When the album Arrival was released in 1976, I was too young to have a defined "music identity" I was not a "rocker" yet. This allowed me to be open to the biggest pop sensation of that time (and perhaps of all time), ABBA. My mom didn't have a strong preference for music; she didn't care much about what my dad played or what came up on the radio. However, when "Chiquitita" was released, she went out of her way to find the Spanish single and started buying some of ABBA's albums. This was unusual, and I noticed.
At that time, my hormones were just beginning to wake, and I would be mesmerized while spying on my 16-year-old neighbor, waving her hair to "Dancing Queen" repeatedly. The word had spread that they had installed a lighted dance floor with a huge mirror ball at the "Plaza Satelite" mall. This became a sensation in the neighborhood, and I would see all the teenagers gather and head to the mall to check it out. Since I was too young to go with them, I pestered my mom until she took me to see it. When we arrived, they were playing "Dancing Queen," and my neighbor was there, surrounded by admirers.
ABBA's music cannot be ignored. It is some of the greatest pop music ever written, with tunes that are not only catchy and perfectly arranged but also remind us of great moments in our lives. This was the music teens danced to, it is sad to see what my kids had to deal with during their school dances.
I don't know ABBA's discography very well, but I chose Arrival for this blog post because it contains some classic hits, including the song "Fernando," which reminds me of another neighbor who helped me build my musical foundation. Fernando, who is about four years older than me, worked and had money to buy records. Every week, we would meet in the back patio, and he would lend me 2 or 3 albums he liked, while I returned the ones from the previous week. We would then discuss what I thought about them, which was a thrilling moment because I would be judged by "the master." It was through this process, little by little, that I learned about all the music I now enjoy. Thank you, Fernando!
ABBA is rarely on music rotation but is the kind of music that no matter where it is played or what the occasion is, it will make the moment better. My personal favorite is Super Trouper; the vocal intro captured me since then (this song is not in this album.)
This is the patio where these exchanges took place: