Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – ABBA – Part Four – 1980s – Gimme, Gimme more Hits.

Last week William Price King took us through the hits of the mid- 1970s for ABBA and this week the hits keep rolling in during the 1980s. Keep dancing.

The group’s fourth studio album, Arrival, a number-one bestseller in Europe and Australia, represented a new level of accomplishment in both songwriting and studio work, prompting rave reviews from more rock-oriented UK music weeklies such as “Melody Maker” and “New Musical Express,” and mostly appreciative notices from US critics.

“Knowing Me, Knowing You” was one of the first ABBA songs to deal with the break-up of a relationship and proved to be one of ABBA’s most successful singles, hitting #1 in West Germany (ABBA’s sixth consecutive chart-topper there). In the UK, “Knowing Me, Knowing You” was the biggest single of 1977. Group member Benny Andersson named “Knowing Me, Knowing You” as one of ABBA’s best recordings in a 2004 interview.

“Dancing Queen” is a Europop song and the lead single from ABBA’s fourth studio album, “Arrival.” It was a worldwide hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries including ABBA’s native Sweden (where it spent 14 weeks at the top) and became ABBA’s only number one hit in the U.S. Musically, “Dancing Queen” is a Europop version of American disco music. As disco music dominated the US charts, the group decided to follow the trend, replicating Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” arrangements. The song alternates between “languid yet seductive verses” and a “dramatic chorus that ascends to heart-tugging high notes.” Lyrically, the song concerns a visit to the discotheque, but approaches the subject from the joy of dancing itself, thus having a greater emotional content than that of many other disco songs of that period. uploaded by Craig Gagné

The name of the game was released in 1977 and was the first single from the group’s fifth studio album, “ABBA: The Album.” It was their most complex composition yet – with Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sharing the lead vocals. The song also contained influences of the laid-back California sound of the day. It became a UK number one, topping the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in November 1977.

“Take a chance on me is the second single from their fifth studio album “ABBA: The Album.” The song’s origins sprang from Ulvaeus, whose hobby was running. While running, he would sing a “tck-a-ch”-style rhythm to himself over and over again, which then evolved into “take-a-chance” and the eventual lyrics. “Take a Chance on Me” proved to be one of ABBA’s most successful chart hits, becoming the group’s seventh UK #1 (their third consecutive chart-topper in the country).

Chiquitita” (a Spanish term of endearment for a woman meaning “little one”) was released in January 1979 as the first single from the group’s “Voulez-Vous” album. Agnetha Fältskog sang the lead vocals. In the UK, “Chiquitita” debuted at #8 in the singles chart, making it the highest place début for any ABBA single release. ABBA recorded “Chiquitita” in Spanish by phonetics and it was one of the featured tracks on the Spanish-language release “Gracias Por La Musica.” uploaded by Craig Gagné

“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) was a very successful song for ABBA. It hit #1 in Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, and Switzerland, while reaching the Top 3 in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Norway. It also proved to be ABBA’s most successful song in Japan, peaking at #17. The lead vocals are sung by Agnetha Fältskog.


Additional sources: Wikipedia ABBA

ABBA’s Music: Amazon US And: Amazon UK

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION

Buy William’s music ITunes

Connect with William

FacebookWilliam Price King
Regular VenueCave Wilson

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: William Price King Music Column

My thanks to William for the amazing artists he has brought to the blog and thank you for dropping in today.  As always your feedback is very welcome.

50 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – ABBA – Part Four – 1980s – Gimme, Gimme more Hits.

  1. These posts have been great! Chiquitita is one of my favourites. There was a very good documentary about them on TV a few years ago and also showed what they were doing now. A phenomenal group.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I get a kick looking back at some of these videos from the early days and laugh at how far music videos have come. On the other hand, good music is timeless. One of my favorites was “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 24th – 30th May 2020 – ABBA, Jelly Beans, San Francisco, Resilience and Laughter | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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