Abba were the first band I can remember. When I was three or four, ‘Arrival’ had come out and my parents bought it for me and would sit with me patiently, listening to the whole LP over and over again. I can still remember identifying the songs by their tones and feels, not having a clue what they were on about. Which was definitely a blessing in the case of ‘Dum Dum Diddle’.
The cover was (and is) gorgeous and became synonymous with the music for me. Four goodlooking people in white boiler suits standing around a still helicopter, in a mysterious dusk. Sure! Why not? The beautiful title track, all yearning chorale and folkish melody entranced and soothed me, after the terrifying screaming finale to the preceding ‘I Am The Tiger’.
The following year I was gifted ‘Abba The Album’, by a friendly nurse who worked at my dad’s surgery. It had to be explained that this was Abba – I still remember that, weirdly clearly, I initially didn’t understand that this was the same group of people as those standing around the helicopter. But again, here was a mysterious cover with lots to look at, colourful » Continue Reading.