Dancing Queen

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For other uses, see Dancing Queen (disambiguation).
"Dancing Queen"
Single by ABBA
from the album Arrival
B-side "That's Me"
Released 16 August 1976 (Sweden)
21 August 1976 (UK)
12 November 1976 (US)
Format 7" single
Recorded 4–5 August 1975 at Glen Studio
Genre Euro disco
Length 3:51
Label Polar (Sweden)
Epic (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Stig Anderson
Producer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Certification Gold (UK, US)
ABBA singles chronology
"Rock Me"
"Dancing Queen"
"Money, Money, Money"
Music video
"Dancing Queen" on YouTube

"Dancing Queen" is a pop song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in August 1976, and is commonly regarded as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s. In 2011, Rolling Stone listed it as one of the greatest songs of all time.[1]

"Dancing Queen" was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, and features the shared lead vocal performance of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It is considered by many to be one of ABBA's signature songs. "Dancing Queen" was recorded in 1975, and was released on the group's album Arrival the following year.[2] The song was re-released as a single in 1992 to promote the compilation Gold: Greatest Hits.


The recording sessions for "Dancing Queen" began on 4 August 1975. The demo was called "Boogaloo" and as the sessions progressed, Andersson and Ulvaeus found inspiration to the dance rhythm in George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby", as well as the drumming on Dr. John's 1972 album Dr. John's Gumbo. The main melodic riff echoes 'Sing My Way Home' by Delaney & Bonnie (from Motel Shot, 1971). Fältskog and Lyngstad recorded the vocals on sessions in September 1975, and the track was completed three months later.

During the sessions, Benny Andersson brought a tape home with the backing track on it and played it to Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who apparently started crying when listening: "I found the song so beautiful. It's one of those songs that goes straight to your heart."

While working on the lyrics, half of the second verse was scrapped: "Baby, baby, you're out of sight/hey, you're looking all right tonight/when you come to the party/listen to the guys/they've got the look in their eyes...". It survives in footage from a recording session.[3]

After having been premiered on German and Japanese TV during the spring of 1976, "Dancing Queen" saw its first live and domestic performance, televised on Swedish TV on 18 June 1976, during an all-star gala staged by Kjerstin Dellert at the Royal Swedish Opera[4] in honour of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride to be, Silvia Sommerlath, who were to be married the next day.[5][6] Benny Andersson has cited it as "one of those songs where you know during the sessions that it's going to be a smash hit". Agnetha Fältskog has stated in a TV program: "It's often difficult to know what will be a hit. The exception was 'Dancing Queen'. We all knew it was going to be massive".

For their 1980 Spanish language album/compilation "Gracias Por La Música", ABBA recorded a Spanish version of "Dancing Queen", renamed "Reina Danzante", with Spanish lyrics provided by Buddy and Mary McCluskey. The track was later retitled "La Reina Del Baile" when included on the later compilation album ABBA Oro: Grandes Éxitos in the 1990s.

In 1993, in honor of Swedish Queen Silvia´s 50th birthday, Anni-Frid Lyngstad was asked to perform "Dancing Queen" on stage, repeating ABBA's 1976 performance of the song at the wedding reception of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Frida contacted The Real Group and together they did an a cappella version of the song on stage at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm, in front of the king and queen. The Swedish Prime Minister at the time, Ingvar Carlsson, was also in the audience that night and said it was an ingenious idea to perform "Dancing Queen" a cappella. This performance with Lyngstad and The Real Group was filmed by Swedish Television SVT and is included in Frida – The DVD.

For the 1994 Australian film Muriel's Wedding songwriters Ulvaeus and Andersson allowed the use of “Dancing Queen” and other ABBA hits for its soundtrack. It was one of the ABBA songs included in Mamma Mia! the West End musical that was first produced in 1999 and which was later adapted into a movie in 2008.

The first International Standard Musical Work Code was assigned in 1995 to "Dancing Queen"; the code is T-000.000.001-0.


"Dancing Queen" became a massive worldwide hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries including ABBA's native Sweden (where it spent 14 weeks at the top),[7] Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom,[8] Ireland, Mexico,[citation needed] the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway (where it charted for 32 weeks (VG-lista Top 10), making it the 11th best-performing single of all time in that country),[9] South Africa and Rhodesia. "Dancing Queen" also topped the charts in the United States, ABBA's only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100,[10] and was a Top 5 hit in Austria, Finland, France and Switzerland. The song sold over three million copies.[11]

In the UK Singles Chart, "Dancing Queen" was the last of three consecutive No. 1s for ABBA in 1976, following "Mamma Mia" and "Fernando" earlier in the year.[8]

In 1992, the song was re-released in the UK, as Erasure sparked an ABBA revival after the success of their Abba-esque EP topping the UK charts. The re-issued "Dancing Queen" reached #16 in the UK in September 1992.

