Posts Tagged ‘ABBA’

Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway To Heaven’ beaten by Take That as most uplifting song

March 20, 2011

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Led Zeppelin’s 1971 classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ has been beaten by Take That’s feel-good song ‘Greatest Day’ as the best tune for giving listeners a morning boost, according to a new study of mood enhancers by US scientists.

Researchers monitored body and brain reactions to 30 different pieces of music and measured which ones made listeners most excited. The Top Five songs most likely to make us smile included ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA (No. 3), CeCe Peniston’s ‘Finally’ (No. 4) and Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ (No. 5).

Dr David Lewis Hodgson, of Mindlab International Laboratory which conducted the research, said: “Music affects people in different ways, and monitoring brain and body activity allowed us to determine the best song to give people the perfect start to the day.”

Scientists have also found that listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting music a day can help the over-50s to keep their immune system in top shape – especially during the health-threatening winter months.

Studies have shown that mood-enhancing music increases the release of feel-good endorphins and antibodies which help to build up the immune system. At the same time, say scientists, uplifting music can lead to a fall in stress hormone levels which can weaken the immune system.


1. Greatest Day – Take That

2. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

3. Dancing Queen – ABBA

4. Finally – Ce Ce Peniston

5. Jump – Van Halen

6. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

7. How D’Ya Like Your Eggs – Dean Martin

8. Hey Ya – Outkast

9. Rhapsody In Blue – George Gershwin

10. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

SOURCE: Mindlab International Laboratory

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Agnetha sparks ABBA reunion rumours

February 2, 2011

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ABBA star Agnetha Faltskog – the most reclusive former member of the group – has sparked rumours of an ABBA reunion after telling a Swedish magazine that she would consider reuniting with her former husband Bjorn Ulvaeus, 65, Benny Andersson, 64, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 65, for a series of special concerts.

  “I could see us doing something together in the future,” Agnetha, now 60, told Sweden’s M magazine. “It is just a feeling I have that it would be fun to get together, talk a bit about the past and maybe perform together.

  “We wouldn’t get together again for a tour like The Rolling Stones and other old bands. I think we would all consider a one-off reunion, maybe for a good cause.”

  Since the group split in 1982, they have turned down all requests to get back together – including a reputed offer of £650million in 2000. In March 2010, though, Benny Andersson said a one-off performance was “not a bad idea” despite having ruled it out only two years earlier.

  With Agnetha’s comments seemingly making a reunion more likely than ever, bookmaker William Hill is now accepting bets on ABBA performing at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in April, and at this summer’s Glastonbury festival. The odds of ABBA having a Number One hit this year have also been slashed from 20/1 to 5/1.

How important are ‘oldies’ songs to you? Vote in our poll below …

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Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

‘Mamma Mia!’ becomes 16th longest running show in Broadway history

September 7, 2008


The international hit musical Mamma Mia! became the sixteenth longest running show in Broadway history when it played its 2,845th performance in New York on September 5, 2008.


As the production’s film adaptation continues to wow film fans around the world, the stage version overtook the record-breaking run of Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly to claim the 16th spot on the New York theatre hit list.


The production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre almost seven years ago.


There are currently nine productions of Mamma Mia! running around the world and the musical has already been seen by an estimated 32 million people worldwide.


Mamma Mia! cleverly uses the hit songs of ABBA to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young girl who hopes to discover the identity of her father. On the eve of her wedding, she brings three men from her mother Donna’s past back to the Greek island they visited over two decades ago.


The show features music and lyrics by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, a book by Catherine Johnson, direction by Phyllida Lloyd and choreography by Anthony Van Laast.


Mamma Mia! and the music of ABBA recently scored a ‘triple whammy’ when the film soundtrack, the original cast recording, and the ABBA Gold compilation all topped the charts in their respective categories.

ABBA’s ‘Gold’ makes UK chart history

August 3, 2008


ABBA’s ‘greatest hits’ compilation Goldfirst released in 1992 – has become the oldest album to top the UK album chart, according to the UK’s Official Charts Company.


The Swedish supergroup’s Gold compilation has previously topped the charts on four separate occasions. The last time was in 1999 when it was re-released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’.


After taking the Number One crown again on August 3, 2008, Gold became the first album to reclaim the top spot after such a long interval.


With worldwide sales of more than 26 million copies, Gold has already sold more than 4.2 million CDs in the UK – making it the fourth biggest selling album of all time in Britain. It has been in the Top 75 of the UK album chart for a staggering 364 weeks.


The huge success of the film version of the hit musical Mamma Mia! has led to a massive resurgence of interest in ABBA’s music. The film’s soundtrack – featuring ABBA classics sung by Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and other members of the cast – topped the UK album chart itself last month.

Mamma Mia! … Meryl and Pierce really can sing

July 9, 2008

The soundtrack to the new Mamma Mia! movie is released this week, featuring some surprisingly good renditions of 18 classic ABBA songs by an all-singing, all-dancing cast led by Meryl Streep. Apparently, all of the actors did their own singing without a stunt double in sight.


Produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the album manages to recapture a lot of the original ABBA magic – with Benny & Björn coaxing some good vocal performances from Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christina Baranski, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters and Colin Firth (the latter, it seems, used to be in a band).


Meryl Streep will surprise a lot of people with her heartbreaking version of ‘The Winner Takes it All’, while Christina Baranski’s ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is outstanding. Pierce Brosnan delivers some moving vocals alongside Streep on ‘When All Is Said And Done’. And the Meryl Streep/Julie Walters version of ‘Dancing Queen’ is certainly … um … a real collector’s item.


A must-have for ABBA and Meryl Streep fans alike.

Mamma Mia! – The Movie Soundtrack (Polydor).








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