Pete Townshend [heart] ABBA = true

Published October 08, 2015

No listening to alternate ABBA mixes this week, for various reasons, but instead I've got some writing done on the updated edition of ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions (

Today, as I was pieceing together something clever about the single release of 'SOS', I was reminded of how much The Who's Pete Townshend loves this song. I believe this was first revealed when Björn mentioned on BBC TV in 1999 that Pete had surprised him by coming up to him to tell him that 'SOS' was in fact the best pop song ever written. Since then Townshend has written about his love for the song on his blog and also been quoted in other media.

Obviously, it helps ABBA's critical reputation when a rock star of his standing gives them his seal of approval, but I think the real lesson learned here is something much more important. What we should take with us from the revelation that this rock'n'roll guitar hero likes ABBA is the fact that the real talents in pop and rock music, those who break new ground and create something that in one sense or another is unique, don't close their ears to any type of music, whether it's deemed uncool or not. They open their hearts and minds to whatever happens to come their way, and if they like it they don't resist it but just enjoy it on its own merits. And that's why someone like Pete Townshend - or Björn and Benny, for that matter - will always be a cut or two above those who worry too much about belonging to a clique and only seeking out "approved" influences when creating their music.