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Why ABBA members dislike their hit "Summer Night City" so much

It's hard to believe that this beautiful summer hit has become a "dark spot" in the Swedish band's repertoire - at least according to the members of ABBA. Why so?

How "Summer Night Town" was born, or the story of an "unloved" ABBA hit

"Summer Night City." - a great, very energetic and melodic track that celebrates "Summer Night City."! Dedicated, by the way, Stockholm - Benny Andersson was a native of the lovely Swedish capital, and this composition was a kind of tribute to his beloved city. But it never became the favorite of the ABBA members themselves, and in the charts it showed "weak." results, becoming the last number one for the guys back home...

Millions of people still lovingly listen to "Summer Night City" after all these years! And it's hard to believe that this beautiful summer hit has become "dark spot" in the Swedish band's repertoire - at least according to the members of ABBA themselves. Why is it so? We suggest to find out together, and at the same time to study the history of the favorite track.

Influence of the Bee Gees

ABBA
ABBA

Written as a tribute to Stockholm, "Summer Night City." was released as a single, which was the last number one single of ABBA in their homeland. The members understood that the new album is still far away, so they decided to please the fans with a separate single. By the way: this track was originally planned to be included in "Voulez-Vous"But that idea was quickly abandoned. But first things first.

To fill the gap, ABBA took the song about summer Stockholm from the sessions started in May of that year and released it as a separate single September 6, 1978. Many critics have emphasized the obvious influence on the song Bee GeesThe band, which that year was enjoying the peak of its fame! The track everyone knows today also had a different name, and not just one: it was "Dancing in the Moonlight" and even "Kalle Sändare" (which served as a reference to the then popular Swedish comedian).

Recording process and release

ABBA
ABBA

Written in honor of Benny's hometown, known for its fragrant summer nights, the song originated in Metronome Studiobut was one of the first versions later completed in the Polar Music StudioThe group created for the recording session in Stockholm. Agnetha and Frida first sang their solo parts, and then overlays of all the members were added. But before it was released, the composition literally lay on the shelf until August, as the musicians were in no hurry to mix it. Or rather, some difficulties hindered it. Several attempts were made to improve the final version, but the members themselves said that all that was "not that.". It is known that several variations are still in the band's archive, and it is unlikely that we will ever hear them.

The "gloomy mood" was also added. B sidewhich was a mix of covers of American standards, a medley of "Pick a Bale of Cotton," "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Midnight Special. It was a single eventWhen ABBA played someone else's tracks. And that couldn't help but make us uncomfortable. Subsequently bjorn He said that all these songs were very difficult for them to sing:

"We didn't perform that medley as well as we would have liked, and it was a big disappointment to all of us..."

"Failure."

ABBA Band. 80-е
ABBA Group

In fact, to call "Summer Night City" a failed single it is forbidden - The track showed very good results in the charts: number one in Ireland and Finland, top 5 in Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and a number of other countries! But there were some nuances. For example - it was last The number one single in ABBA's native Sweden, as well as the first song that was not included in the UK top 3The song was the first of its kind, stopping at the fifth position. For this reason, the musicians perceived this composition as "the beginning of the end of their own career.

In interviews, the quartet members spoke very negatively about this summer masterpiece - Bjorn dubbed "Summer Night City" "a really lousy song," while Benny repeatedly claimed that regrets about her release.

Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson

Nevertheless, for many listeners this composition remains favorite pearl ABBA repertoire, which is especially pleasant to listen to in summer! And for fellow artists the tune is still of interest: "Summer Night City" was covered by a huge number of covers, from solo performers to bands and DJs! For example - in 2019 the hit was performed by Bananarama.

That's the story of one song that you (like us) hardly thought "failed.".

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