It was 1977 and I had finally got my hands on my very own piece of vinyl. ABBA’s Arrival had, erm, arrived, its shiny-helicoptered pop stars starring out at me as I held a gatefold I would paw over for years. It would be a while before a Dare from Sheffield would supersede the Swedish superstars but until then I was devoted to Björn & Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid (oh Anni, Anni, Anni!) as they captivated my eight-year-old dancing heart.
Over 40 years later and I’m happy to say today I was a Dancing Queen. Again. Spinning round our flat, much to my neighbour’s amusement, a butch dyke delivering some Priscilla meets French & Saunders meets Linda meets Muriel meets Meryl realness on a drab Sunday afternoon. Because regardless of the cool-not-cool debates around ABBA no one can deny something my moody gothic teenage self tried to do for so long. ABBA are nothing but joy, pure unadulterated joy with harmonies that forever melt the heart and melodies that will always get you in the mood for a dance. And as for those strings? Honey, honey be still my strung out heart. A heart that is forever grateful for the moment my sexual preference for Anni-Frid, not Björn, raised its brunette loving head.
So here’s to ABBA, my unsung heroes who brought the song to my life. Cultural icons so beloved by my tribe, pop genius more influential than any Eurovision winner should ever be, and bell-bottomed foursome whose arrival in my life started an addiction to vinyl that since that day in ’77 has always been greeted with two words. Gimme gimme.
Stream Wildblood’s 50 Tunes For 50 Years on Spotify