ABBA – The Winner Takes It All


Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores lesser known tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

ABBA’s impact on pop culture over the last 35 years cannot really be disputed. It used to be in the “anti-pop” days of the early 90’s (grunge anyone?) there was more of a disdain towards all things pop. Slowly this stance began to change and indie stars such as Stephen Merritt of The Magnetic Fields would openly talk about their love of ABBA (the film Muriel’s Wedding also helped). Personally – I love their singles but have had a harder time falling in love with any album all the way through. For me, the quintessential ABBA song is the British #1 hit (#8 in the US) “The Winner Takes It All”. Here we have a song that details the aftermath of a divorce that coincidentally came out almost immediately after ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog divorced. The vocals are handled by Fältskog and in my opinion it is the finest vocal performance of her career. All band members deny that the song is actually about the real life divorce, but consider me just a bit skeptical about that claim. The video for the song brings all the heartbreaking lyrics to life, leaving me with the thought “How on Earth did they manage to take such pain and create one of the finest songs ever cut out of it?” And you know what, maybe that’s the answer – this is a song from the heart, for the heartbroken (or those who remember the pain of being heartbroken). Key lyrics:

I don’t wanna talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You’ve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence
But you see
The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.