19:50

Abba - the guilty pleasure

Ok. I admit it. I love Abba. Is there a better dance anthem than Dancing Queen? Or a sadder song than The Winner Takes It All? 

What everyone forgets about Abba is that, despite the boppy tunes and the appalling clothes and hair, they weren't kids. Indeed they were middle-aged - and dealing not with adolescence but with the pain of break up and divorce - grown up stuff. It is this raw emotion and pain that make The Winner Takes It All such a great song and places it on a different level to the standard sentimental ballard produced by the pop factory. 

On a adjacent tangent, I recently sat next to Phyllida Lloyd, the director of Iron Lady and Mama Mia. Both films starred Meryl Streep. She is a huge admirer and said that her down-to-earth decency and professionalism sets the tone for any film she is working on. A diva she is not. Phyllida said that they had a big scene in Mama Mia and that when she went to Meryl Streep's room to  tell her she was on, she was speaking to Obama on the telephone. Without hesitation, she told the President that she would call him back. 

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