Abba - The Winner Takes It All

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Music video by Abba performing The Winner Takes It All.

(C) 1980 Polar Music International AB

"The Winner Takes It All" is a song recorded by the Swedish pop group ABBA. Released as the first single from the group's Super Trouper album on 21 July 1980, it is a ballad in the key of F-sharp major, reflecting the end of a romance. The single's B-side was the non-album track "Elaine".

"The Winner Takes It All", original demo title "The Story of My Life", was written by both Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, with Agnetha Fältskog singing the lead vocal.

Ulvaeus denies the song is about his and Fältskog's divorce, saying the basis of the song "is the experience of a divorce, but it's fiction. There wasn't a winner or a loser in our case. A lot of people think it's straight out of reality, but it's not". American critic Chuck Klosterman, who says "The Winner Takes It All" is "[the only] pop song that examines the self-aware guilt one feels when talking to a person who has humanely obliterated your heart" finds Ulvaeus' denial hard to believe in light of the original title.

Fältskog has also repeatedly stated that though "The Winner Takes It All" is her favorite ABBA song and that it has an excellent set of lyrics, the story is not that of her and Ulvaeus: there were no winners in their divorce, especially as children were involved. Ulvaeus also wrote the lyrics for Fältskog's 1979 live number 'I'm Still Alive'.

In a 1999 poll for Channel 5, "The Winner Takes It All" was voted Britain's favourite ABBA song. This feat was replicated in a 2010 poll for ITV. In a 2006 poll for a Channel Five programme, "The Winner Takes It All" was voted "Britain's Favourite Break-Up Song."

A music video to promote the song was filmed in July 1980 on Marstrand, an island on the Swedish west coast. It was directed by Lasse Hallström.

"The Winner Takes It All" was a major success for ABBA. It hit #1 in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, and South Africa. It reached the Top 5 in Austria, Finland, France, West Germany, Norway, Switzerland and Zimbabwe, as well as ABBA's native Sweden, while peaking in the Top 10 in Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and the United States (where it became ABBA's fourth and final American Top 10 hit. The song spent 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, more than any other ABBA single). It was also the group's second Billboard AC #1 (after "Fernando"). "The Winner Takes It All" was also a hit in Brazil: it was included on the soundtrack of "Coração Alado" ("Winged Heart"), a popular soap opera in 1980, as the main theme.

The track was listed as the twenty-third most popular single on the Billboard US 1981 year-end charts.
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1980  80s  Abba  Pop

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Artist: Abba
Video title: The Winner Takes It All

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Category: Pop
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