Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10.000: # 4 - Waterloo - ABBA (1974)

In the Eurocovers countdown of most covered Eurovision songs of all time Waterloo is at # 4, but mostly thanks to a massive load of absolutely crappy try-a-likes from albums and projects imaginatively titled 'So and so sing the hits of ABBA, ABBA The Tribute'. Cheap cash-ins loaded with lame vomit-like versions of ABBA's hits. None of that here of course, but they're all in the list.

# 4
- Waterloo
- 328 versions listed

ABBA & Waterloo are Eurovision. The song won the ultimate (but flawed*) all time Eurovision thingy as the best song of 50 years Eurovision.
ABBA recorded Waterloo in Swedish, English, German and French.
* - The selection of 15 songs didn't have Ding A Dong.
The biggest 'stars' to cover the song are probably Bananarama, but not many famous singers dare to try touching an ABBA song unless it's Thank You For The Music.

Eurovision singers covering Waterloo are: Carola, Charlotte Nilsson, Mrs Einstein (again), Ami Aspelund, Seija Simola and Tanel Padar with Lenna (of Vanilla Ninja).
Most versions are in English but still the language count is 22.
And again Eurocovers presents a list with all versions of Waterloo. (Word.doc) (UPDATED 2-3-10). Get it, read it and let me know if there's anything to add.
EsperantoFirst up there's simpatico slaphead Ralph Glomp, German Esperantist renaming the song Gotenburg'. There's two hands full of Eurocovers sung in Esperanto, and Ralph Glomp takes care of six of them. Gotenburg' is on his CD Ĵus per kares´ from 2003.

To make a very long story short: Esperanto is a constructed language (like Sanomian, but then people actually are really serious about it) created as an ideal world language for all people of the world to understand.
In the early 20's it was even considered to be the official language used for the (pre) UN but we have to thank the French for stopping that, as they still thought French would be the one and only international language. (Wikipedia on Esperanto)
Hear some more of Ralph Glomps music here. Iom da paco (on the same page) is his version of Ein Bisschen Frienden (Germany 1982).
Down under
ABBA were hugely popular worldwide, only in the US sales were disappointing. (Only one # 1 hit there) but nowhere were the people so ABBA crazy as in Australia. So it's fitting to include an ABBA tribute from down under here. The track below is from a single by Norman Gunston (Actor Garry MacDonald). It's an ABBA medley with a bit of Waterloo at the end. Oh yeah, it's comedy, see it at Youtube.
For my favorite ABBA tribute album we remain in the area. In 1995 the Flying Nun label released a CD with ABBA covers by noisy New Zealand bands and almost every track is fantastic. Cloth (where are they now?) did Waterloo but if you like your ABBA tunes even louder, get the full CD which is still available in various internet shops.

GAbba GAbba - Hey
The ideal combination of ABBA songs + noise would have been the Ramones. Both quartets specialised in the perfect pop tunes, only the Ramones played a bit faster.
British Gabba noticed just that and they covered Waterloo on their CD with ABBA covers Leave Stockholm. In good Ramones tradition Waterloo is brought back to a neat 1 minute 36.
Hear more at their MySpace

If these versions didn't get rid of your unwanted guests you could play the version of Waterloo by The Yuri Honing Trio. Uncomfortable Jazz at its best and even though the track is like one big intro it's actually pretty cool. It's from the 1996 CD Star Tracks which also includes versions of Björks Isobel and Cyndi Laupers Time After Time.

BeaRecords ABBA pages

A really sick version is made by some knob twiddlers who call themselves the Sweet Little Band. Not worth listening to but it's a great picture sleeve. They even made a Hebrew version for the Israeli market. It's an instrumental CD titled Babies Go ABBA. The music is so tedious they guarantee that you baby will sleep in minutes. (Although I think it's bordering on child abuse).
It's not just your favorite Swedish popsters that have received the honour of seducing your cry-baby into a coma, you can also try out Babies Go Elvis, Babies Go Pink Floyd (original version will do wonders too), Babies Go Carpenters, Babies Go Coldplay, Babies Go Guns 'n'Roses (yeah that'll help) and probably the most effective of all Babies Go Bob Marley. No Babies Go Lordi yet…. The evil CDs are mady by RGS music in Argentina.
Parts of this article were already featured in the Eurovision Collectors Guide group (Yahoo)
Previous Eurocovers posts featuring Waterloo in Feathers & Spandex.
And a 'future' post is here

P.S. Couldn't squeeze it in, but don't let anyone tell you otherwise, Björn Again is the best ABBA tribute band in the world.

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