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

I generally dislike ABBA covers- I don't even like that random cover of Winner that Kylie & Dannii do a decade ago.

There are some bands nobody should go near. ABBA is one of them. Unless, of course, you are sampling the iconic riff from Gimme Gimme Gimme to turn a mediocre disco track in a poppers o'clock gay bar anthem.
I don't wish to derail the discussion, so I am just going to place this right here and let its majesty speak for itself.

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Exclusive footage of me right now:


'...Can you hear the drums Fernando? I remember long ago another starry night like this...'
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Fernando -


Those dresses theaux.

Average: 8.7935
Highest score: 21 *
10.00 - @Baby Clyde @TrueBeliever @haps @Epic Chocolat @ohnostalgia @kalonite @constantino @AGiantSheep @ufint @Gotnomoretosay @VivaForever @DJHazey @Sprockrooster @tylerc904 @AllGagaLike @P'NutButter @WhipperSnapper @chris4862 @SecretsOfFatima @Hudweiser @Angeleyes
Lowest score: 1 * 1.00 - @cityofdoomsday (you'll see a template forming here really soon...)
My score: 8.50

At #19 we lose ABBA's first non-album single they ever released in the form of Fernando.

The song was first released in Sweden in 1975 by Frida, who had recorded it for her no. 1 Swedish language album Frida ensam.

The song was not released as a single in Sweden though, but the record did release it in Norway, where it failed to reach the charts... It did however spend nine weeks at the top of Svensktoppen, the Swedish radio play chart that didn't include sales...

The song was rewritten in English by Benny and the group re-recorded it in August and September of 1975 and eventually Fernando was widely released as a single in March and April the following year, while in the United States it received a rather late September release... Whereas the Swedish original featured Frida consoling Fernando after losing his loved one, the English version dealt with two veterans reminiscing about their time fighting during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, when a small force of revolutionaries led by Francisco Madero crossed the Rio Grande, from Texas to Mexico.

The song is one of the group's best selling singles, reaching six million copies in 1976 alone, reaching the top spot in Belgium (KWEENZ), Austria, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and many others. In Australia the song stayed at no. 1 for 14 weeks straight and spent a total of 40 weeks on the charts. In Canada it reached the top of the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Chart (whereas it 'only' reached no. 4 on their Singles Chart) and in the United States it reached the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart (only reaching no. 13 on the Hot 100)...

It was eventually released on their 1976 Greatest Hits in most countries.

Australia and New Zealand however had to wait until its appearance on 1992's ABBA Gold and its 1996 inclusion on the deluxe reissue of Arrival to get it on any form of album.

tylerc904 asks us a question. "Isn’t it a zinger of ABBA trivia that this is technically their biggest hit? Either way it is a classic, the little touches like the drums are why B&B are genius."... And that's the tea.

While VivaForever is "slain. Queens of war songs that are also intergenerational pop anthems." and P'nutbutter says it's "Wistful and strangely moving.", it reminds kalonite of "of warm, lazy, summer nights." and SecretsOfFatima thinks it's "Very haunting, and I love the sense of nostalgia accompanying it.".

Nostalgia's all that Hudweiser feels when listening to Fernando, as it reminds him "of the drive home from the campsite we visited as kids (on day trips), down long B-roads with big trees on summer nights. It's that chirping sound that drives the song that does it, and it's crept up my rankings to be one of my favourites of theirs. The campfire feel of it all is beautiful, I love Spanish things so that only elevates the feel, and the chorus tune is so wonderful in its apparent simplicity. The lyrical sentiment of "if I had to do it all again, I would my friend," is also really kinda heartwarming.". So's your commentary, sis. *BLESS*

Mikey1701 admits he "had to learn to love this over the years having been originally ambivalent about it, which was helped immensely upon discovering that it was originally a Frida solo track in Scandinavia. I adore the crescendo in the production, bubbling throughout the verses before exploding like cannonfire in the choruses. Although I’ve come to love it in the last few years but I don’t actively seek it out because there are many more bops in their discography...".

