Song Anniversary: How “Waterloo” Propelled ABBA’s Career

Written by on March 21, 2023

On March 4, 1974, international sensation ABBA released their second album, the first under their official iconic group name, “Waterloo,” which propelled them to massive success.

Under the same name as the album, the band first performed the title track in Eurovision Song Contest 1974 in the United Kingdom for Sweden and won first place in the competition with a cumulative total of twenty-four points. Following the live event, “Waterloo” skyrocketed into multiple international charts. At the song’s peak, it placed number one in the United Kingdom and the United States Top Ten. Moreover, for Eurovision’s fiftieth anniversary in 2005, over two-and-a-half million televoters put in their ballots for the song as the “All-Time Best Song of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Officially recorded in December 1973 and released on March 4, 1974, the song is a metaphor for romantic relationships, with sharp beats and vocals to match its edgier tone. The lyrics are reminiscent of the events that transpired in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which seized Napoleon’s reign and ended the twenty-three power struggle and warfare between France and other powers of Europe.

Regarded as the launching point to their immensely long, prosperous career, ABBA has since released twenty-four albums: two live, five videos, seven compilations, and ten studios, alongside four box sets and forty singles. All but one of their albums were recorded from the 1970s to 1981, with their most recent, “Voyage,” released in 2021 after four decades of their group’s split.

Perhaps most recognized for their song “Mamma Mia,” ABBA continues to add to its legacy by accumulating numerous award nominations during their second tenure together. In 2022, they were nominated in iHeart Radio’s “Best Comeback Album” category for “Voyage” and for the Grammy’s “Record of the Year” in two consecutive years. The following year, they also received a nomination for “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” for “Don’t Shut Me Down.”

Today, their iconic single “Waterloo’s” official music video has over seventy-eight million views and counting on YouTube. To listen to more songs by Abba, check out their Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Music pages; or wherever you stream your music.

  • Sara

    I am a senior at the University of Houston set to graduate in Spring 2023, with a major in English and a minor in Advertising. I am passionate about all types of writing, such as fiction, poetry, blog writing, and am versatile in formal and informal writing styles. In my spare time I do 2D drawings, photography, and baking.

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