They were two of the biggest bands on earth – famous for their chart-topping hits and flamboyant style. Now, ABBA and Queen meet in the upcoming One Vision at the Barnyard Theatre at the Silverstar Casino, with a 10-person cast performing hits from Bohemian Rhapsody to Waterloo.
Every song has a story – so here’s facts about some of the tracks from One Vision.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody spent nine consecutive weeks at Number One in the UK at the end of 1975. Its reign was ended by ABBA’s Mamma Mia – a title curiously contained in the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody.
2. Waterloo was the winning entry for Sweden in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, and is widely considered as the song that put ABBA on their path to global fame. However, they had already featured in the Top 10 on the South African charts the year before with Ring Ring – a song off their debut album of the same name.
3. Bjorn Ulvaeus enjoyed jogging, and as he ran he sang a“tck-a-ch” style rhythm to himself – which eventually evolved into the line “Take a Chance on Me”.
4. The Sex Pistols used the riff from SOS as the introduction to their track Pretty Vacant. Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was a huge fan of the band, and once approached them in an airport to tell them so.
5. Ulvaeus wrote The Winner Takes it All shortly after he divorced from ABBA bandmate Agnetha Faltskog, who sang the song. He claimed that “90%” of the song was fiction, and described Faltskog’s performance as "more like an actress doing something when she sang it, but deeply moving. Afterwards there were a few tears as well".
6. Michael Jackson – who was a big fan of Queen – was the one to suggest that the band release Another One Bites the Dust as a single. It went on to become Queen’s best-selling single – shifting over 7 million copies.
7. Guitarist Brian May says that he wrote We Will Rock You after a gig where the crowd chanted Liverpool FC’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at them as they left the stage.
I went to bed thinking, 'What could you ask (the audience) to do?' They're all squeezed in there, but they can clap their hands, they can stamp their feet, and they can sing. In the morning I woke up and had the idea in my head for 'We Will Rock You'.— Brian May, Queen guitarist
8. Despite sounding as though it is made up of a large gospel choir, Somebody to Love only features three voices: Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor. They incorporated multitrack-recording techniques to achieve their desired sound.
9. The Show Must Go On – written by Brian May – was inspired by Freddie Mercury’s battle with Aids, although his illness was not public knowledge at the time. Mercury was so ill when the band recorded the song in 1990, that May had doubts that Mercury would be able to sing it. May remembers: "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing.' And he went, 'I'll f*ing do it, darling' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."
One Vision has officially opened the brand-new Barnyard Theatre at the Silverstar Casino, and runs until 28 May. Make sure to get your tickets to this musical celebration here.