Dancing Queen (album)

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Dancing Queen
Cher - Dancing Queen.png
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2018 (2018-09-28)
RecordedOctober 2017 – August 2018
GenreDance-pop[1]
Length40:05
LabelWarner Bros.
Producer
Cher chronology
Closer to the Truth
(2013)
Dancing Queen
(2018)
Singles from Dancing Queen
  1. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"
    Released: August 9, 2018
  2. "SOS"
    Released: August 23, 2018
  3. "One of Us"
    Released: September 21, 2018

Dancing Queen is the twenty-sixth studio album by American singer and actress Cher, released by Warner Bros. Records on September 28, 2018. It is Cher's first album in five years, following Closer to the Truth (2013). The album contains cover versions of songs recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA, with the title referencing their 1976 song "Dancing Queen". The album follows Cher's appearance in the 2018 musical film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, based on the music of ABBA.[2][3]

The album received acclaim from music critics, and was a success commercially, debuting at number three on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 153,000 units, becoming Cher's highest debut sales week for an album in the United States. Dancing Queen also debuted at number one on the US Top Album Sales chart with 150,000 pure copies, making it Cher's first number one album on that chart. The album also peaked within the top ten of charts in another 18 countries, with nine of those being top five entries.

To promote the album, Cher embarked on a concert tour, titled Here We Go Again Tour which began on September 21, 2018. It also marks her first worldwide tour since the Living Proof: The Farewell Tour.

Background[edit]

After previously appearing in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, for which she recorded "Fernando" and "Super Trouper", Cher was inspired to do an ABBA cover album.

While recording, Cher hinted on her Twitter account that she might be releasing an ABBA cover album. On July 16, 2018, it was officially revealed in an interview with The Today Show that the album will indeed consist of ABBA covers. She further stated:

"After filming Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, I was reminded again of what great and timeless songs they wrote and started thinking, 'Why not do an album of their music?' The songs were harder to sing than I imagined but I'm so happy with how the music came out. I'm really excited for people to hear it. It's a perfect time." —Cher

Cher also said that "[she has] always liked ABBA and saw the original Mamma Mia! musical on Broadway three times".

In addition to that, Cher was asked about what people can expect from the album. She replied with saying, "It's not what you think of when you think 'ABBA', because [she] did it in a different way."

On August 9, 2018, it was announced that the album would be released on September 28, 2018.[4]

Singles and promotion[edit]

On August 8, 2018, Cher released a teaser of the album's first single "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" on her Twitter account.[5] The song was digitally released on the following day.[6] People who pre-ordered the album on iTunes immediately received a digital copy of the single. The song peaked at number 4 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. An extended version of "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" was released on September 14, 2018.[7]

The second single, "SOS" was digitally released on August 23, 2018.[8] To promote the song and the album, Cher performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 7, 2018.[9] A music video for the song was released on September 18, 2018.[10] To promote it even further, SOS is sung during Cher's Here We Go Again Tour, along with Waterloo and Fernando. These three songs are all tracks from Dancing Queen.

The third single, "One of Us", was digitally released on September 21, 2018, at each country's individual midnight time. On the same day, an animated video of a blue vinyl's B-side playing along with the song was released on Cher's YouTube.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
attitude5/5 stars[13]
Entertainment WeeklyA-[14]
Gay Star News4/5 stars[15]
Gay Times4/5 stars[16]
Newsday3/4 stars[17]
NME4/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[19]
The Guardian4/5 stars[20]
The Telegraph3/5 stars[21]
Idolator4/5 stars[22]

Dancing Queen was met, mostly, with acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 79 based on ten reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12] Gay Star News gave the album a positive review, saying: "If she'd approached this collection of ABBA re-recordings with the seriousness of, say, George Michael on the excellent Songs from the Last Century, she'd have been in big trouble. Instead, Dancing Queen is about fun, entertainment, dizzy abandonment. She knows how to please a crowd, while also acknowledging the desires of her die-hard fans."[15] Marc Snetiker from Entertainment Weekly gave the album a favourable review, calling it Cher's "most significant release since 1998’s Believe" and saying that "the album ender, 'One of Us,' is frankly one of Cher’s best recordings in years."[14]

