Did we like it?
We preferred it when loving Abba was generally regarded as a bad, naff or queenie thing. Now that everyone admires them – even Bono The Bore – and ITV1 makes programmes about them, that love is waning. Therefore, this “definitive” countdown of their best songs was always going to be tainted in our minds.
What was good about it?
• The clips of the songs and the interviews with the members of the Swedish supergroup. Bjorn Ulvaeus pointed out: “We never considered what the public would be wanting.” Those were the days!
• Robin Gibb, Neil Sedaka and Andy Bell made useful contributions.
What was bad about it?
• Just about everything else.
• The way that Hit Song Science, “a revolutionary computer programme”, was used to judge the merits of Abba’s catalogue was never satisfactorily explained.
• The non-entities who passed comments on their elders and betters. Getting Girls Aloud to judge the merits of Abba’s music is as ludicrous as getting Natasha Kaplinsky to judge a humility contest.
• We’ve never fully realised why Daniel Bedingfield is the most despised man in music. We do now. His squeaking of Abba hits (complete with lyric errors) and his beatboxing of Money, Money, Money was one of the most nauseating things on TV all year.
• Bono stating the obvious but in tones of super gravitas as if he’s the wisest man on the planet.
• We thought we were going to get away without any Paul Gambaccini pontifications. But he turned up eventually.