5 facts you didn’t know about the song "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
ABBA had a slew of hits throughout the 70's and early 80's. Songs like Waterloo, Mama Mia, Take A Chance On Me, Angel Eyes, SOS, The Winner Takes It All and many more all made the the Billboard top 100. Abba has also sold over 150 million albums world wide, putting the in the super group category along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and others. Originated in Sweden, all four members were successful artist before forming ABBA. ABBA actually stands for the first letters of each of the four members names: Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA is one of the only groups to register their group name as a logo (KISS is the only other group that comes to mind).
Dancing queen was the 2nd single off ABBA's fourth studio album arrival. The song was released in Mid August of 1976. Up to this time, most of ABBA's songs were pop/Swedish folk oriented songs with simple lyrics. Dancing Queen was a departure from that and moved more towards the new disco sound taking over the United States at the time.
Although this song is 45 years old, it is by far our most requested song. It is rare that we DJ a wedding that this doesn't get requested or played.
Here are 5 things you may not have know about Dancing Queen by ABBA.
1. This was ABBA's only number one song on the Billboard Hot 100. Others came close including Take A Chance On Me which peaked at number 3. Dancing queen was released in August of 1976 and by April 9, 1977 it was number one. This smash hit become a worldwide sensation and it's probably easier to list all the countries that it wasn't number one than to list the ones it was number one.
2. Benny Andersson was so confident in the song he fought with the record company to make it the first single off the Arrival album. In the end the record company won and Fernando was release first. Although Fernando was a hit for ABBA, it sounded similar to past ABBA songs and only peaked at number 13 on the billboard hot 100. Dancing Queen was the 2nd single to be released and did hit the number one spot.
3. Usually we talk about how a song was written in a few hours or was an afterthought and became a huge success. Dancing Queen was the exact opposite. It took 6 months to write this song. Benny Andersson was/is a perfectionist and he wasn't going to let this song be released until it was absolutely perfect. Based on the success of the song we think he got it right.
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4. When most artist write and record/produce music, they don't really know if they have a hit. This wasn't the case with Dancing Queen. When Benny played the melody for Frida, she actually cried because she knew it was going to be a number one song.
5. The lyric "Night is young and and the music's high" do not mean that the music is a drug and gets you high. It simply means that music is loud.
6. Bonus fact - There is a missing verse for the song. The verse was recorded and then lost. It was decided that the verse wasn't required and was never re-recorded.
Here are the lyrics of the omitted verse and a video of the recording.
"Baby, baby, you're out of sight/hey, you're looking alright tonight/when you come to the party/listen to the guys/they've got the look in their eyes..."
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