By Chuck Klosterman
Originally accumulated in Eating the Dinosaur and now on hand either as a stand-alone essay and within the publication assortment Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is ready ABBA.
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Extra resources for ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
The fifth is that ABBA is probably the biggest group I can think of that nobody ever talks about seeing live. ) I could go on and on with this list. But why? The reunion didn’t happen, and it won’t happen. Unlike just about every other act from their era, ABBA doesn’t need the money or want the attention (or want the money and need the attention). They don’t have to worry about the future of their music, because other people will make sure it never disappears. It doesn’t matter if the critical consensus surrounding their import changes, because no one who likes ABBA Music cares if it’s supposed to be good or bad.
This story was evidently written to convince me and all my eight-year-old friends to continue playing kickball instead of frequenting discothèques. Along with the article was a photograph of four people with comical pants and uncommitted expressions. They were described as “The Disco Group ABBA”: They were beards and teeth and natural breasts and whiteness. I suppose my feelings about them would be best described as “mixed,” inasmuch as I wasn’t sure if they made me bored or hungry for cookies.
The core complaint (from the most predictable sources) was that ABBA records sounded like collections of commercial jingles. In retrospect, this criticism is as misdirected as it is uninspired: By erroneously tying “Waterloo” to advertising, it somehow implied that ABBA were capitalist stooges who wanted to sell something beyond the music itself (in truth, it was the TV commercials who wanted to affect people as easily as ABBA, not the other way around). Much like the Carpenters, ABBA became representative of a musical aesthetic so distant from the edge of rock that clever people weren’t even willing to expend energy hating them.
ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman