|Single by ABBA|
|from the album Greatest Hits|
"Rock Me" (US)
27 March 1976 (UK)|
12 April 1976 (Sweden)
4 September 1976 (US)
|Recorded||3 September 1975 at Metronome Studio|
|Songwriter(s)||Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus|
|Producer(s)||Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus|
|ABBA singles chronology|
|Song by Anni-Frid Lyngstad|
|from the album Frida ensam|
|Released||10 November 1975|
|Songwriter(s)||Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Stig Anderson|
|Producer(s)||Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus|
|Frida ensam track listing|
"Fernando" is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was the group's first non-album single and was released in March 1976 through Polar Music. The track was featured on the 1976 compilation album Greatest Hits in most countries, but was included on the group's fourth studio album Arrival in Australia and New Zealand. "Fernando" is also featured on the multi-million selling Gold: Greatest Hits compilation. The song was to become one of ABBA's best-selling singles of all time, with six million copies sold in 1976 alone. It is one of fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
- 1 History
- 2 Swedish-language version
- 3 English-language version
- 4 Spanish-language version
- 5 Reception
- 6 Charts and certifications
- 7 Cher version
- 8 Other cover versions
- 9 Live cover performances
- 10 Appearances in other media
- 11 References
- 12 External links
"Fernando" was not originally released as an ABBA song but by band member Anni-Frid Lyngstad. It was featured on her No. 1 Swedish solo album Frida ensam (1975). The song was composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and carried the working title of "Tango". Preparations for recording began in August 1975. The writers made last-minute changes to the title before recording. The suggestion of the name "Fernando" was given by their limousine driver Peter Forbes in Shepperton, England.
The original Swedish-language version's lyrics were written by ABBA's manager Stig Anderson and differ substantially from the English-language version. In the original, the narrator tries to console the heartbroken Fernando, who has lost his great love. "The sorrow can be hard to bear, but the fact that friends let us down is something we all have to cope with". The chorus' lyrics are: "Long live love, our best friend, Fernando. Raise your glass and propose a toast to it; to love, Fernando. Play the melody and sing a song of happiness. Long live love, Fernando".
The English version, with completely different lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus, presents a vision of nostalgia for two veterans reminiscing in old age about a long ago battle in which they participated. "I wrote all the songs as little stories. "Fernando" was about two old freedom-fighters from the war between Texas and Mexico. I was lying outside one summer night, looking at the stars and it suddenly came to me". "I knew that the title 'Fernando' had to be there, and after pondering a while, I had this vivid image in my mind of two old and scarred revolutionaries in Mexico sitting outside at night talking about old memories".
The B-side to "Fernando" was the song "Hey, Hey, Helen", a track from the group's self-titled third studio album (1975), although in some countries "Tropical Loveland" (also from the album ABBA) was used instead. Some copies of the single use "Rock Me" or "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)" as a B-side.
The title and rhythm of the song made it an obvious choice for inclusion on ABBA's Spanish album, Gracias Por La Música. The lyrics were translated into Spanish by Mary McCluskey and recorded at Polar Music Studio on 3 January 1980. The song was released as a promotional single in Spain. The lyrics, while adapted for rhythm and rhyme, carry the same sentiment and roughly the same meaning as the English version: "There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando. They were shining there for you and me, for liberty, Fernando" becomes "Something was around us perhaps of clarity Fernando, that shone for us two in protection, Fernando" ("Algo había alrededor quizá de claridad Fernando, que brillaba por nosotros dos en protección, Fernando".)
"Fernando" would become one of ABBA's best-selling singles upon its release in March 1976, topping the charts in at least 13 countries, and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. It was the longest-running No. 1 in Australian history (spending 14 weeks at the top and 40 weeks on the chart), and remained so for over 40 years, until it was surpassed by Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You", which achieved 15 weeks at No. 1 in May 2017. "Fernando" also reached the top of the charts in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland. It was also a Top 5 hit in ABBA's native Sweden (although Lyngstad's version was No. 1 on Sweden's radio chart for nine weeks), Finland, Norway, Spain, Canada and Rhodesia.
