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

He/Him
14. - a tie

'I was sick and tired of everything when I called you last night from Glasgow... All I do is eat and sleep and sing, wishing every show was the last show...'
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad in Super Trouper -

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Hating every single second of being there...

Average: 9.0109
Highest score: 22 * 10.00 - @Uno @Baby Clyde @haps @Epic Chocolat @Weslicious @kalonite @idratherjack @Terminus @ufint @VivaForever @WhatKindOfKylie? @Mikey1701 @CasperFan @AllGagaLike @P'NutButter @WhipperSnapper @dancingwithmyself @chris4862 @SecretsOfFatima @GhettoPrincess @hownee @Remorque
Lowest score: 1 * 4.00 - @cityofdoomsday (Ed's edit: template's been made.)
My score: 10.00

We start the first part of our tie at #14 with ABBA's ode to the spotlights, in the form of the title track from their seventh album, Super Trouper. Written and recorded in 1980, it was the last song to be completed for the album, replacing Put On Your White Sombrero on the tracklisting. Let's all breathe a sigh of relief and realize what a fucking bullet we dodged, eh...

The Frida-led track was eventually released as the second single from the album in November 1980, on the same day as the album release, becoming a nuuuhhhhhmberrrrr 1 in Belgium (KWEENZ), The Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. It was a top 3 hit in Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Mexico and was another top 10 hit for them in France, Finland and Spain.
It was their ninth and last UK no. 1 single, a feat which made them the fourth act with the most chart-toppers ever over there, behind Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Cliff Richard. In the United States it only scraped the top 50, yet was a no. 1 hit on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart, combined with Lay All Your Love On Me and On and On and On.
More surprisingly though, it missed out on a top 10 placing in their native Sweden and didn't even reach the top 75 in Australia, where their spotlight was dimming fast...

The lyrics of the song say it all really... The members were finding being part of the band quite hard at the time, because the relationship between Björn and Agnetha had been difficult for a while following their divorce and Benny and Frida's marriage was crumbling before everyone's eyes... Yet, the spotlights always pulled them through and gave them a reason to put aside their personal problems and just get on with the show.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Frida's vocals here, yet her subdued and subtle performance is what makes the song, while the chorus is perfect pop and I'm a sucker for Benny's synthline here.

It's "Definitely one of their best singles," for SecretsOfFatima, thinking "the combination of Frida’s subtle yet effective vocals and the tinge of melancholy is magical.". chris4862 also calls it "Utterly Magical.", while ufint just states it's "Sublime." and "Super.". I see you.

To P'nutbutter it's "Such a euphoric incredible pop classic, but quite a sad song really.", yet, while thinking it's "A fairly catchy single with a stellar middle-eight;",
Mina feels "overall it lacks emotional pull."... Really, sis? The lyrics speak volumes, yet Benny and Björn tried to cover that up, wrapping it up in a pop song... It's the equivalent of the modern "tears on the dancefloor"-type song.

constantino calls it "Incredibly camp and ridiculous, but a heap of fun. There’s almost a child-like joyfulness about this sonically which gives it a wonderful nostalgic quality." and, well, you're not the only one on this one... Hudweiser says it's "a bit kid-friendly in places, but when you dig down and realise it's a song about someone incredibly lonely it gives it a new perspective. The middle-eight is amazing and the simplicity of the melody seems too good to be true, though I think they could've done a better job with the production here and there.".

Let's move over to someone who has quite a few words to share about those production values... It's Mikey1701!
"After the dalliance with disco and funk that characterised the Voulez-Vous album, Super Trouper might seem something of a regression. This is a track that could have slotted onto Arrival or even the 1975 self-titled- but while it may have aged somewhat over the last 37 years (!!!), it’s still one of their very best. Queen Frida sounds glorious (and looks incredible in that so-awful-its-amazing knitted jumper in the video) and the lyrics really do capture the loneliness of being away from your loved ones so well.".
He's not the only one mentioning *that* jumper theaux... To Mumty the "song itself is a 9, but Frida’s jumper and freshly permed hair bump it up the extra .5". Queen of starting fashion trends and big hair.
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WhatKindOfKylie? remembers it as "The last of 9 UK #1's, and what a way to finish in terms of British chart toppers. One of Frida's stronger vocal performances too personally, love how she manages to catch the melancholy vibe, with her soft and at times sorrow voice.". Agreeing with that is GhettoPrincess who states the song's "so simple but beautiful, the vulnerability in the verses particularly shine here.".

This song isn't without its harsh critics though...
"This is a weird one." for bichard... "Sometimes I think it's a 10, other times a 6. Today it's an 8. Frida's vocals are utterly beautiful here, and really, thank God it was written in the nick of time to make the album, otherwise we would have been stuck with shitty old Sombrero on the record!!!". Yaaaaath, sis! Let's fucking REJOICE to the fact that didn't happen... Utterly dreadful song.
Poor ol' Sprockrooster's "Not sure if it comes because of the track that follows this one, but this is classic, but a total winner it somehow isnot." and while tylerc904 thinks "Frida is excellent on this, with the middle eight being one of my favorite ABBA moments ever. The chorus is a bit basic, but I love the song.".
And finally, it's "Not one of" nearly lowest-scorer TrueBeliever's "favorites by them, honestly. I always skip it. It seems disjointed and dissonant to me. Plus, the chorus is annoying as hell.". Well... Do you, I guess.

SCOTSMEN UNITE!
It's "One of" idratherjack's "all time favourites and being from Glasgow I love the lyrics! What a great way to enter the 80s.", while kalonite also gives a shout-out to the largest city of Scotland, saying "Get that ABBA promo Glasgow.". Uhu.

Filippa gives us the greatest excuse for a big ol' fucking ANYWAY in the form of "Good Song!" and JonBcn gets a bit prissy... "Half a point deducted for Benny and Björn saying “poo pooper” in the backing vocals.".

...

..........

..................................

POO POOPER.




The video for Super Trouper was shot in October 1980 and was directed by long-time collaborator Lasse Halström. At the time the video held the record for using the largest number of extras ever in a music video. Parts of the video were later re-used for the party scenes in Happy New Year.
A small kii though: the spotlight featured in the video isn't a super trouper though... It, in fact, was a CCT Silhouette follow spot. Okay, so it's not much of a kii, but bear with...


The song was promoted around the world during the later part of 1980. The band performed the song in Germany for a show called Show Express...


...at the Stars TV Gala in France...


...and the song was performed live on their 1981 tv special Dick Cavett Meets ABBA.


 
He/Him
That live performance was also included on their 1986 ABBA Live compilation.


In 1999 Swedish pop group A*Teens released their version of the song as the second single lifted from their ABBA tribute album The ABBA Generation...


...and fellow Swede Julia Lindholm did the same in 2016 on her album Super Trouper, yet recorded her version in German.


In 2000, German singer Max Raabe also released his (kinda peculiar) version of the song, accompanied by his Palast Orkester, on the album Super Hits.
 
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