Mamma Mia (song)

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"Mamma Mia"
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA
B-side "Intermezzo No.1"
"Hey, Hey Helen" (Australia)
"Tropical Loveland" (UK)
Released September 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 12 March 1975 at Metronome Studio
Genre Pop rock, Glam rock
Length 3:35
Label Polar (Denmark)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (Canada, US)
Carnaby (Spain)
Polydor (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland)
RCA Victor (Australia)
Disques Vogue (Belgium)
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Stig Anderson
Producer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Certification Silver (UK)
ABBA singles chronology
"SOS"
(1975)
"Mamma Mia"
(1975)
"Fernando"
(1976)
Music video
"Mamma Mia" on YouTube

"Mamma Mia" is a song recorded by the Swedish pop group ABBA, written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, with the lead vocals shared by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It is the opening track on the group's third album, the self-titled ABBA. The song's name is derived from Italian, where it is an interjection used in situations of surprise, anguish, or excitement (literally, "My mother").

History and impact[edit]

The distinctive sound at the start of the song is the marimba.[1]

"Mamma Mia" was written at the home of Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and was the last track recorded for the album ABBA. It was one of four songs from the album to have a music video made to promote the album. Initially however, "Mamma Mia" was never intended for release as a single.[1] Around this time, many artists were recording ABBA songs (such as "Honey, Honey" and "Bang a Boomerang").

When "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" topped the Australian charts for 3 weeks, the Australian public was hungry for more ABBA – the beginnings of ABBAmania. It was the promo clip for "Mamma Mia" that was proving the most popular after repeat screenings on Australian television, notably Molly Meldrum's Countdown. ABBA’s Australian record company, RCA, asked that "Mamma Mia" be released as a single but Polar Music refused.[2] However, Stig Anderson would agree to this and "Mamma Mia" was released in Australia in August 1975 where it spent 10 weeks at number one.[1]

After this success in Australia, Epic Records in the United Kingdom took notice of ABBA for the first time since Eurovision and "Waterloo". From then on, Epic began to heavily promote ABBA's singles with the immediate result of "S.O.S." reaching the Top 10 in the important British market, their first hit since "Waterloo". "Mamma Mia" soon followed reaching number one on the British charts in early 1976, the second of ABBA's 18 consecutive Top 10 singles.[1]

The B-side for the Australian release of "Mamma Mia" was "Hey, Hey Helen". In most other countries the B-Side was the instrumental "Intermezzo Number 1". ABBA's British label Epic selected "Tropical Loveland" as the B-side for the UK release, feeling another vocal track, especially one showcasing ABBA in a different musical style would better promote the parent album.

In the UK Singles Chart dated 31 January 1976, "Mamma Mia" replaced Queen's song "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the number 1 position, which itself coincidentally contains the lyrical phrase "Mama Mia" sung in a very similar rhythmic fashion.

Tracklisting[edit]

International single[edit]

  1. Mamma Mia
  2. Intermezzo No. 1

UK single[edit]

  1. Mamma Mia
  2. Tropical Loveland

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1975–1976) Position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 3
Belgian Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 20
Dutch Singles Chart 13
Finnish Singles Chart 14
German Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 2
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Rhodesian Singles Chart 20
South African Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 32
Chart (2008) Position
Italian Singles Chart 12[3]
Australian Singles Chart 48[4]
UK Singles Chart 56[5]
Swiss Singles Chart 60[6]

A-Teens version[edit]

"Mamma Mia"
Single by A-Teens
from the album The ABBA Generation
Released 10 May 1999
Format CD Single
Cassette
vinyl 12"
airplay
Recorded January 1999
Genre Pop, Europop
Length 3:44 (Album Version)
3:42 (Radio Edit)
Label Universal Music Group
Writer(s) B. Andersson
S. Anderson
B. Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Ole Evenrude
A-Teens singles chronology
"Mamma Mia"
(1999)
"Super Trouper"
(1999)

"Mamma Mia" became the first single by the A-Teens which was released as the debut single from the album The ABBA Generation. The song is a cover version of the popular hit by ABBA. Unlike the original, this version leaves out the second refrain "Mamma Mia, even if I say, Bye bye, leave me now or never; Mamma Mia, it's a game we play, Bye bye, doesn't mean forever."

When the single came out in the spring of 1999, it became a smash hit in their home country, Sweden, where it peaked at number-one and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks earning a platinum certification.[7]

On the initial pressings of the single, the name of the band appeared as ABBA*Teens, but Universal Music Group thought it would be better to change the name of the band to A-Teens so the new pressings of the single were made.

The single hit Top Twenty in almost every European country, reaching number three in Norway, number nine in Switzerland and the Netherlands, number ten in Germany, number twelve in the United Kingdom, number fourteen in Austria and Finland, among others. A Spanish version of the song was recorded for promotion in Latin America and Spain.

