This was written by ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. According to ABBA's official site, it was conceived as a dance song with the working title "Boogaloo." They drew inspiration from the 1974 George McCrae disco hit "Rock Your Baby
," and from the drumming on the 1972 album Gumbo
by Dr. John
. Their manager Stig Anderson came up with the title "Dancing Queen," and after several months working on the track, ABBA came up with arguably the world's first europop disco hit.
ABBA recorded this about a year before it was released. It was written and recorded around the same time as "Fernando
," which was chosen as the single. They knew "Dancing Queen" would also be a hit, so they held it until the album was released before issuing it as a single.
ABBA performed this song on June 18, 1976 at a televised tribute to Queen Silvia and King Gustaf XVI of Sweden, who were married the next day.
This was the only one of ABBA's 14 US Top 40 hits to make it to #1.
Regarding the lyrics, "Night is young and the music's high," many listeners interpret this as a statement that the music makes you feel high. In ABBA's part of the world, however, it simply means that the music is loud.
Along with many other ABBA songs, this was featured in Muriel's Wedding
, a hit Australian movie starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths.
Katie - Australia
According to the BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, when this song was played at a Windsor Castle event Queen Elizabeth said: "I always try to dance when this song comes on because I am the Queen and I like to dance."
This song also reached #1 in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Sweden and West Germany.
Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
When Benny first played Frida the song's backing track, she burst into tears. "And that was before me and Agnetha had even sung on it!" she smiled to The Guardian. "I knew it was absolutely the best song Abba had ever done."
This came top of a 2014 poll conducted by Blinkbox concerning the most commonly misheard lyrics in Pop. 22% of the people polled admitted they had mistaken the lyric "See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen" for, "See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen."
Chris Stein of Blondie says that his group's 1979 hit "Dreaming
" is "pretty much a cop" of "Dancing Queen."
U2 covered this during the band's Zoo TV tour in 1992, and were joined onstage by Bjorn and Benny when the show hit Stockholm. "ABBA have a purer joy to their music," Bono explains in the documentary ABBA: The Winner Takes It All, "and that's what makes them extraordinary."
The American disco singer Carol Douglas covered this song in 1977, taking it to #110 in America. The other two covers to chart are by ABBA clones A*Teens (#95 in 2000) and the Glee Cast (#74, 2011).