Mamma Mia

Song Review by

Although they started off with simple Eurovision-styled ditties like "People Need Love" and "Honey Honey," the songwriting team of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson rapidly progressed in prowess until they were able to craft pop nuggets that were almost symphonic in their complexity. "Mamma Mia" is a great example of this duo's ability to create densely crafted yet totally accessible tunes. The song draws its strength from a complex yet catchy melody full of serpentine twists that give it an almost Asian flavor. To give the song added variety, Ulvaeus and Anderson add a couple of melodic surprises in the form of a punchy pre-chorus bridge whose dramatic staccato sound revs listeners up for the chorus and a soaring mid-chorus bit designed to tug on the heartstrings. These surprise elements beef up the hook quotient of "Mamma Mia" while also giving it an unpredictable quality guaranteed to keep a listener enthralled. ABBA's recording of the song adds a layer of instrumental hooks, including a naggingly catchy xylophone hook that sets up the song and some sprightly string riffs that interact with the lead vocals in call-and-response fashion during the verses. The end result is a veritable funhouse of a pop song that became a big hit around the world and enduring favorite of ABBA fans.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
ABBA 1975 Universal Distribution / Polydor 3:35
No Image 1975 Vogue
No Image 1976 Atlantic 3:32
No Image 1976 Polydor
Gracias Por la Musica 1981 Polar Records / Universal 3:32
No Image 1982 Polydor
Hits 1987 Pickwick 3:33
Gold: Greatest Hits [Video] 1993 Polydor
Gold: Greatest Hits 1993 Polydor / PolyGram 3:33
Oro: Grandes Exitos 1993 Polydor 3:34
Mas Oro 1994 Polygram 3:32
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Mother / Island 3:32
Thank You for the Music [1995] 1995 Polydor
Thank You for the Music [Box] 1995 Polygram 3:32
Forever Gold 1998 Polydor / Polygram 3:33
Singles Collection 1972-82 1999 Polygram 3:32
25th Anniversary Singles Collection 1999 Polar Records 3:34
Complete Golden Collection 2000 Polygram 3:33
20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of ABBA 2000 Polydor / Dolvador 3:34
The Definitive Collection 2001 UTV / Polygram 3:32
Music of the Millennium, Vol. 2 [Virgin Import] 2001
Various Artists
Virgin 3:32
The Songs of ABBA 2002 K-Tel Distribution 3:35
Real ABBA Gold [Musicbank] 2002 Musicbank
ABBA and Other 70's Disco Hits 2003
Ring Ring/Waterloo/ABBA 2003 Universal International 3:35
I Love 70's 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:32
The ABBA Story 2004 Polar Records 3:31
Todo ABBA: Sus Grandes Exitos 2004 Universal / Polar 3:32
Super Troupers: From Waterloo to Mamma Mia! [DVD] 2004 Universal International
The Number One Musicals Album [2004] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 3:32
Hits for Kids, Vol. 7 [Universal 1] 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Éxitos Eternos 2005 Universal Music Latino 3:35
The Complete Studio Recordings 2005 Universal / Universal International 3:34
No Image 2005 Universal Distribution 3:31
18 Hits 2006 Universal International 3:33
Chronicles 2006 Polydor / Polar 3:35
Greatest Hits: 30th Anniversary [Universal International] 2006 Fontana Distribution 3:33
Floorfillers: The Ultimate Party Album 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Number Ones 2006 Polar Records 3:32
S.O.S.: Best of ABBA 2007 Polar Records
Golden Years 2007 PHV
20TH Century Masters: Chfi-FM 50 Years [Universal] 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:34
No Image 2007 Polydor
No Image 2008 Universal Distribution 3:30
Pop Party, Vol. 6 2008
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 3:31
The Albums 2008 Polydor / Universal / Universal Distribution 3:32
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:31
ABBA Gold 2009 Universal Distribution 3:32
Ultimate Pop Party 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:31
Icon 2010 Polar 3:33
ABBA: The Vinyl Collection 2010 Polydor / Universal Distribution / Universal Music 3:33
Now! 1970's 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:32
No Image 2013
No Image Universal Distribution
Jackie: The Annual 2010
Various Artists
EMI 3:33
Le 101 Canzoni Della Storia del Pop
Various Artists
Universal Music 3:31
The Best of ABBA Universal 3:33