In 2000, "Dancing Queen" came fourth in a Channel 4 television poll of "The 100 Best Number Ones". It was chosen as #148 as part of the 365 Songs of the Century list. It is also ranked #174 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,[12] the only ABBA song on the list. That same year, it made VH1's 100 Greatest Dance Songs in Rock & Roll at #97. Also in 2000, editors of The Rolling Stone with MTV compiled a list of the best 100 pop songs. "Dancing Queen" was the 12th highest placed song from the 1970s.[13]

On 9 November 2002, the results of a poll, "Top 50 Favourite UK #1's", was broadcast on Radio 2, celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Official UK Charts Company. 188,357 listeners voted and "Dancing Queen" came out at #8. On 5 December 2010, Britain's ITV broadcast the results of a poll to determine "The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song", in which "Dancing Queen" was placed at #2.

On 19th August 2005, the song was featured on a music player turned on by Boabby the Barman in The Clansman pub in Series 4 Episode 5 ('Hatch') of the Scottish Sitcom Still Game.

In 2009, the British performing rights group Phonographic Performance Limited celebrated its 75th anniversary by listing the 75 songs that have played most in Great Britain on the radio, in clubs and on jukeboxes. "Dancing Queen" was number eight on the list.[14]

Former U.S. presidential candidate John McCain named "Dancing Queen" as his favorite song in a top 10 list submitted to Blender Magazine in August 2008.[15] Also in August 2008, "Dancing Queen" surpassed the 500,000 mark for digital sales in the United States (512,000).[citation needed]

In August 2012 listeners to the 1970s-themed UK radio station "Smooth 70s" voted "Dancing Queen" as their favourite hit from the decade.[16]

In October 2014 the musical instrument insurer Musicguard carried out a survey determining "Dancing Queen" to be the United Kingdom's favourite "floorfiller". Contrary to its closest competitors, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (#2) and "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles (#3), it turned out be very popular throughout the nation whereas the other two were strong regional favourites.[17][18]

In March 2015, "Dancing Queen" became the 5000th song in "The Chain" on the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC 6Music. The Chain, is officially the longest listener-generated thematically linked sequence of musically based items on the radio.

The song was parodied in the Gravity Falls episode, "Dipper vs Manliness", the song was parodied as "Disco Girl" and the group was parodied as "BABBA".

Track listings[edit]

[19] 7" Vinyl

1992 CD Re-issue

  1. "Dancing Queen"
  2. "Lay All Your Love On Me"

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

A-Teens version[edit]

"Dancing Queen"
Single by A-Teens
from the album The ABBA Generation
Released 7 March 2000
Format CD single
12" vinyl
Recorded 1999
Genre Pop, Europop
Length 3:52 (Album Version)
3:20 (UK Radio Edit)
Label Universal Music Group
Writer(s) B. Andersson, S. Anderson, B. Ulvaeus
Producer(s) Ole Evenrude
A-Teens singles chronology
"Take a Chance on Me"
"Dancing Queen"
"Upside Down"

"Dancing Queen" was A-Teens' fourth and final single from their first album The ABBA Generation.

When the single came out in the spring of 2000, it peaked at number one in Mexico, becoming their first number one hit in that country, the song was also a smash hit in South America peaking at number three in Argentina, number five in Chile, number six in Colombia and number fifteen in Brazil.

This was the main single for the United States promotion, when the album was released in March 2000. "Dancing Queen" reached ninety-five on the Billboard Hot 100, thirty-six on Airplay and number thirteen on the Hot Single Sales Chart.[34][35]

"Dancing Queen" was released as a double A-side with "The Name of the Game" in Europe, where both the songs were promoted on radio at the same time, because Universal Music Group thought that "Dancing Queen", being the last single, needed a back-up to be successful. The video for "The Name of the Game" was an unofficial video, made especially for an A-Teens TV special in Sweden and it was never intended to be a promotional video. It was only aired by Channel 4.

Music video[edit]

Directed by Patrick Kiely, it was the first A-Teens video to be filmed in the United States. It was filmed on 7 March 2000, the same day the song was released. The video was a tribute to the movie The Breakfast Club. Paul Gleason (now deceased), the actor who played the principal in the movie, plays the same role in the video. When the principal leaves the members of the band (and many extras to serve as background dancers) alone in the detention room (which was actually the library), the school turns into a '70s discotheque. Part of the video also takes place in the dining area outside the school building. Towards the end of the video, the scene returns to normal as detention ends and everyone leaves.


