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ABBA’s bittersweet ode to the New Year only gets better with age

Saturday Night Live was in a silly seasonal spirit for its last episode of 2023, delivering a fake infomercial for ABBA’s “unreleased” 1978 holiday album, ABBA Christmas.The hilarious sketch was basically an excuse to have SNL MVP Bowen Yang, episode host Kate McKinnon, and returning all-stars Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig trot out their intentionally shaky Swedish accents and sing very, very close to one another’s faces—as ABBA is wont to do.But real fans know that the Swedish pop quartet never actually had a Christmas album (though we do wish “Frostitita” was real).Subscribe to our daily newsletter for a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) of LGBTQ+ entertainment and pop culture, served up with a side of eye-candy.Despite that fact that their sentimental, sing-song-y style feels perfectly suited to the holiday, the band didn’t release an official yuletide track until “Little Things” off their long-awaited 2021 album Voyage.Instead, the one holiday ABBA did celebrate with a song back in their heyday was New Year’s Day on a number titled (fittingly) “Happy New Year,” initially released in 1980 on their album Super Trouper.As the story goes, the track was first penned by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus for an original musical—one they had been dreaming up featuring a story that would play out in the lead up to and aftermath of a New Year’s Eve party.We all love the greatest hits, but these lesser-known ABBA tracks deserve another listen.Yes, long before the smash success of Mamma Mia!—and the subsequent movies—the men of ABBA were interested in crafting a musical drama all their own. It’s said they even pitched their New Year’s Eve idea to John Cleese, hoping the Monty Python star would write the book for the show, but he turned them down.
queerty.com

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