In 1972, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad formed ABBA in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of the most successful groups in music history. With the movie "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" opening this summer, test your knowledge of ABBA with this quiz.
Question of 10
One of this fab four wasn't born in Sweden. Who is it?
Frida was born in Bjørkåsen, Norway in 1945, the daughter of an occupying German soldier. Frida and her mother moved to Sweden when Frida was young to escape discrimination against children like herself, who were born of liasions with "the enemy."
ABBA got their big break during the 1974 Eurovision song contest. Who else found success there?
The Spice Girls
French-Canadian Celine Dion won the contest for Switzerland in 1988, which launched her international career.
A Flock of Seagulls
As much as they were beloved for their music, the group also was known for their crazy stage costumes. Why were they so outrageous?
The women in the group liked to walk on the wild side.
They took a page from Funkadelic's book.
They were trying to avoid the tax man.
Swedish tax laws at the time allowed stage costumes to be tax-deductible as long as they couldn't be considered street wear. "Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were," Björn said in "ABBA: The Official Photo Book."
What was the original version of "Fernando" about?
the Spanish Civil War
a love affair gone wrong
"Fernando" was originally released by Frida before ABBA became a group. The original lyrics featured a friend consoling Fernando, who has lost his love. The revised lyrics are about two freedom fighters from the war between Mexico and Texas, according to Björn.
a famous soccer/football player from Italy
What was significant about the 1975 release "ABBA's Greatest Hits"?
The original records were red vinyl.
The cover image was banned.
Most of the songs had not been hits yet.
Only half the tunes on this disc had charted somewhere in the world. But thanks to the addition of "Fernando," the album went multiplatinum around the globe.
What is the 1980 song "The Winner Takes it All" allegedly about?
a night of excessive gambling
an early failed romance of Frida's
the divorce between Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog
Although they deny this, it is widely believed that "The Winner Takes it All" is about Björn's and Agnetha's divorce. Considering the content of the lyrics (which he wrote), the fact that she sung the vocals and they did get divorced around that time, you can understand the skepticism. (The other couple, Frida and Benny, divorced in 1981).
The director of their music videos later became famous for his movies. Which of these films did he direct?
"What's Eating Gilbert Grape"
Lasse Hallström, who directed many ABBA videos and their feature-length film "ABBA: The Movie" went on to greater fame as director of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "Cider House Rules."
"Sleepless in Seattle"
The group members have repeatedly said they will never tour again. However what concession did they make to this ban in 2018?
They'll do a hologram tour.
In 2018, the group announced they'd re-form and release two new songs. To commemorate the event, they'll do a "virtual tour," featuring hologram images of themselves as they looked at the height of their fame. Nice work if you can get it.
Two members will tour.
They'll do one night only in Stockholm.
Before "Mamma Mia," which of these movies prominently featured ABBA tunes?
This 1994 Australian movie featured an awkward girl who was obsessed with weddings and ABBA's music.
"My Best Friend's Wedding"
"My Big Fat Swedish Wedding"
The stage version of "Mamma Mia" is credited with sparking which Broadway trend?
puppets discussing mature themes
the jukebox musical
Jukebox musicals, where all the music in the show is from one popular group or singer, had existed before "Mamma Mia" but this play was the one that made the trend explode.
super-expensive theatre tickets