Mamma Mia (song)

Mamma Mia (song)
"Mamma Mia"
Single by ABBA
from the album ABBA
B-side "Intermezzo No.1"
"Tropical Loveland" (UK)
Released September 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 12 March 1975 at Metronome Studio
Genre Europop, pop, Disco
Length 3:35
Label Polar Music
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Stig Anderson
Producer Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Certification Silver (UK)
ABBA singles chronology
"SOS"
(1975)
"Mamma Mia"
(1975)
"Fernando"
(1976)
Music video
"Mamma Mia" at VEVO.com

"Mamma Mia" is a song from ABBA's 3rd album, ABBA, written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson, with the lead vocals shared by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The song "Mamma Mia" is a common song used in bands or orchestras. The song's name is derived from Italian, where it is an interjection (literally, "My mother").

The song is about a woman who is time and time again disappointed by her unfaithful partner, but forgives him anyway.

Contents

History and impact

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". The song was one of the four songs from the album to have a promo clip made to promote the album. The song, however, 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"), similarly ABBA offered "Mamma Mia" to British pop group Brotherhood of Man, who turned it down.[2]

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.[3] However, in the end Stig Anderson agreed & "Mamma Mia" was released in Australia in August 1975 where it spent 10 weeks at #1.[1]

After this success in Australia, Epic Records in Great Britain 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 1st hit since "Waterloo". "Mamma Mia" soon followed reaching #1 on the British charts in early 1976, the 2nd 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 singles' B-Side was the instrumental "Intermezzo Number 1". However 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.album, as it showed a different style of music and they thought it would be better than an instrumental song.

In the UK Singles Chart of January 1976, "Mamma Mia" replaced Queen's song "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the number 1 position, which itself coincidentally contains the lyrical phrase "Mama Mia".

The song is ABBA sound engineer Michael B. Tretow's favorite ABBA song.

Tracklisting

International Single

  1. a. Mamma Mia
  2. b. Intermezzo #1

UK Single

  1. a. Mamma Mia
  2. b. Tropical Loveland

Chart positions

Chart (1975–1976) Position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 3
Belgian Singles Chart 2
British 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[4]
Australian Singles Chart 48[5]
British Singles Chart 56[6]
Swiss Singles Chart 60[7]

A-Teens version

"Mamma Mia"
Single by A-Teens
from the album The ABBA Generation
Released May 10, 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
Writer(s) B. Andersson
S. Anderson
B. Ulvaeus
Producer 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.

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.[8]

On the initial pressings of the single, the name of the band appeared as ABBA*Teens, but Universal Music 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 & 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.[9]


Music video

The music video was directed by Henrik Sylvén and was filmed in Sweden. It shows the A-Teens as waiters in an art exposition, suppressed by the Manager, but soon they discover that one of the paintings transports them to a party.

The video hit 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.[10]


Chart positions

Releases

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

  • French singer Karen Cheryl recorded a French language cover of the song in 1976.
  • The 1995 New Zealand tribute compilation Abbasalutely includes a cover by alternative pop band The 3Ds.
  • The song was covered by A*Teens on their debut album The ABBA Generation in 1999 (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.
  • British singer Hazell Dean recorded a dance-oriented cover for her 1996 album The Winner Takes It All: Hazell Dean Sings Abba.
  • 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.[11]
  • On the 2004 tribute compilation Abbalicious, the song is performed by several American drag queens.[12]
  • Ska band Five Iron Frenzy recorded their own rendition of the song.
  • 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.
  • Indie rock band Seks Bomba from Boston recorded a cover of the song for their 2005 album Thanks & Good Night.
  • Swedish studio musicians The Black Sweden included the song on their ABBA tribute album entitled Gold. Their version featured an opening riff borrowed from the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water".
  • A cover of the song by Storm Corp. can be found on the 2006 chill out music compilation ABBA Chill Out.
  • German AC/DC tribute band Riff Raff recorded a cover in AC/DC style for their 2006 album Rock 'N' Roll Mutation Vol. 1: Riff Raff Performs ABBA.
  • 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.
  • 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.[13]
  • A dance version by Shana Vanguarde omits the second half of the chorus.
  • The song was covered in a jazz/lounge music style by American group BNB on their 2008 album Bossa Mia: Songs of ABBA.[14]
  • American indie alternative rock band Miniature Tigers recorded a cover of the song that was available for download on the Net.
  • British Folk Punk band Smokey Bastard cover Mamma Mia on their 2011 album Tales From The Wasteland

Live cover performances

  • 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.
  • 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.[15]

References and appearances in other media

  • 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! 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.
  • 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 Nations Favourite ABBA song, the song was placed at #6.
  • Aus T.V Series sent-up this video in there second season in 1990 with Jane Turner + Gina Riley + in the roles of Agnetha + Fredia Respectevly.
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

  1. ^ a b c d "Mamma Mia – The Song That Saved ABBA". ABBA - The Official Site. Polar Music International. http://www.abbasite.com/articles/articles/mamma-mia-–-the-song-that-saved-abba. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  2. ^ BBC Radio Shropshire, Keith Middleton show - Nicky Stevens interview, 29 May 2010
  3. ^ ABC: Love is in the Air: Strange Fruit
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "italiancharts.com - Italian Charts - Singles Digital - 23/10/2008". Italian Charts. http://italiancharts.com/archive.asp?todo=show&day=23&month=10&year=2008&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Chart Statistics for Mamma Mia
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABBA - Mamma Mia". swisscharts.com. http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=ABBA&titel=Mamma+Mia&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  8. ^ IFPI Certifications in 1999
  9. ^ "Mamma Mia" Hot Single Sales Chart
  10. ^ The A-Teens used this single to promote the album in March 2000 on their visit to the United States.
  11. ^ "Reviews". Eurodancehits.com. http://www.eurodancehits.com/review.html. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ "GABBA The Discopunk Sensation - MEDIA". Gabba.co.uk. http://www.gabba.co.uk/media.html. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  14. ^ "The Manila Times Internet Edition | LIFE & TIMES > Bossa Mia, the music of ABBA". Manilatimes.net. 2008-01-09. http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/jan/09/yehey/life/20080109lif4.html. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  15. ^ ""Mamma Mia" - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (ABBA Cover)". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCw9EWWxCqo. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 

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