The Eurovision Song Contest is a yearly competition that was founded by Marcel Bezençon and first held on May 24th, 1956. And although only seven countries participated in the first Eurovision, the contest has grown to include over 40 countries. According to Eurovision, originally, participants sang in their country’s national language. But in 1965, the Swedish entry was sung in English and as a result, rules were instituted stipulating that national languages had to be used throughout the song submissions. These language rules were held until 1973, but then they were briefly relaxed for four years. In 1977, the requirement of national languages was reinstated but in 1999, freedom of language was allowed once more «with apparent permanent status.»

According to the ABBA website, ABBA tried to make it into the 1973 Eurovision, but their song «Ring Ring» came in third at the 1973 Melodifestivalen, where the Swedish song for Eurovision is typically selected. Undeterred, they entered again the following year with «Waterloo,» and in 1974, ABBA won Eurovision and became the first Swedish group to do so.

But it wasn’t all good news: «the ‘stigma’ of being winners of the Eurovision Song Contest made it difficult for ABBA to be taken seriously when they tried to follow this first success.» It wasn’t until the song «SOS» came out almost a year and a half later that ABBA became a worldwide phenomenon.

Who was ABBA?


Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Made up of Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid «Frida» Lyngstad, ABBA was originally called Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. But by 1974, they had already become ABBA, using the first letters of each of their first names. writes that the group was started by Ulvaeus and Andersson, who met in 1966. And in 1969, they met Fältskog and Lyngstad, «who were to become not only their fiancées but also the other half of ABBA.» Fältskog and Ulvaeus got married in July 1971, and Lyngstad and Andersson got married in 1978.

According to AllMusic, ABBA would become «the most commercially successful pop group of the 1970s.» With hit songs like «Dancing Queen,» «Mamma Mia,» and «Take a Chance on Me,» their songs climbed billboards around the world. In 1978, they even put out the feature film «ABBA: The Movie.»

But in 1978, ABBA’s «image of two happy, music-making couples» was dealt a blow when Fältskog and Ulvaeus announced their divorce. However, this wasn’t the end of the band. And even when Lyngstad and Andersson announced their divorce as well in 1981, the four continued to work together. By the end of 1981, ABBA released their eighth album, «The Visitors.»

Why did they break up?


David Ashdown/Getty Images

Despite the divorces, Ulvaeus, Andersson, Fältskog, and Lyngstad continued to work together. However, according to the ABBA website, throughout 1982, «the energy was gradually running out of the group.» Ulvaeus has stated that «Agnetha and my divorce was an amicable one, we just grew apart and decided let’s split up. Benny and Frida’s was a little more difficult. It was not a happy time but still very creative.»

At the same time, there were a number of other factors that led the group to decide to take a break in 1982. And initially, the break-up was intended to only be «temporary.» Digital Spy writes that in the 1980s, Ulvaeus and Andersson were approached about doing a musical, while Fältskog and Lyngstad had started focusing more and more on their solo careers. In 1982, ABBA didn’t release any new music, putting out instead a «compilation double album of their hit singles.» But none of the singles made quite the impact that they’d once had. As a result, ABBA decided to take a step back by 1983: «If they wanted to, they reasoned, they could always get back together after a few years.» Their press release stated that «they went on a long indefinite break.»

In 2010, still on that long break, ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Björn and Benny’s Chess Musical

Chess Musical

D. Morrison/Getty Images

In the early 1980s, Tim Rice came to Ulvaeus and Andersson with the idea for a musical. And by 1984, «Chess» was born, a musical about a Cold War-era chess match between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. The LP was released in 1984 and the musical made its London stage premiere in 1986.

According to Guide to Musical Theatre, the story involves a love triangle between the American Grandmaster, the Russian champion, and the Hungarian-American chess second, «who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls for the Russian.»

Unfortunately, the musical received a poor review by the New York Times’ Frank Rich, who described the love triangle as «ricocheting arbitrarily between the American and the Soviet players as if she had no self respect or political convictions.» Icethesite writes that Rich’s review was the reason that «Chess» didn’t get nominated for a single Tony Award. And with no Tony Awards on the horizon, «Chess» ended up having a «disastrously short and huge loss-making run on Broadway.» However, despite «Chess'» lack of success, some of its songs like «One Night in Bangkok» and «I Know Him So Well» went on to become international hits. And even though the New York production closed after just a few months, the London production «ran for over three years,» according to Australian Stage.

