Dance, Jive, Have The Time Of Your Life With The Music Of ABBA

Here were go again with ABBA's music. The band may have stayed silent since the early '80s, but we're still listening to the music - and we''ll still be listening for a long time to come.
Here were go again with ABBA's music. The band may have stayed silent since the early '80s, but we're still listening to the music - and we''ll still be listening for a long time to come. Photo courtesy of the Houston Symphony.
Who is the most popular music act right now? Votes may pour in for Camilla Cabello or Kanye West or actress/singer/dancer/reality show judge Jennifer Lopez, but nope that's not the answer. Jay-Z and tour de force Beyonce also are hot right now, but they're not the answer either. Britney Spears has been lip-syncing for her life in Las Vegas for years, and now she's on the road again touring, but still, she's not the one. It turns out, the hottest act is ABBA. Yep, you heard it here first. ABBA is the band to pay attention to this year.

The group rose to fame in the '70s and stopped recording in the early '80s, yet their music is still in circulation today. Who hasn't heard a warbler stumble his or her way through "Dancing Queen" at karaoke? The musical Mamma, Mia! swings through Houston every couple of years, and will be featured once again come February at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again created a buzz in the theaters earlier this year. Cher released a cover album of ABBA's music in the last couple of weeks. The group even has its own museum in Sweden. So it makes perfect sense that the Houston Symphony would capitalize on the group's renaissance by presenting The Music of Abba October 5-7 at Jones Hall to share in all the fun the group's music has brought us through the years.

"ABBA is just so timeliness. Their music is so catchy, and it entertains people. This show will entertain at the highest level," said Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. "We encourage people to dress up in their finest '70s disco era get ups for a fun time of dancing and singing along to the music."

No complaints here. The '70s are always in style in our book.

Now sounds like a really good time for the ABBA group members to pay attention to the royalty checks, because they are most likely going to be rolling in the dough. Those paychecks are just going to continue getting fatter, as the group is working on its first new material in more than 35 years. Group member Bjorn Ulvaeus has publicly spoken about two new songs the band has been working on.

The new songs will hit at just the right time. The group is set to have a NBC/BBC special in December and will also launch a digital avatar tour in 2019.

While we patiently wait to storm the box office for all the events later this year, the symphony is going to give us an ABBA-filled snack to tide us over. Reineke has brought in Rajaton, a vocal powerhouse group from Finland, to provide the lyrics for the show.

"Rajaton is the Finnish word for 'boundless,' which describes what this group can do. It’s going to blow everyone away. They imitate instruments, they do beat boxes, and it’s just six voices making this music together. If anyone is a fan of Pentatonix, they’ll love Rajaton," Reineke said.

In their native Finland, Rajaton is a bona fide pop phenomenon, successfully bridging the gap that often exists between classical and mainstream convention. The group has released 16 albums with one double platinum, three platinum and eight gold records and worldwide record sales drawing more than 400,000 copies.

Dance, jive and have the time of your life to the toe-tapping beats of "Mamma Mia," "S.O.S," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "Fernando" and of course "Dancing Queen."

The Music of ABBA takes place at 8 p.m on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6; 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 7 at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit $54 - $159.
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Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to the Houston Press who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture.
Contact: Sam Byrd