My, my, at Waterloo | 10 April 2014
The fortieth anniversary of ABBA winning the Eurovision Contest is something nobody will have missed. Waterloo is in the limelight again. A perfect time to listen to the original album.
The first few notes of the Waterloo album make sure that people turn up the volume and start listening: it's the kind of song that does that. Surprisingly the singing doesn't start with "My, my, at Waterloo" but with "Jo, jo i Waterloo". Fortunately for us non Swedes this will be corrected in the final song of the album.
Sitting In The Palmtree is a bit of a throw away song. But after the power of the opening track it gives you an insight to the number of different styles that are about to come. Although this particular track is one of the lesser tracks. Song number three of the album however is one of my favourite ABBA songs: the King Kong Song is a truly fabulous masterpiece. I love it.
A completely different kind of song is Hasta Mañana. To me it's a bit too much "schlager" and I usually skip the track. Next is My Mama Said which is a happy song with a magnificent catchy bass line. And very nicely sung too. You hear ABBA in its purest form.
Dance with its sub title While The Music Still Goes On is track number five and a great closer to the A side of the record (yes, I'm from the vinyl age).
Side B kicks off with the sugarlike Honey, Honey. That is by far ABBA's most innocent song and it's one of the fans favourites. For my liking it's a bit too sweet, because I prefer the up tempo and rockier tracks.
And then there is Watch Out, definitely the loudest ABBA recording ever made. And I think it is absolutely marvelous. A simple yet perfect glam rock track. Just listen to Agnetha and Frida's back ground vocals (Oh la la la la). Such a clever idea and so well performed.
What About Livingstone is a completely different track by being a seemingly simple pop song. It's very straightforward which makes a perfect fit for this album. It's not the best song of the LP, but it certainly isn't the weakest one either.
One of ABBA's finest ballads is Gonna Sing You My Lovesong. It's one of those songs that make you want to sing along. Well, if you can sing of course, which sadly I cannot.
The album sort of slowly dies with Suzy-Hang-Around. It is one of ABBA's less fortunate recordings. If this would have been the final track on the disc, it would have made the record fade away. But then the English version of Waterloo kicks in as a brilliant album closer. So it starts great and it ends great.
The verdict: Waterloo is a nice album. You can already hear the basic setup of the supergroup. After the quite weak Riung Ring album, Waterloo has much more to offer. There Are a few great songs, but there are still too many kind of OK tracks to make it a great record. Fortunately we now know that the best was yet to come.
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