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

That single artwork is horrific.

I remember that photo on the back of the first release of Gold and it always annoyed me that the sign - if indeed it was even there - is off centre; Benny's librarian jacket, Frida looking like she's just popped around to the neighbour's for coffee, and Agnetha's obv "why am I here?" face and buttoned collar. It's rare that Bjorn comes off best in a group photo but there we have it.

'...No more champagne and the fireworks are through... Here we are, me and you... Feeling lost and feeling blue...'
- Agnetha Fältskog in Happy New Year -


Seems as though Björn has had a bit too much ktchampaign here...

Average: 7.7826
Highest score: 11 *
10.00 - @haps @Weslicious @idratherjack @Terminus @ufint @Gotnomoretosay @VivaForever @WhatKindOfKylie? @Mikey1701 @WhipperSnapper @Angeleyes
Lowest score: 1 * 3.00 - @dancingwithmyself (you'll see a pattern forming here very soon...)
My score: 8.00

We start our top 40 on a festive note. Well, festive... Happy New Year was written and recorded in 1980 and ended up as the sixth song on Super Trouper. And although there was a promotional video shot to accompany the song, the English language version didn't actually receive a single release up until 1999, when it was paired with Andante, Andante, at the turn of the century. It didn't set the charts alight though, only becoming a top 20 hit in The Netherlands...
The Spanish language version of the song, entitled Felicidad, however, was released in most Spanish speaking regions of South America in 1980, paired with Super Trouper as its b-side. It became a top 5 hit in Argentina and that version ended up on the album when it was released over there, replacing the English version. The rest of the world got Felicidad when it was released in 1994 as part of the Más ABBA Oro album, which was a collection of songs the group re-recorded in Spanish during their career. It was never a part of the Gracias Por La Musica album, as that was released before Super Trouper saw the light of day.

Happy New Year was released as a single yet again practically every year from 2007 on in different regions, so let's not get into that too deep, shall we...

Personally, I think it's a lovely song with a strong sentiment, but while it doesn't actually make me feel better about myself after having huge amounts of alcohol in my blood as the lyrics are like a summation of why New Year's Day can be so depressing, you can feel a glimmer of hope shining off the girls' performance... I'm listening to it again right now and I just can't quite put my finger on why though.

Mikey1701 asks "Is this the most depressing Christmas/New Year's song? Very possibly. My enduring memory of this is not the song itself but how unhappy Agnetha seems to be sat on the sofa while Bjorn looks out of the window with his back to her. Even in the brief clips of the party, she doesn’t look too thrilled to be there. It makes me a little sad everytime I see it. It encapsulates that melancholy that many experience after the euphoria of New Year's Eve.". Exactly. I couldn't agree more.

WhatKindOfKylie? thinks it's "Fantastic! This one really needed to have been a UK single circa late 1980/early 1981, as am sure the UK public wpuld have lapped it up. Has all those familar things asocciated with later day ABBA, a memorable chorus and a slight sad undertone behind it.", while kalonite goes one further and says "The lyrics of this are...a bit of a downer...". Yes, they are at times, but still... There's a certain hope lying underneath somewhere...

To tylerc904 it sounds a "bit middling these days, but I appreciate the affection the public have towards it.". idratherjack wonders "Why isn't this a staple of everyone's New Year parties? It jolly well should be!" and ufint states "There's literally no more iconic NYE song than this one. It's still going to be used 50 years down the line, at the end of 69.".

Hudweiser mentions another Super Trouper album track... "Like Andante, Andante, I kinda have to be in the mood for this, it's always slower than I think it is and when the third verse comes around I'm a bit over it. Beautiful harmonies throughout though. And I can remember when "the end of '89" seemed like the distant future.". bichard is reminded of the same song, though it doesn't come off as positive though. "I used to get this and Andante confused when I was a kid. This is marginally better, but still my least favourite kind of ABBA.". I don't really hear it as the two songs are completely different to my ears, but do you, I guess...

Giving himself a bit of advice, is poor ol' Sprockrooster, who says to himself "Though I rarely hear it on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day I really should start myself listening to this.". You should, sis!
To Filippa it's a "Very special song with nice vocals.", but Mina feels "like the lyrics and chorus, while each are strong, belong to two entirely different songs." and constantino just eh's "Eh...this is a little too hollow and tacky for my liking.". Hollow, sis? So you don't get the feels every time you listen to this?

Not a fan of seasonal songs, TrueBeliever admits that "While I love this, I still consider it a novelty/holiday song, so it’s not quite the perfect 10/10 that it deserves." and gives it a 9 in the end...
P'nutbutter wonders "Why Kylie didn't cover this for Snow Queen is beyond me..." and CasperFan gets punny... "Putting the Champ into champagne! Not a favourite but a great tune!".

We'll end with SecretsOfFatima who claims "The bridge and Agnetha’s pronunciation of champagne are better than my existence." and with that last part we get to Mumty, asking
"Ktcham-pain anyone?"... Which has had me hollering from the moment he sent in his commentary.

They shot a promotional video for the song, but I wouldn't watch it with your first hangover of the year if you want to feel any better...

The song was performed on Swedish television too and the following performance is actually one that's quite lovely...

...and here's the Spanish version, which was a hit in its own right in 1980.

A*Teens covered the song and released it as a single in 1999 in a few selected regions such as Sweden and Finland, respectively becoming a top 10 and top 20 hit in those countries.
I love the original but I love the A*Teens version even more. I didn't know their version as a kid (it was never released in the US), but it still makes me feel nostalgic for my childhood. It has an obvious holiday feel to it (more so than the original which was stuck in the middle of an actual album without question) and it just sounds so 1999. I feel like a kid again every time.

Deleted member 312

Ah...another sub-five leaves. Watching the video just now, I thought perhaps I'd underscored it marginally with my four, but then, considered relative to the rest of their output it is just slightly below average, so that's probably just about right.
I should have given this a 10. Given just the right amount of gin, it's enough to make me call the Samaritans. Lots of mentions in previous posts of words like 'festive' and 'seasonal', but I've always heard the song sung through gritted teeth, the lyrics actually seem to me to be quite pessimistic, and it has always put into song exactly how I feel at New Year, when I see everyone getting excited about a ticking clock, a totally arbitrary random event with no meaning...

I can still remember being young enough that the bit about "what's waiting down the line / in the end of '89' conjured up thoughts of something that seemed a lifetime away, and so that line is always a bit of a gut punch when it arrives...
I love the fact that the end of the 80's was referenced in Happy New Year, of which at the time seemed so far away, but now feels even more further away since they had ended.