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> ABBA's Official Top 20 Bestselling Singles, Also their biggest albums
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ThePensmith
post Apr 22 2019, 01:01 PM
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SOURCE: OfficialCharts.com



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There's not many bands with as healthy a chart pedigree as ABBA, and the Swedish quarter's singles are almost national treasures in their own way. The band's global domination from the mid-seventies to the early eighties, followed by subsequent revivals in decades to come, means ABBA's classic hits are known to millions, across generations.

During their imperial phase, ABBA scored 25 Top 40 hits in the UK, including 19 Top 10s, of which nine went all the way to Number 1 – over the space of nine years.

As Agnetha, Benny, Bj­örn and Frida prepare to release new material together for the first time in over 35 years, along with a new virtual reality tour and a huge Mamma Mia-themed attraction in London, we look at the hits that paved the way, taking into account sales across physical and download formats.

Out in front is Dancing Queen, the third consecutive chart-topper for the band in 1976 – spending six weeks there to be their longest running Number 1. It was rereleased in 1992, to accompany their greatest hits ABBA Gold, becoming their 26th official Top 40 hit. It is ABBA's only million-seller and is ABBA's top selling single with 1.55 million copies shifted. See all ABBA's UK hit singles and albums in their chart archive.

Up second is Super Trouper, their final Number 1 in 1980, taken from the album of the same name, which spent two weeks at the top and has sold 978,000 copies. Taking the bronze is Knowing Me, Knowing You, the band's fifth Number 1, racking up five weeks at Number 1 in spring 1977 and selling 973,000 copies.

Fourth is Take A Chance On Me, which was their seventh Number 1 – they had to wait over two and half years for another one – and has shifted 882,000 copies, while in fifth place comes Fernando, another 1976 Number 1. Interestingly, ABBA, who won Eurovision two years earlier, knocked that year's winner off the top – the very ABBA-esque UK entry Brotherhood of Man – and it wasn't the last time. ABBA booted Brotherhood of Man off Number 1 again in 1978, with Take a Chance on Me taking over from Figaro.

It's hard to pick out notable entries from an ABBA list because every single song is a classic, but you see… the ultimate weepie The Winner Takes it All misses the Top 5, on 847,000 sales, and behind that is Mamma Mia, on 760,000. Mamma Mia was the mighty track that knocked Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody off Number 1 – whose lyrics famously contained "mamma mia" too – and Queen and ABBA make up the two top selling albums of all time in the shape of their respective greatest hits.

The band's top selling single to miss the Number 1 spot is 1979's Chiquitita, which peaked at 2 – held off the summit by Blondie's Heart of Glass – and sold 691,000, and while their Eurovision winner and first chart-topper Waterloo just misses the Top 10 on 676,000, their lowest selling Number 1. Just missing the Top 20? Spooky fan fave The Day Before You Came, a Number 32 hit in 1982, just before they split.

The full Official Top 20 biggest selling ABBA singles in the UK:

1 DANCING QUEEN 1 1976
2 SUPER TROUPER 1 1980
3 KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU 1 1977
4 TAKE A CHANCE ON ME 1 1978
5 FERNANDO 1 1976
6 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL 1 1980
7 MAMMA MIA 1 1975
8 THE NAME OF THE GAME 1 1977
9 CHIQUITITA 2 1979
10 GIMME GIMME GIMME (A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT) 3 1979
11 WATERLOO 1 1974
12 I HAVE A DREAM 2 1979
13 ANGEL EYES / VOULEZ VOUS 3 1979
14 DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW 4 1979
15 ONE OF US 3 1981
16 MONEY MONEY MONEY 3 1976
17 LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME 7 1981
18 SUMMER NIGHT CITY 5 1978
19 S.O.S. 6 1975
20 THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC 33 1975

In April 2018 came the announcement not even the most optimistic of pop fans could've foreseen: after 35 years apart, Swedish pop icons ABBA confirmed they had recorded new songs.

At first, the new material was set to be only two songs, to premiere during the band's "digital" tour, which features holographic virtual avatars named ABBAtars and is still being developed. Björn and Benny have both since been dropping hints there could be a full studio album coming too – just as soon as all the tech work on the band's ABBAtars tour is complete, of course.


While ABBA may not have been recording and performing together for over three decades, in some ways it's like they've never been away. Their greatest hits album ABBA Gold has been an almost permanent fixture of the Official Albums Chart since its release in 1992, and with over 5.58m copies sold, is the second-biggest selling album of all time in the UK, behind the greatest hits of another iconic band, Queen.

Not only that, but a jukebox musical of ABBA's songs in the West End – and since, globally – has kept ABBA's hits in the public consciousness, and two subsequent movie adaptations have introduced further generations to the magic of Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Frida.

In anticipation of the comeback, and to mark the band's legacy, BBC Radio 2 celebrated all things ABBA on Easter Monday (22 April) with Let's ABBA PArty – a countdown of the band's albums, ranked in order of success. If you missed it, or just want to relive all that ABBA magic, you can listen to Let's ABBA Party on BBC Sounds.

We've got the list right here. Not only that, but as an extra bonus, we can tell you which of each album's tracks have endured the most in the modern era, and have performed the best digitally.

