Saturday Flashback: A*Teens – Halfway Round The World

“Oh, that is clever. Well done, director.”

Tim: The second original track from the greatest ABBA tribute act, following on from Upside Down.

Tom: Overextending the brand quite a bit there, but good luck to them.

Tim: Hey, they got four albums in all, and even the last went top five. The song isn’t quite as brilliant as Upside Down, but the video contains one of the greatest moments in music video history (and I’m not talking about when Amit runs round the back of the camera).

Tom: Oh, that is clever. Well done, director.

Tim: You wonder for a few seconds why they’re standing so woodenly – hell, the guys have got their hands in their pockets – but then it all makes sense! The screen falls forward, they break out in the full on dance routine that, in hindsight, you realise should have been there the whole time but obviously couldn’t have been, and now you want to start again and dance along, because what a routine that is. And let’s not forget: that’s a great song, and it still very much holds up to this day.

Tom: That may well be because the backing is an endless loop of the riff from Can You Feel It — but to be fair, that is a full-on, A+ pop song over the top of it.

Tim: I know the answer to this question but I want to ask it anyway: why don’t we have pop music like this any more Tom, why?

Tom: Because it doesn’t sell.

Tim: Ugh.

Saturday Flashback: A*Teens – Mamma Mia

“Remind me: what, exactly, was the point of A*Teens?”

Tim: I do love love a good anniversary, so let’s have this: A*Teens’s debut, twenty years old this month. WARNING: excessive use of hair gel coming up.

Tim: Remind me: what, exactly, was the point of A*Teens? Was it just bringing the music of ABBA to a new generation of kids, who didn’t have Spotify or even Napster yet? Redoing it in a mildly unpleasant format to hear by adding on a load of autotune?

Tom: Money. It was money.

Tim: It’s not exactly bad, really, but it does just seem, looking back, really and entirely unnecessary. Particularly that blonde guy’s hair, and arguably the yo-yo as well.

Tom: Well, A1’s cover of Take On Me was unnecessary too, as was that video, but they still got to number 1 in the UK and A-Ha didn’t.

Tim: Late 90s were fun, weren’t they?