(Blogger note: Except for 2013-14 updates below, much of this website was written between 2009-11. Reader update: All 'abba4ever' forum hyperlinks (within the blog's text) are defunct. (Forum has closed.))

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An icon's icon? Dusty was one (of them).

 Listening to and emulating her singing idols for many hours as a girl: One of the more endearing elements of ex-ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog's life story. (Ref. pages 23-24, As I Am biography, 1996.)

The young Swedish girl had great popular music voices to sing along with in the late 1950s and - certainly -  the incredible decade that followed. As quoted in association with the recording of her 2004 comeback album, My Colouring Book, Agnetha articulates:

"...My own prime motivation has been the love for songs from the 50's and 60's, where there are very, very strong melodies and poignant lyrics. Many recordings from the time are fantastic. I feel very happy that I was so young when everything exploded in popular music. With this album I want to act as an intermediary of my experiences with these songs and artists. It's a tribute to them and what they've given me."

American pop singer Connie Francis was chief among the female vocalists that Agnetha admired.(Ref.: "Connie Francis was my great idol.", page 23, As I Am.)  But other favorites of the 1960s that Ms. Fältskog studied included Petula Clark, Cilla Black and Sandie Shaw(All English/British singers...perhaps one reason that Agnetha developed good skills with that language for singing, etc.)

And, one other (page 24): DUSTY

 (screen cap/edit)

Dusty Springfield is rightfully a legend. For a number of reasons, but we'll center on her full, throaty, smoky, sensual-at-times, breathy-at-times, emotive (etc.,etc.) voice. This writer is not an expert about the 1999 Rock Hall of Fame inductee. But whether you were an eight-year-old kid listening to American popular music radio when "I Only Want To Be With You" burst forth (YT link), or to any of her later, soulful efforts; you knew right away: THAT was a powerful female voice.  

(Added note: Like Agnetha's, Dusty's speaking voice was appealing, too: Link to her funny interview (YouTube video) with The Beatles from the time...Also, both singers were fine interpreters of songs, though Ms. Springfield may have been one of the very best of all.)

A link to a current YouTube video/song from Ms. Springfield follows, as a sample. Full-voiced, hell-raiser Dusty was - in several ways - things that (likely) pop soprano/devoted mother Agnetha was not. The Swedish singer's sweet, clear, but thinner-at-times voice isn't a match for the soulful force of Dusty('s). However in her own, unique way, Ms. Fältskog could convey emotion, versatility (additional example (link)), and power via her near-perfect feminine voice. (Sample links above.)

Apprenticing, on her own. Singing with and emulating some of the best from the time. Agnetha learned from such stars, could mimic a few very well; but she also developed her own unique sound. Becoming a pop music icon in her own right (for a few reasons), as well.

Link via YouTube to a currently available Dusty Springfield song, from 1967: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a28kY1-s-Vc&fmt=18

Worthwhile 2010 update: Catch a much more recent glimpse of "Agnetha at 60", via the following distillation of Sweden's 'M-Magazine''s - perhaps image-changing - article. (Completed with Ms. Fältskog in December.) An English translation of the full article is linked here.

(Note: This post is backdated to better position within the order of entries. Its actual creation date is 10/10.)

© 2010 (original portions)  Link to my full blog: http://star4abba.blogspot.com/

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