Agnetha’s solo career

Agnetha Fältskog

Michael Ward/Getty Images

Agnetha Fältskog was a successful solo artist before ABBA, so she went back to her solo career. Her first album after ABBA, titled «Wrap Your Arms Around Me,» came out in May 1983, and it was her first English-language solo album as well. According to the ABBA website, «Wrap Your Arms Around Me» did incredibly well in Sweden, «becoming one of the biggest albums of 1983.» And worldwide, it sold over one million copies. In 1983, Fältskog also released the hit single «It’s So Nice to Be Rich.» Meanwhile, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that ABBA became just a memory for Fältskog: «There was several years after I had stopped with the group that I couldn’t listen to the music.»

Fältskog recorded two more albums, «Eyes of a Woman» and «I Stand Alone,» but by 1986 her motivation faltered. Smooth Radio writes that after «I Stand Alone,» Fältskog «went on a 17-year hiatus from the music industry.» Years later, Fältskog would admit that «I was so tired … and just wanted to be calm and be with my children.» After taking a step back from her solo career, Fältskog «stepped out of the limelight» and focused on just living her life. She did few interviews and stayed out of the spotlight since her experience in ABBA had resulted in a phobia of crowds and open spaces, writes the Irish Independent.

In 2004, Fältskog came back to music with her album «My Colouring Book.»

Frida’s solo career

Anni-Frid Lyngstad

United Archives/Getty Images

Frida Lyngstad also had a solo career before joining ABBA and she resumed her solo career once ABBA went on their indefinite break. Lyngstad’s first post-ABBA solo album was «Something’s Going On,» produced by Phil Collins, according to UDiscoverMusic. It was also Lyngstad’s first English-language album. The ABBA website writes that Lyngstad also wanted Collins to produce what would become her last album, but by the mid-1980s Collins «simply didn’t have the time to devote himself to any major outside projects.» For the album «Shine,» Lyngstad wrote a couple of her songs for herself, «something that she hadn’t done before.»

Although both albums did well across Europe, Lyngstad ended up putting her singing career into «semi-retirement.» Although she would occasionally work on a random project that she was interested in, like recording «Så Länge Vi Har Varann» («As Long As We Have Each Other»), most of her work became focused on environmental charities. In the 1990s, Lyngstad joined Det Naturliga Steget (The Natural Step) and Artister För Miljön (Artists For The Environment).

In 1996, Lyngstad went back to music with her Swedish-language album «Djupa andetag» (Deep Breaths). According to ABBA Experience, the album was incredibly successful in Sweden, and became «one of the very first Swedish albums to be released as a combined audio-video CD-ROM.»

Frida becomes a princess

Anni-Frid Lyngstad

United Archives/Getty Images

In 1992, Lyngstad married Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss, Count of Plauen and officially became Princess Anne-Frid Synni of Reuss, Countess of Plauen. The Coast writes that although the House of Reuss doesn’t formally rule over any territories anymore, they once controlled the land «situated in modern-day Thuringia, in Germany,» until the territories were taken into Germany in 1918.

But tragically, there was no fairy-tale happiness. In 1998, Ann Lise-Lotte Fredriksson Casper, Lyngstad’s daughter from her first marriage to Ragnar Fredricksson, died in a car accident in New York State. And in 1999, Prince Ruzzo Reuss died of lymphoma, according to UDiscoverMusic, making Lyngstad the Dowager Princess of Reuss. According to All Music, Lyngstad had originally planned on doing a third solo album, but after her daughter’s tragic death and her husband’s passing, «the album never materialized.»

Smooth Radio writes that Lyngstad lives in Zermatt, Switzerland with Henry Smith, 5th Viscount Hambleden as of 2020. She continues to appear on occasional singles and also «still makes occasional public appearances along with other members of ABBA at various events.» In 1993, the group even reunited to perform «Dancing Queen» for Queen Silvia of Sweden’s 50th birthday.

