By Chuck Klosterman
Originally accumulated in Eating the Dinosaur and now on hand either as a stand-alone essay and within the e-book assortment Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is set ABBA.
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Additional info for ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
I have no interest in convincing anyone they need to download Voulez-Vous posthaste, because I am post-taste. But what is compelling is how this polarizing trajectory occurred. The pattern is certainly not unique to ABBA; it’s not unusual to see artists who are (a) initially appreciated before (b) falling out of favor, and then (c) returning to prominence after the fact. But it’s more pronounced here: The highs were crazier and the lows were grosser. What makes this arc even more noteworthy is that the group itself did not seem actively involved with any of these machinations (the members will retrospectively talk about how they were perceived by the media and by fans, but they scarcely seem to care).
The rest of culture does not matter. The Grateful Dead were kind of like this as well, but not as singularly as ABBA; while it’s easy to think of artists who deliver a comparable sonic experience to the Dead, the closest equivalent to ABBA Music—probably the Bee Gees—doesn’t come close at all. ” Its musical traits have been outlined ad nauseam elsewhere: Their records feature a wall of sound where overdubbing makes every detail bigger and brighter than it should be. The hooks are mammoth and the lyrics are unspecific.
Helens, the ongoing success of NASA, and whatever was supposedly happening in women’s sports and national politics. For some reason, one of the exposés tackled by the Weekly Reader in autumn of 1980 was the rising unpopularity of disco, punctuated by “Disco Demolition Night” at Chicago’s Comiskey Park during the summer of ’79 (news cycles were slower in those days). Disco Demolition Night was a promotional event where a bunch of intoxicated baseball fans blew up Village People albums with dynamite in center field.
ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman