I've featured more than my fair share of Swedish music on this blog over the years, but none will ever quite match the majesty of that generated by original Swedish superstars ABBA - of course it won't. Tonight I've been rewatching 1977's ABBA: The Movie in its entirety and even now I'm taken aback by quite how brilliant the songs are; even the "plain" old album tracks. Amazing to think that the band's chart career wasn't even at its halfway point by this stage either, so there were still shedloads of classic hits the guys hadn't yet got around to writing.
Actually, the film was probably shot at the perfect time in terms of capturing the band at their happiest and at the zenith of their powers, before an inevitable jadedness crept in and inter-band relationships became strained or fell apart completely. That's not to suggest for a second that the quality of the music lessened as the years went on, as the latter, more introspective songs were every bit as strong as the ones featured here.
But watching the movie you do get a real reminder - if any any were needed - of just how huge this band were at the time and how much they meant to people, as they tour round the major cities of Australia to general adulation and frenzied excitement, belting out the hits with real gusto; it really is a joy to behold. And blimey, could those girls hold a tune.
There's even a paper-thin plot tacked on, as a Tommy Vance-lookalike radio DJ is tasked by his station manager with securing an exclusive interview with the band and thus spends the whole film chasing them around mostly in vain - with vaguely hilarious consequences. Oh, and there's also a variety of roles for Lou Carpenter from Neighbours and lots of gratuitous shots of Agnetha's rear of the year. What more could you ask for?!
The movie is, somewhat improbably, available to stream in its entirety, completely gratis, online - so why not set aside 95 minutes and take a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane.
Heathland - In recent weeks a constant trickle of jazz albums have been appearing in one of the chazzas local to me. If this carries on much longer I will start referrin...
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