Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The winner takes it all

I've been exceptionally lazy today and got up at a ridiculous time. Well, it is Sunday. I was going to go to Oxford Street and do a spot of Xmas shopping but in the end couldn't face it. There's still time to pick up all those additional pressies anyway. I will probably venture there one night after work, soon. Procrastinator? Moi?

This afternoon whilst doing the ironing I caught "ABBA: The Reunion" on ITV. Seeing / hearing many of their songs again reminded me of what a brilliant group they were. Still are, in fact. I'm not one of those nostalgic, crusty types who believes that only those music bands / artistes of the past are any good and all current stuff is cr*p (despite being an old cheeser). However I do think that few bands around today can surpass the impact or achievement of ABBA. They produced some of the most superior pop songs ever. Stirring melodies, memorable hooks and incredible harmonising from the ladies (Agnetha and Frida). They could knock out a mean dance tune - Dancing Queen, Take A Chance On Me, Gimme Gimme Gimme - or a fabulous ballad - Fernando, The Name of The Game, The Day Before You Came. There were the hard to categorise tracks, like Money, Money, Money - not really disco, not a ballad, but brilliant in its balminess nevertheless. And then there were the tragedy-themed ones. Knowing Me, Knowing You and The Winner Takes It All are undisputed classics of the "relationship break-up" song, and have been embraced by gay men, divas and tragedy queens world-wide. Many of ABBA's videos are also seared in the public consciousness, including the one for The Winner Takes It All which featured Agnetha's highly prominent blue eye-shadow (see above). Admittedly, there were a few clangers in the ABBA catalogue - Chiquitita and I Have a Dream are both of the gut-wrenchingly twee variety, the former featuring a naff clap-a-long melody and the latter a horrible kiddie choir. Bleugh. However these were mere trangressions in the otherwise impeccable musical output of the Swedish supergroup. Also, unlike some bands, ABBA's album tracks were often as strong as their singles - When I Kissed The Teacher; That's Me; Tiger; Eagle; As Good As New; Happy New Year and The Piper being some of my personal favourites.

The centre-piece of the Reunion programme was (unsurprisingly) an attempt to re-unite the four band members for an appearance at the "Mamma Mia" tribute musical in London. Unfortunately Agnetha is something of a recluse these days and has a fear of flying, and so sadly didn't make it. Frida has turned into a platinum blonde, a look I'm not sure about (she was always the brunette of the band). Benny and Bjorn were looking in pretty good shape though.

Anyway once the programme finished I couldn't resist sticking on my ABBA CDs for old times' sake and have been listening to their back catalogue for the rest of the day. Wonderful and rousing stuff. Sadly I've got no blue eye-shadow to accompany the experience.


  • At 1:09 am , Blogger Minge said...

    You should pop into a department store for a freebie eye shadow. They're always trying to bung some into my handbag.

    J'adore Abba, but Aggie winds me up and, well, Summer Night City was a mistake. Abba songs should be sung by the ladies. Full stop. Ew.

  • At 5:22 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Thanks for the tip, Minge! Ok, I may well pop into Selfridges make-up dept next time I'm on Oxford Street, I'm sure they stock blue eye-shadow...

    Erm, at the risk of sounding nerdy, do you mean "Does Your Mother Know" was a mistake? That was the track that featured the boys on lead vocals as opposed to the girls. And it's generally seen to be a failure. I'm in agreement with you there.

  • At 6:17 pm , Blogger Flaming Nora said...

    Avoid Oxford Street at all costs. It is horrible. Shunt around Covent Garden instead, it's marginally less horrid for Xmas shopping. Watch out for tourists from the north.

  • At 8:48 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Mmm yes, I'm sure Covent Garden has got make-up shops too. Thanks Nora! I agree Oxford Street can be quite horrendous but it does have all the major stores and sometimes one just has to grimace and bear it. Only for a few hours though, or I will die of total asphyxiation.

    Tourists from the north? Would you be referring to your Claudette-Colbert look-a-like Mum, by any chance?


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