Forget everything you think you know. Forget the context in which you’ve heard this song so many times. Forget whether you love it or hate it. Forget every preconception and belief you have about this song, close your eyes and just … drink it in.
Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) reached number three in the UK charts back in 1979 – sandwiched chartwise between Video Killed The Radio Star and When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman. Its famous intro was sampled by Madonna on her hit Hung Up – one of the very few songs that have been permitted to use ABBA samples. The permission was only given in return for a substantial royalty arrangement.
For me, Gimme Gimme Gimme is one of my favourites because of the incredible harmonies between Agnetha and Anni-Frid – powerful, but unfussy. The strings and keyboard create a colossal wall of sound – I think there was a big Spector influence on ABBA – that, in conjunction with the minor key arrangement, makes for a very magical-sounding record. I must have been three or four years old when I first heard it, and it was the sound of fairytales.