ABBA’s Essential, Influential Melancholy

More good stuff at NPR. Great quote.

Dressed in black and greeted by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, former ABBA members Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson took their 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seriously and sincerely. While Lyngstad definitively dismissed reunion rumors, Andersson spoke of the quartet’s musical roots and emotional core. He explained that there was only one radio station when they were kids in 1950s Sweden, and it played one, maybe two hours of music a day. During this program of classical music, jazz, Swedish folk, Italian arias, French chanson, German schmaltz and John Philip Sousa, there might have been one current song. While acknowledging the influence of the Leiber/Stoller, Goffin/King and Lennon/McCartney songwriting teams, as well as The Beach Boys, Motown, Joni Mitchell, Chuck Berry and The Kinks, he admitted an absence of American blues. He didn’t mention his band was derided for this by authenticity-fixated critics during their ’70s/early ’80s heyday: Otherwise rightfully esteemed Village Voice critic Robert Christgau once wrote of ABBA, “We have met the enemy and they are them.”