ABBA: “Dancing Queen”

Posted: January 3, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Dancing Queen” – ABBA
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Milo Binder vs. Robbie Fulks
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

Dancing Queen was released by ABBA in August 1976. It is commonly referred to as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s. Dancing Queen became a massive worldwide hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries including ABBA’s native Sweden (where it spent 14 weeks at the top), Australia, Belgium, Brazil, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Mexico,the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway (where it charted for 32 weeks), making it the 11th best-performing single of all time in that country), South Africa and Rhodesia. Dancing Queen also topped the charts in the United States, ABBA’s only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a Top 5 hit in Austria, Canada, Finland, France and Switzerland. The song sold over three million copies.


The Original




THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Despite the substantial accolades described above this is truly an awful song. The 1970s probably produced the worst body of music in the last century and very possibly the entire history of the planet. And Dancing Queen certainly is exemplary in epitomizing all that was wrong with the 70s music scene; perfectly straight pearly white teeth centering witless, blissful, smiley faced “musicians” donning polyester, pastel leisure suits while assaulting the listening public with insipid lyrics that convey vapid bubble-gum bromides, which were required for the era’s pretentious dance gyrations and subsequent vacuous mating rituals.

Songs of this era are easily mocked and lampooned. Yet, the offerings below are unique and, quite frankly brilliant, in that they manage to make this disaster of a song (i.e. Dancing Queen) sound poignant and as far-fetched as it may seem, even enjoyable! Skeptical, are you? Well, bang on …

Milo Binder vs. Robbie Fulks


Milo Binder:

Robbie Fulks:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    Between the two cover it’s a tough call as to which is best. But once thing for certain: They’re both a helluva lot better than the original.

  2. Arnie Plotnick says:

    It’s a tough call between these two covers because both of them are really awful. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Sorry…the original is much better. Take it from one who has actually visited the ABBA Museum in Sweden.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    I’ll say the cover guys sounded better, but the Abba ladies looked better. Had to go with my boy Robbie, ’cause I’d be vilified in the blogosphere otherwise.

    Kudos to Dubbs for the brilliantly descriptive paragraph on the lamentable lameness of seventies pop.

    • RDubbs says:

      The first time I heard Milo Binder it was “Dancing Queen”, which was on a compilation covers disc. From the first time I heard it I thought it was pure genius. With tongue set firmly in cheek he simply nailed the perfect cover. At that point I was really interested in hearing more from the guy. The liner notes mentioned that he hailed from San Francisco. That was a long time ago. The Internet was either not around yet or somewhere in its early stages. My old buddy, Kerry, was living in San Fran at the time so I asked him to see if he could find out anything about the guy. A few weeks later Kerry mailed me a Milo Binder cd. Do you remember this, Kerry? Once again, a hearty thank you for your efforts back then.

      I was really impressed with the guy’s solo work. Obviously influenced by Tom Waits, his lyrics superbly described the human condition and complexities of modern existence. The music perfectly pitched and the production stripped down enough to give the listener the feel of a live show.

      Yesterday I found Milo on facebook and sent him a message. We’ve since exchanged a few amicable messages back and forth. I took a look on AllMusic to see if Binder ever produced any additional cds. Unfortunately not but I was satisfied to see that AllMusic agreed with my assessment of Binder’s excellence, awarding his single release an extremely impressive 4 1/2 stars: .

  4. RDubbs says:

    Songs like these are what cultivated my love of the cover tune. Two first-rate musicians + one horrific song = two eminently enjoyable covers. If the memory of ABBA’s original creation could be totally excised from my mind I would not only enjoy either of these two versions but would probably also fail to notice the inane lyrics. Fantastic, simply fantastic.

    Robbie Fulks has done quite a few, varied versions of Dancing Queen live. Here’s one that really rocks towards the end:

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