Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dancing Queen, ABBA (1976)

Note to the reader: Today's post is by 20-something Ali. She and 50-something Estivator are sisters under the skin who work together in the public relations field.

I recently had a musically stimulating conversation with Estivator; it went something like this:

Me (in my office, dancing in my chair and singing loudly while working)

Estivator (walking by): What on earth are you listening to?

Me: The Mamma Mia! soundtrack ... Don't you just love ABBA? You should cover it in your blog!

Estivator: Um, no. I don't think it fits within the time frame I write about.

Me (searching Google furiously): Oh, but it does!! It was released in 1976 ... so now will you cover it?

Estivator: I don't like ABBA. Well, except for Dancing Queen. I love Dancing Queen!

However, Estivator remained unenthusiastic about writing about Dancing Queen. She suggested I take on the daunting task of being her first guest blogger.

Although I wasn't alive when Dancing Queen was released, it doesn't matter. It takes me right back to the night I turned 17 and was celebrating my birthday on a cruise in the Caribbean for Spring Break. A friend on the cruise sang the sweet "she's only 17" lyrics to me as I twirled around on the dance floor "having the time of my life." I love the song for the role it played in creating that memory, and I love that every other person who hears it most likely has a similar memory of dancing and twirling around a dance floor in their youth.

Featuring the shared lead vocals of Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad and an awesome keyboard glissando, the first 40 seconds of Dancing Queen (that I'm sure are in your head right now) are said to make up one of the most identifiable sections in pop music history. ABBA had already released three albums and was well-known in Europe when the song hit the big time internationally.

But don't just take my word about how amazing Dancing Queen is; Rolling Stone gave it a #171 ranking on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Does that make you feel better, Estivator?

So get singing and dancing and having the time of your life. You know you want to.

11 comments:

Ali said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to be your first guest blogger Estivator! I had a great time writing this post and hope your readers enjoy it too.

Anonymous said...

Dancing Queen is in myhead right now!

cornbread hell said...

so that's who abba is...thanks, guest blogger.

now if i could just get this lyric-fart out of my head...dancin' queen, dancin' queen dancin' queen

Joel Libava said...

Al,
I just cannot do it. I am so sorry. But a dude my age, gets extreme vomitus feelings when the song is played. In my case, 4 seconds in. Nice job on the article, though.
No ABBA for this Cleveland Rock N Roller!
Joel Libava
The Franchise King Blog

KO said...

Good job guest blogger.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic job! As a fellow 20 something I also appreciate the fanciful lyrics of ABBA although this song usually reminds me of men dancing in drag shows instead of teenagers twirling around the dance floor of a cruise ship. Job well done!

clev_audiophile said...

Buried not so deep, somewhere just below the surface of our beloved internets hides a photograph of me dressed as Benny Andersson. Your post is much appreciated.

Tack så mycket för eder blog.

Just J said...

Guest blogger, did you choose Dancing Queen to write about because it's John McCain's favorite song? Don't believe me, check this.

http://www.prefixmag.com/news/obama-mccain-favorite-songs/20680/

wendy said...

Guest blogger knew that factoid, alright, and included it in her write-up but I had to edit it out. I just couldn't permit the reference in my blog. ;)

ali said...

Just J, the estivator does not lie...she edited it out and we had a lengthy conversation about it...but thanks!

Allison M. said...

I saw Mama Mia when it was in Cleveland. I was never really into ABBA. However, I definitely played the soundtrack for days after while working.