By Chuck Klosterman
Originally amassed in Eating the Dinosaur and now to be had either as a stand-alone essay and within the publication assortment Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is ready ABBA.
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Extra resources for ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
My first clue, I think, was hearing people talk about Muriel’s Wedding in 1994. I don’t think I saw Muriel’s Wedding until 1997. ” And what I came to realize is that these moviegoers were unknowingly making a critical distinction that explains why this group is so resilient and timeless. ” The M requires capitalization. And this is because—more than any other group of the post-Beatles era—ABBA is a genre unto itself. It’s a brand of music that’s sometimes recognizable in different songs and sometimes glimpsed through other artists, and everyone naturally grasps the qualities that come with it; you sometimes hear elements of it in department stores or druggy foreign films or New Age religious services.
They are the only group who completely understands what they do, including the things they do wrong. So if that is what you like, there is only one place to really get it. The rest of culture does not matter. The Grateful Dead were kind of like this as well, but not as singularly as ABBA; while it’s easy to think of artists who deliver a comparable sonic experience to the Dead, the closest equivalent to ABBA Music—probably the Bee Gees—doesn’t come close at all. ” Its musical traits have been outlined ad nauseam elsewhere: Their records feature a wall of sound where overdubbing makes every detail bigger and brighter than it should be.
There’s a scene in the 2004 Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster where guitarist Kirk Hammett is upset over the band’s unwillingness to let him play a conventional rock guitar solo on their new record. Hammett argues, “Can I say something that I think is bullshit? This whole fucking [notion that including a guitar solo] dates the whole thing? That’s so bullshit. Because if we don’t play a guitar solo in one of these songs, that dates it to this period. ” When this exchange occurs during the film, everyone in the audience giggles.