What Genre Is Abba?

ABBA, the world-renowned Swedish band, is primarily known for their pop and disco genres. However, their music also combines elements from other genres like Europop, pop rock, and even traditional Swedish folk.

From their initial breakthrough in the European pop scene with strong, melodious tunes, ABBA made a shift towards a disco-centric style during the height of the disco era. Although they mainly did pop and disco, their music is diverse, blending various styles and telling different stories. This diversity makes exploring their songs an exciting journey.

The Musical Evolution of ABBA

Starting as a Swedish supergroup in the late 60s, ABBA, comprised of Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus, initially had its roots in traditional Swedish folk melodies.

Their win at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” catapulted them to global stardom. This event triggered a big change in ABBA’s music style, marking a shift towards a more international sound. With exposure to wider audiences, they began to incorporate elements of pop and disco into their music.

In the mid-70s, when disco music became popular, ABBA embraced it and created hits like “Dancing Queen.” This helped them become a big part of both the pop and disco scenes, making them one of the most successful and influential pop bands ever. ABBA’s willingness to try different music styles shows how they evolved beyond just pop and disco, making them an important part of music history.

ABBA’s Signature Sound

With an uncanny knack for creating infectiously catchy tunes, ABBA’s signature sound is a delightful mix of pop, disco, and even elements of rock. Their music represented a new vein of pop, characterized by clean arrangements, meticulous production, and a keen sense of melody and harmony.

Songs like “Mamma Mia” and “Take A Chance On Me” showcased their impeccable harmonies, often layered over pulsating disco rhythms and pop melodies, While “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo” gave off disco energy that fans have come to love over the years.

ABBA didn’t stick to one style; they combined pop and disco in a cool way. They mixed pop’s catchiness with disco’s dance beats, making music that’s both unique and fun. Their songs are still popular today, showing that ABBA’s music is timeless.

Diverse Interpretations of ABBA’s Genre

ABBA’s genre has always been the subject of diverse interpretations due to its rich and varied sound. While many categorize their music as pop or disco, there have been arguments for combinations of both, as well as other genres like rock and Swedish folk.

ABBA mostly made catchy pop songs because of their simple melodies. However, in some albums, like “Ring Ring,” they added folk and pop elements. “Waterloo” had a bit of Europop and rock, and “Arrival” is mostly pop but also has some Eurodisco. Their recent album Voyage,” which was released in 2021, adds a touch of synthpop to their classic pop-disco style.

The band sometimes added a different touch to their music, like in “Money, Money, Money,” where you can hear fancy piano and a bit of classical music. They have done lots of different styles, which has made their music interesting and appealing to many different fans, giving them a unique sound that’s hard to put in a box.


Throughout their thriving career, ABBA has been really good at making music that breaks the rules. They began with Swedish folk, then explored pop and disco, creating timeless tunes that connect with people of all ages. Their music shows that great songs don’t have to stick to one style; they can connect with everyone.

ABBA Featured Image by: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons