Posts Tagged ‘Happy new year’

Happy New Year for number one

28 December, 2011

British fans are campaigning to get ABBA’s ‘Happy New Year’ as the number one single in the UK for New Year’s Day 2012. Join the Facebook group to show your support and for more information. If you’re in the UK and want to help go to any legal music download site by December 31st and download ‘Happy New Year’


Happy New Year’s vision of the future

30 May, 2011

‘Happy New Year’ is a song that frustrates many ABBA fans. They want to play it at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but feel that the third verse statement “what lies waiting down the line/in the end of Eighty-Nine” dates the song and spoils the sentiment.

However ABBA’s ‘Happy New Year’ isn’t a song that was made to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Rather it is a relfection typical of the new year period on what’s happened in the past and what’s coming in the future.

What’s astounding about the song is how prescient it was in making the reference to what was waiting at down the line.  In 1980, when ‘Happy New Year’ was composed and recorded, the Cold War between east and west was raging, symbolised when many countries boycotted the Olympic Games in Moscow. The Islamic Revolution in Iran a year earlier added to already high tensions in the Middle East. Polution was a growing concern.

Yet just ten years later, by the “end of Eighty-Nine” the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Cold War was effectively over. There was a general feeling that the world was becoming a better place. At least for a while.

ABBA and Christmas

23 December, 2009

ABBA never made a Christmas record. The four did sing a few impromptu Christmas songs, usually on radio broadcasts, and there were a few recorded spoken-word Christmas greetings released on giveaway flexidiscs.

Agnetha recorded a Christmas album with her daughter Linda, 1981’s Nu tändas tusen julejus (Now a thousand Christams candles are lit) . Benny’s pre-ABBA group The Hep Stars recorded an album Jul med Hep Stars (Christmas with Hep Stars) in 1967. Both Frida and Björn’s group Hootenanny Singers recorded songs for a Polar Music Christmas album, När juldagsmorgon glimmar (When Christmas morning shines), in 1972.

ABBA remained away from any songs that could be restricted to any seasonal event, with the one exception ‘Happy New Year’ (on Super Trouper, 1980), which is more a song of wistful reminiscence than a song to be played at midnight on New Year’s Eve (not that that stops many people from actually playing it then).

Personally I’m glad that ABBA never recorded a Christmas album. Most of them are too kitsch, too sugary, and most of them sound the same. Very few have anything to offer artistically. ABBA remained secular, without trying to appeal to a small niche market or disenfranchising any part of their audience.

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