The Mamma Mia! Musical

Mamma Mia marquee

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The idea for the «Mamma Mia!» musical was actually inspired while Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson were working with Tim Rice on «Chess.» Judy Craymer was working for Rice at the time and decided to approach Ulvaeus and Andersson about the idea of an ABBA musical and got to work on crafting the story. And in 1995, Ulvaeus said «If you can find the right writer and story, well… let’s see what happens.» Catherine Johnson joined as a writer and Phyllida Lloyd joined as the director, and before long «Mamma Mia!» was in the works, tells Judy Craymer. And then on April 6th, 1999, the 25-year anniversary of ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest, «Mamma Mia!» had its world premier at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End.

The show became such an international success that «as of its final performance in September 2015, ‘Mama Mia!’ was the 8th longest-running show in Broadway history.» Soon, «Mamma Mia!» was even being translated in numerous languages.

In 2008, «Mamma Mia!» graduated from the stage to the screen with the film version starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Pierce Brosnan. When the film came out, it was «the highest grossing movie of all time at the UK and Irish box offices.» And in 2018, most of the cast reunited for «Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.» Ulvaeus and Andersson even get a brief cameo in the first movie.

Questions of a reunion

Benny Andersson (L) and Bjorn Ulvaeus

David M. Benett/Getty Images

As the indefinite break dragged on, all four members of ABBA seemed pretty certain that they’d never again end up reuniting. Over the years, various members made comments that seemed to suggest that the ABBA part of their lives was over. In an interview in 2008, Björn Ulvaeus stated, «We will never appear on stage again. There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition.» According to the Lad Bible, Agnetha Fältskog also said in 2014, «I think we have to accept that it will not happen, because we are too old and each one of us has their own life. Too many years have gone by since we stopped, and there’s really no meaning in putting us together again.»

Frida Lyngstad also stated that «no amount of money» could change their minds. And they meant it. Business Insider reports that in 2000, ABBA even turned down a $1 billion deal to reunite for 100 shows: «To put that into perspective, the group was offered more than the value of 25 different Major League Baseball teams and the GDPs of some countries.»

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus worked together on numerous projects over the years, but Andersson has admitted that they never felt tempted to reunite ABBA «because we’ve been so busy doing other things.»

A reunion tour?

ABBA Memorabilia

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Since all the members of ABBA made it pretty clear that a reunion wasn’t on the horizon, fans were surprisingly delighted when ABBA announced that they would be doing a reunion tour. However, true to form, the members technically won’t actually be reuniting. NME writes that in 2017, Andersson announced that the group was going to be reuniting «in digital form … featuring representations of each member alongside a live band.»

According to Björn Ulvaeus, «It’s a kind of ABBA tribute show, but the centerpiece … will be something I call ‘Abbatars.’ It is digital versions of ABBA, from 1979.» And according to Irish Times, the «Abbatars» will look as though the group did in 1979, which is when Ulvaeus thinks ABBA looked their best.

The tour was initially announced for 2019, but after a series of delays, it’s expected to launch in 2022. And due to the delays, ABBA ended up recording some new music as well.

Thank you for the music


Michael Putland/Getty Images

In 2018, ABBA announced that while they were working on their Abbatar project, they decided to record some new music as well. According to The Guardian, ABBA released a statement saying, «We all felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!» At least two new songs were recorded: «Still Have Faith In You» and «Don’t Shut Me Down.»

Smooth Radio writes that in 2020, Björn Ulvaeus confirmed that the band was planning on releasing five new songs in 2021. Originally, the new music was meant to be revealed along with the Abbatar tour, «but technical difficulties and the pandemic [have] delayed them both.» But despite years of back and forth, in 2021, the whole group confirmed that they had some new music lined up: «There will be new music this year, that is definite, it’s not a case anymore of it might happen, it will happen.»

However, there’s still no set release date for the music, and according to Music-News, «it’s not yet known whether the new music will take the form of a complete album or individual songs.» Considering that it’s been almost 40 years since ABBA released their last studio albums, fans are eager to see what ABBA’s been up to.

