When people think of rock and roll, they don’t picture ABBA.
But the Swedish pop music group was selected Thursday for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once again, the hall tossed aside merit as a criterion and voted in favor of making money on the induction ceremony.
As the years go by, it’s clear that the hall isn’t about rock and roll, but pop music in general. If the trend continues, I have no doubt that Britney Spears and other artists of questionable merit will be inducted based on popularity alone.
I happen to like ABBA. Their greatest hits album is a treat. One of the first albums I ever owned was ABBA’s “The Album” (1977), which I received as a gift shortly after its release. That album contains the hits “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Name of the Game.”
Even when the group was still active, they were the height of uncool. Their music is dorky. Any straight teenage boy at the time would have been too embarrassed to admit liking ABBA.
Now here we are three decades later and ABBA is joining the ranks of the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Beatles.
The members of ABBA – Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha “Anna” Fältskog – haven’t performed together in public since December 1982, according to Wikipedia.
They last appeared together for the Swedish premiere of the movie “Mamma Mia!”, which features their music, in July 2008. At the time, Ulvaeus said there was nothing that could entice them back on stage again, according to an article in the U.K.’s Telegraph.
I’ll bet the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will try to convince them otherwise.
If not, it still will be fun to see modern performers put their spin on some ABBA classics at the induction ceremony.
ABBA will be inducted into the hall on March 15 along with Genesis, the Hollies, the Stooges and Jimmy Cliff at a ceremony in New York City. (See article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.)
ABBA photo from the Associated Press