Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen
"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 Disco/Pop
Length 3:51
Label Polar/A&M
Writer(s) Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Stig Anderson
Producer Benny Andersson
Björn Ulvaeus
Certification Gold (UK), Gold (USA)
ABBA singles chronology
"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, but was first performed two months earlier, on 18 June 1976, during a Royal Variety Show in Stockholm the evening before the Swedish royal wedding. It was the follow-up single to the hit "Fernando" and is commonly regarded as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s. "Dancing Queen" was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson and is considered by many to be ABBA's signature song, as it reached the number 1 position on popular music charts in 13 countries. Recorded in 1975, it was released on the group's album Arrival the following year and as a single with "That's Me" as the B-side.[1]

The song was re-released as a single in 1992 to promote the compilation "ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits".

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.[2]

"Dancing Queen" features the shared lead vocal performance of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.



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 disco classic "Rock Your Baby", as well as the drumming on Dr. John's 1972 album Dr. John's Gumbo. Fältskog and Lyngstad recorded the vocals on sessions in September, 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 his then-fiancée and band member, singer 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 alright 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]

The track was premiered on Swedish TV on 18 June 1976, during an all-star live gala in honour of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride to be, Silvia Sommerlath, who were to be wedded the next day.[4][5] 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". Also Agnetha Fältskog has stated in a TV-programme: "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".


"Dancing Queen" was a massive hit. It became ABBA's only #1 in the United States in April 1977. It also hit #1 in at least 13 other countries worldwide: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, West Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Rhodesia. "Dancing Queen" also reached the Top 5 in Austria, Canada, Finland, France and Switzerland. The track peaked at #14 in Italy, where ABBA never achieved the same degree of popularity as elsewhere. The song sold over three million copies.[6]

"Dancing Queen" was the last of three consecutive #1s the band had in the UK in 1976, following "Mamma Mia" and "Fernando" earlier in the year.

On December 5, 2010, Britain's ITV broadcast the results of a poll to determine The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song, in which "Dancing Queen" placed at #2.[citation needed]

Track listings[7]

7" Vinyl

1992 CD Re-issue

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

Frida's solo version

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 that time, Ingvar Carlsson, was also in the audience that night and he said it was an ingenious step to do "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.

More about the song

The JAMs sampled "Dancing Queen" for "The Queen and I" on their debut album 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?). ABBA and the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society forced them to "deliver up the master tape, mothers, stampers and any other parts commensurate with manufacture of the record".[8] King Boy D and Rockman Rock travelled to Sweden to destroy the unsold copies there.[9]

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" in 2001. It was chosen as number 148 as part of the 365 Songs of the Century list. It is also ranked #171 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,[10] the only ABBA song on the list. That same year, it made VH1's 100 Greatest Dance Songs in Rock & Roll at #97.

On 9 November 2002, the results of a poll, "Top 50 Favorite 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.

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.[11]

In August 2008, "Dancing Queen" surpassed the 500,000 mark for digital sales in the US (512,000).

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 albums ABBA Oro: Grandes Éxitos in the 1990s.

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

Dancing Queen, along with several other ABBA songs, were featured in the Community episode Epidemiology.

Chart positions

Charts (1976–1977) Position
Australian Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 4
Belgian Singles Chart 1
British Singles Charts 1
Canadian Singles Chart 2
Dutch Singles Chart 1
Eurochart Hot 100 1
Finnish Singles Chart 3
French Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
Italian Singles Chart 14
Japanese Singles Chart 19
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Soviet Union Singles Chart 1[12]
Spanish Singles Chart 10
Swedish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 3
Mexico 1
South Africa 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
Rhodesian Singles Chart 1
Chart (1992) Position
Australian Singles Chart 28
Belgian Singles Chart 16
British Singles Chart 16
Dutch Singles Chart 24
German Singles Chart 22
New Zealand Singles Chart 14
Norwegian Singles Chart 5
Swedish Singles Chart 15
Swiss Singles Chart 6
Chart (2008) Position
Australian Singles Chart 58
British Singles Chart 82

Cover versions

A-Teens version

"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
Writer(s) B. Andersson, S. Anderson, B. Ulvaeus
Producer 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.[13][14]

"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 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

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 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 alone in the detention room (which was actually the library), the school turns into a 70s discotheque.


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

Artists who have performed/recorded the song live

Notes and references

  1. ^ abba for the record – vinyl singles
  2. ^ [1] Retrieved on 2010-12-08.
  3. ^ "ABBA – Dancing Queen – The Missing Verse / Lost Lyrics". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-11-15.
  4. ^ Retro Romance: Sweden's Dancing Queen Silivia. Retrieved 2010-12-06
  5. ^ YouTube video of the performance. Retrieved 2010-12-06
  6. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 85. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  7. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 124-125. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ News item, Sounds, 12 September 1987.
  10. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". RollingStone.com. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6596016/dancing_queen. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  11. ^ "White House DJ Battle". Blender Magazine. http://www.blender.com/WhiteHouseDJBattle/articles/39518.aspx. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  12. ^ Faltskog, Agnetha & Ahman, Brita (1997) 'As I Am: ABBA Before & Beyond', Virgin Publishing, p.65
  13. ^ Official Website
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ http://www.almightyrecords.com/product/ALMY020/
  16. ^ Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 209. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
Preceded by
"Moviestar" by Harpo
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
24 August 1976 – 23 November 1976
Succeeded by
"Daddy Cool" by Boney M.
Preceded by
"Kiss and Say Goodbye" by The Manhattans
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
4 September 1976 – 2 October 1976
Succeeded by
"Mon Amour" by BZN
Preceded by
"Nice and Slow" by Jesse Green
Belgian Flemish VRT Top 30 number-one single (first run)
4 September 1976 – 9 October 1976
Succeeded by
"In Zaire" by Johnny Wakelin
Preceded by
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles number-one single
4 September 1976 – 6 November 1976
Succeeded by
"Daddy Cool" by Boney M
UK Singles Chart number-one single
4 September 1976 – 15 October 1976 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Mississippi" by Pussycat
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
"Let's Stick Together" by Bryan Ferry
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
Preceded by
"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
"The Things We Do for Love" by 10cc
Preceded by
"Rich Girl" by Daryl Hall and John Oates
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
9 April 1977 – 16 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

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