Abbamania - it's a permanent condition

Published May 25, 2018

I will never forget, back in 1993, when I was writing the original edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions ( I was about three-quarters through the writing when someone said to me, "You'd better hurry up and get that book out before the Abbamania dies down". The implication was that the renewed interest in ABBA was a temporary fad that would die away soon enough. I remember thinking, "Well, we'll see about that".

Twenty-five years later it's clear that interest in ABBA is unlikely to diminish significantly during my lifetime. They've become a permanent fixture in modern-day culture, a reference that everyone can relate to whether they like them or not. There's always something ABBA-related going on: this year, for instance, it's mainly the anticipation surrounding the new songs and the upcoming digital avatar project, as well as the movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

From time to time, I get asked in interviews why there's still so much interest in ABBA four decades after their heyday, as if there must be some great mystery attached to it. These days, my answer is usually: "Because they were good." I'm sure there are sociological aspects as well, and nostalgia will play a part, of course, but at the end of they day it will boil down to the music being so well-made. And with strong tunes - and I mean really strong, attractive tunes - not being provided in abundance in today's popular music landscape, we have to go back to acts like ABBA to get them. Because mankind's desire for hummable tunes has not diminished. That's the main lesson to be learned from ABBA's continued popularity.

So how did they go about creating those wonderful songs? Well, you may find out in ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions, which you can order here:


Abbamania, previously an expression reserved for Australian fan worship, is now everywhere.