Anyone who knows their Eurovision Song Contest trivia knows this: winners tend to be of the ‘one hit wonder’ variety.
After Abba claimed the title for Sweden in 1974 with ‘Waterloo’, it quickly looked like they would be no different to the rest.
Their follow-up single ‘I do, I do, I do’ failed to have the impact they hoped for and the band soon began to think they were being forgotten.
“But we have our Australian friends to thank for the fact that we came back,” Abba co-founder Benny Anderson told Sunday Night, in an episode to air this weekend.
Abba’s luck was in. The same year they won the Eurovision, Australian chart show ‘Countdown’ began airing, beaming the latest music hits to eager viewers in homes across the country.
It turned out, presenter Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum had an eye for spotting up-and-coming talent, and he was soon championing the Swedish foursome’s videos.
Molly got his hands on a promotional clip of Mamma Mia, which was not due to be released as a single, and Australians went mad for it. ABBAmania was born.
Between 1975 and 1976, the band had six number one hits in Australia – with Fernando lasting an historic 14 weeks at the top.
Mamma Mia was released internationally after it’s success Down Under, and the fever spread.
But it wasn’t the last time Australia played a pivotal roll in Abba’s ascendency to pop royalty. The pair’s histories are inextricably tied.
Tune into Channel 7 on Sunday at 8pm for the exclusive Abba event, forty years after the banned touched down in Sydney for a ground-breaking tour.