Sun. May 26th, 2024
ABBA in London

In the documentary “ABBA: AGAINST THE ODDS,” which premieres on Saturday, May 11 on CW, viewers are taken back to 1980 to explore the creation of one of ABBA’s biggest hits, “The Winner Takes It All.” This song, often considered the perfect breakup anthem by many ABBA fans, carries a deep authenticity stemming from the band’s real-life experiences.

ABBA in London

Björn Ulvaeus, aged 79, reflects on the significance of songwriting and the emotional depth it can evoke. He describes how great music is born from human experiences and deep emotions. Writing lyrics, according to Ulvaeus, is a delicate balance between crafting poetry and melody, often conjuring up vivid images and moods. ABBA

During a studio session, Ulvaeus presented the lyrics of “The Winner Takes It All” to the band, and they immediately felt a strong connection to it. The song’s creation coincided with Ulvaeus’ recent divorce from Agnetha Fältskog, his wife of seven years. This personal experience added a layer of raw emotion to the song, making it resonate deeply with both the band members and their audience. ABBA

ABBA in London

“I’m a very feeling person, and I really tried to pour my life experience and my emotions, everything, into this song,” says Fältskog, aged 74.

Ulvaeus adds, “Going through a divorce is difficult, as anyone who’s done it would know. That was, of course, occupying my thoughts. But there was not one winner in the case of us.” ABBA

“The Winner Takes It All” was included on their highly successful album “Super Trouper” in 1980. Coincidentally, in the same year they released the album, the marriage of Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson began to crumble, leading to their decision to part ways.

ABBA in London

“It wasn’t just about the music. It was also about love. It was a life lived together. Somehow, all four of us,” says Lyngstad, aged 78, as Andersson, aged 77, adds, “That was powerful. One of our best, I think.”

Although the band managed to maintain professionalism amidst their relationship troubles, performing the song suddenly became too challenging. ABBA

“We could feel that the song had suddenly become a bit heavy. It was no longer as enjoyable to record. There was something in the atmosphere. A bit tragic,” says Fältskog.

Ulvaeus adds, “We had an explosive story and creative period… and then it stopped.” ABBA

The band went their separate ways in 1982, with Fältskog admitting that it was too difficult to keep the band going. In 2022, the band made a rare red carpet appearance together for the premiere of their virtual concert series, which supported the release of their studio album Voyage, marking their first album release in 40 years.

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