There aren't many groups with as healthy a chart pedigree as ABBA - the Swedish quartet's singles are almost national treasures in their own way. The band's global domination from the mid-seventies to the early eighties, followed by subsequent revivals in decades to come, means ABBA's classic hits are known to millions, across generations.
During their imperial phase, ABBA scored 25 Top 40 hits in the UK, including 19 Top 10s, of which nine went all the way to Number 1 – over the space of nine years.
This year has seen what many thought unthinkable - new ABBA music to accompany a virtual tour, both titled Voyage. So far, they've added two more Top 40 hits to their discography: Don't Shut Me Down (9) and I Still Have Faith In You (14).
To celebrate their new material together for the first time in 39 years, we look at the hits that paved the way, taking into account sales across physical and download formats, plus streams.
Out in front is Dancing Queen, the third consecutive chart-topper for the band in 1976 – spending six weeks there to be their longest running Number 1. It was re-released in 1992, to accompany their greatest hits ABBA Gold, becoming their 26th official Top 40 hit. It is ABBA's only million-seller and therefore their biggest single, with 1.56 million pure sales and 100 million streams.
Up second is Super Trouper, their final Number 1 in 1980, taken from the album of the same name, which spent two weeks at the top. To date it has 982,000 pure sales and 40 million streams. Taking the bronze is Knowing Me, Knowing You, the band's fifth Number 1, racking up five weeks at Number 1 in spring 1977 and picking up 976,000 sales and 28 streams
Fourth is Take A Chance On Me, which became their seventh Number 1 in 1978 – they had to wait over two and half years for another one – and has 885,000 pure sales to date. In fifth place comes the ultimate weepie The Winner Takes It All, a chart-topper in 1980, with 853,000 sales.
It's hard to pick out notable entries from an ABBA list because every single is a classic. Just outside the Top 5 is Fernando, another 1976 Number 1, with 874,000 sales. Interestingly, ABBA, who won Eurovision two years earlier, knocked that year's winner off the top – the very ABBA-esque UK entry Brotherhood of Man – and it wasn't the last time. ABBA booted Brotherhood of Man off Number 1 again in 1978, with Take a Chance on Me taking over from Figaro.
Close behind is Mamma Mia, on 766,000 sales - the mighty track that knocked Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody off Number 1, whose lyrics famously contained "mamma mia" too. Queen and ABBA make up the two top selling albums of all time in the shape of their respective greatest hits.
The band's biggest single to miss the Number 1 spot is 1979's Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight), which peaked at 3 and ranks tenth overall, while their Eurovision winner and first chart-topper Waterloo lands just outside the Top 10 at 11 on 681,000 sales, their lowest-selling Number 1.
Fittingly, rounding off the Top 20 is Thank You For The Music. Considered ABBA's farewell song, The track originally featured on the group's fifth studio record The Album in 1977 but was issued as a single in the UK in 1983, around the release of a compilation of the same name.
ABBA's Official Top 20 biggest songs
|3||KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU||1||1977|
|4||TAKE A CHANCE ON ME||1||1978|
|6||THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL||1||1980|
|8||THE NAME OF THE GAME||1||1977|
|10||GIMME GIMME GIMME (A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT)||3||1979|
|12||I HAVE A DREAM||2||1979|
|13||ANGEL EYES / VOULEZ VOUS||3||1979|
|14||DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW||4||1979|
|15||ONE OF US||3||1981|
|16||MONEY MONEY MONEY||3||1976|
|17||LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME||7||1981|
|18||SUMMER NIGHT CITY||5||1978|
|20||THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC||33||1983|
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