Documentary showing how the long-playing album changed popular music for ever between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s by allowing artists to express themselves as never before.

Between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s, the long-playing record and the albums that graced its grooves changed popular music for ever. For the first time, musicians could escape the confines of the three-minute pop single and express themselves as never before across the expanded artistic canvas of the album. The LP allowed popular music become an art form — from the glorious artwork adorning gatefold sleeves, to the ideas and concepts that bound the songs together, to the unforgettable music itself.

Built on stratospheric sales of albums, these were the years when the music industry exploded to become bigger than Hollywood. From pop to rock, from country to soul, from jazz to punk, all of music embraced what ‘the album’ could offer. But with the collapse of vinyl sales at the end of the 70s and the arrival of new technologies and formats, the golden era of the album couldn’t last forever.

With contributions from Roger Taylor, Ray Manzarek, Noel Gallagher, Guy Garvey, Nile Rodgers, Grace Slick, Mike Oldfield, Slash and a host of others, this is the story of When Albums Ruled the World.

It’s official: this is the summer of ABBA. The blockbuster Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again brought the spectacle of Cher belting “Fernando.” That probably sent you back to the original Mamma Mia — yes, even the scene where Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan duet on “SOS.” Yet that somehow that just leaves you hungry for more. The Swedish pop savants ruled 1970s radio, invaders coming from the land of the ice and snow to become the top-selling act of their time. Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were like a Scandinavian model of Fleetwood Mac, two married couples in white pantsuits and platform boots who racked up hit after hit about breaking up and falling apart.

Under the glitzy surface, these Björn-to-be-wild Swedes were full of angst and despair. But their hits are just the beginning — their albums are full of buried treasures. They just announced they’re reuniting and releasing their first new album in 40 years, something ABBA freaks thought would never happen. So let’s break it down with a salute to the Nordic gods: ABBA’s 25 best songs, ranked. The hits and the flops, the deep cuts and the fan faves, the sublime and the ridiculous. The night is young and the music’s high.

  1. “SUPER TROUPER” (1980)

Björn was the one with the bangs. Benny was the one with the beard. Anni-Frid was the brunette. Agnetha was the blonde. Björn and Benny wrote the hits; Anni-Frid and Agnetha did most of the singing. Björn married Agnetha. Benny married Anni-Frid. Both couples got divorced and poured their hearts out into melodic tearjerkers like “Super Trouper,” the ballad of a diva on the road who suffers through her lonely life (“All I do is eat and sleep and sing/Wishing every show was the last show”). But the moment she hits the stage, she swallows all her pain and fakes it for the fans, because that’s what stars do. Mid-life angst behind a gleaming mask: that’s the whole ABBA story right there.

  1. “DISILLUSION” (1973)

Who else would put a song called “Disillusion” on their first album? The world should have known from the start how dark ABBA could get. It’s the first — and last — time Agnetha got a songwriting credit on an ABBA track, and she sings “Disillusion” like she already sees the bad times coming.

  1. “UNDER ATTACK” (1982)

Enter the Eighties. “Under Attack” is their last stand, the farewell single released at the end of 1982, just as the group was falling to pieces and the music was getting decidedly creepy. They recorded it for their swam song The Singles: The First Ten Years, though they already knew there wouldn’t be a second 10 years. With both divorces in the books and their sales slipping, “Under Attack” is a chilly synth-pop hallucination about getting chased down the street by a phantom lover, with that evil vocoder hook.

  1. “HOLE IN YOUR SOUL” (1977)

A proto-industrial synth/guitar blast with the headbanger chorus chant: “It’s gotta be rock & roll! To fill the hole in your soul!” Could it be possible the young Trent Reznor was taking notes? (It’s damn near unthinkable he wasn’t.) A deep cut from their 1977 art-rock album, hilariously titled The Album, “Hole in Your Soul” grinds like a pretty hate machine.


ABBA’s ouevre is full of alienation (“Sitting in a Palmtree”), misery (“Tropical Loveland”), and morbid dread about the extinction of the entire human race (“Happy New Year”). But in “When I Kissed The Teacher,” they take on the Swedish educational system. It’s an innocent bubblegum tune about a schoolgirl who can no longer handle her thirst for the foxy geometry teacher. Yeah, the Seventies were weird.


