I'm sorry, but the time has come for me to admit I love Abba. I know, it's Abba, but you know what? Abba is great, and I was an idiot for ignoring this fact for too long.
If I had any sense I would have given the gigantic Swedish pop group at least a smidgen of a chance before, but no, I had to think about musicals and Broadway and simply hate on them with no reason whatsoever. My justification wasn't even hatred, it was indifference.
I grew up with rock music in my house, and I'm pretty sure my parents couldn't spot an Abba song if it was playing on a loudspeaker in the bathroom. That's certainly not a bad thing, but in the way of '70s pop, I was absolutely in the dark about all of it.
Who changed my mind? Who forced me to give Abba a chance? Was it a lady? A boy? A record store clerk with snarky eyes? Well, actually it was Tom Scharpling, host of the Best Show on WFMU. Serious or not, his consistent interaction with the Abba box Thank You for the Music on his show seeped into my brain and left a mark. If you're confused by the word interaction, check out this clip (warning, opens the not especially awesome Realplayer) from November 13, 2007 and fast forward to about 18:00.
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Why would this consistent and insistent playing of Abba change my mind? Simply put, he opened the show with an Abba song for like, a year, and eventually, I started enjoying it. I mean, really started enjoying it. I've grown to love tracks like "The Winner Takes it All," which is one of the best songs about losing your man to another lady and "Another Town, Another Train" is one of my favorites because it's about skipping out on a gal before she even wakes up. Even the supremely goofy "Does Your Mother Know" is enjoyable.
I realize admitting liking Abba is a little weird -- after all, they're huge, massive in the pop world (or were, I guess), but who the hell still gives a crap about them now?
At least one person does, and that's John McCain, but his effort to use one of their tracks as a campaign song was thwarted by licensing, thankfully, saving the rest of us from having an excellent track killed by the image of him dancing around to "Take a Chance On Me."
In the end, I'm not really sure what to think. Should I be proud of my Abba-love? Embarrassed?