Why ABBA Loved August

August 9, 2017

ABBA’s singles did well whatever time of year they were released, but the Swedish superstars thrived in summer, and 9 August is an especially successful day in their history. On that date in 1980, they achieved the eighth of their nine UK No. 1s with ‘The Winner Takes It All,’ and exactly five years before that, the group entered the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘SOS.’

‘The Winner Takes It All’ was widely hailed by fans as the release that took ABBA to new heights of pop sophistication. It was also perhaps the most poignant lyric ever written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, as it described the disintegration of a relationship not only as Björn and Agnetha’s marriage reached its end, but with Benny and Frida now having problems of their own.

Abba-Super-TrouperThis first single from the new ‘Super Trouper’ album featured an impassioned lead vocal by Agnetha, who had to perform to camera for the video just ten days after her divorce from Björn became final. Whether their millions of admirers were aware of that or not, they loved the single. It debuted on the British chart at No. 9 before starting its two-week run at the top. In November, when the Super Trouper album arrived, that spent a majestic nine weeks at the UK summit.

Back in 1975, ABBA were chiefly known in America, as in many countries, for their Eurovision winner of the year before, ‘Waterloo.’ Only ‘Honey Honey’ had charted since, and that peaked at No. 27. But ‘SOS’ won significant airplay support from American radio stations and debuted on the Hot 100 several weeks before it charted in some other territories, albeit at a modest No. 89.

A week later, things didn’t look good. The song lost its “bullet,” the Billboard symbol that denoted a strong increase in weekly sales, as it struggled to No. 84. Sure enough, a week later, it was gone from the top 100. Then something remarkable and unusual happened. ‘SOS’ re-entered the countdown on September 6 at an even more tentative No. 99, before climbing ten places. Then it again looked doomed, when it lost its bullet a second time, inching to No. 86.

ABBA SOS

But somehow, the single kept going, radio stations kept adding it to their playlists and record buyers responded. It regained its momentum with a jump to No. 76 and then really took off, vaulting to No. 53, 40, 24 and on into the top 20. ‘SOS’ peaked at No. 15 in the States that November.

Purchase ‘The Winner Takes It All’ on the Super Trouper album.

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8 comments

  1. George McManus
    Reply

    ABBA was the greates band ever, There will never be another Agnetha, I still watch her videos today. Beautiful, sexy, and boy could she sing. No ABBA without Agnetha. I love you ANNA.

  2. Eva Lucakova
    Reply

    Personal problems be very sadly. It’s hard to overcome. Media reminds them,no treat yourself to peace and benefit from sadness to Agnetha & Frida and Bjorn & Benny. Media do more large Sadness and enjoy its business and money at the expense of ABBA. Sadness while singing and in the eyes of Agnetha I perceive and see. It was hard. ABBA still be under stress and pressure, success took time for love.
    ‘The Winner Takes It All’ song says everything that has been seen in the eyes of Agnetha a long time.
    It is amazing what you’ve accomplished.
    You’re the only ABBA, you are the original. You’ve overcome everything good and bad. You gave us the unforgettable music, your beauty and sound, it is our gift from you.

    Original ABBA is unsurpassed. Nor concerto where imitate ABBA, it does not give me anything, because ABBA is only one and it’s you.
    I love you to see and I want vas only original. Agnetha is my idol, you Frida energy. Both to be beautiful forever and Agnetha & Frida’s voice is guarantee a wonderful originality .Two ladies to be beautiful forever, a great artist Benny and Bjorn together – only original big ABBA. . Thank you for the music. I love you. I wish you health and energy.

  3. Hans Georg Kraus
    Reply

    Until end of September I’ll send you a novelty that can and will be a precious support for your glorious return, and that will introduce you all to a new mission worldwide even in the lost places on earth.
    I was always thinking why your and ABBA music’s always stay modern inspite of their age and are commonly used to give a motivation to the people when a party becomes monotonous .. what’s your secret?
    The best wishes for you , Anni Frid, Bennie and Björn
    Hans.

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