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> OCC: Top 20 biggest ABBA songs
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dan:G
post Sep 2 2021, 02:24 PM
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There's not many bands with as healthy a chart pedigree as ABBA, and the Swedish quartet'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 take us on an ABBA Voyage, reportedly including new material together for the first time in over 35 years, we look at the hits that paved the way, taking into account sales across physical and download formats, plus streams.

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 re-released in 1992, to accompany their greatest hits ABBA Gold, becoming their 26th official Top 40 hit. It is ABBA's only million-seller and therefore their biggest single, with 1.65 million chart sales, including 93 million streams since 2014. 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 1.05 million chart sales, made up of 978,000 pure sales and 38 million streams. 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 picking up 1.02 million chart sales to date.

Fourth is Take A Chance On Me, which became their seventh Number 1 in 1978 – they had to wait over two and half years for another one – and has 950,000 chart sales (including 882,000 pure sales) to date. In fifth place comes the ultimate weepie The Winner Takes It All, a chart-topper in 1980, with 920,000 chart sales.

It's hard to pick out notable entries from an ABBA list because every single is a classic. Just outside the Top 5 is Fernando, another 1976 Number 1, with 903,000 chart sales. 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.

Close behind is Mamma Mia, on 860,000. 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 biggest single to miss the Number 1 spot is 1979's Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight), which peaked at 3 and ranks ninth overall, while their Eurovision winner and first chart-topper Waterloo rounds out the Top 10 on 732,000, their lowest selling Number 1.

Fittingly, rounding off the Top 20 is Thank You For The Music. Considered ABBA's farewell song, The track originally featured on the group's fifth studio record The Album in 1977 but was issued as a single in the UK in 1983, around the release of a compilation of the same name.


1 DANCING QUEEN 1 1976 1.65m [1m+ sales, 93m streams]
2 SUPER TROUPER 1 1980 1.05m [978k sales, 38m streams]
3 KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU 1 1977 1.02m
4 TAKE A CHANCE ON ME 1 1978 950k [882k sales]
5 FERNANDO 1 1976 903k ??
6 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL 1 1980 920k ??
7 MAMMA MIA 1 1975 860k
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 732k
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 1983

Either the article or list is out of date as TWTIA has supposedly sold more than Fernando but ranks lower down. dry.gif
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Jade
post Sep 2 2021, 02:32 PM
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So many classics cheeseblock.png
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dan:G
post Sep 2 2021, 02:39 PM
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Anyhow I thought streaming would've given Gimme Gimme Gimme a bit of a boost to be higher than #10, it is certainly more iconic than half of their #1s anyhow.

Their top 20 on Spotify is:
583m Dancing Queen
278m Gimme Gimme Gimme
248m Mamma Mia
203m The Winner Takes It All
168m Take a Chance on Me
144m Super Trouper
142m Waterloo
131m Lay All Your Love On Me
116m Chiquitita
88m SOS
84m Fernando
84m Knowing Me Knowing You
80m Does Your Mother Know
79m Voulez Vous
67m Money Money Money
52m I Have A Dream
50m One Of Us
49m Thank You For The Music
44m Honey Honey
34m Angeleyes
32m The Name of the Game
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Robbie
post Sep 2 2021, 02:42 PM
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According to the article 'The Winner Takes It All' is at number 5 with 'Fernando' at number 6.
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Bré
post Sep 2 2021, 04:07 PM
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Lay All Your Love On Me higher up their streams list than their overall list as it should be x
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Sep 2 2021, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE(Bré @ Sep 2 2021, 05:07 PM) *
Lay All Your Love On Me higher up their streams list than their overall list as it should be x


Definitely by far and away my absolute favourite! heart.gif
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Just_Jack
post Sep 2 2021, 04:20 PM
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I’m a bit confused about the streams to sales situation, 38m streams only equates to 72k sales?
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GTH
post Sep 2 2021, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE(Just_Jack @ Sep 2 2021, 05:20 PM) *
I’m a bit confused about the streams to sales situation, 38m streams only equates to 72k sales?

There are different ratios for premium and free streams, so it isn’t a set 1:100 like it used to be. Unless you know the free to premium ratio, it is hard to calculate.
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Just_Jack
post Sep 2 2021, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE(GTH @ Sep 2 2021, 05:26 PM) *
There are different ratios for premium and free streams, so it isn’t a set 1:100 like it used to be. Unless you know the free to premium ratio, it is hard to calculate.


Ah yes I knew free streams meant less in terms of sales but I would’ve imagined that 38m streams would equal to more than 72k sales for sure.
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Bré
post Sep 2 2021, 04:32 PM
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72k from 38m streams does seem a bit low even accounting for the free/premium split actually - that seems to imply that only about 1 million of those streams were at the premium tier, unless I am calculating wrong.
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Envoirment
post Sep 2 2021, 05:21 PM
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Such a classic list of songs. I know all of them. After the release of their new album, they will likely get a number of new millionaires over the next year or so if it boosts their back catalogue (I'm very sure it will).
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