Friday, 22 June 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1974

The Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest was called Melodifestivalen 1974 and was held on February 9th in Stockholm, hosted by Johan Sandström. The winner was chosen by the votes of 11 regional juries. It was, by far, won by the group ABBA. Their song was called Waterloo, which was written by Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Stig Anderson.


01. Waterloo - ABBA, 302 points
02. Min kärleksång till dej - Lasse Berghagen, 211 points
03. En enda jord - Lena Ericsson, 185 points
04. Fröken Ur sång - Titti Sjöblom, 148 points
05. En grön dröm om dej - Inger Öst, 61 points
06. En dröm är en dröm - Sylvia Vrethammar & Göran Fristorp, 31 points
07. Jag minns dej nog - Göran Fristorp, 16 points
08. I annorlunda land - Glenmarks, 15 points
09. Den sista sommaren av mitt liv - Lena Bergqvist, 11 points
10. En mysig vals - Östen Warnerbring, 10 points

Waterloo was originally written in Swedish, but for the ESC final, it was translated into English, which the rules allowed the years 1973-1976. ABBA was one of the favorites to win ESC, held in Brighton, United Kingdom.  Sweden got a total of 24 points, compared to runner-up Italy's 18. This was Sweden's first victory, and ABBA got international superstar status, with a success second only to The Beatles. They have sold a reported 370 million records worldwide. In 2005, the 50th anniversary show Congratulations, Waterloo was chosen the best Eurovision song ever.

ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982. They are also known for winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, giving Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the contest.

ABBA has sold over 370 million records worldwide and still sell millions of records a year, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists. ABBA was the first pop group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish.

During the band's active years, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus were a married couple, as were Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, although both couples later divorced. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus-Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson-Lyngstad marriage in 1981. As a result, these relationship changes began appearing in the group's music, and later compositions produced more introspective lyrics.

After ABBA broke up in late 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued individual solo careers with mixed success. ABBA's music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group, spawning several tribute bands. In 1999, ABBA's music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name released in 2008 became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.

If you want to know more about ABBA, click here for information about ABBA's partcipation at the W.P.S.F in 1972, here for their participation at Melodifestivalen 1973, here for ABBA's participation at Melodifestivalen 1974 and here  for information about their song Bang A Boomerang.

Click here if you want to know more about Agnetha and here for more facts about Frida.

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