The dark side of ABBA’s nightlife — those eerie electronic strings hint at all sorts of desperate sex-crazed capers in the after-hour bars of Stockholm. The death-disco sound of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” was influential on the Euro-sleaze dance music of the Eighties, as typified by the Leather Nun, who covered this song in 1986 and turned it into a filthy underground club banger. (The Leather Nun was most famous for “F.F.A.,” an ode to fisting with slogans like “Let’s fist again!” and “Fist and shout!”) Madonna sampled the synth hook for her glorious 2006 comeback smash “Hung Up,” capturing all the frantic decadence of the original.

  1. “DUM DUM DIDDLE” (1976)

 A typical ABBA love triangle: a mousy girl falls in love with a boy who doesn’t even notice her, because he’s too busy playing his trusty fiddle. (“You’re so sad/And you’re only smilin’/When you play your violin.”) Will she ever take the fiddle’s place in his heart? Or will she just keep on singing, “Dum dum diddle, your darling fiddle”? “Dum Dum Diddle” sums up the vulnerable charm that made ABBA heroes to Seventies kids like Kurt Cobain; he famously invited the tribute band Bjorn Again to open for Nirvana.

  1. “ONE OF US” (1981)

In 1977, ABBA manager Stig Anderson told Rolling Stone he asked the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman why he didn’t use his homeland’s pop music in his films. “He didn’t say anything. But his next film was called The Silence.” The Ingmar/Agnetha collabo never happened, tragically, but “One of Us” is the group’s most Bergman-esque melodrama: Scenes from a Marriage over a perky tropical beat that single-handedly invented Ace of Base. (Not coincidentally, it was the first single Abba released after both divorces were final.) Cher has already announced she’ll do “One of Us” on her upcoming album of ABBA covers — talk about a song that’s perfect for her.

  1. “KING KONG SONG” (1974)

A demented glam-rock power-chord stomp: “We do the King Kong song, gotta sing along/Can’t you hear the beating of the monkey tom-tom?” This is the kind of glitter blockbuster that was ruling the U.K. charts from bands like Slade or the Sweet, except (as always) ABBA did it their own way. They warn, “What we’re gonna sing is kinda funky,” stretching the definition of “kinda” forever.

  1. “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY” (1976)

Björn got his start in the squeaky-clean Swedish folk group called the Hootenanny Singers. “The worst name any group has ever had,” he once said. “It’s just so ugly, possibly beaten only by ABBA.” In “Money, Money, Money,” you can really hear that central European schlager sing-along sound that made ABBA so alien and exotic to American ears. But even when they’re cheesing it up schlager-style, they’re characteristically cold-eyed about the lust for loot, chanting, “It’s a rich man’s world.” A fitting topic for the highest-grossing Swedish export this side of Volvo — cash rules everything around Mamma Mia.


Traditionally, the final song recorded by a great pop group tends to be a dud—think of the Beatles’ “I Me Mine” or the Smiths’ “I Keep Mine Hidden.” But ABBA’s last moment in the studio together is a bizarro darkwave gem. Agnetha narrates the minute-by-minute banality of a day in the life of an Swedish office worker who watches Dallas and reads feminist novels. (“The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style.”) She has no idea her humdrum life is about to change. For better? For worse? We never find out. “The Day Before You Came” sounds uncannily like Depeche Mode circa Violator — it could be a rough draft for “Policy of Truth” or “World In Your Eyes.” Agnetha recorded her vocals in the studio with the lights out — and then, having finished the track, she slipped out the exit. Perfect.

  1. “TIGER” (1976)

Some of the finest ABBA tunes are the rockers where Agnetha and Anni-Frid warn innocent bystanders about the ferocious power of their sex drive. (See also “Rock Me” or “Bang-a-Boomerang.”) In “Tiger,” they’re a pair of rampaging feline man-eaters, prowling through the concrete jungle of Stockholm on the hunt for fresh blood. “If I meet you/What if I eat you/I am the tiiiigerrrrr!” It ends with a bang, too — those hair-raising screams.