He wasn't the only who felt this way though...
bichard "used to really hate this. I think it certainly benefitted by being released when the thirst for ABBA was at its peak. Had it been released a couple of years earlier or later, I highly doubt it would have been a number 1. It's certainly nowhere near ABBA's best, but I don't know. Maybe Muriel's Wedding had more of an effect on me than I thought. It's officially 'alright'.".
Here's the clip from Muriel's Wedding where both female leads sing parts of Waterloo and Fernando...

idratherjack admits the song's "Not one I ever actively seek out but pleasant enough whenever I do hear it..." and while WhatKindOfKylie? "wouldn't rush out of my way to listen to Fernando, (shock horror, I know), there is no denying this is a beautiful piece of music, the vocals, the melodies, the instrumentation just go all so well together.".

constantino gives us a little "Throwback: Cyprus Airways planes used to have little TV screens at the back of each chair, one of the channels of which showed the progress of the flight on a map of Europe and the Middle East whilst playing various hits of yesteryear, and I distinctly remember this being one of them. It makes me feel all warm ‘n’ fuzzy whenever I hear it...".
One Stop Candy Shop gives us a throwback too, though I'm not sure I'm too happy about it... He calls it a "Frida classic. Wonderful song.", then reminds me the "Flemish icon [EDIT: "citation needed"] Margriet Hermans sang this once on the tv-show De Notenclub." and then sends me this with his commentary...

You're testing me, aren't you?

CasperFan calls it "Gorgeous! Lovely harmonies, nice slow build up and a killer chorus." and TrueBeliever says it's "Such a stunning song, beginning with the girls’ incomparable harmonies here to the song’s instrumentation, which is probably their best ever. From the enchanting flutes, to the bellicose drumming, to strumming their guitars on the sands of the beach, the musical arrangement is an exceptional eargasm.".

GhettoPrincess tells us it's "One of their classic singles which hasn’t really made as big of an impression on me. Beautiful vocals, great vocals though." and this rate has reminded chris4862 of the song's brilliance after admitting it's "Another song I typically pay no mind.".

Mina states it's "Frida's best vocal. The lyrics sound like historical mish-mash though; I like ABBA best when they are singing about situations to which they could conceivably relate.", though Filippa admits to liking "Frida’s Solo Version better." after saying it's "Maybe Abba’s most successful song.".

haps "waited for this song in the movie musical and was so disappointed when it never appeared.". Well, the song was to be featured as a flamboyant kinda dance number, but it was cut due to it not really fitting the movie. You can, however, hear Meryl Streep humming a few notes of the song.

Mumty's "Sorry to be rather sombre, but this was played as the “leaving the church” song at a funeral I was at and it has reminded me of it since. Such a poignant and beautiful track.". It's quite a weird choice to me, personally, but I can totally see why someone would want this played at their or a loved one's funeral... It's the melancholy, probably.

And while ufint says "It’s so beautiful I want to cry.", we'll end on poor ol' Sprockrooster who tells us "And that is how it's done! A single for a greatest hits, that actually is a great hit!".

Et voilà!

The video is just your typical campfire evening.

The song was widely promoted too...
It was performed in Poland...

...a performance from their Wembley shows was included on 1986's ABBA Live compilation...

...and it was also included on 2014's Live at Wembley album.


Colombian duo, Angela & Consuelo, recorded a Spanish language version of Fernando in 1976...

...and Swedish singer Lena Andersson released her cover in German that same year. The singer was signed to Polar too, so she was able to use the same backing track of the original.

Also in 1976, Paraguayan/Brazilian camp singer Perla covered Fernando on her album Palabras de amor...

...French Canadian singer René Simard recorded a French language version of the song...

...Czech singer Věra Špinarová recorded a Czech language version...

...and Swedish country band called Nashville Train (remember them?) also covered the song in 1977 on their album ABBA Our Way.

Flemish queens Sha-Na covered the song in 1992...

...Swedish dansband Vikingarna also recorded a cover version of the Swedish language version...

...and Abbacadabra also released their Hi-NRG cover version in the late 90s.

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus did a cover of the song for their 1997 ExtrABBAganza! shows...

...the Danish Olsen Brothers recorded a cover for their 2003 album More Songs...

...and Taiwanese singer Tracy Huang recorded an English cover of the song.

Most recently, the Von Trapps recorded a Swedish language version with Pink Martini for their 2014 album Dream a Little Dream.

Deleted member 26234

I'm sorry but you could try every argument in the book until you're blue in the face...but I'll never understand how Waterloo is considered a better ABBA song than Fernando.

I wouldn't argue with you then (because I agree :-).)

I fail to see how Waterloo is better than at least the last 5 eliminations.

The Name of the Game, Angeleyes and If It Wasn't For the Nights are songs that I listen to very often but not to Waterloo or Fernando.