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Abba - Thank You For The Music (1983)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.2
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"Thank You for the Music" is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally featured on the group's fifth studio ...

"Thank You for the Music" is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally featured on the group's fifth studio album The Album (1977), and was released as a single on 6 November 1983, to promote the Epic Records compilation album of the same name (similar compilations were released in other countries). The song "Our Last Summer", which was originally featured on the group's seventh studio album Super Trouper (1980), was the B-side. The song was simultaneously released in Ireland (as Epic were the licensees for both UK and Ireland), and later released in France (by Disques Vogue), with the same B-side but different artwork, and the Netherlands (by Polydor Records), with "Medley" as the B-side (and again, different artwork).

"Thank You for the Music" was also released as a B-side with "Eagle" as the A-side in 1978, which itself was only released in limited territories, namely Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and Australia. It was released as an A-side single in South Africa where it peaked at number 2 in August 1978 and became the eighteenth best-selling single of that year.

The album version was recorded on 21 July 1977 at Glen Studio after a complete alternate version (known as "Thank You for the Music" (Doris Day version)) was recorded on 2 June 1977 at Marcus Music Studio. The Doris Day version was first released on a box set of the same name on 31 October 1994. Agnetha Fältskog performed the lead vocals, with Anni-Frid Lyngstad joining in on the chorus. "Thank You for the Music" was intended to form part of a "mini-musical" called The Girl with the Golden Hair (a phrase which is featured in the song) that songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson included in ABBA's 1977 tour. It was the opening track in the four-song musical, which also included "I Wonder (Departure)", "I'm a Marionette" and "Get on the Carousel". The first three songs from the musical were featured on ABBA: The Album; the latter remains unreleased. "Thank You for the Music" is better known in its own right today.

"Gracias por la Música" is the Spanish-language recording of "Thank You for the Music", with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey. The B-side was the Spanish-language version of "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" entitled "¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!". The song was released in 1980 to promote the band's Spanish-language album/compilation Gracias Por La Música. It was the group's seventh best-selling Spanish single, and also peaked at number 4 in Argentina.

"Thank You for the Music" also formed part of ABBA: The Movie which featured studio recordings of selected songs from the then newly released album ABBA: The Album. The song is included in the final scenes as the hapless journalist finally gets to broadcast his ABBA radio special, including an interview, on Australian radio. The song is accompanied by footage of a studio recording session, a live stage performance and a mimed studio performance by the four members of the group. The song also plays over the closing titles as the camera pans out from the band performing in a hut on an island in the Stockholm archipelago to views of the archipelago itself.

Reception

It was not released as a single in the United Kingdom and Ireland until late 1983, peaking at number 33 and number 17 respectively, despite being released in both a poster sleeve and a picture disc in addition to the regular version. The low chart placings could be attributed to ABBA's declining popularity since their last Top 10 hit in 1981. Because of the song's inclusion on ABBA: The Album and Greatest Hits Vol.2 (both of which topped the UK charts), as well as being performed by the band during their world tours, it can be said that "Thank You for the Music" had been heard by fans and the like many times up to this point. The title itself is often also taken to signal the end of ABBA, leading it to be considered a farewell song. In the Netherlands, the song peaked at number 38, but in France it could only manage number 58.

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