Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Fernando

First recorded (in Swedish) Anni-Frid Lyngstad (SWE #1 1975).
Hit version by ABBA (US #13/MOR #1/CAN #1/UK #1/AUS #1/IRE #1/GER #1/MEX #1/SWE #3 1976).

From the wiki: From the wiki: “‘Fernando’ was not originally released as an ABBA song but by band member Anni-Frid Lyngstad, in 1975, featured on her #1 Swedish solo album Frida ensam. The song was composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and carried the working title of ‘Tango’. Preparations for recording began in August 1975. The writers made last-minute changes to the title before recording, with the suggestion of the name ‘Fernando’ given to the songwriters by their limousine driver, Peter Forbes.

“The original Swedish-language version’s lyrics were written by ABBA’s manager Stig Anderson and differ substantially from the English-language version. In the original, the narrator tries to console the heartbroken Fernando, who has lost his great love. The English version, with completely different lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus, presents a vision of nostalgia for two veterans reminiscing in old age about a long ago battle in which they participated.

“‘Fernando’ was ABBA’s first non-album single and was released in March 1976. The track was later included and featured on the 1976 ABBA compilation album Greatest Hits in most countries, with the song topping the charts in at least 13 countries, and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. It was the longest-running #1 in Australian history (spending 14 weeks at the top and 40 weeks on the chart), and remained so for over 40 years (until it was surpassed by Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’).”

ABBA, “Fernando” (1976):

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