First, the Top 3 in detail…

1. Arrival

ABBA's fourth album to chart in the UK, and their first to hit Number 1, has spent longer at the top than any other ABBA album. Relessed in 1976, Arrival took eight weeks to climb to the top, hitting the summit in the first week of 1977. It contains two Number 1s, Dancing Queen – their longest running chart-topper of six weeks – and Knowing Me Knowing You, plus the Number 3 hit Money Money Money. Better-known album tracks include When I Kissed the teacher – the Mamma Mia 2 version of which reached Number 40 in 2018 – My Love My Life, and Tiger. Arrival has sold 1.7 million copies in the UK!

Most popular track: Dancing Queen. It had to be! It's ABBA 's only million-seller so far – 1.55m physical and download sales. It's also notched up 33.7 million plays.

2. Super Trouper

Named after a brand of spotlight the band would've become very well acquainted with on stage, Super Trouper spent debuted at Number 1 in November 1980 and spent nine straight weeks there. The lead single was the definitive heartbreak anthem The Winner Takes It All, while the title track ended up being the band's final Number 1 (so far). The album also features underrated Top 5 Lay All Your Love On Me (later taken to Number 1 in 1992 by erasure as part of their Abba-esque EP), festive tearjerker Happy New Year, and another seasonal bop Our Last Summer.

Most popular track: The Winner Takes It All – 119,500 downloads and 16.3m streams. (Interestingly, Super Trouper is their second biggest selling single altogether, with 978,000 copies, but TWTIA has performed better digitally.)

3. ABBA: The Album

Released to coincide with ABBA: The Movie in early 1978, the band spent seven consecutive weeks at the top with this one. Only two singles were released at the time, but what singles they were. Both The Name of the Game and Take a Chance on Me went to Number 1, and in 1983, another track Thank You For The Music was released in 1983 when it was clear the band weren't going to be releasing any more music – it stalled at Number 33, their kast chart hit until a 1992 reissue of Dancing Queen broke the Top 20.

Most popular track: Take a Chance on Me – 67,200 downloads and 14.5m streams – is the band's fourth top selling single of all time, with 882,000 physical and download sales.

As revealed on BBC Radio 2's special 'Let's ABBA Party' programme broadcast today, the full list of ABBA's biggest selling studio albums in the UK:

1 ARRIVAL 1 1976
2 SUPER TROUPER 1 1980
3 ABBA: THE ALBUM 1 1978
4 VOULEZ VOUS 1 1979
5 THE VISITORS 1 1981
6 ABBA 13 1976
7 WATERLOO 28 1974
8 RING RING DNC 1972


This post has been edited by ThePensmith: Apr 23 2019, 08:38 PM
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Feel_The_Fever
post Apr 22 2019, 01:53 PM
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In time they have have 3 hits passing the million.
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zeus555
post Apr 22 2019, 05:30 PM
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If anyone wants to listen to today's UK - BBC Radio 2 - ABBA Special, it is here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0004dk6

I'm not sure if 'Over-Seas' people can listen to it, but UK listeners can. You have to just Register a BBC Account. It is fast and easy to do.
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ThePensmith
post Apr 22 2019, 06:34 PM
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QUOTE(zeus555 @ Apr 22 2019, 06:30 PM) *
If anyone wants to listen to today's UK - BBC Radio 2 - ABBA Special, it is here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0004dk6

I'm not sure if 'Over-Seas' people can listen to it, but UK listeners can. You have to just Register a BBC Account. It is fast and easy to do.


I had it on today whilst I was pottering around the house. Good listen and especially exciting to hear about their new material coming later in the year!
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Robbie
post Apr 22 2019, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE(zeus555 @ Apr 22 2019, 06:30 PM) *
If anyone wants to listen to today's UK - BBC Radio 2 - ABBA Special, it is here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0004dk6

I'm not sure if 'Over-Seas' people can listen to it, but UK listeners can. You have to just Register a BBC Account. It is fast and easy to do.
You can listen to BBC programmes outside of the UK unless because of licensing restrictions (almost exclusively sports broadcasts on 5 Live) the broadcast is geo-blocked.


This post has been edited by Robbie: Apr 22 2019, 09:21 PM
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zeus555
post Apr 23 2019, 02:15 AM
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I've just noticed that The OCC's ABBA Album's Article calls Benny - 'Jenny'!!!

'Agnetha, Björn, Jenny, and Frida'.




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Popchartfreak
post Apr 23 2019, 06:56 AM
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It also says their 7th number one was their 8th, and Thank You For The Music was released in 1975 not 1978 on album nor 1983 on single. Oops!
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dj_tim_e
post Apr 25 2019, 06:53 AM
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Thank You For The Music didn't come out until 77/78 on the "Album". It hadnt been anywhere until the film came out in December 77.
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Robbie
post Apr 25 2019, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE(dj_tim_e @ Apr 25 2019, 07:53 AM) *
Thank You For The Music didn't come out until 77/78 on the "Album". It hadnt been anywhere until the film came out in December 77.
I had a check to see what the ISRC code number (essentially the digital barcode number) for the original version of the track is as sometimes the ISRC number can report the wrong year but it definitely shows it was first released / registered as a recording in 1977 (it's SEAYD7702080).

There's an earlier version which also shows as a 1977 recording, that version is showing as the "Doris Day Mix" version and a check on youtube reveals that version is on there. It turns out to be the original version of the track, before the group re-recorded it for the album

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcQHnDcpa2Y

It's a lot less theatrical with plain vocal harmonies on the chorus.




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