ABBA: Thank You for the Music

2017, Performing Arts  -  46 min Leave a Comment
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The only thing more impressive than the meteoric rise of the Swedish supergroup ABBA is the longevity they've enjoyed for nearly five decades. Their music thrives through every generation. Originally produced in 2017, the exhilarating documentary ABBA: Thank You for the Music explores the band's origins, resurgence and recent reunion.

Members of the band - including Bjorn, Agnetha, and Benny - discuss the chemistry that produced one hit song after another on their road to international superstardom. Additional interviews with some of the collaborators they met along the way, and one particularly enthusiastic fan, further illustrate their unprecedented staying power.

Originally, they dwelled in covers until they determined they could only soar with their original material. In a small hut in Stockholm, they began to craft their signature sound: an inventive wall of sound accented by surprising melodies and vocals that never failed to uplift.

From "Dancing Queen" to "Fernando", their music felt like freedom and went on to define the era in which they were released. A run a sold-out tours ensued, which effectively garnered the devotion of countless millions across the globe. Over 360 million record sales later, ABBA's popularity shows no signs of waning. This is due in no small part to the release of several tribute and compilation albums, as well as the runaway success of the films "Muriel's Wedding" and "Mamma Mia!". This is particularly stunning considering the band dissolved for well over three decades before reconvening in 2016.

The band members recall their break-up, and the insatiable public appetite that brought them back into the spotlight. The film catches them at a stage of their journey when they're preparing a new album and world tour.

The film is not a typical warts-and-all portrait of a dysfunctional band. There doesn't seem to be any overly destructive addictions or in-fighting to contend with; in fact, each of the band's members come across as authentically humble, reasonably well-adjusted and deeply appreciative of their success. The tone of the documentary is as good-natured and infectious as the tunes themselves.

Featuring a wealth of archived concert footage and wall-to-wall hit songs, ABBA: Thank You for the Music is a worthy tribute to one of his history's most beloved bands.