ABBA: “Dancing Queen”

Posted: March 11, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Dancing Queen” – ABBA
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Belle & Sebastian vs. Milo Binder vs. Garageland
VOTE, COMMENT, then TAKE OUT THE TRASH
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And In My Hour of Need, I Truly Am Indeed, Alone Again, Broccoli ...

And In My Hour of Need,
I Truly Am Indeed,
Alone Again, Broccoli …

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. And yet, it is still remarkably atrocious. Or, to put it more technically, it is unequivocally an “auditive malady”.

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The Original

ABBA:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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As alluded to above, despite the substantial acclaim achieved and accolades bestowed upon it, this is truly an abysmal song, the quintessential auditive malady. 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, despite covering a dead-weight anchor of a song, the offerings below are quite frankly brilliant, in that they manage to make this disaster (aka Dancing Queen)  actually tolerable! Skeptical, are you? Well, bang on …

Belle & Sebastian vs. Milo Binder vs. Garageland
Belle & Sebastian:

Milo Binder:

Garageland:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 

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

Comments
  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I confess that ABBA is a guilty pleasure of mine. When I was in Stockholm, I went to the ABBA Museum, and it was totally fabulous. It really was. Dancing Queen is not one of my favorite songs of theirs, mostly because of that really cheesy arrangement, with the big piano flourishes and the strings. Milo Binder’s version strips all that away down to just the bare bones song. The song itself is nothing special, but this stripped down version is the best cover of it, I think.

  2. RDubbs says:

    Milo Binder’s “Dancing Queen” is one of my favorite covers. A true Hall-of-Famer. He takes a fluff-kitten, toothy-delicious, disco-drivel canker of a song and transforms it into a Dylanesque ballad. Sheer genius, really. B&S’s take was fun and I really liked Garageland’s dystopian dirge. But in the end I have to stick with my old standby, Milo Binder’s terrific interpretation. Just saying …

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