Thursday, October 08, 2009

Gimme Gimme Gimme ABBA covers

A few months back, I promised a reader an all-ABBA cover post and I may have dragged my feet, but it's finally here! Said reader provided me with an insanely comprehensive spreadsheet of ABBA covers in their collection and I took that as a challenge to share some that they hadn't heard. However, a couple of my favourite all-time ABBA covers were on that list so I'll include them anyway.

Damhnait Doyle - Gimme Gimme [originally by ABBA]
I've posted tracks from Doyle's Lights Down Low cover album before and as I've said, it was woefully underrated, even by me at first. Producer Danny Michel's fingerprints are all over the album and it'll probably the closest you ever get to hearing him cover Foo Fighters and ABBA.

Montefiori Cocktail - Hung Up [originally by Madonna]
This is not an ABBA cover per se... but Damhnait Doyle's cover of Gimme Gimme Gimme dropped the catchy instrumental riff of the original that was later sampled by Madonna in Hung Up, so I thought it'd be fun to include this cover by lounge duo Montefiori Cocktail who do a fine job reviving it here in an instrumental rendition that sounds like it escaped from a spaghetti western.

Regine Velasquez - Take a Chance on Me [originally by ABBA]
An a cappella cover from Filipino singer Regine Velasquez. She's unfamiliar to me, but judging by this extensive wiki article she's had an accomplished career in music, film, television, and more in a career spanning over 20 years. A long time ago, I remember reading about someone who thought they were chanting "Jackie-Chan, Jackie-Chan, Jackie-Chan" and I've never heard the song the same way again.

The Black Sweden - Mamma Mia [originally by ABBA]
Paying tribute to Sweden's biggest musical export, fellow countrymen The Black Sweden released an album Gold which paired ABBA's greatest hits with classic rock riffs. In this case, Mamma Mia gets mashed with Smoke on the Water. Other examples include Take a Chance on Me/Enter Sandman and Knowing Me, Knowing You/Heartbreaker.

Riff Raff - Mamma Mia [originally by ABBA]
A more focused continuation of that trend, Riff Raff is an AC/DC tribute band from Germany who recorded an entire album of ABBA covers in the style of AC/DC. I haven't listened to enough of the AC/DC catalogue to make any definite claim, but this reminds me of their (great) cover of Chuck Berry's School Days.

Moxy Früvous - Dancing Queen Medley (Live)
This live Dancing Queen cover starts off as Walk on the Wild Side, then throws in a couple unlikely song snippets from U2 and Hootie & The Blowfish. Full show is on the Live Music Archive.

The Dan Band - ABBA Medley
The Dan Band has cornered the market on covering mainly female-led pop songs with randomly inserted profanities. With appearances in Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and more recently The Hangover, they seem to have found a winning combo that works for audiences. I haven't seen it, but apparently they're also correspondents on Jay Leno's new non-late night show. It's a one-note joke, but part of the success (I think) is the thin line it walks between parody and sincerity. This ABBA medley is from their 2005 debut The Dan Band LIVE.

White Day - ABBA Medley
Let me hear those balalaikas ringing out!

Nation - Waterloo [originally by ABBA]
Glow - Dancing Queen [originally by ABBA]
These are probably my favourite ABBA covers and both come from the generically titled A Tribute to ABBA (alternatively released as ABBAmetal: A Metal Tribute to ABBA). If you had commissioned The Darkness to cover ABBA, I think the result would bear a strong resemblance to Nation's rocking rendition of Waterloo: campy and infectious. Glow obviously had fun revamping Dancing Queen, though I wouldn't even classify it as anything remotely metal... I might be completely off-base here, but it vaguely reminds me of a punkier Cake.


Billy Sometimes said...

The White Day medley is genius. Thanks.

Rene said...

Hey, thanks for finally publishing this great post! I really love the Damhnait Doyle cover of "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)"!

If you ever need any of the ABBA cover MP3s on my list, I can provide you with any of them. :)

Not sure if you've ever heard Regine Velasquez's terrific acoustic rendition of "Dancing Queen" as well:

Again, thanks! :)

Postpunk said...

Although this is a popular one, I prefer the Evan Dando version of "Knowing me, Knowing you". Far better than the original version.

Ronni said...

The best version that I have ever heard of a cover of ABBA'S Gimme Gimme is from a band in Australia called ABBAMANIA.They are not the British band that also calls themselves 'ABBAMANIA' but they are much better.I've heard that the british band tried to shut them down.They have produced many songs from ABBA and they do a bloody good job of it.I found them on myspace under the guise of'abbamaniacs' them out.They reproduce ABBA to the T.They also have their original songs that sound quite good.I think the world should know about them! I quite like them!Their new originals deserve a listen.Kathy from London.

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