Christmas of 1980 was a good one.
No T.V. Dinner turkey. (I’ll save that one for another day)
The sisters had moved out of the house, so I had all the presents for myself! I got the usual Beano annual, assorted chocolates etc. But the one thing I got that I still love to this day is the ABBA greatest hits Vol 2.
Before I ramble on about ABBA let me just mention another record I got that year. Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry was not meant to be a Christmas song. That’s just the way it turned out. I think it was the Christmas bells and tubas playing that gave that impression, oh and the line “Wish I was at home for Christmas.”
It was meant to be a protest song against war, but everyone just remembers it as a great song that was held off the number one spot by a School Choir and the sympathy for John Lennon after he got shot on December 8th, Way to ruin my Birthday Mark David Chapman.
So back to ABBA, Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid formed the Swedish mega group. Or was it Alfred, Betty, Boris and Angela as Alexi Sayle called them in the Young Ones.
ABBA ruled the 70s and early 80s and I loved the melodic wonderfully catchy tunes, and I still do. My love of ABBA ditties has never gone away. So when the ABBA revival kicked off recently I was all ears. The revival being of course the stage musical Mamma Mia and the same titled movie. The Stage show I haven’t seen but the movie is great.
But hold up!
Wait right there!
Mamma Mia wasn’t where the revival started folks, and if you think it did the you are wrong so ner, ner, ne, ner, ner!
The Revival started with the brilliant 1994 Australian smash hit Muriel’s Wedding starring Toni Collette. If you have never seen this film it is one that you need to own, not just rent, or borrow. If you rent it you probably wont want to give it back anyway. The story of Muriel is one of the ugly duckling who tries her hardest to escape the drudgery of her life and to one day have that big white wedding. Muriel, when depressed has a habit of listening to ABBA tunes. I do have to say there is actually one of my favorite songs of all time in this movie, and it is not an ABBA song. It’s a type of song that I call an “Oh cool,” song. I have a list of “Oh cool,” songs that I shall have to blog about at some time. Why is it called an “Oh cool” song? It’s because when it comes on the radio you say “Oh Cool,” and turn the radio up as loud as it will go. One of those songs is Sugar Baby Love by the Rubettes. I’ve always loved the start of this song, a great opening to a tune, which only comes second to Cars by Gary Numan by a hair!
Muriel’s wedding is one of my go to movies whenever I’ve got nothing to watch or there is nothing on T.V. Theres a couple of other things I go to. Almost Famous, The Princess Bride and Lilo and Stitch. All classic movies.
Mamma Mia is by no means a classic, it does however have some great songs. What removes it from classic status is that it has Julie Walters in it, who played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. It’s not the Harry Potter role that holds the movie back. It is that I remember Julie Walters from the old Victoria Wood T.V. show where she played a character called Mrs Overall. And whenever I see her on the screen that’s who I think of.
I’ve been getting a lot of grief lately from the Wifey that I like ABBA songs. So what if I have an ABBA station on my Pandora account. So what if I have a fondness for show tunes. Don’t read anything in to it.
If you don’t love ABBA songs there has to be something wrong with you. How can you not dig the Dancing Queen.