Dancing Queen

I remember walking home in a late summer sundown through the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam as a ten-year old kid, repeating that great end-bit with the violin in my head. I thought it was so brilliant, to put that in (what was meant to be) the fade-out of the song. Other pop-songs did not have this. Must have played it on the piano as well. And to be honest, 30 years later, I still can’t get annoyed by this track. Always brings me back to the seventies. Really hammers me home. Pure genius;

The original video by Lasse Hallström, recorded somewhere just outside Stockholm (refurbished for FlashVideo on dailymotion – by me). Note the retro piano at the start. And check the worn-out wood and crappy wiring just above the podium. Nothing artificial here. They don’t do it like that anymore, not even in the low-budget music-videos of today.

“Dancing Queen” was initially called “Boogaloo” when ABBA started recording it in April, 1975.
(The late) Producer Stig Erik Leopold Anderson wrote the lyrics for (and about) his then 17 year old daughter Marie. Björn Ulvaeus also worked on the lyrics later on to adapt them to the arrangements. Benny Andersson and Björn were inspired by the rhythm track of George McCrae’s Rock Your Baby, and recording engineer Bo Michael Tretow and session drummer Roger Palm were very fond of the drumming on Dr. John’s 1972 “Gumbo” album and borrowed some ideas from that. Björn added original effects by feeding electric guitars through a tape-recorder for a special echo-sound.
When Frida heard the first version of the backing track she was so touched by its beauty that she literally cried. Vocals by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were recorded from August to October 1975, and the track got its final mix just before Christmas 1975.

The single release entered at the Nr. 9 position in the Dutch Top 40 on August 13 1976, went to Number 1 of the charts to stay there for 5 weeks (an extraordinary long time for a single back then). It was in that chart for 16 weeks in total..

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