"Waterloo" was the ABBA single that established the sound of the paired voices of Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad on the airwaves around the world, as well as presenting the boldest early manifestation of the group's music. Having had a modest international hit the prior year -before they were a permanent group -- with the exuberant "Ring, Ring", which charted in much of Europe (though not in England, or in America), ABBA needed something much stronger for a follow-up and came back with this catchy tune, originally titled "Honey-Pie". Manager and lyricist Stig Anderson had found the new name -- which scanned perfectly -- in a quote from a reference book and the rest of the song simply fell into place. It was duly recorded in sessions held between December of 1973 and February of 1974. The opening is one of the more aggressive in their early output, guitar power chords by Janne Schaffer with Bjorn Ulvaeus resounding in front of heavily accented drumming, supported by wailing tenor saxophone (by Christer Eklund) while Benny Andersson's piano pounded and chimed away, the whole record lofted skyward by the soaring paired vocals, singing a lyric that equated military defeat and romantic conquest that was unmistakable in any language. The piano and guitar riff, the latter courtesy of were unmistakable in their own right, but those elements and the song's beatm and the texture of the record (especially the middle section where the sax came in) all recalled "Da Doo Ron Ron" by the Crystals just a little bit --indeed, it's easy to visualize a medley of one song sliding into the other without missing a beat. The result was a roaring success in the Eurovision Song Contest in the spring of 1974 and a chart-topping hit in England, Ireland, Germany, Norway, and Belgium, a top-five hit in the rest of Western Europe, and a number six charting single in America -- Phil Spector, then busy reissuing his old hits, might've marveled at ABBA's achievement and sound.