Being a fan of progressive rock, ABBA's sound was more of a progressive pop at times, with the orchestration, strings and other elements. Many of the songs also had a Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" feel to them.
One of my favorites by the Swedish superstars was "The Name of the Game," written by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson. It reached No. 12 on the U.S. charts and No. 1 in the U.K.
For me, the song is about opening up to another person and the trust that comes with it, especially after being hurt in another relationship.
The first two verses set the tone:
"I've seen you twice, in a short time
Only a week since we started
It seems to me, for every time
I'm getting more open-hearted
"I was an impossible case
No one could ever reach me
But I think I can see in your face
There's a lot you can teach me
So I wanna know..."
And the singer asks: "What's the name of the game?" Are we connecting? Do you really understand?
And then we move to the chorus, which has a gospel feel to it:
"And you make me talk
And you make me feel
And you make me show
What I'm trying to conceal
If I trust in you, would you let me down?
Would you laugh at me, if I said I care for you?
Could you feel the same way, too"
I wanna know...
"What's the name of the game?"
ABBA is one of the biggest acts in music history, selling close to 400 million records worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
The delightful musical, Mamma Mia!, is loaded with ABBA songs.
"The Name of the Game" lyrics