In the early international adventures of ABBA, even their sensational success with the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest winner “Waterloo” was no guarantee of immediate chart momentum. In the UK, that No.1 smash was followed by a modest No.32 peak for “Ring Ring,” a reissue of the single that had given the quartet their first big hit in a number of European countries before they met their “Waterloo.” Then came “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do.”
In Australia, which was and remained one of the group’s most receptive markets, the song with its rolling, schlager-inspired feel and big saxophone sound went all the way to No.1. Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and ABBA’s manager Stig Anderson, it turned out to be a single with a varied chart history around the world.
In the UK, it was released as a single by Epic in the summer of 1975, entering the chart at a mere No.50. On August 2, it reached its highest position by spending its only week in the Top 40, at No.38. But within a month, the record company swiftly glossed over that release by issuing “SOS,” which raced to No.6 and began ABBA’s incredible run of British success in earnest.
Meanwhile in America, where the Top 10 reception for “Waterloo” was followed by a No.27 peak for “Honey, Honey,” ABBA would also get their next sizeable hit with “SOS,” as it climbed to No.15. “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” was chosen by the group’s American label, Atlantic, as the follow-up, to good effect. Backed there by the B-side “Bang-A-Boomerang” (as opposed to “Rock Me,” chosen for other countries), it reached the same position as “SOS.”
The lyric of the song guaranteed it a certain status as a wedding classic, and not just in real life but on the big screen. It was featured in the 1994 box office winner Muriel’s Wedding, at the point where Muriel gets married. It was no coincidence that the film was made in Australia — the country that said “I Do” the loudest.
Buy or stream “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” on the ABBA album.