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Digital Subscriptions > Learn Hot English > 179 > ABBA Thank you for the Music

ABBA Thank you for the Music

A look at one of Sweden’s most successful exports: ABBA.

IKEA. Volvo. The sauna. Sweden is famous for a lot of things, but one of the most popular is the iconic musical super-group ABBA. They were on top of the charts all over the world from the mid-1970s. Then, in 2008, they were back in the news and charts with the success of the film and musical Mamma Mia.

ABBA ruled the music world from the mid-to-late 1970s to the early 1980s. The group dominated charts worldwide, releasing numerous hit singles and albums. Estimates of ABBA’s total worldwide sales vary from 360 to 400 million (360 million albums in 1999), which makes them the second most successful band of all time after The Beatles. They were the first act from the European mainland to become a regular fixture in British, American and Australian charts, and their success subsequentlyopened the doors for many other European acts. ABBA left their legacy as very successful musicians who were responsible for globalising Swedish music.

ABBA was formed around 1972 by Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (nicknamed “Frida”). ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of each group member’s name. They became famous in Europe after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo”. The group consisted of two couples, Björn and Agnetha along with Benny and Frida. As they started making more songs together, the group became more and more popular.

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About Learn Hot English

The latest issue of Hot English (179 – the April issue) is out now! Learn over 300 useful words and expressions and improve your listening skills with Learn Hot English! This month: How to improve your listening skills! Learn how to listen more effectively. This will help you at work and with your personal relations, as well as improving your ability to listen in English. Plus, 12 useful words to describe lunchtime food, 10 useful past tense verbs, 8 words to use at the amusement park, 10 important words for describing the “economy”, “embarrassing” idioms... plus: • Quiz – what’s your workplace personality? • Food – lunchtime! • Mystery – ghost towns • Health – the benefits of yoga • Language – how to paraphrase • Politics – things that got banned • Workplace humour – naughty employees • Medicine – are you eating too much salt? • Cinema – Young Frankenstein • Cuisine – Eggs Benedict • Humour – April Fool’s Day jokes • Crime – stupid criminals • Music – ABBA and Elvis Presley • Nature – cute animals that bite • History – conscientious objectors • Terror – The Golden Hand AND LOTS, LOTS MORE! By reading and listening to all this great content, you'll improve your English reading and listening skills and learn up to 300 useful words or expressions. Plus, you'll get a better job and pass English-language exams more easily. Guaranteed!