The Winner's Gonna Take It All: The final...


'...It's a dead end street... They tie your hands and tie your feet... And the street is narrow... A nowhere lane... A nowhere train for Elaine...'
- Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Elaine -


Frida should have been told that when you shadow "less is more"...

Average: 6.9239
Highest score: 1 *
10.00 - @DJHazey
Lowest score: 4 * 4.00 - @Epic Chocolat @VivaForever @cityofdoomsday @Mina
My score: 7.00

The wonderfully weird little ditty Elaine leaves us at #59, as that slew of 4's is responsible for its early downfall... Recorded in 1980, it was released as the b-side to The Winner Takes It All and was never actually released on any of their original albums, up until the 2001 re-issue of Super Trouper.

The song tells the story of Elaine, who won't let anything get in her way of pursuing love. The girls give a brilliant performance as their harmonies are multi-layered here, sounding frantic, male-like and quite theatrical in different parts of the song.

But let's face it though, it was never going to hold up quite well when put back to back with one of the greatest pop songs ever written... Poor ol' Sprockrooster gets what I'm saying! "Poor Elaine, in the shadow of the true Winner that took it all from her."... And quite rightly so, n'est-ce pas?

SecretsOfFatima thinks it "Deserved better than a B-side to The Winner Takes It All." and I kinda agree... Mikey1701 says it was "a strange song to pair with The Winner Takes It All. It couldn’t be any different. While the A-Side is a masterpiece of sombre pop, Elaine is a disposable bit of synthpop fluff. The introduction is great but the chorus is a letdown. As most ABBA songs it’s not terrible and it’s actually pretty good- but it’s easy to see why this was left off Super Trouper.". I actually think it wouldn't sound out of place on the synth-heavy 1980 album... At least it's better than Put On Your White Sombrero!

We're a sucker for a good synth-line on PJ, so that's exactly what made some of you guys love this song just that little bit more...
Hudweiser calls it "Synth-city and the lyrics are a bit odd. I can see why this was relegated to a B-side, but it's still, y'know, good.".
CasperFan thinks it's "A nice b-side, but clearly a b-side.", while TrueBeliever calls it a "Perfectly good B-Side, and potentially album-worthy, possibly replacing Super Trouper or Our Last Summer. Escandalo!". So you actually suggest replacing two of the album's best songs for this b-side?

"Escandalo!" indeed...

For a song that was made in 1980, that intro could be used in any recent song and we'd all be living for it... chris4862 remembers "being floored by the unexpected electronic intro when I first heard this...", while P'nutbutter is reminded of another classic when hearing it. "That opening intro reminds me of Ray Of Light, ha. Another brilliant track from this era.". Thanks for clearing this up, sis, because I could never quite put my finger on it and now I totally hear it...

bichard gave it a couple more points "for being a masterclass in the use of The Third Voice, but then loses one or two again for the limp chorus. Still, a decent b-side.", but Mumty thinks "The first mistake was calling the character Elaine, because Elaine doesn’t have much rhyming potential. And Elaine seems like somebody far too ordinary for me to care about.".
One Stop Candy Shop has an anecdote of meeting an Elaine once... "Anecdote time: when I was studying journalism in college, I went to an ABBA Fan Club Day in the Netherlands and wrote an article about it. I interviewed two fans: an old Danish guy and a Dutch woman named... Elaine.". Was she somebody far too ordinary to care about too?

Totally feeling ha oats is tylerc904, while miming "It’s a dead end street, they tie your hands and tie your feet!!! Sing it girl. I love this for being frenetic and upbeat, but also for feeling like a b-side. Somehow certain songs have that charm to them that I just can’t resist. Points for sharing a name with my fav Ally McBeal character!"...
Ms. Vassal will be thrilled obvs...

WhatKindOfKylie? actually gave this an 8... "ABBA have some slightly almost quirky moments in their discography, and this is another one I say. Love its energy and how it never really lets up either.". It's actually a relief to finally hear you say some positive things, girl. Let's see how long you keep it up, eh? Kii.

And constantino was pleasantly surprised! "What a hidden gem! Catchy and punchy pop ABBA is my favourite ABBA.". Preach a bit, sis.

Filippa says "Not mine." and I can just answer this with Mina's commentary for this song... "WTF?".