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


'...My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender... Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way...'
- Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Waterloo -


Yes, I'm giving you the Dutch cover.

Average: 8.9891
Highest score: 1 * 11.00 - @SecretsOfFatima
21 *
10.00 - @Angeleyes @Mina @Hudweiser @GhettoPrincess @chris4862 @WhipperSnapper @AllGagaLike @WhatKindOfKylie? @Sprockrooster @tylerc904 @VivaForever @Gotnomoretosay @ufint @Mumty @Terminus @constantino @kalonite @LTG @Epic Chocolat @haps @Remorque
Lowest score: 1 * 5.00 - @bichard
My score: 10.00


I'm back. And it's with a fucking BANG!

The group lose the last song that was left from their second album with this monster of a classic, namely... Waterloo.

The song was written by Benny and Björn, together with their manager Stig Anderson in 1973, to enter Melodifestivalen 1974, the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, after the group had successfully finished third in that with Ring Ring the year prior. It was their intention to write a song that was unlike any other previous Eurovision songs they had ever heard up until then. Well... They did have Hasta Mañana as a back-up, but went with Waterloo instead, because that one featured both of the girls on vocals, instead of just Agnetha, and it paid off... In the end they won and were selected to represent Sweden after performing the song in Swedish and wooing the public.

Cut to April that same year and ABBA were on a roll... They were unlike anything the contest had ever seen before, bringing an uptempo song, wearing camp costumes, giving us some choreo and even had a conductor that was dressed as fucking Napoleon himself. They also sang the song in English, which was a restriction that was lifted only in 1999, but was also allowed for a brief period during the '70s and ABBA happily took advantage of that... They swept the competition and won, starting their rise to worldwide stardom and becoming icons in every sense of the word.

The song went on to become a worldwide hit, reaching the top spot in Belgium (ICONS, really), the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Finland and South Africa (among others), getting top 3 in Austria, New Zealand, Spain and surprisingly Sweden (but that could be due to the fact that over there both the English and Swedish version were released simultaneously) and went top 10 in Australia, France and Canada. It reached no. 1 in the United Kingdom, staying there for two weeks and, more surprisingly, even was a top 10 hit in the United States.

During later years, the group would also record German and French versions of the song.

In 2004, the song was re-released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ABBA's Eurovision win, reaching No. 20 on the UK charts and a year after that, the song was chosen as the best song in the competition's history at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Let's start our esteemed panel of judges with Mina, who gets it spot on.
"An iconic moment in pop."
't Is, sis. IT. IS.

And he's not the only one calling it iconic either...
Mikey1701 guesses it's "Easily the most iconic Eurovision song (Lucie Jones could never!) ever written, it’s very much in the vein of Ring Ring (which I kind of prefer, don’t kill me gorls!), I can only imagine the hysteria that this must have generated in 1974. In comparison to some of their later stuff, this is a tad basic but because it’s such a strong track I can forgive it. As a sidenote: those costumes were a choice."... Sis, those costumes did play a part in them winning the contest though.
kalonite gets honest with all of us, saying "Tbh I'd still give this douze points today if it cropped up again. Iconic." and P'nutbutter gives us a simple "Iconic.", yet can't convince himself to give it 10 points. No one's judging... Except maybe SecretsOfFatima...

Having said that, the people who didn't give this the full dix points, weren't quite as vocally as the rest when commenting... Filippa states "Ok, they won the song contest and the world went crazy. But they will do better!" (OBVZ!) and while idratherjack calls it "The song that started it all", admits it'll "never a big favourite of mine".
Lowest scorer bichard reveals he "never got along with this that well. Despite cantering along like a good ol' mare, it's still firmly in "just alright" territory."... I can only imagine how much Mikey1701 is eye-rolling right now.

Let's be clear, this is a fucking classic in every sense of the word. A lot of you used it in your commentary too, which is just testament to HOW MUCH OF A FUCKING CLASSIC IT REALLY IS.
Epic Chocolat calls it a "Classic career-making winning song.", which it was and to ufint it's "such a treat and a blueprint for what a perfect Eurovision song should sound like. It’s been used in Melodifestivalen for the past 40 years and will never get old. Instant classic.". constantino claims it's a "Fucking classic anthem," and doesn't think he'll "ever tire of this. Even though it isn’t and has never been my absolute fave, it’s still essential.". And that's the T.