What an opening line: “I’m nothing special — in fact, I’m a bit of a bore.” ABBA sum up their philosophy with their most sincere love song — a ballad pledging their devotion to music itself, the one lover who never let them down. If you compare “Thank You For The Music” to Rush’s “The Spirit of Radio,” you may note some intriguing affinities between these two seemingly opposite bands. Were Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid the Swedish Rush? Or were Geddy, Neal and Alex the Canadian ABBA?

  1. “FERNANDO” (1976)

Can you hear the drums, Fernando? This smash was one of their hugest ballads, the tale of guerrilla comrades strumming guitars around the campfire under the stars, fighting a revolution in a country somewhere along the Swedish/Mexican border. In Mamma Mia 2, Andy Garcia plays a guy named Fernando just to give Cher an excuse to belt this one — as if she needed one. Before ABBA’s version, Anna-Frid originally sang “Fernando” on her 1975 solo album, which also had her Swedish-language versions of the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” and Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”

  1. “DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW?” (1979)

The Björn-core blast “Does Your Mother Know?” is that rarity of rarities: a Seventies song about turning down a groupie because she’s too young. Talk about being out of step with the times. (This was a radio hit around the same time as Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs,” Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded,” Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City,” and several thousand other morally unacceptable hits with “hot” in the title.) All over Sweden, every village has at least one sixty-something grandma who still swears she was the temptress who inspired Björn to ask, “Does your mother know that you’re out?”

  1. “WATERLOO” (1974)

When they began, ABBA were a folkie foursome exactly as promising as any other Swedish group, i.e. not at all. Until this blatant Bowie tribute became their homeland’s 1974 entry in the annual cheese-fest known as the Eurovision Song Contest. “Waterloo” not only won the prize, it won ABBA global fame — it became their first American hit, crashing the Top Ten. These kids were still a little out of their fjord when it came to singing in English (“The heeeestory booook on the shelf/Is always repeating itself”) but that just added to the charm. They performed on the fifth episode of a new American TV show called Saturday Night Live, lip-syncing “Waterloo” on board the Titanic.

  1. “TAKE A CHANCE ON ME” (1977)

Many a pair of old-school stereo headphones got blown out by kids zooming in on that 20-second intro, an a cappella rush of intricately layered boy/girl vocals. “Take a Chance on Me” is a burbling invitation with some of Agnetha’s sultriest pleading. Especially when she whispers, “Come on, gimme a break, will you?” “Take a Chance on Me” sums up their technocratic precision in every detail. Erasure scored a hit with their brilliant version from their 1992 hit ABBA-esque, a turning point for the huge Abba revival of the Nineties.


The break-up ballad to end all break-up ballads, and a solo showcase for Agnetha, who torches it up over the weepy piano. “The Winner Takes It All” is a show-stopper in the original Mamma Mia movie, yet it also has a poignant moment in another film: The Trip, where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are two middle-aged English twits driving down the highway, crooning the lyrics to each other, trying to figure out how their youthful dreams got so defeated. Proof that there’s an ABBA song to go with every emotional crisis.

  1. “THE VISITORS” (1981)

ABBA kept getting weirder, spookier, and more nihilistic with every record, right up to this lost classic of Eighties creep-wave synth-pop paranoia. “The Visitors” is six minutes of frigid-pink electro-jitters: the girls sing about being trapped in a haunted house (“These walls have witnessed all the anguish of humiliation”) and chant “cracking up!” over the robot beats. “The Visitors” was never a big hit, and didn’t make the soundtrack of either movie, but it’s proof ABBA kept experimenting to the end.

