I know it is en vogue to bash Mamma Mia, but where's the harm in some silly fun? That said, we both thoroughly agree that there is much more to the works of Benny, Bjorn, Anni-Frid (Frida) and Agnetha than the deceptively bouncy pop of their biggest hits. But most of their frothy pop hits have a darker, deeper undercurrent to them, and their music, particularly their later efforts, is also much more complex than meets the ear. There are a few other things we agreed about:
- Most importantly, I guess, we both think there is potential for another musical, this one more serious, perhaps mysterious, using songs from the ABBA catalog. And without using even one from Mamma Mia!
- Their album, Voulez-Vous, while a lot of fun to listen and dance to, is probably their least accomplished.
- Their final album, The Visitors, is their best, most complex work, and all by itself might work as a musical.
- One of their final songs, "The Day Before You Came," is a brilliant marriage of lyrics and music, a simple tune, orchestrated to enhance the mysterious nature of the lyrics. In the best musical theatre tradition, this song works on so many levels. Don't believe me? Check out the entire Wikipedia article devoted to just that song HERE. As a result, it is one of the songs we both agreed should be in a new ABBA musical.