Waterloo (ABBA song)

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"Waterloo"
Single by ABBA
from the album Waterloo
A-side"Honey, Honey" (Swedish-language release)
B-side"Watch Out" (English-language release)
Released4 March 1974[1]
Format7" single
Recorded17 December 1973
Metronome Studios, Stockholm
Genre
Length2:42
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
ABBA singles chronology
"Rock'n Roll Band"
(1973)
"Waterloo"
(1974)
"Honey, Honey"
(1974)
Music video
"Waterloo" at YouTube
Music video
"Waterloo (Eurovision Performance)" at YouTube
Sweden "Waterloo"
Eurovision Song Contest 1974 entry
Country
Artist(s)
As
Language
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)
Conductor
Finals performance
Final result
1st
Final points
24
Appearance chronology
◄ "You're Summer" (1973)   
"Jennie, Jennie" (1975) ►

"Waterloo" is the first single from the Swedish pop group ABBA's second album, Waterloo and their first under the Epic and Atlantic labels. This was also the first single to be credited to the group performing under the name ABBA.

On 6 April 1974 the song was the winning entry for Sweden in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The victory began ABBA's path to worldwide fame. The Swedish version of the single was a double A-side with "Honey, Honey" (Swedish version), while the English version usually featured "Watch Out" on the B-side.

The single became a No. 1 hit in several countries. It reached the U.S. Top 10 and went on to sell nearly six million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

At the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, it was chosen as the best song in the competition's history.

At Eurovision[change | change source]

The band considered submitting another song to Eurovision, "Hasta Mañana", but decided on "Waterloo" since it gave equal weight to both lead vocalists Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, while "Hasta Mañana" was sung only by Fältskog.

ABBA performed the song at Melodifestivalen 1974 in February, singing it in Swedish. The song won, and therefore advanced to Eurovision.

The song differed from the standard "dramatic ballad" tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest by its flavour and rhythm, as well as by its performance. ABBA gave the audience something that had more rarely been seen before in Eurovision: flashy costumes (including silver platform boots), plus a catchy uptempo song and even simple choreography. The group also broke from convention by being the first winning entry in a language other than that of their home country; prior to 1973 all Eurovision singers had been required to sing in their country's native tongue, a restriction that was lifted briefly for the contests between 1973 and 1976 contests (thus allowing "Waterloo" to be sung in English), then reinstated before ultimately being removed again in 1999. Compared to later ABBA releases, the singers' Swedish accents are decidedly more pronounced in "Waterloo".

The song won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 final on 6 April, beating runner-up Gigliola Cinquetti of Italy's entry "Sì" by six points.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Album waterloo « Waterloo | ABBA". Abbasite.com. 4 March 1974. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  2. Shahriari, Andrew (28 September 2010). "Europop and Folk Fusions". Popular World Music. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-13-612898-4.
  3. Raykoff, Ivan; Deam Tobin, Robert, eds. (2007). "Camping on the borders of Europe". A Song for Europe: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest. Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7546-5879-5.