And though the following two posters do call the song a classic, they're not entirely convinced about the song itself though... It's "Not a favourite among their singles for" GhettoPrincess "personally but it is a classic. The production is so lively too, love it." and although he calls it a "Classic ABBA tune," TrueBeliever tends "to skip over it when it comes on. I suppose I was a bit nonplussed by Bananarama’s one-off take on it, and I’ve been traumatized ever since (yes, even worse than their Careless Whisper debacle.)". You can listen to their version below. Posted it just for you. xoxo

Speaking of Bananarama, VivaForever yasses her way through her commentary, while shading a song still to get cut, going "YASSSSSS Eurovision anthem. It's just so fucking incredible. How did Dancing Queen eclipse it, and can we punish everyone responsible?". Your bitterness about the latter being the bigger hit is really something to aspire to...

WhatKindOfKylie? is one of those people who states the obvious too, telling us this song is "The one where it really began! Benny and Bjorn would of course progress even further as songwriters as time went on, but this is really such a simple yet effective pop song, and it's not hard to see why they won and charned the herats of the Eurovision audicence all those years ago...". For tylerc904 it's "Such a worthy song to hold the title of their big "arrival". The metaphor was lost on me as a child, but I love it now. It’s hammy but it works." and ends with "The outfits!!!"... Yes, sis. The OUTFITS!!!
It's "Probably overplayed a bit (especially around Eurovision time of year)" for Hudweiser, "but dang this is nothing less than joy glam pop rock at its best - that chorus wins everytime. They also did this really well live, with heavier guitar.", while Mumty agrees, saying "This rocks and is one of their best.".

Poor ol' Sprockrooster gets extra and I bloody love him for it...
"Total Triumph That Truly Transcends Time. That's The Truth Tea (Ten Times)"
I've missed you!

We'll end with SecretsOfFatima, who gave this their beloved 11.
"As soon as I saw we were giving an 11 to one song in this rate, I knew mine was going to Waterloo. I have such a connection to this song, I love it. It was the song that started my obsession with ABBA in 2004. A morning TV show for kids played Waterloo and the presenters parodied the video (presumably to celebrate the Eurovision/30th anniversary of their victory). The song hooked me and I immediately plagued my mum to tell me who the artist was. I heard ABBA, and that was it. Soon after, we were in Marks and Spencer and I saw the CD section – straight away I picked up Gold and scanned the tracklist. I almost had a panic attack until I saw Waterloo, right down at the bottom, track 19. It was the first CD I ever properly bought, and since then my love for ABBA has grown from strength to strength. It’s kind of my good luck song, and I always try to listen to it before exams or other important events. Truly iconic, and my personal favourite."

As you all know, the song was first written and performed in Swedish...

...and only after winning Melodifestivalen and being selected for Eurovision did they translate the song to English.

The video was a standard performance video, that was shot on the same day of shooting the Ring Ring one...

As mentioned before, the song was also recorded in German...

...and in French.

The group went on a whirlwind promotional tour around the world, giving them a massive hit in return.

They went on to perform in Germany...

...even appearing on some children's program over there... on Christmas Top Of The Pops of 1974...

...and the song was again performed during their 1979 world tour.

Finnish singer Ami Aspelund recorded a version in her native tongue in 1974...

...and that same year Hungarian born Sarolta Zalatnay did the same in her tongue.

Also in 1974 Danish duo Lecia & Lucienne recorded a Danish version, with lyrics that were a direct translation from the Swedish ones, written by Benny, Björn and Stig themselves.

Swedish country band called Nashville Train (which included some of ABBA's own backing band members) covered the song on their album ABBA Our Way in 1978...

...and British band Doctor and the Medics recorded their version in 1986 with slightly altered lyrics.

Swedish metal band Nation recorded a version for their album Without Remorse in 1995...

...New Zealand alternative rock band Cloth recorded a version for the compilation Abbasalutely that same year.

In 1998, the original Bananarama line-up teamed up for the first time in 10 years, to record a cover of Waterloo...

...and that same year Swedish heavy metal band Black Ingvars covered it in Swedish on their 1998 album Schlager Metal.

Oh my goodness, what an absolute classic. I remember being a kid and squealing at The Simpsons scene because I had never heard ABBA in anything but my parents' CD Player/Muriel's Wedding.