The track became ABBA's fourth Top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 13.  It also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, the first of two chart-toppers for ABBA on this chart (the second being "The Winner Takes It All"). The song remains an airplay staple on American radio stations specializing in the MOR, adult standards and easy listening formats.
"Fernando" was the fourth biggest single of 1976 in the UK. It spent 10 weeks in the UK Top 10 (more than any other ABBA single), and was also the second of three consecutive UK No. 1 singles for ABBA, after "Mamma Mia" and before "Dancing Queen".
The song was also chosen as the "Best Studio Recording of 1975", ABBA's first international prize.
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
|Single by Cher|
|from the album Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again|
American singer and actress Cher recorded Fernando as the third single from the soundtrack of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Her version was released on July 13, 2018 by Capitol and Polydor Records. Produced by Benny Andersson, the song debuted on the US Adult Contemporary (chart) in July 2018 at number 22. Her cover version features background vocals by actor Andy García.
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||22|
Other cover versions
- In the 1980s, the Dominican Merengue Pianist and Vocalist Ramón Orlando rewrote lyrics to "Fernando" as "Si tú crees que no te amo" (if you think I don't love you).
- The Colombian duo, Angela & Consuelo, recorded a Spanish language version of Fernando in the 1970s.
- In 1976, Swedish singer Lena Andersson recorded a German language version of this song. Andersson was also signed to the Polar label and thus could use the original Anni-Frid Lyngstad/ABBA backing track produced by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The German version is of particular interest to fans of the band since it contains a two bar long instrumental passage after the first chorus that was edited out from both the Swedish and the English-language versions.
- In 1976, Finnish saxophonist Seppo Rannikko recorded an instrumental version of "Fernando" in his album "Sahara" (only released as an LP), which also included an instrumental version of ABBA's "Dancing Queen".
- In 1976, Paraguayan/Brazilian camp singer Perla covered "Fernando" on her album "Palabras de amor". Perla also covered ABBA's "Chiquitita" on her 1979 album.
- In 1976, French Canadian singer René Simard recorded a French language version of this song.
- In 1976, Czech singer Věra Špinarová recorded a Czech language version of this song.
- A Swedish country band called Nashville Train (which included some of ABBA's own backing band members) also covered the song in 1977 on their album ABBA Our Way, released on the Polar Music label in Sweden.
- The Swedish singer Lotta Engberg has recorded a cover version of the Swedish language version of the song. The year was 1997, as her dansband recorded the song on the Tolv i topp album.
- The Swedish dansband Vikingarna has also recorded a cover version of the Swedish language version of the song.
- American actress/singer Audrey Landers (best known for her role on the TV series Dallas) recorded a cover of the song.
- U.S. musician/songwriter Pamela McNeill included a rendition of the song on her Tribute To ABBA album. Her husband, Dugan McNeill, helped produce the album.
- British dance tribute group Abbacadabra released a cover and several remixes of the song through Almighty Records in the late 1990s.
- A dance/pop cover of the song by Belgian group Sha-Na was released as a single in 1992.
- German eurodance group E-Rotic covered the song on their album Thank You for the Music.
- An electronica version by Bug Funny Foundation is included on the compilation The Electronic Tribute To ABBA.
- The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus recorded a cover of the song for their 1997 album ExtrABBAganza!.
- Local Seattle gay men's chorus Captain Smartypants recorded a cover of the song for their album Undercover.
- New York jazz band Sex Mob covered the song for their 2000 album Solid Sender.
- Danish rock/pop duo Olsen Brothers recorded a cover for their 2003 album More Songs.
- The 2004 album ABBAMania 2 featured a cover by British TV actress Jane Danson.
- The German ABBA Mania compilation includes a cover of the song by Barbara Schöneberger and German comedian Dirk Bach.
- A cover by Hong Kong-New Zealand singer Wing appeared on her 2005 album Dancing Queen by Wing, and in the South Park episode "Wing".
- A cover of the song by Velvet Set can be found on the 2006 chill out music compilation ABBA Chill Out.
- A cover of the song by Finnish a cappella choral ensemble Rajaton can be found on their 2006 ABBA tribute album Rajaton Sings ABBA With Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
- The song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on their 2008 album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA.
