Why start again about Agnetha and Frida? We discussed them, didn’t we. Obviously a tribute to ABBA cannot be written without putting the ladies qualities in the super trouper beams, but after these two obligate opening items you’d expect to get surprised with a new ABBA-secret. My point is these voices contain multiple secrets. This part is about the surprises you can only hear when you hear them together.
To start with: their voices fit together so beautifully. When you hear them apart they are beautiful, but hearing them together adds a whole new dimensions to it. When you hear them together, even without the further well known sound, you know: this is ABBA. At the first album of Benny and Björn, Lycka, they hadn’t yet found the sound they developed in later years, but even so when the ladies start to sing (in: Tänk om jorden vore ung) the thought that pops up in your mind is: Hej! ABBA.
This combinations of voices is the most important ingredient of the ABBA sound. In the earlier hits they sing unisono a lot (both singing the same melody). It produces some sort of metalic sound, which is very special and startling.
Moreover important is the arrangement of multiple lines they sing, especially on Arrival and later on. All vocals - backing and leading - were of course sung by themselves, up to eight different melody lines. As a result you hear a choir of overdubbed Agnetha’s and Frida’s. And they sing convincingly, with an energy as if it were a competition. They really battle, both trying to be better than the other. Their competitive attitude gives an enormous power to those songs, the tension never fades. It is awesome when you hear for instance Dancing Queen. It contains very long notes, but even so the melody continues to push you. The rythm of the band helps of course, but even the singing in itself gives this pushy feeling, like the waves of an ever high tide sea.
Of course there is more to tell about the music of ABBA. The next article will appear at june the 1-st 2014, midnight (Stockholm time).