Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It's the best I can do.

It's not my intention, really, to keep up with the one-band megasong entries, but I've had Abba in my head the past few days and, seriously, Abba has to be one of the top three most-covered acts of all time and it's hard to narrow it down to one or two tracks. (Plus, I've been so busy the past few weeks, I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like in general.) I could start an Abba cover site and post eight songs a day for a year and there'd still be millions more. Metal, country, new age, Broadway, teen pop, rockabilly, goth, indie acts? They all cover Abba.

  • Lush "Hey Hey Helen" (Abba cover)
    One of my favorite Abba covers by far. I miss Lush.

  • A*Teens "Our Last Summer" (Abba cover)
    The original version of this song was the one stuck in my head earlier this week. As a child in the late '70s, I wore my Abba albums out and quickly tired of the bigger hits. This song was my first introduction to the pronunciation of Parisian landmarks and may well have been what prompted me to study French instead of German or Spanish once I hit middle school. This song is super-sappy, hence its appeal to an 8-year-old. But, even at 8, the line "and now you're working in a bank/ the family man, the football fan/ and your name is Harry" perplexed me. Had he changed his name since that summer in Paris? I chalked it up to English not being Abba's first language. Aaaanyhow, this song is more obscure than most Abba songs covered, so of course it would be done by one of the most perplexing Abba tribute acts. It seems these young Swedes wanted to experience the same level of fame as their elder countrymen and chose to do so by paying homage to Abba by totally ripping them off. And to think I missed the opportunity of posting this on March 7, which—according to various fan sites— was "International Day of A*Teens World-Wide"!

  • Mad Heads "Money, Money, Money" (Abba cover)
    Ukranian psychobilly, eh? Okay.

  • Yngwie Malmsteen "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" (Abba cover)
    Aaah, Yngwie! Always rousing us with his lick-filled covers!

  • Therion "Summernight City" (Abba cover)
    Another Swedish band paying homage to their forefathers via gothy Ozzy-influenced death metal.

  • Gheorghe Zamfir and Dana Dragomir "Chiquitita" (Abba cover)
    It's spring in Chicago and you know what that means: Any day now you can expect to hear pan flute wafting up the city streets into your office from the arts and crafts tent fair below. But Zamfir, it ain't. Pan flute at Chicago street fairs is usually South American. This is pan flute from my Romanian brethren. (Although Dana, the world's first female professional pan flautist, currently resides in Abba's Sweden.) Bow before Zamfir, master of the pan flute!

  • Sensitive New Age Cowpersons "Dancing Queen" (Abba cover)
    The scariest four-word combination in the world: Australian bluegrass comic musicians.

  • Evan Dando "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (Abba cover)
    I've made lots of fun of Evan Dando in my day. I'm guessing this is because everyone I've met who looks like him has been either an asshole or a total freak (or both) and because everyone I've ever met who lists the Lemonheads as a favorite act has been either an asshole or a total freak (or both). But that's not really Evan's fault. Is it?
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