By Chuck Klosterman
Originally accumulated in Eating the Dinosaur and now on hand either as a stand-alone essay and within the booklet assortment Chuck Klosterman on Pop, this essay is ready ABBA.
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Extra info for ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur
And that success became part of the sound. The fact that every human on earth (including their most vehement detractors) was keenly aware of ABBA’s magnitude changed how the songs came across. It validated the obtuseness and bewildered the inflexible. ” ABBA had figured something out about America that we could effortlessly hear but only partially comprehend. This was the supernatural element of ABBA Music—flawless, shiny, otherworldly songs that evoke both mild confusion and instantaneous acceptance.
What makes this arc even more noteworthy is that the group itself did not seem actively involved with any of these machinations (the members will retrospectively talk about how they were perceived by the media and by fans, but they scarcely seem to care). They appear uninvolved with the rest of the world; throughout the 1990s, Faltskog did not even own a home stereo. And this natural disconnect is the central reason ABBA has succeeded over time—and it’s something I noticed through other people before I realized it on my own.
As far as I can tell, AC/DC has been irrelevant for the vast majority of their career. And this has played to their advantage. Judging the value of any band against the ephemeral tastes of the hyper–present tense always misinterprets its actual significance. Moreover, any act lauded as “especially relevant” (and any critic1 preoccupied with hunting whomever that’s supposed to be) is almost guaranteed to have a limited career, simply because so much of their alleged value is tied to an ephemeral modernity they only embody by chance.
ABBA 1, World 0. An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman