The UK’s Favourite ABBA Song – The Winner Takes it All

Posted on May 12, 2012

There was a time when your average heterosexual male would never admit to being a big ABBA fan, although they probably wouldn’t have minded admitting that Agnetha and Anni-Frid were two very attractive ladies, despite the rather strange apparel that they used to wear all those years ago in the seventies. In fact I think from memory Agnetha was voted rear of the year, or whatever the equivalent was back then, for having a very nice bottom. And rightly so. They actually won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, the year I left school and were instantly acclaimed as Sweden’s most successful band.

The band broke up in 1982 after 10 years of huge success and millions of records sold world wide. But it was through film that interest in the band was resurrected, the 2 most memorable were Muriel’s Wedding and of course the film that really brought them back to world stardom Mamma Mia! . It was Meryl Streep singing ‘The Winner Takes it All’ as she headed to the church for her daughters wedding that reminded me just how great a song this was. Reaffirmed just recently when it was voted as Britain’s favourite ABBA record of all time on UK TV. Hence the reason it is the featured video.

I actually think Meryl Streep’s version was a very credible cover and was surprised to find out that she is actually a very talented singer. Really can’t say the same about Pierce Brosnan who in truth probably did the song a favour by not participating in the vocals. Although Meryl Streep swears that she fed off his acting acumen during the performance to give the song her best shot. Well if she says so, who am I to question it?

I have to admit however that yes we do have a copy of the film Mamma Mia tucked away for those days when you need a bit of a feel good movie to lift the spirits, which it never fails to do incidentally, but we have also been the proud owners of two of ABBA’s greatest hits albums ABBA – Gold: Greatest Hits and of course More ABBA Gold for many years now. My personal favourite is the first one, not sure why but that is the one that gets the most airings in our house. Although if you take a look at the track listing you can sort of see why it would be.

Anyway there it is, I have said it now recorded in the annals of music blogs for all to see. I am an ABBA fan and some 40 years later I still love them and their reincarnation via the Mamma Mia stage musical and film. So there!

ABBA – Gold

1. Dancing Queen
2. Knowing Me, Knowing You
3. Take A Chance On Me
4. Mamma Mia
5. Lay All Your Love On Me
6. Super Trouper
7. I Have A Dream
8. The Winner Takes It All
9. Money, Money, Money
10. S.O.S.
11. Chiquitita
12. Fernando
13. Voulez Vous
14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
15. Does Your Mother Know
16. One Of Us
17. The Name Of The Game
18. Thank You For The Music
19. Waterloo

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Drury

Posted on March 04, 2012

Ian Drury was a most unlikely looking pop-star but fortunately that didn’t stop him from becoming just that. The featured video in this article is ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ which was a UK number one hit in 1979 after being released at the end of 1978. Ian Drury and the blockheads were a big part of New Wave music around this time and had several big hits in addition to Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick. These included ‘What a Waste’,’Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3′ and of course Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

I was reminded of this Ian Drury hit through the most unlikely of sources, Brian Moore the once upon a time English rugby hooker, now turned rugby pundit, was commenting on the six nations rugby tournament when it was revealed he had been invited onto the ‘Desert Islands Disks’ radio show. This is where celebrities reveal what music they would take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. Sure you have guessed by now, but number 2 on his list was ‘Hit me With Your Rhythm Stick’ right after ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — Queen of the Night’. You could say it was a bit of a mix, but well done anyway Brian, at least I got reminded about Ian Drury, and actually if I am honest Mozart is one of my favourite classical composers. So here you go the featured video.

All the tracks mentioned above are on Sex & Drugs & Rock N Roll: Best of Ian Drury and the Blockheads, plus a few more as you can see from the listing below. So this may have come from an unusual source but it was a good reminder of a great ‘New Wave’ band. Hope you enjoy it.

1. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
2. Razzle In My Pocket (A True Story)
3. Wake Up And Make Love With Me
4. Sweet Gene Vincent
5. Billericay Dickie
6. Clevor Trever
7. Blockheads
8. You’re More Than Fair
9. What A Waste!
10. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
11. There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards
12. Inbetweenies
13. Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3
14. Common As Muck
15. I Want To Be Straight
16. That’s Not All
17. Superman’s Big Sister
18. You’ll See Glimpses