Despite the worldwide success, the song failed to attract the Australian public, peaking at seventy-two on the ARIA Charts. The album flopped and the A-Teens stopped releasing singles/albums in that country until the 2002 single "Can't Help Falling in Love". "Mamma Mia" also peaked at thirteen in New Zealand, but due to the lack of success in Australia, the further singles were never released in that country either.

In the United States the single peaked at sixty-three on the Billboard Hot Single Sales Chart, becoming the band's first single to chart in the country.[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Henrik Sylvén and was filmed in Sweden. It shows the A-Teens as waiters in an art exposition, and they are suppressed by the manager; but soon they discover that one of the paintings transports them to a party where the manager and patrons he's helping also join in on the fun.

The video reached number one on several music channels, and was the main single outside the US, where "Dancing Queen" was used as the main single to promote the album.[9]

Chart positions[edit]

  • 1 (Argentina, Chile, Sweden)
  • 3 (Norway, Ukraine)
  • 9 (Bavaria, Netherlands, Switzerland)
  • 10 (Germany)
  • 12 (Mexico, United Kingdom)
  • 13 (New Zealand)
  • 14 (Austria, Finland)
  • 51 (France)
  • 72 (Australia)

Releases[edit]

European 2-Track CD Single

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

International Edition

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Giuseppe Remix] – 5:35
  3. Mamma Mia [Jam Lab Remix] – 3:56
  4. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

U.K. CD1

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:45
  2. Lay All Your Love On Me – 4:04
  3. Mamma Mia [Karaoke Version] – 3:45

Video: Mamma Mia

U.K. CD2

  1. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48
  2. Mamma Mia [The Bold & The Beautiful Glamourmix Edit] – 3:46
  3. Mamma Mia [Trouser Enthusiasts' Undying Dub] – 9:20

U.K. Cassette

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:45
  2. Mamma Mia [Karaoke Version] – 3:45

U.S. CD Single

  1. Mamma Mia [Radio Version] – 3:43
  2. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

Promo CD

  1. Mamma Mia – 3:43

12" Vinyl Promo

  1. A. Mamma Mia [The Bold & The Beautiful Glamourmix Edit] – 3:46
  2. B. Mamma Mia [Extended Version] – 5:48

Other cover versions[edit]

  • In 1976, French singer Karen Cheryl recorded a French-language version, titled "Oh! Mama Mia".
  • The 1995 New Zealand tribute compilation Abbasalutely includes a cover by alternative pop band The 3Ds.
  • In 1996, British singer Hazell Dean recorded a dance-oriented cover for her album The Winner Takes It All.
  • In 1997, Ska band Five Iron Frenzy recorded their own version of the song.
  • In 1999, The song was covered by A-Teens on their debut album The ABBA Generation (see above section).
  • The exact same music from the A-Teens version was re-used for another cover of "Mamma Mia" by Danish singer Kate Hall on the German compilation ABBA Mania a few years later.
  • British singer/actress Martine McCutcheon covered the song for the 1999 tribute Abbamania. She also performed the song on the TV special. On the subsequent ABBAMania 2 album from 2004, the song is covered by British actress Tricia Penrose.
  • Dance covers of "Mamma Mia" have been recorded by Abbacadabra (produced by Almighty Records), Angeleyes on their 1999 tribute album ABBAdance, Sabu on the 2001 Japanese ABBA Ibiza Caliente Mix compilation, Euphorica on their 2003 album ABBA Dance, and DJ Ensamble on their 2006 Trancing Queen tribute album.[10]
  • In 2000, Swedish band The Black Sweden included the song on their ABBA tribute album Gold. Their version featured an opening riff borrowed from the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water".
  • On the 2004 tribute compilation Abbalicious, the song is performed by several American drag queens.
  • Musician/songwriter Pamela McNeill included a cover of the song on her album Tribute To ABBA, which was produced by her husband Dugan McNeill.
  • A cover of the song was recorded by indie rock artist DackAttac.
  • In 2005, indie rock band Seks Bomba from Boston recorded a cover of the song for their album Thanks & Goodnight.
  • In 2005, Hungarian jazz vocal group Cotton Club Singers recorded Mamma Mia for their ABBA Jazz Live 1 album.
  • A cover of the song by Storm Corp. can be found on the 2006 chill out music compilation ABBA Chill Out.
  • In 2006, German AC/DC tribute band Riff Raff recorded a cover in AC/DC style for their album Rock 'N' Roll Mutation Vol. 1: Riff Raff Performs ABBA.
  • In 2006, Finnish a cappella choral ensemble Rajaton released a cover on their ABBA tribute album Rajaton Sings ABBA With Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
  • Tribute band Gabba (band) recorded a cover of the song, in the style of The Ramones. A sample can be heard on their official website.[11]
  • A dance version by Shana Vanguarde omits the second half of the chorus.
  • In 2007 singer and actor Ariana Grande with her friend Aaron Simon Gross covered a really short part of the chores of the song for their homemade show "Freaky Forever" (parody of Freaky Friday)
  • In 2008, the song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on their album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA.[12]
  • American indie alternative rock band Miniature Tigers recorded a cover of the song that was available for download on the Net.
  • In 2011, British Folk Punk band Smokey Bastard covered Mamma Mia on their album Tales From The Wasteland.
  • In 2012, the song was parodied by The Fringemunks (a group that is a parody itself of Alvin and the Chipmunks) to recap Fringe episode 4.07, "Wallflower."[13]
  • In 2013, popular TV series Glee covered the song in the seventeenth episode of their fourth season, "Guilty Pleasures".

