Mark Steyn’s paean to Swedish supergroup Abba, and their great song “Waterloo,” is his typically hilarious combination of global politics, knowing-puns and kitschy references, and shouldn’t be missed. It is also in its way a sincere appreciation of the real talent they possessed. As he points out, “[F]rom the rubble of their marriages, they produced the aching harmonies of ‘One Of Us,’ as near as pop gets to the cry of pure pain. Underneath those sequinned leotards, Benny and Björn are two of the best pop writers of the last four decades.” Indeed.
Watch out for the special effects in the video embedded below; they are far more advanced than anything you see on TV these days, and might leave you in a state of mental disarray.
I must point out that Mark Steyn errs somewhat, however, in his characterization of what the beautiful blonde former singer of Abba is up to these days: “Agnetha,” says Steyn, “is riddled with insecurity and now lives as a recluse on a remote Swedish island riddled with in-house security.” I don’t know what her living situation is like, but recluses don’t do interviews and release new records, and Agnetha has done both recently. Below via YouTube is an interview she did last week for the BBC with none other than Welsh-wonder Cerys Matthews, which affords an entertaining glance back over her career.
I’m not persuaded that the new material she’s singing is even a patch on those old Benny/Björn songs, but then really, these days, what is?