BCB 130 - ABBA

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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 22 Jul 2014, 18:04

It's really like the Beach Boys' Stack-O-Tracks. Maybe not for most people, but I love the artistry and appreciate every detail.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:06

Quack,

The last thing I want to do is to throw cold water at your love for this band. I don't intend to be dismissive of the subtleties you're pointing out. But for me, I am not going to be convinced by the quality of the stitching as long as what is in the foreground has such a limited appeal. That there were some fine compositional chops at play in their work is not at issue. The problem for me is the mawkishness of the songs and the lack of subtlety in their vocal approach. Take a song like "The Winner Takes It All" - we wouldn't accept such treacle from Billy Joel. Maybe if he were Swedish.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Jul 2014, 18:07

Best song - Knowing Me, Knowing You.

Best album - Abba: The Album (I'll take it over Arrival, which is great in spots, but has some weak songs)

Underrated album - The Visitors - The one where they supposedly jumped the shark. I just don't hear it. Still plenty of pop hooks, but a more eccentric album with some prog (and psychedelic- backwards tapes!) moves. If anything it's their White Album - they sort of throw in the kitchen sink. It may not be cohesive, but it's bursting forth with ideas.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Jul 2014, 18:11

VRZ Robotz wrote:Take a song like "The Winner Takes It All" - we wouldn't accept such treacle from Billy Joel. Maybe if he were Swedish.


Billy Joel would never write a song like that. Can you see him writing:

But tell me does she kiss/Like I used to kiss you/Does it feel the same/When she calls your name

Somewhere deep inside/You must know I miss you/But what can I say/Rules must be obeyed


Their secret is the combination of anger and sadness, expressed in a second language. Billy Joel has never reached that level of pathos. And English is his first language!
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:15

See...that's what I'm saying. Those are not good lyrics!
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Flowere » 22 Jul 2014, 18:15

It's that Scandinavian melancholy. It's a deep-rooted thing, it comes through in their voices. I'm serious.

Quaco pointed out 'My Love My Life' and said it was his favourite. It's not even that well known, but it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it, and you've a couple of minutes to spare, give it a go right now. If you have a heart, tears will form:

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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Jul 2014, 18:19

VRZ Robotz wrote:See...that's what I'm saying. Those are not good lyrics!


I totally disagree. Not great lyrics, sure. Not poetic. But they're very direct, and they express what they mean to express. They don't attempt to give you a positive opinion of the narrator (which Billy Joel's lyrics do all the damn time). They express a very simple emotion very simply. There's something valueable in that. Hank Williams' lyrics don't look good on the page either.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Quaco » 22 Jul 2014, 18:24

I will admit that there is something in the lyrics that sometimes sounds awkward to English listeners. And they most certainly did come up through the extremely unsavvy Swedish hit parade of the '60s, and many of their early gigs were at the equivalent of county fairs, so mawkish is in their blood. But it doesn't bother me. I've really come to love it, and I don't think it's that hard to. It's not like me appreciating the scratches in a record or something obscure. A girl with a gorgeous voice speaking English that's a little awkward and using simple expressions to express herself. No, I don't mind it at all.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Jul 2014, 18:25

Also, the expressiveness seems pure and natural. They're not a put-on to me. They don't sound full of themselves. Billy Joel sounds full of himself.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:26

That shit ain't Hank Williams, hatz. It's moon/June/spoon with a very awkward "rules must be obeyed" tagged on.

Let's put it this way...I would be embarrassed if those words were from one of my songs.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Quaco » 22 Jul 2014, 18:30

As a side note, it feels very strange today to have the trifecta of critically reassessed pop craftsmanship groups coming up at the same time. It's very much my world, and I find it a bit overwhelming. The only thing that makes sense is to keep listening.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:35

'Crompton' wrote:It's that Scandinavian melancholy. It's a deep-rooted thing, it comes through in their voices. I'm serious.

Quaco pointed out 'My Love My Life' and said it was his favourite. It's not even that well known, but it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it, and you've a couple of minutes to spare, give it a go right now. If you have a heart, tears will form:




You see...I like this just fine. Nice song, pretty if not exactly memorable. Arrangement stays on the right side of too sweet.

But there's a dozen better by Petula Clark, and she's not in the BCB130.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Flowere » 22 Jul 2014, 18:39

VRZ Robotz wrote:
But there's a dozen better by Petula Clark...


That's a lie.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Insouciant Western People » 22 Jul 2014, 18:43

toomanyhatz wrote:Underrated album - The Visitors - The one where they supposedly jumped the shark. I just don't hear it. Still plenty of pop hooks, but a more eccentric album with some prog (and psychedelic- backwards tapes!) moves. If anything it's their White Album - they sort of throw in the kitchen sink. It may not be cohesive, but it's bursting forth with ideas.


Yes. And it is one of the great dark night of the soul albums.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Quaco » 22 Jul 2014, 18:44

VRZ Robotz wrote:
'Crompton' wrote:It's that Scandinavian melancholy. It's a deep-rooted thing, it comes through in their voices. I'm serious.

Quaco pointed out 'My Love My Life' and said it was his favourite. It's not even that well known, but it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it, and you've a couple of minutes to spare, give it a go right now. If you have a heart, tears will form:




You see...I like this just fine. Nice song, pretty if not exactly memorable. Arrangement stays on the right side of too sweet.

But there's a dozen better by Petula Clark, and she's not in the BCB130.

If that's true, she's ready for serious reappraisal in my book! But something tells me you're not hearing what I'm hearing in "My Love My Life".
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:50

Clearly I'm not.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Quaco » 22 Jul 2014, 18:51

List your 10 favorite Petula Clark songs just to show there's no hard feelings?
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Jul 2014, 18:51

I love Petula Clark - more than Abba, surely. But I don't really see a basis for comparison. Petula Clark had Tony Hatch. Abba had themselves, singing in a second language. They obviously had great arrangement skills, but I don't think you can hold them to similar standards.

The thing I find impressive about them is they expressed simple sentiments simply and honestly. It's not even a matter of 'forgiving' their limited skills with language- there's pathos for me in the way they express it.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:55

[youtube][/youtube]
Quacoan wrote:List your 10 favorite Petula Clark songs just to show there's no hard feelings?


;)

Give me a day or two to give this some thought and I'll start a thread.
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Re: BCB 130 - ABBA

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 22 Jul 2014, 18:59

toomanyhatz wrote:I love Petula Clark - more than Abba, surely. But I don't really see a basis for comparison. Petula Clark had Tony Hatch. Abba had themselves, singing in a second language. They obviously had great arrangement skills, but I don't think you can hold them to similar standards.


Why not? If you consider Hatch and Clark as the unit that made up the brand name "Petula Clark" - how is it so different?
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