Giving Up the Fight

What kept the U.S. from liking Abba for three decades? One longtime fan has the answer

Peter Mazel / Sunshine / Retna

Portrait of Swedish pop group Abba with Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad and Benny Andersson

At Waterloo, as you may have heard, Napoleon did surrender. Oh, yeah, and America has met its destiny in quite a similar way. Having held out admirably for decades, the U.S. has at last fully succumbed to the charms of the stickiest thing to come out of Scandinavia since the sauna. When 14-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep is in 3,000 cinemas nationwide singing Dancing Queen, it's time to break out ze white flag, mes frères.

This capitulation is perhaps a more important moment in U.S. history than it first appears. I have a theory: a country enjoys Abba's music in inverse...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!