  1. “HEY, HEY HELEN” (1975)

A glam-rock anthem for the divorced moms in the house—not a demographic that got much love on the radio before ABBA showed up. “Hey, Hey Helen” is one of the earliest pop tunes to catch up with the 1970s feminist explosion (“The price you paid/To become a woman of today”). Anni-Frid and Agnetha explode out of their bell-bottoms as they cheer on Helen in her quest. If you ever doubt ABBA’s rock power, note how this riff was heavy enough for Kiss to swipe for “Calling Dr. Love.” (What can it mean that Björn and Benny’s most explicit feminist song got jacked by Gene Simmons? It might just mean Gene had good taste, since he’s a shameless ABBA freak.) “Hey, Hey Helen” was a shocking omission from the first Mamma Mia—but damn, it’s definitely the best ABBA song to get left out of both of them. Let’s hope they’re saving it for a full-on Cher/Meryl/Baranski blowout in Mamma Mia 3: If I Could Turn Back Time.

  1. “MAMMA MIA” (1975)

Björn and Benny, masters of the xylophone power move. “Mamma Mia” shows off their genius for packing so many sonic twists and turns into one song — it’s a greatest-hits album in three and a half minutes, a lovesick rave that leaves you exhausted and dizzy and fiending for more. “Mamma Mia” sounded too foreign for U.S. radio at the time — too Euro, too hyper. It barely cracked the Top 40, a surprise considering how it looms so large in their legend now. But it was truly avant-garde pop. If you drop the needle anywhere on David Bowie’s Low or Heroes, it’s obvious the Thin White Duke was just another fan who couldn’t get this one damn song out of his head.

  1. “SOS” (1975)

Play this back to back with anything by Joy Division or the early Cure and you can hear how goth ABBA were. “SOS” defines the high-gloss Nordic melancholy that made them so influential for the new wave and postpunk artists who followed, as those lonely piano notes build up into an overload of synth bombast. (Trivial geek detail: It’s also the only chart hit in history where both the song title and the performer are palindromes.) “ABBA was one of the first big, international bands to actually deal with sort of middle-aged problems in their songwriting,” unlikely fan Pete Townshend confessed to Rolling Stone in a 1982 cover story. “I remember hearing ‘SOS’ on the radio in the States and realizing that it was ABBA. But it was too late, because I was already transported by it.”

  1. “THE NAME OF THE GAME” (1977)

Having tried everything else a time or two, ABBA made their big prog statement on the 1977 opus that they modestly titled The Album. The result: “The Name of the Game,” an over-the-topic epic with flugelhorns, church organ, and a spooky goblin choir whispering “doo-doo-doo.” But like so many of their songs, it’s the tale of a shy girl working up the nerve to strut with a little more confidence. It also has their most proto-Taylor Swift lyric — this “bashful child” spends the whole song obsessively brooding over a crush object she’s met exactly twice. When the the ladies hit the payoff — “I wanna know! Oh yes, I wanna know! The name of the game!” — it’s ABBA at their most open-hearted.


Skintight Lycra pantsuits and tragic heartbreak: the ultimate ABBA combination. Like Carole King on Tapestry or Fleetwood Mac on Rumours, ABBA layer their lush 1970s harmonies to kiss off a broken marriage. Agnetha and Anni-Frid walk through an empty house full of memories, saying goodbye to the rooms where their kids used to play. “Knowing Me, Knowing You” leaps from hushed silence to mega-tingle melodrama in the chorus — that “aaah-haaaaa” clinches it. The climax: that turn-around at the three-minute point, the sound of a woman pausing to take one last look at that house, then spinning on her heel to get the hell out before she changes her mind.

  1. “DANCING QUEEN” (1976)

Sometimes a band’s most famous song is also their best. Since ABBA were the poppermost of pop stars, making music that belonged to absolutely everybody, it makes poetic sense their most brilliant moment is also their most universally beloved. “Dancing Queen” is a mirror-ball anthem for every dreamer who’s a disco goddess in her mind, even if everybody else in town just sees a gawky kid on the dance floor. Oh, the way the ladies’ voices burst with joy as they hit the line “tambourine…oh YEEEAAAH!” (Nobody will ever caress the word “tambourine” like Agnetha and Anni-Frid.) That opening piano swirl can trigger a pheromone rush in any human who knows what it means to (1) dance (2) jive, and/or (3) have the time of their life, on a floor where girls run the world and boys are just disposable props. (“Anybody could be that guy” — such an on-brand ABBA burn.) See that girl. Watch that scene. Digging the dancing queen, forever.