There’s no two ways about it, back in the day you were either team ABBA or team Bay City Rollers. I was team ABBA. I was never a die-hard Bay City Roller fan but I did like a few of their songs. I’m sure you’re familiar with both, but in case not and just for fun anyway, let’s take a quick look at both.
ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in 1972. The name ABBA came from the first initial of each of the people who made up the group – Agnetha, Björn, Benni and Anni-Frid (Frida). They wrote many, many brilliant songs that are still popular and much loved today. Google and you’ll find them all but everyone knows the popular ones like Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Fernando, Waterloo, Ring Ring, Honey Honey, Money, Money, Money & many more! Here’s just a few of my favourites.
Just about every song they produced was a hit. Such talent! Relationships developed within the group with Benny & Frida marrying and Bjorn and Agnetha marrying. Both marriages eventually broke down which resulted in darker and more personal songs towards the end of their time (The Winner Takes it all, as above, being one of them). Eventually, in 1983, the band disbanded.
The ABBA music lived on though! 10 years after they disbanded ABBA Gold was released – a compilation of their music over the years.
In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. Mamma Mia, the film, was released in 2008, with a sequel – Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again following in 2018.
What are they all doing now? Firstly, they are all alive and well which is great. Additionally, the paragraphs below will let you know that we may be seeing more of ABBA which is fantastic news!
Each member of ABBA went on to remarry. Benny and Bjorn remained together as a songwriting duo. Most recently, the band announced it would reunite, but in a very new way. The couple (B & B) decided to do an avatar tour, however this sparked some further creativity in them.
Back in April 2018, the group said in a statement: “The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence.
“We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. “So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”
This was expected to be shown in a TV special, though these projects have continued to be delayed.
In September 2019, Björn Ulvaeus announced five new Abba songs would be released in 2020, and the TV special, to be aired on BBC One and NBC, has also been pushed back to 2020.
So the answer to whether they will reunite is a confusing one, as technically they already have reunited, but we are yet to see the fullness in the TV special.
I also think COVID-19 might have something to do with the delays for release in 2020, don’t you think? Nevertheless, it’s exciting to know we will see more of this talented group.
BAY CITY ROLLERS
The Bay City Rollers were a Scottish pop group, particularly popular with teens back in the 1970’s. They were well known for wearing tartan. To be honest I don’t know much more about them myself so had to use good ‘ol Google to find out some more facts about them to share here. The group’s members changed a bit over the years but the most classic line up during their hey day were guitarists Erik Faulkner & Stuart Wood, singer Les McKeown, bassist Marcus Cordock, and drummer Jamie McGrory.
In the early days (1964 – the year I was born) they started off as a trio of two brothers & a cousin called The Ambassadors. They never performed publicly under that name though, just at family events etc. They soon changed their names to The Saxons and invited a schoolfriend to be lead singer. They played at occassional dance halls while still completing their schooling during the days. After some success the band agreed on a name change to Bay City Rollers. In 1974, with the classic line up mentioned earlier, came the breakthrough years where they were well on their way to global success.
The three songs I most remember of theirs which were my favourites (be still my romantic loving tween beating heart) was I Only Want To Be With You, Give a Little Love, and Bye Bye Baby (see clips below). (NOTE: Actually I was only around 10-11 years of age when these songs were released)
Founding member (one of the founding brothers) of the Bay City Rollers, Ian Longmuir, sadly passed away at age 70 on 2 July 2018 after a short illness.
Former member of the Bay City Rollers, Ian Mitchell, also sadly passed away at the age of 62 on 1 September 2020 (just recently). Mitchell joined the group in 1976 at the age of 17, replacing founding member and bassist Alan Longmuir. But he quit the band after nine months to return his native Northern Ireland, where he performed with old school friends as the group Rosetta Stone.
Were you Team ABBA or Team Bay City Rollers? Or did you have a toe in both camps?
Ciao for now,