Fresh from the buzz of listening to ABBA’s Waterloo for the first time in many years, I am eager to see what else is in store for me in this journey through music tracks long neglected.

First in this set is Hasta Manana – “darling, our love was much too strong to die, we’ll find a way to face a new tomorrow”. When I was a young girl, I could not understand what the title of this track meant. People told me it was variations of “see you again”, much like the “til we meet again” of the song’s own second line. But to me, it didn’t seem as if the singer thought there was much chance of another meeting. This was therefore a bit confusing.

In more recent times, however, when organising my father’s funeral, the family decided that it would be nice to have an ABBA song as part of the service because he liked their music so much (remember how he took me to that Wembley concert? I’ll come back to that soon). When I listened to the words of Hasta Manana as an adult, I understood what was going on, and it turned out to be the perfect track to include in Dad’s ceremony.

On to Honey, Honey – “I heard about you before, I wanted know some more…”. Who is leading who astray in this track? A seductive, sultry pop song. Go listen.

And next, Dance (While the Music Still Goes On) – “let this be our last goodbye”. Another track about relationship breakdown ABBA-style. Beautifully handled, gracious – you feel like you are a better person just for listening. Isn’t that nice.

Then So Long – “can’t buy me with your money”. Wow – the total opposite of the previous track – and fabulous for it. Raw, driving, no nonsense. I don’t think you’d pick ABBA for this if you’d heard it in isolation – it emphasises their versatility and another top rated track for me.  Definitely one to get the hairbrush out for in front of the bedroom mirror.  Reminds me a bit of Mud, Annie Lennox, Martha and the Muffins – remember Echo Beach (1980)?  Ah, Echo Beach – the first track which this project has made me think ‘hmm, wouldn’t mind going off and getting that one’.  BUT NO!  No more new music, remember, until everything else has been listened to.  It’s gone on a ‘music to buy when this is all finished list’, and meanwhile…

Blimey, ABBA, there’s nothing like taking you on a roller coaster ride through the good and the bad. Next up is I’ve Been Waiting for You – “you thrill me, you delight me, you please me, you excite me”. This is the first track which I cannot recall ever having listened to before. It’s a sweeping, symphonic ballad. Pleasant. Instantly forgettable.

Finally for today, we have I do, I do, I do, I do, I do – “come on, now, let’s try it – I love you, can’t deny it”. Fascinating. I was dreading listening to this. My memory of it is that it was one of those totally irritating tracks that you couldn’t wait to finish when it was on the radio, and that you always skipped when it was reached on the record player. Listening to it now, I have had a totally different experience. Instead of getting ‘lady whines about her man not loving her’, I get ‘lady takes control of situation’, to a pretty catchy tune, thank you very much. Amazing how a different perspective can affect one’s listening pleasure.

So, there we go. I am really getting into this and am looking forward to listening to more music to write my next post! Some total ABBA classics on the horizon. And for anyone who can’t stand ABBA and is wondering what all the fuss is about – bear with me, there’s plenty of other stuff to come – over 5,000 other juicy tracks are patiently waiting their turn to be listened to…

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