From ‘SOS’ To ‘The Winner Takes It All,’ Why ABBA Liked August

ABBA’s singles did properly no matter time of 12 months they had been launched, however the Swedish superstars thrived in summer season, and August 9 is an particularly profitable day of their historical past. On that date in 1980, they achieved the eighth of their 9 UK No.1s with “The Winner Takes It All,” and precisely 5 years earlier than that, the group entered the Billboard Sizzling 100 with “SOS.”

“The Winner Takes It All” was broadly hailed by followers as the discharge that took ABBA to new heights of pop sophistication. It was additionally maybe probably the most poignant lyric ever written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, because it described the disintegration of a relationship, not solely as Björn and Agnetha’s marriage reached its finish, however with Benny and Frida now having issues of their very own.

This primary single from the brand new Tremendous Trouper album featured an impassioned lead vocal by Agnetha, who needed to carry out to digicam for the video simply ten days after her divorce from Björn grew to become ultimate. Whether or not their thousands and thousands of admirers had been conscious of that or not, they cherished the only. “The Winner Takes It All” debuted on the British chart at No.9 earlier than beginning its two-week run on the prime. In November, when the Tremendous Trouper LP arrived, that spent an impressive 9 weeks on the UK summit.

Again in 1975, ABBA had been mainly identified in America, as in lots of nations, for his or her Eurovision winner of the 12 months earlier than, “Waterloo.” Solely “Honey Honey” had charted since, and that peaked at No.27. However “SOS” received vital airplay assist from American radio stations and debuted on the Sizzling 100 a number of weeks earlier than it charted in another territories, albeit at a modest No.89.

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Every week later, issues didn’t look good. The tune misplaced its “bullet,” the Billboard image that denoted a powerful enhance in weekly gross sales, because it struggled to No.84. Certain sufficient, per week later, it was gone from the Sizzling 100. Then one thing outstanding and weird occurred. “SOS” re-entered the countdown on September 6 at an much more tentative No.99, earlier than climbing ten locations. Then it once more seemed doomed, when it misplaced its bullet a second time, inching to No.86.

However one way or the other, the only stored going, radio stations stored including it to their playlists and file consumers responded. It regained its momentum with a leap to No.76 after which actually took off, vaulting to No.53, 40, 24 and on into the High 20. “SOS” peaked at No.15 within the States that November.

Purchase or stream “The Winner Takes It All” on the Super Trouper album.