Live cover performances[edit]

  • Taiwanese singer A-mei has performed the song live.
  • The song is featured in the Mamma Mia! musical, and sung by the character of Donna. In the context of the musical, the song is used as Donna's surprise at finding the three men she went out with at the same time. Donna explains how much pain the men caused her at the separation, but also in the song she explains how easily she can succumb to temptation. In the 2008 Mamma Mia! film adaptation, it is sung by Meryl Streep, who plays Donna. In both cases, the length of the song is exactly the same as the original, but like the A-Teens version (see above), the second refrain is omitted and the main refrain is sung twice in succession.
  • Elena Temnikova, Russian singer, sang this song on the 2003 television show Star Factory.
  • Miley Cyrus sang this song in 2005 in one of her Hannah Montana audition tapes[citation needed].
  • The Phoenix Metropolitan Men's Chorus sang "Mamma Mia" in a show entitled ExtrABBAganza that included almost all of the group's greatest hits.
  • The song was sung on Australian Idol Season 6 by Chrislyn Hamilton during ABBA week.
  • The song has also been performed, but without the lyrics, by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.[14]

References and appearances in other media[edit]

  • In 1980, a Spanish version of "Mamma Mia" was included on the album Gracias Por La Música.
  • In 1999, a musical with the same name, Mamma Mia! (with an exclamation point to differentiate its name from the title track), opened in London's West End, featuring many of ABBA's songs and production has spread to many other countries, with more than 1,500 performances on Broadway alone. A film adaptation premiered in theaters in 2008.
  • ABBA perform parts of the song live in the film ABBA: The Movie (1977).
  • The song is featured in the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert which was made in Australia, site of the single's greatest success.
  • The song can be heard in the movie Muriel's Wedding which was made in Australia.
  • The song can be heard in the That 70's Show episode "No Quarter". Jackie plays it trying to get to sleep, to the annoyance of Donna.
  • The A-Teens cover is used as the opening theme of the German reality programme Frauentausch.
  • On 5 December 2010, on a British poll of the nation's favourite ABBA song, the song was placed at number 6.
  • Aus TV series sent up this video in their second season in 1990 with Jane Turner and Gina Riley in the roles of Agnetha and Fredia respectively.
Preceded by
"I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" by ABBA
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
10 November 1975 – 5 January 1976
Succeeded by
"S.O.S." by ABBA
Preceded by
"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
UK Singles Chart number-one single
31 January 1976 – 13 February 1976
Succeeded by
"Forever and Ever" by Slik
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
31 January 1976 – 28 February 1976
Succeeded by
"Broken Promise" by Red Hurley
Preceded by
"Moviestar" by Harpo
German Singles Chart number-one single
6 February 1976
Succeeded by
"Moviestar" by Harpo
Preceded by
"Dolannes-Melodie"
by Jean-Claude Borelly
Swiss Singles Chart number-one single
6 February 1976 – 13 February 1976
Preceded by
"Boom Boom Boom Boom" by Vengaboys
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
(A-Teens version)

20 May 1999 – 20 July 1999 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)"
by Lou Bega

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Mamma Mia – The Song That Saved ABBA". ABBA – The Official Site. Polar Music International. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  2. ^ ABC: Love is in the Air: Strange Fruit
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "italiancharts.com – Italian Charts – Singles Digital – 23/10/2008". Italian Charts. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Chart Statistics for Mamma Mia
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABBA – Mamma Mia". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  7. ^ IFPI Certifications in 1999
  8. ^ "Mamma Mia" Hot Single Sales Chart
  9. ^ The A-Teens used this single to promote the album in March 2000 on their visit to the United States.
  10. ^ "Reviews". Eurodancehits.com. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "GABBA The Discopunk Sensation – MEDIA". Gabba.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Manila Times Internet Edition | LIFE & TIMES > Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA". The Manila Times. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Fringemunks Web site". Davidwumusic.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  14. ^ ""Mamma Mia" – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (ABBA Cover)". YouTube. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 

External links[edit]