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

Hazel O ‘ Connor, Breaking Glass

Posted on October 08, 2010

Re-Joyce, The Hazel O'Connor CollectiveIt’s not often you go to a private party and find that a pop and rock icon from the 80’s is helping the celebrations along by performing a few songs for her friends. Well that is exactly what happened last night and the pop icon in question was the amazing Hazel O’Connor. It wasn’t so much that she gained a fan last night as me being reminded that I have always been a fan since she first came onto the scene in the 80’s.

Assisted by the guitarist she had only met the day before, who did a reasonable job by the way, she sang a few of her signature tunes including ‘Will You’ and ‘Stay Now’. Her songs were a real blast from the past for me and the first time I had heard any of her stuff for a good few years. But what a treat and a great contribution to a fabulous night out.

Didn’t stop there either, another star act was Hanna Grover who is currently starring in Mamma Mia in the west end. She could certainly belt out a tune as well, one of which was Lulu’s ‘Shout’. Based on her performance I think anyone in the UK should get themselves down to the West End and buy themselves a ticket for Mamma Mia, so you can find out first hand just how good she is.

Hazel O got her big break back in the 80’s when she played the lead role of ‘Kate’ in the film Breaking Glass although she had previously played a part in a film called ‘Girls Come First’ which was her d├ębut acting role in 1975; the year after I left school by the way. When the album ‘Breaking Glass‘ was released Hazel did a UK tour and used a little known group at the time as her support. To cut a long story short, Duran Duran got their first record deal off the publicity they got through touring with Hazel and the album ‘Breaking Glass’ ended up as a double platinum hit spending 28 weeks in the UK charts.

She is now on the brink of releasing a brand new single called Re-Joyce which will be available on the 6th December 2010. That is going to be a pretty competitive period in the musical world, with X Factor and a whole host of stars getting their music released for the run into Christmas. Hope Hazel does well, be great to see her in the top ten again. You can find Hazel on Itunes if you want to get some of her music and her new single should be available there as stated from the 6th December 2010.

Breaking Glass by Hazel O’Connor

1. Writing On The Wall
2. Monsters In Disguise
3. Come Into The Air
4. Big Brother
5. Who Needs It
6. Will You?
7. Eighth Day
8. Top Of The Wheel
9. Calls The Tune
10. Blackman
11. Give Me An Inch
12. If Only