Abba – live at Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany – November 1, 1979 – Band Soundboard –
Abba this weekend. Yes. Abba – one of their last concerts before the end of their tour from November 1, 1979, recorded in Bremen Germany at the 3500 seat Stadthalle. For the record – this is only half the concert – the other half is gone, missing, lost – but this hour offers a tantalizing glimpse into one of the most successful hit-making bands of the 1970s.
When you spend a lot of time searching out the under-appreciated bands, the overlooked bands – all the bands from the Prog period, the Glam period and the Punk period, you very often forget there was an enormous audience for straight-ahead pop; purveyors of the 2 minute masterpiece, the instantly danceable hit – the worldwide phenomenon.
Abba filled the bill handsomely – and even though aficionados would sniff and turn their noses up at this display of mainstream at its finest, there was no getting around Abba were phenomenal at what they did – and they made no pretense that they weren’t here to change the world – challenge the norms or offer an answer to the meaning of life. They were here to get you up off your ass and dance or provide a sonic backdrop for an evening of tonsil-hockey and bodice ripping. Plain and simple as that.
And they were the best at it – and they scored an epic legacy of memorable and hummable hits – and they have come to epitomize the 70s of the shag-haircut, platform shoes and mood rings.
There are probably a lot more people who have at least one Abba album in their collections – and most probably won’t admit it. To a lot of people, they were a guilty pleasure – their pop was catchy, laden with hooks and instantly recognizable. You could always tell an Abba song by the distinctive voices of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Ani-Frind.
And as a reminder of just how they ruled the Pop charts for years, here is a sample of what they were all about, during the peak of their success.
Honest – you can turn this one up and dance like a maniac if you want. Nobody will mind.