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Dancing Queen
Dancing Queen
by ABBA
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Dancing Queen: Setting

Where the song takes place. Where it all goes down.

ABBA was always keenly aware of popular tastes and trends within the music industry. They quickly identified the market possibilities created by the emergence of disco. “Dancing Queen,” built around the thrills and self-satisfaction experienced by a young girl at the disco, and it was ABBA’s most successful song aimed at this market.

Disco, short for discotheque, emerged during the 1970s as a more dance-friendly and accessible alternative to rock and roll. With predictable beats and simple melodies, disco was made for, well, discos. It did not pretend to have high artistic ambitions, and it didn't aspire to great complexity or depth. It was music to dance to and have fun with.

New York City had the biggest disco scene, and its Studio 54 was the most famous disco in the world, but every city had discos: Boston had The 1270, Miami had Big Daddi’s Disco, even San Francisco, the center of the Beat and “hippie” movements, had Dance Your @$$ Off.

As you might well know, the disco movement was also as reviled as it was popular. (Pink Floyd's best-known song, "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," received a lot of criticism, especially from big fans, for being a song with a disco beat.) There were curiously intense and violent reactions to the commercial, often-trite music. In July 1979, “Disco Demolition Night,” a promotional event sponsored by the Chicago White Sox, got completely out of hand. The sight of disco records being destroyed sent disco-hating baseball fans into a frenzy. They ripped out seats and stormed the field, tearing out turf. The Chicago police eventually restored order, but the second game of the scheduled double-header that day had to be cancelled, and the White Sox were forced to forfeit the game to the Detroit Tigers.

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