ABBA - Dancing Queen

Published November 30, 2012


Dancing Queen isn’t just ABBA’s most famous song – it’s also widely acknowledged as one of the best pop singles ever made. A classic recording from 1976 that still, more than three decades after it was first released, sends people out on the dance floors the world over. Dancing Queen was a number one single in the United States and topped the charts in innumerable countries – it’s almost easier to mention the nations where it didn’t top the charts.

In this film we visit the “Dancing Queen Studio” to hear the story of the creation of ABBA’s most popular song and its importance in ABBA’s success story. The conception of Dancing Queen is multifaceted and intriguing. ABBA mixed influences from American music with their own Swedish and European roots to create something unique. The group spent hours upon hours in the studio, making their songs as powerful as possible.

”ABBA’s Greatest Tour” is a parallel and equally prominent theme in the film. Here we explore the group’s amazing popularity as exemplified by the Australian Abbamania – the biggest and most forceful manifestation of the group’s global popularity. ABBA were the subjects of an explosive interest in Australia before they had even visited the country. As they descended on Australian soil to undertake a sold-out arena tour, their presence was an event of national concern. This story is told by the people who were there to share and witness first-hand ABBA’s amazing experience “down under”: tour guitarist Lasse Wellander, wardrobe supervisor Ingmarie Halling, tour promoter Paul Dainty, promotions manager Annie Wright, tour publicist Patti Mostyn, fellow rock star Alice Cooper, ABBA – The Movie actor Tom Oliver, director of the movie, Lasse Hallström, and many others.

The “Dancing Queen Studio” and “ABBA’s Greatest Tour” stories are both told with the aid of rarely seen archive material and through new interviews. The fascinating background story about ‘Dancing Queen’ is told by the group’s session musicians, including drummer Roger Palm, bassist Mike Watson, and guitarist Lasse Wellander, and legendary New Orleans artist Dr John, whose music had a rhythmical influence on the recording. In the recording studio, musicians Roger Palm and Mike Watson grab their instruments to show us how the arrangement for Dancing Queen was constructed, and we also get to see and hear the song being performed by ABBA in many different versions and contexts – from the first backing track to the live performance in front of a rapturous audience.

Meanwhile, the behind-the-scenes tale of the Australian madness comes alive through archive material, some of which has never been seen since the Seventies, and brand new interviews with several members of the group’s tour entourage, who share untold and long-forgotten stories. In this film, Dancing Queen – their crowning achievement – is our starting point for the tale of the group’s success story and their greatest tour. The film is filled with ABBA music from start to finish.