- Deborah Sasson (de) recorded "Fernando" for her 2012 album Deborah Sasson.
- Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby included a cover on their 2010 album, Two-Way Family Favourites, with Amy Rigby singing vocals.
- The von Trapps recorded a Swedish language version with Pink Martini, which appears on their 2014 album Dream a Little Dream.
- For Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a 2018 screen musical based on the songs of ABBA and sequel to 2008's Mamma Mia!, "Fernando" was covered by Cher, as Ruby Sheridan, Donna Sheridan's mother.
Live cover performances
- Only a few lines of the song are sung briefly by the character of Donna in the Mamma Mia! musical. The song was originally to be featured in the musical as a flamboyant dance number, with Donna entertaining the clientele at the taverna, but was cut as it didn't move the story along. In the movie adaptation, Meryl Streep, who plays Donna, is heard briefly humming a few notes of the song.
- The song has been performed live in English as a duet by Swedish singers Helen Sjöholm and Karin Glenmark.
- The song was sung on Australian Idol season 6 by Wes Carr during ABBA week. A recorded version of Carr's version was included on the album Australian Idol Top 10:The Most Memorable songs from the series.
- Charo performed the song at her 1988 concert in Reno at Bally's.
Appearances in other media
- ABBA perform parts of the song live in the film ABBA: The Movie (1977).
- During their 1981 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers would play the song over the PA system whenever star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela started games: it became strongly linked with "Fernandomania" and their eventual championship.
- The ABBA recording was featured in the films The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1993) and Muriel's Wedding (1994).
- In 1976, the song was adapted, and performed by ABBA in this version, for use in a series of five television commercials promoting the National brand, used by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. These were shown in countries where the brand-name "National" was still widely used by Matsushita.
- In the episode "That Disco Episode" of That '70s Show, the characters Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti sang the song at the closing part of the show.
- In the episode "Water Park" of Malcolm in the Middle, the character Dewey dances to the song with the babysitter, who is played by Bea Arthur.
- In the episode "Epidemiology" of Community, the song plays over the loudspeakers for the episode's climax. It is part of Dean Pelton's playlist.
- The TV and film character Alan Partridge named his only son Fernando, having been a keen ABBA fan.
- Karen Collins (12 January 2008). "Fernando the Flute – Details". Tagg.org. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- ABBA fan magazine 1980
- Palm, Carl (October 13, 1994). ABBA: The Complete Recording Sessions. Verulam Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0907938101.
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- http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/ed-sheeran-breaks-australian-music-chart-record-with-shape-of-you/news-story/d2d55f5a04b09dab9db04b795b2e9512. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- https://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2017/05/12/ed-sheerans-shape-of-you-is-the-longest-running-no-1-hit-of-all-time-in-australia/#3027fa7a3bd3. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- http://home.zipworld.com.au/~callisto/weeksuk.html. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 122. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
- "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.
- "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 14, 1976" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2017-12-31.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – ABBA – Fernando" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
- "Old-Charts". Old-Charts. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
- 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.
- David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970–1992" Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
- "Top Selling Singles of 1976 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1963-12-08. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- http://swisscharts.com/charts/jahreshitparade/1976 Swiss YE charts, 1976
- Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
- Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
- NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for AUSTRALIAN CERTIFICATION.
- Baker, Glen (8 November 1979). Billboard Magazine Volume 91, No. 36. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Canadian certifications – ABBA – Fernando". Music Canada. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "French certifications – Fernando" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "Les Singles en Or :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (ABBA; 'Fernando')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "British certifications – ABBA – Fernando". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 March 2012. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Fernando in the search field and then press Enter.
- "New Music Friday: Tinashe, DJ Snake, Mamma Mia Soundtrack..." latfusa.com. 13 July 2018.
- Review by IDOLATOR Retrieved June 21, 2018 2:43 pm
- Review by Billboard Retrieved May 25, 2018
- "Hot Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
-  Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Andersson, Benny; Ulvaeus, Bjorn; and Craymer, Judy (2006), "Mamma Mia! How Can I Resist You? – The Inside Story of Mamma Mia and the Songs of ABBA", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, p.148