European 2-Track CD single

  1. "Dancing Queen" [album version] – 3:48
  2. "The Name of the Game" – 4:17

European/Mexican CD maxi

  1. "Dancing Queen" [album version] – 3:48
  2. "Dancing Queen" [Pierre J's Main Radio Mix] – 3:27
  3. "Dancing Queen" [Pierre J's Main Extended Mix] – 5:47
  4. "Dancing Queen" [BTS Gold Edition Mix] – 5:13

U.S. CD single

  1. "Dancing Queen" [album version] – 3:48
  2. "Dancing Queen" [extended version] – 5:48

U.S. cassette

  1. "Dancing Queen" [album version] – 3:48
  2. "Dancing Queen" [extended version] – 5:48

Other artists who have recorded covers of the song[edit]

Notable musicians who have performed the song live[edit]


  1. ^ "Rolling Stone: Greatest 500 Songs of All Time". Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. 
  2. ^ abba4therecord. "abba for the record | 45s, vinyl singles collection". Abba4therecord.com. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ "ABBA – Dancing Queen – The Missing Verse / Lost Lyrics" on YouTube. Retrieved on 15 November 2008.
  4. ^ Dagens Nyheter 1976-06-19
  5. ^ [1] Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Video of the performance on YouTube. Retrieved 6 December 2010
  7. ^ "Sweden". Home.zipworld.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  8. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 330–1. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ "BEST OF ALL TIME – SINGLES". VG-lista. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "United States of America". Home.zipworld.com.au. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  11. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 85. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  12. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  13. ^ "The Pop 100: The Seventies". Superseventies.com. 1976-06-18. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "White House DJ Battle". Blender Magazine. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  16. ^ "Smooth Radio presenters head to Smooth 70s". Radio Today. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Boogying Britain: Abba's Dancing Queen voted favourite floorfiller - what else was in top 10?. Mirror, 2014-10-30
  18. '^ Abba's 'Dancing Queen' voted Britain's best 'floorfiller. Business Standard, 2014-11-2
  19. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 124-125. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  20. ^ "Kent Music Report National Top 100 Singles, No 120". Kent Music Report. 11 October 1976. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  21. ^ Billboard – Google Books. Books.google.ca. 1976-10-09. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  22. ^ Faltskog, Agnetha & Ahman, Brita (1997) 'As I Am: ABBA Before & Beyond', Virgin Publishing, p.65
  23. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7. 
  24. ^ http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/top-100-1976.shtml
  25. ^ https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.5502a&type=1&interval=50&PHPSESSID=fdn5oqnr5k6sg5pu2qiktsudt4
  26. ^ http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1977.htm
  27. ^
  28. ^ "List of best-selling international singles in Japan". JP&KIYO. 2002. 
  29. ^ "British single certifications – ABBA – Dancing Queen". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Dancing Queen in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  30. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "American single certifications – ABBA – Dancing Queen". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 6 July 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Abba". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  33. ^ Trust, Gary (23 January 2009). "Ask Billboard: Mariah Carey, Abba, Oasis, The Verve". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "Official home and community – Upside Down charts". A-Teens.Com. 2001-01-04. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  35. ^ [3][dead link]
  36. ^ "Abbacadabra – Dancing Queen – Almighty Records". Almightyrecords.com. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  37. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  38. ^ [4][dead link]
  39. ^ Davage, I., letter from the MCPS to The JAMs, reproduced in "The KLF 1987 Completeist List" [sic], an insert to Who Killed The JAMs?, KLF Communications JAMS LP2, 1988.
  40. ^ News item, Sounds, 12 September 1987.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Moviestar" by Harpo
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
24 August 1976 – 23 November 1976
Succeeded by
"Daddy Cool" by Boney M.
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Dutch Top 40 number-one single
4 September 1976 – 2 October 1976
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Belgian Flemish VRT Top 30 number-one single (first run)
4 September 1976 – 9 October 1976
Succeeded by
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Preceded by
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Eurochart Hot 100 Singles number-one single
4 September 1976 – 6 November 1976
Succeeded by
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UK Singles Chart number-one single
4 September 1976 – 16 October 1976 (6 weeks)
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Preceded by
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
6 September 1976 – 25 October 1976
Succeeded by
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Irish Singles Chart number-one single
10 September 1976 – 15 October 1976
Succeeded by
"Mississippi" by Pussycat
Preceded by
"Moviestar" by Harpo
Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart number-one single
6 September 1976 – 22 November 1976
Succeeded by
"Mississippi" by Pussycat
Preceded by
"Daddy Cool" by Boney M.
German Singles Chart number-one single
17 September 1976
Succeeded by
"Daddy Cool" by Boney M.
Preceded by
"In Zaire" by Johnny Wakelin
Belgian Flemish VRT Top 30 number-one single (second run)
23 October 1976
Succeeded by
"Mon Amour" by BZN
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"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" by Barbra Streisand
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
2 April 1977 – 9 April 1977
Succeeded by
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Preceded by
"Rich Girl" by Daryl Hall and John Oates
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
9 April 1977
Succeeded by
"Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul
Preceded by
"She'd Rather Be With Me" by Pat McGlynn
Japanese Oricon International Weekly Singles Chart number-one single
8 August 1977
Succeeded by
"Hotel California" by The Eagles