In Which The “No Disco” Rule is Temporarily Lifted

I doubt I’ll live this one down. Let’s just call this Guilty Pleasure Friday.

I read on Bill Crider’s Blog that ABBA was releasing their first new single in 18 years. Now keep in mind I’m firmly in the “anti-disco” faction. I lived through the 1970s, and disco was right up there with inflation and the Pittsburgh Steelers among things right-thinking suburban teenagers in Houston hated in the 1970s.

So ABBA was never going to be among my favorites. But despite all that, I still remember liking “Take a Chance on Me” when it came out, so I thought I’d give it a listen again.


The refrain is pure disco vapidness, the “sexy” winks are ridiculous, and the 1970s video production values are non-existent. But those first few seconds of high female acapella harmony still send shivers down my spine. Maybe it’s because such harmonies are so underutilized in pop music today, a point I’ve made before.

Say what you want about ABBA, but this was before the age of digital desuckification and autotune, and those girls could really sing.

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3 Responses to “In Which The “No Disco” Rule is Temporarily Lifted”

  1. Baf X says:

    ABBA sucks.

    It’s a crime that they were inducted into the “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame. Their music is neither “rock” nor “roll”.

    And it’s a shame there weren’t enough drug overdoses and plane crashes to go around in the 70s. Dear God, you can have everyone in ABBA. Can we have Jimi Hendrix back?

  2. Bill Crider says:

    Sad as it might seem for me to confess it, but I love ABBA. But then I love harmony, which seems to be missing from the music of today. And “Take a Chance on Me” is my favorite ABBA song.

  3. Baf X says:

    There’s plenty of harmony – just not in hiphop and 3rd gen recycled Nirvana-ish “alternative” rock. Pick up a copy of Relix magazine – the jamband, bluegrass and blues scenes are full of great bands that play songs with melody and harmony. Check out Ruthie Foster, Warren Haynes, or the Tedeschi Trucks band, even late period Black Crowes when they added gospel backup singers (sounds a lot like Mad Dogs and Englishmen era Joe Cocker band). None of those bands get played on Clear Channel, Bob/Jack FM oldies stations or the hiphop or teen/tween stations, but they are the tip of the iceberg of great current bands made of up of musicians with actual talent as singers, players and songwriters.

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