Other Guitars

Only person I ever saw using an Ovation Breadwinner


Those seem to me pretty dispassionate evaluations, devoid of judgment as to which music is "superior." They were intended as illustrative - "comparing and contrasting" maybe - not judgmental. If you took them as denigrating ABBA, that was not the intention.

Don't know how they illustrate a pecking order. As you continue to emphasize, the bands should be considered in two separate categories, each with its own "pedestal" (or Mt Rushmore, maybe).

Except when you make claims for ABBA's pop brilliance by comparison to L-M, and there I'm afraid we'll have to agree to differ. Wrong decade for me - and maybe insufficient appreciation of Agnetha's non-musical attributes.

Proteus said: insufficient appreciation of Agnetha's non-musical attributes.

Ahh, I have finally found the problem here. You never fully grasped the importance of the first A in ABBA, Agnetha. I did. As I grew to see that Benny and Bjorn were better than John and Paul, I also grew to see that Agnetha was better than Aretha Franklin.


Could Aretha Franklin hit those chipmunky high, tape-sped notes that Agnetha hits at 2:19-2:32? No way. Aretha was OK, but she was no Agnetha.


This discussion just took a horrible and idiotic nosedive when you begin comparing one of the greatest, most soulful voices ever with Agnetha. And I say that as an ABBA and Agnetha fan. But, that is just plain stupid. You could just as easily ask if Agnetha could sing this Aretha song. It would be a sweet, yet somewhat insipid version with no soulfulness at all.

Okay, I will butt out as this isn't really my discussion.


Nor mine. I begin to suspect we're being subtly trolled.


My parents were both musicians. Dad was a trumpeter in several Big Bands, worked also as first-call trumpet to touring bands who under then-current AFM rules had to hire a certain number of local members wherever they appeared. Mom was a regionally-known singer whose dark contralto showed up in everything from Opera to Cole Porter to religious radio shows and beyond. Her recordings were played on CBC, gaining her a little more widespread notoriety.

All of which is by way of explaining that when I came along in the mid-50's, the music in our house included classical, a lot of Broadway shows, Big Band tunes by Miller, Shaw et al, and so-called "crooners" such as Crosby and Sinatra.

There were a lot of complex arrangements around my ears. Strings, clarinets, brass, Rubinstein's piano (Mom actually knew Rubinstein, so he was a favorite).

Then there was the other side- My Dad's idea of a musical holiday was listening to essential American folk music recorded by folks like Burl Ives (Ives' version of "Blue Tail Fly" was probably one of the earliest songs I could sing by heart)

Mom's musical theatre records (Showboat, Oklahoma, Camelot, My Fair Lady, Kismet, etc) taught me as much about arranging for pit orchestras as any text I read when I began to write my own theatrical arrangements about twenty years ago, while her opera records led me to love the music of Carmen, Traviata and others (though strangely, not the singing. To this day, operatic vocals grate on me like bagpipes on some other members hereabouts).

Meantime, Dad's fondness for the Big Band era- Shaw, Miller, Goodman etc- was passed on. Miller in particular still gets me going. For my money, "Moonlight Serenade" is up there with "Moonlight Sonata" for the evocative imagery it brings to mind. Can you not hear the opening 12 bars of Moonlight Serenade and NOT bring to mind a picture circa 1941?

My point (finally!) is that we are all shaped by our environment, musically as much as in any other way, and much of that shaping is done long before any sort of teenage "rebellion" sets in and we start buying our own records.

My preference for more heavily orchestrated music of all kinds was likely imprinted on my psyche in those early years, and it colors my preferences today.

Now, is ABBA "better" than the Beatles? Nope. But in my own mental playlist, the Beatles songs nearer the top are the ones where Sir George (Martin) layered in a little more instrumentation (Eleanor Rigby), while others (Revolution), more raw and stripped-down largely seem somehow... unfinished. Something in my head says there should be more, while many of the 104 Abba tunes seem to feel a little more, well.. balanced to my ears.

Kevin Frye said: we are all shaped by our environment, musically as much as in any other way, and much of that shaping is done long before any sort of teenage "rebellion" sets in and we start buying our own records.

So true. So true.

Before I had a chance to get a few minutes with the car radio while travelling with my parents, I had to listen to what they listened to. That was WNEW AM -- the place for Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, and all '40s and '50s ballroom crooning stuff. It was that music that really defined my musical sensibilities. And, yes, I too feel music is not complete without orchestration. It doesn't necessarily need an orchestra, but it has to have a full sound. It has to feel complete. ABBA pop tunes delivered that in spades.


Nor mine. I begin to suspect we're being subtly trolled.

– Proteus

Subtly? Chonny/Thunderball has a new login.


Shive, I merely wanted to say that it is nice to see you posting on the GDP. I have heard such great things about you from Tim and Sammy and I hope that someday our paths will cross so that I can play some music with you.

– Ric12string

I would be honored Ric12string. Nice to be among such nice and enlightened folks.


I had a few ovation solid bodies.

An 81 preacher an 81 deacon deluxe (active electronics) and a same year ( I think) deacon 12 string. All good guitars. I miss the preacher. Kind of had an sg vibe with mini hums.

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