June 15, 2009

Feelin' like I'm number one

The Summer of Fun continue with Week 2 of nostalgic 80s music. This week, my theme is Europop: notable tunes from continental Europe rather than the British Isles. So there shall be no Duran Duran, Phil Collins, or U2 this week - and no guarantee that it will even be in English.

The Swedish pop group ABBA squeaks into the 80s category, just barely, thanks to their blockbuster album Super Trouper, released in 1980s. The title track was the second single (after "The Winner Takes It All") and was ABBA's final #1 single, though "Lay All Your Love on Me" would top the dance charts the next year. No embedding this time, so you'll have to click through:

A "Super Trouper," incidentally, is a brand of spotlight. Although upbeat, this song is a bittersweet tune about being lonely despite performing in an arena filled with thousands of people.

I actually grew up listening to the earlier ABBA of the late 70s, at the peak of their popularity, and never heard this song until years later. Nonetheless, it represents everything that made ABBA good: slick production, great vocals and harmonies, and clever use of synthesizers. It's pop perfection.