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My ABBA Story

I first became acquainted with who ABBA were and some of their music after watching a half-hour "documentary" on Channel 7 that was basically an ad for ABBA Gold back in late 1994, when I was just 12 years old. I asked my Mum to buy the CD for me, which she did, and I'm sure she later regretted. Although I suppose she was just happy I liked reasonably "wholesome" music. :)

The only songs I liked in the beginning were Dancing Queen,Ring Ring, I dox5 and Waterloo, but I gradually became a lover of every song on that CD. So then I bought More ABBA Gold.

On that CD I only liked Summer Night City first of all, then gradually I became a fan of When I Kissed the Teacher and I Am the City and Head over Heels, and eventually all the songs of course.

My next purchase was a set of Arrival, Voulez-Vous and Super Trouper in Japan. Then The Visitors and ABBA from FNAC Les Halles in Paris, and finally ABBA The Album in Launceston and I held off getting the Waterloo Digipack until this year in Sydney. I still don't have Ring Ring, and I really don't have any desire to own it at the moment.

My fandom has hit the big time in recent years after becoming a fairly active member of the ABBAMAIL Internet ABBA Fan community and mailing list. It is a very special place where everyone are very different but are brought together by their love of ABBA.

The year 2000 and 2001 have been very fortunate for me in ABBA terms. I was lucky enough to be close-by in France when the International ABBA Day was on in the Netherlands, so I went and stayed with a local family and seeing other fans was a real eye-opener. I saw ABBA The Movie for the first time, and I also got to go and see Mamma Mia! in London, and buy the three big ABBA books, From ABBA to Mamma Mia!, The Complete Recording Sessions, and ABBA The Book.

In 2001 I went to the premiere of Mamma Mia! in Melbourne, was introduced to Kristina Fran Duvemala by a Swedish friend, and went to the ABBAMAIL 2001 Fan convention in Sydney where I bought Bright Lights Dark Shadows.

The Music

It is the music that I like about ABBA. I find the story and the characters very interesting, but it will always be the music that is special. I like all their styles, from the pure pop of ABBA and Arrival, to the disco of Voulez-Vous, to the more musical styles of The Visitors. You can see this from the list of the songs which feel "special" to me:

When I Kissed the Teacher - The Day Before You Came - The Winner Takes it All - As Good as New - If it Wasn't for the Nights - Angeleyes - Thank You for the Music - Dance While the Music Still Goes On...

But I can enjoy every ABBA song if I am in the right mood. I go through different phases. I have been through a phase for almost every song. I went through a Knowing Me Knowing You phase when it won the 2000 March ABBA Madness on ABBAMAIL, I went through a Gimme Gimme Gimme phase after hearing it played for the winter solstice in 1999 on ABC Radio at 5:50am, I went through an Eagle phase after seeing the Movie. I had a great ABBA experience when I went walking through the hills above a small French mountain village on a windy "in the grip of this cold December" afternoon and I listened to all of The Visitors album through my headphones.

I remember my joy of coming home from school to sit right up against the speakers so as not to disturb my Mum to listen to Angeleyes properly for the first few times, I was in awe at what a great melody it was and how bloody great it sounded.

I remember hearing Dreamworld for the first time, I thought it sounded really modern and that it could be released today and wouldn't sound over twenty years old.

I used to listen to ABBA mainly in our family room really loud whenever my parents went out and I would sing along and have so much fun. Every half a minute or so I would look out the window to make sure their car wasn't coming so I could keep singing along in peace.

I love the ABBACADABRA cover of Summer Night City, I think it is absolutely brilliant.

I find it just amazing that one band could come up with so many amazing melodies. It never ceases to astound me, and saddens me that other groups who are just so much more CRAP often get more credit than ABBA.

I'm not a big collector of all things ABBA, just as long as I have most of the songs I'm happy, because my parents would kill me if I started spending all my money on silly collectables, and I'm not really into that kind of thing anyway.

I'm sure ABBA will always be my favourite music, and I will never tire of the crusade that many ABBA fans embark on to have the music recognised for what it is: absolutely brilliant pop music.