Sunday, February 02, 2014

Joy of ABBA reveals songwriting, recording legacy

"THE JOY OF ABBA" does more than trace the ascent of AGNETHA FÄLTSKOG, BJÖRN ULVAEUS, BENNY ANDERSSON and ANNI-FRID LYNGSTAD as pop superstars.
The BBC Four documentary also chronicles how the Swedish pop combo ABBA overcame critical scorn to create a songwriting and recording legacy that even influenced punk iconoclasts such as the Sex Pistols.
I watched last night and laughed at footage of scathing critical reviews of ABBA that degraded their efforts as "easy" music to make. Perhaps it wasn't appreciated at the time (except by the musicians ABBA influenced), but the band produced from 1974-82 are towering, majestic examples of perfect song construction.
"The Joy of ABBA" does a fine job of bringing ABBA's true worth to light, as musicians, producers and journalists gush about the impeccable songbook.
My only gripe about the fine documentary is that Ulvaeus is the only member interviewed. In a quartet where personal relationships -- and their deterioration -- played such a leading role in song material, it would have been nice to hear from more of the principal agents.

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