When ABBA has won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with “Waterloo”, the success did not came immediately, especially in the own country Sweden as they appeared too commercial and too uncritical. 18 months later ABBA had the breakthrough with “SOS” which became their first world hit. And after that they had a unique world career with many hits like “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia” and many more. Of course, these happy songs, these smash hits have captured the hearts of many people around the world.
This happy and positive music style has aimed many composers to step into the footsteps of ABBA and therefore a whole new music genre has developed in Sweden, called Swedish Schlager. Over the past decades this music style has burgeoned massively. And in Eurovision a lot of Swedish entries had this “happy music” style, bad tongues say that ABBA has been copied so often there. Some Swedish ESC entries did really sound like ABBA e.g. the group Friends with “Listen To Your Heartbeat”
The Swedish Schlager has become a real cult and there are a lot of bars and discos playing especially this kind of music which is always a great fun as everybody can sing along the lyrics and mostly the songs are danceable. It’s also a very Swedish thing, which cannot being compared with e.g. the German Schlager. The Swedish ESC songs have become evergreens and they are always played on the radio as well. At the popular Ållsang på Skansen – the summer TV show on SVT, which is being broadcasted for 8 weeks in summer each week. There are a lot of previous and current ESC singers singing their hits and the open air audience is singing along. There are songbooks with the lyrics and everybody should contribute by singing in this unique show. The hosts are going through the audience and force people to sing in the TV micro.
Over the years a lot of singers have become stars with the Swedish Schlager such as Carola, Charlotte Perrelli, Lena Philippson, Måns Zelmerlöw, Sanna Nielsen, Martin Stenmarck, Jill Johnsson, Marie Bergman, Roger Pontare, Tommy Nilsson, Lotta Engberg, Kikki Danielsson and many more. There are always great moments e.g. Kikki Danielsson with “Bra Vibrationer” or Arvingarna with “Eloise”
Unfortunately, the current Melodifestivalen (Swedish national final) is giving more priority to contemporary pop songs, the classic Swedish Schlager is getting less represented every year, even if the composers still try to bring the Swedish Schlager in.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!