1976 - The point of no return | 6 January 2006

30 years ago, early 1976, ABBA meant absolutely nothing to me. I was 13 years old and pop music simply hadn't entered my life at all.

It just did not exist, until my English teacher played rock'n roll in the classroom. The guy was in his early twenties and obviously loved music from the sixties. He frequently played rock albums in the class room and his favourites were The Beatles, who impressed me a lot. So I bought my very first pop music LPs: the red and blue double albums by The Beatles. And I played them all the time. Loved them to death actually. And still do.

At some point in 1976 my two year younger sister owned the Dutch version of The best of ABBA. She played the LP often enough and I too liked the music. Not as much as I liked my Beatles albums, but nevertheless it was quite good and very popular music.

Around the same time I found out that my cousins had a double LP with ABBA songs. I believe it was the golden double album from France. And that kinda sparked the ABBA flame a little bit. There were very interesting songs on the album. I remember vividly that My Mama Said was very catchy. That's when the ABBA flame started burning, but it was still very low profile.

Then all of a sudden there was Dancing Queen. And I was gobsmacked. My interest in pop music had already started to grow when this record simply blew me away. It was so good, so fresh, so intense, so energetic. An unbelievable experience that I have never witnessed since.

This was THE ultimate record to have. And the Dutch 7" version would become my very first ABBA record. And as soon as Arrival hit the shops I bought the album with the fascinating helicopter cover. And I just loved it. It simply never left the turntable. Then Money, money, money became a very big hit. And when ABBA appeared in Holland's most famous TV game show "Een van de acht" (translation: "One of Eight") I knew ABBA was never to leave my heart. Who wouldn't fell in love with that music?

So the golden 1976 marked the beginning of my ABBA fandom. Hard to believe that it is 30 years ago. A very remarkable year: the point of no return.

picture belonging to column 1976 - The point of no return

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1976 - The point of no return
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