ABBA

Chiquitita

Song Review by

Although ABBA's Voulez Vous album devoted much of its time to up-tempo tunes with a disco-friendly beat, it also contained a few lovely ballads. One of the best is "Chiquitita," a lovely Latin-tinged song that balances ballad stateliness and pop hooks in a way that only Abba songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson could pull off . A look at the lyrics, a sentimental statement of devotion to a troubled friend, might lead one to expect a languid dirge, but the songwriters deliver something much more interesting. The classical music-styled melody of "Chiquitita" is as lush and lovely as one might expect, but its complex twists and turns give it a compelling and dramatic sense of urgency. The tension that this melody builds is balanced with an exuberant and surprisingly bouncy chorus that gives the song a burst of light to balance out the minor-key darkness of the verses. Ulvaeus and Andersson also throw in a false ending that seems to fade the song out on a soft note only to give way to a rollicking instrumental outro. The song's Latin affectations (it was also recorded in a Spanish-language version) have made it a popular cover choice for Hispanic pop performers like Menudo, but Abba's version remains the final word on this song; its blend of Spanish guitar, pub piano, and cascading, multi-textured harmonies lend a surprising amount of ear candy for a ballad. This singular blend of catchiness and pathos has made "Chiquitita" an enduring sentimental favorite for many an Abba fan.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Voulez-Vous 1979 Polydor 5:24
No Image 1979 Atlantic 5:23
No Image 1982 Polydor
Thank You for the Music 1983 Epic
Best of ABBA 1984 Silver Eagle Records
No Image 1991 5:36
Gold: Greatest Hits [Video] 1993 Polydor
Gold: Greatest Hits 1993 Polydor / PolyGram 5:24
Mas Oro 1994 Polygram 5:21
Thank You for the Music [1995] 1995 Polydor
Thank You for the Music [Box] 1995 Polygram 5:26
Forever Gold 1998 Polydor / Polygram 5:26
Love Stories 1998 Polygram 5:26
Singles Collection 1972-82 1999 Polygram 4:17
25th Anniversary Singles Collection 1999 Polar Records 5:28
Complete Golden Collection 2000 Polygram 5:24
20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABBA 2000 Polydor / Dolvador 5:28
The Definitive Collection 2001 UTV / Polygram 5:24
The Songs of ABBA 2002 K-Tel Distribution 5:30
Real ABBA Gold [Musicbank] 2002 Musicbank
Voulez Vous/Super Trouper/Arrival 2003 Universal International 5:27
Todo ABBA: Sus Grandes Exitos 2004 Universal / Polar 5:26
Your Song Premium 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Éxitos Eternos 2005 Universal Music Latino 8:02
The Complete Studio Recordings 2005 Universal / Universal International 5:35
No Image 2005 Universal Distribution 5:24
Number Ones 2006 Polar Records 5:26
Caliente! Latin Pop Hits 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:26
S.O.S.: Best of ABBA 2007 Polar Records
Golden Years 2007 PHV
No Image 2007 Polydor
Cantan en Espanol 2008
Various Artists
Rtvea 5:35
The Albums 2008 Polydor / Universal / Universal Distribution 5:26
ABBA Gold 2009 Universal Distribution 5:27
Icon 2010 Polar 5:26
ABBA: The Vinyl Collection 2010 Polydor / Universal Distribution / Universal Music 5:27
De Pre Historie: 1979, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 5:21
Hits, Vol. 3 Pickwick 5:20
Light & Dark: The Platinum Tribute Collection Klone