Nick Levine from Gay Times praised Cher's vocals, calling them "glorious [...] – still rich and wonderfully androgynous-sounding" and pointing out that they "drive each song from beginning to end."[16] Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos commented that "the 72-year-old makes ABBA songs not only sound like they should’ve been written for her in the first place but like they firmly belong in 2018".[19] At Idolator, Mike Wass felt that "every track exudes the glitter, fun and nostalgia of a bygone era" and that "Dancing Queen, while disappointingly brief, covers all bases from dreamy disco moments and emotional ballads."[22]

In a positive review for The Guardian, it was noted that "occasionally Cher uses her trademark Auto-Tune like a crutch [...] but mostly it acts as a kind of interstellar portal that elevates Abba from the dancefloor to the cosmos."[20] In a review for The Times, Will Hodgkinson was less positive; he stated that the album delivered "exactly the results you would expect" and that "There's nothing to dislike, but also nothing to recommend beyond this being a fun, tacky choice for the Christmas party."[23]

Rolling Stone placed Dancing Queen on 5th place of all pop albums released in 2018 as well as placing Cher’s version of "The Name of the Game" as the 22nd best song of the year. The album’s music video of "SOS" was ranked as the 18th best music video of 2018 by Papermag.[citation needed]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the US the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 153,000 album-equivalent units, becoming Cher's highest debut sales for an album in the United States. It also ties the record for Cher's highest-charting solo album on that chart, which she first reached when her album Closer to the Truth also debuted and peaked at number three. Dancing Queen also debuted at number one on the US Top Album Sales chart with 150,000 pure copies, making it the biggest debut sales for a pop album by a female in the United States in 2018 and marking Cher's first number one album on that chart.[24]

In the UK the album debuted at number two, giving Cher her highest-charting studio album there since 1992's Greatest Hits: 1965–1992, with 22,677 units.[25][26] In Ireland, the album gave Cher her first top ten album in 20 years when it debuted at number ten.[27]

In Australia the album debuted at number two, making it Cher's highest-charting studio album there since Heart of Stone topped the chart in 1989.[28]

Here We Go Again Tour[edit]

A world tour, titled the Here We Go Again Tour, in support of Dancing Queen, began on September 21, 2018, in Auckland, New Zealand. It was officially announced on May 7, 2018.[29][30] Tickets purchased online include a free redemption offer for one physical or digital copy of Dancing Queen per purchased ticket. Every code must be redeemed until May 19, 2019.[31]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Mark Taylor; except "Fernando" produced by Benny Andersson with vocal production by Taylor.[32]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Dancing Queen"3:42
2."Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
4:11
3."The Name of the Game"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson
4:48
4."SOS"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson
3:22
5."Waterloo"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson
2:52
6."Mamma Mia"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson
3:34
7."Chiquitita"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
5:14
8."Fernando"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
  • Anderson
3:57
9."The Winner Takes It All"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
4:32
10."One of Us"
  • Andersson
  • Ulvaeus
3:53
Total length:40:05

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Dancing Queen adapted from AllMusic.[1]

  • Benny Andersson – executive producer, keyboards, mixing, piano, producer
  • Göran Arnberg – orchestration, transcription
  • Chris Barrett – assistant engineer
  • Rob Barron – piano
  • Mat Bartram – engineer
  • Thomas Bowes – orchestra leader
  • Matt Brind – string arrangements, string conductor
  • Andy Caine – background vocals
  • Cher – vocals, concept, executive producer
  • Judy Craymer – executive producer
  • Björn Engelmann – mastering
  • Mats Englund – bass
  • Linn Fijal – assistant engineer
  • Matt Furmidge – mixing
  • Isobel Griffiths – orchestra contractor
  • Jeri Heiden – art direction, design
  • Lasse Jonsson – guitar
  • Martin Koch – conductor, orchestration
  • Per Lindvall – drums
  • Bernard Löhr – engineer, mixing
  • London Session Orchestra – orchestration
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Paul Meehan – engineer, keyboards, programming
  • Simon Meredith – saxophone
  • Machado Cicala Morassut – photography
  • Rocco Palladino – bass
  • Adam Phillips – guitar
  • Hayley Sanderson – background vocals
  • Ash Soan – drums
  • Nick Steinhardt – art direction, design
  • Jörgen Stenberg – percussion
  • Mark Taylor – engineer, keyboards, producer, programming, vocal producer
  • Björn Ulvaeus – executive producer
  • Lasse Wellander – guitar

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada 16,000[64]^
United Kingdom (BPI)[65] Silver 71,748[25][66]^
United States 260,000[67]double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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