Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Is Mamma Mia! changing the meaning of ABBA?

You all knew another Mamma Mia! rant post was bound to happen soon, didn't you. ;)

 If you all noticed, I haven't actually said anything on the new Mamma Mia! movie since the day the trailer was announced a year ago. The reason being that I've been trying to ignore it's existence and pretend it doesn't exist.  :)  When the "When I Kissed The Teacher" video came out, I was really upset on the lyric changes (like I always am, lol) and decided I was just not going to post about it or complain about it because there's no point.  Now that the move has been released for a bit now and the soundtrack is available, I thought now I would be able to post about it.

With the release of the movie, I have been seeing Mamma Mia! everywhere.  I've been hearing ads for it on the radio (where they pronounce ABBA wrong, hehehe), I've been seeing people talk about it all over my tumblr and instagram feeds, and it's honestly making me annoyed.  I'm not annoyed at everyone enjoying the movie, people can enjoy it - no complaints there.  I'm annoyed at the fact that people are going to hear ABBA's songs and the first thing that'll come to mind is Mamma Mia!.  I know that sentence seems a little harsh, and no I don't mean that when they hear the songs that were featured in the movie, they think of the scene from the movie and whatever.  (Apologies if I'm rambling, I am trying to get a point across without knowing the right words to use, lol.)   I don't like that ABBA has basically become synonymous with Mamma Mia!.

I saw this post on tumblr a few weeks ago? (can't remember exactly when - I've been on and off tumblr lately, mostly off) and it made me really confused.
"ABBA goes so hard in so many different ways like they really have a song for every situation.. breaking up? getting married? defeating the french? Finding out you have not one but three possible fathers??? Really they covered everything"
I'm not trying to shame the original poster in any way at all BTW, I'm just using this as an example.

ABBA fans should know that ABBA's songs really aren't associated with the Mamma Mia! story line at all, it's just that the songs are being sang by these random Mamma Mia! characters (I can't believe they live in a world where ABBA doesn't exist... Those poor humans, lol) and some of the songs have their lyrics changed to fit the plot better.  I hate that they have to change the lyrics.  Why not try to find a song with more fitting lyrics or B&B can write new music??  Anyways, I digress.

When the tracklist for the soundtrack was announced, I will admit, I was a little hopeful that some of my favorite ABBA songs, the "unpopular" ones, would start getting recognized.  Songs like "I've Been Waiting For You" and "Kisses Of Fire", those songs have always been among my top favorites with "Tropical Loveland" being my all time favorite song, and though people are hearing of them now, I realize, yes, people are "hearing" the songs, but most of them now have new meanings and scenarios and lyrics, they aren't really hearing the masterpieces that the songs originally were.  People won't hear Agnetha and Frida's incredible harmonies or Bjorn and Benny's incredible songwriting.

This brings me onto another thing I wanted to mention.  When I think of ABBA, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing harmonies of Agnetha and Frida's voices, the unique, magical sound that the two voices combined as well as alone make, as well Bjorn and Benny's backup vocals that add that additional touch to the songs.  I also think of the instruments, Benny's iconic synthesizer that is heard in so many of their songs, the melodies, and incredible songwriting talents that Bjorn and Benny have to tell such incredible stories with their songs.  When you hear the Mamma Mia! versions, you're not getting any of that.  Yeah, on some songs you're getting the original lyrics, but you don't get harmonies, that magical voices, the iconic instruments.  When I've listened to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, I've always found the backup vocals to sound atrocious, they don't even sound like they're trying.  (This is just my opinion, btw.)  As I've mentioned in previous posts, these are all actors, not singers.  Yes some of them can sing, I know that Lily James can, I watched the live action Cinderella movie and she does have a lovely voice, and Amanda Seyfried can sing too, (Cher is a singer but honestly I don't like her voice and I think her album of ABBA covers that she's doing sounds horrible, but that's for another time, lol) but most of the other people in the movie can't sing. They can act, sure, but they can't sing.

Also when watching some of the interview clips of the Mamma Mia! actors that they've done when promoting the movie, I noticed that they say a lot something along the lines of (this is not a direct quote - this is written from memory) "yeah I'm a big fan of Mamma Mia... I'm a big ABBA fan." and  while there can be fans of Mamma Mia! and ABBA at the same time (a lot of fans have become ABBA fans because of Mamma Mia! - that's not how I found ABBA BTW lol), but I just wanted to point out that being a fan of Mamma Mia! and a fan of ABBA are two separate things, not the same, since Mamma Mia! and ABBA are different things.

Basically to sum it all up, I'm not liking that ABBA and Mamma Mia! are getting merged together nowadays.  They're different - ABBA is band from the 70s and 80s, two Swedish couples who were together and broke up, while Mamma Mia! is a musical about a girl who doesn't know who her father is because her mom was messing around (probably not the right word, I just want to keep my blog clean :3 ) and they like to break out into song.  Two different things.  :)

Anyways, that was a long post and my fingers hurt from all that typing, so I'll just end this here.  Before I go, I do want to share these two videos I made that were requested by an awesome follower, ManhattanMan.  :)


  1. This post is amazing! You take the words right out of my mouth I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying. I agree with the whole Cher situation, the lyric changes and the theme of the whole blog thank you so much for sharing this!!

    1. Aw thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment! :D It's nice to know my blog posts actually mean something!! ^^


Please keep your comments related to the blog's content. For example, I run multiple blogs and don't particularly want comments that have to do with one of my other blogs on a blog that has nothing really to do with the other. I might share posts because they're all my blogs, but please, keep your comments related. :)

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