Mamma Mia! soundtrack No. 1 on US chart

The Decca Records release sold 130,000 copies in the week ended August 10, becoming the second soundtrack this year to reach the summit, following the "Juno" soundtrack in January. 

The film soundtrack to "Mamma Mia!" features actors like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan belting out ABBA favorites. The film has earned $104 million at the North American box office. 

The last year two or more soundtracks earned the top spot on the Billboard 200 was in 1998, when "Titanic," "City of Angels" and "Armageddon" all had their turn at No. 1. 

ABBA has never had a top 10 album on the Billboard 200; the Swedish pop act’s highest charting set is 1978’s "The Album," which peaked at No. 14.


10 Replies to “Mamma Mia! soundtrack No. 1 on US chart”

  1. WOW! ABBA at #1 in the UK and Mamma Mia! at #1 in the US this week! Who’d have thought that in 2008 ABBA would still be ruling the charts around the world…26 years after their final recordings??? AMAZING! Well done! I’m so proud I can’t fathom the incredible feats we’re seeing! Just came from seeing Mamma Mia! here in Trinidad where it opened today…and it was truly amazing!!!

  2. At LAST they are realizing in the US how great ABBA are and always have been!! The recordings of the songs with the original ABBA musicians combined with Benny Anderssons playfulness in the backingtracks…nobody can compete them!

  3. Anders, don’t jump to conclusions about Americans finally having an epiphany about ABBA. The harsh truth is there has been just as much negative press as positive press despite ABBA’s renaissance.

    I find it a source of perverse pleasure so many people are pulling their hair out observing this phenomenon.

    There’s one thing Benny and Bjorn can do finally put any debate about their musical genius to rest. Neil Diamond had the same problem. Loved by millions, he was just as ridiculed by legions of critics.

    He finally broke through with his last album and is now recognized as
    a genuinely brilliant songwriter.

    One word: "Kristina".

    B & B have to get it to Broadway and make it work in such a way that when the Tony’s roll around, for three hours you hear the same words
    spoken 10 or 12 times:

    "And the Tony for best (fill in the blank) goes to ‘Kristina".

    That would finally seal the deal.

    A great musical can win a Pulitzer prize. It can rock New York and you’ve seen the international effect of what a merely enjoyable music can do.

    If B & B can launch "Kristina" on Broadway with the same sonic boom that "Les Miserables" made–and I don’t see why they couldn’t–the shock waves will be felt around the world. hell, you’d even see Barbara Walters trying to land a prime time interview with the guys.

    "Kristina" is the silver bullet that can drop even Abba’s most vocal critics.

  4. I agree "Kristina" is a masterpiece I have seen it many times in Stockholm. But would it really be a success in the US? It is no typical broadway musical and totally different compared to mamma mia. But ofcourse the musical deserves to be successful as the music is magnificent and the storyline relates to many US citizens history way back.

  5. I agree that ‘Kristina’ can make it on Broadway. There’s some fussing about it’s being a "sad" story but I think many of the truly great operas and musicals were sad stories… Madama Butterfly, and Les Miserables as two examples.
    The story is the American story for almost ANY ethnic group and the music is superb.
    What’s it’s not is another Mamma Mia and a clear distincition will have to be made if folks in the US are expecting that.

  6. I agree. "Kristina" would, in one stoke, forever dismiss the overwhelmingly accepted notion that B&B can only be associated with "bubblegum" pop – something only ABBA-fans always knew isn’t the whole story("Like An Angel…" anybody?).

    But I think that touting "Kristina" as being "From the makers of the smash-hit musical "Mamma Mia!" would be a terrible mistake. Can you imagine how many people would then attend "Kristina" only to come out of it sorely disappointed? "Hey! It wasn’t funny!! It wasn’t feel-good at all! It was crap – it totally wrecked the atmosphere I wanted for my hen’s night!"

    In this way, "Mamma Mia!" has made things REALLY difficult for "Kristina". Publicity-wise.


  7. I think it´s just a matter of time until Kristina will be recognized as one of the big musicals. Here in Sweden the musical is already regarded as a "classic". Magnificent in every aspect..

  8. An important thing to remember is that Kristina has nothing to do with ABBA except that the composers are the same… Benny & Björn have developed immensely since ABBA and I can understand why they do not want to reform as it must be difficult to "go back".

  9. The movie has gone back up to second position this week in the UK and is only marginally behind The Dark Knight. However, it still has grossed more than TDK in the UK!

    This weekend has a blitz of Sing-a-long-a Mamma Mia’s showing across the country so could help MM to stay high in the charts.


  10. As a New Yorker, I can attest to the fact that rehashed movies–romantic comedies–are now plague on Broadway. Much of the public wants a return to originality.

    Just as "Mamma Mia" the film was adored by ABBA fans, "Kristina" as a musical has such a globe-straddling body of dedicated fans, "Kristina", like "Mamma Mia" would be criticproof and have a built-in audience that
    would guarantee a successful run.

    Benny and Bjorn are nobody’s fools. If they knew enough to bring in
    Herb Kretzmer to do the lyrics (I believe Kretzmer’s incredible translation saved the show from being a complete disaster as the concept album was almost unlistenable), they know timing is everything. "Billy Elliot" could very well turn out to be a blockbuster (although the music is uninspired) that would make Kristina an also-ran.

    "Ragtime" was in almost every way superior to "The Lion King"–costume design being the only way–and yet it singlehandedly brought down Doctorow’s musicalized classic.

    "Kristina" will draw not only the fans of "Mamma Mia’ but the vast cult that has been faithful to "Chess" as well as curiosity seekers who will want to know what all the fuss is about when journalists like Michael Reidel and Lis Smith (as well as Richard Corliss of "Time" put the word on the street that "Kristina" will be a smash.

    I know this town. Not having seen the production and only heard the score, I think it could use just a dash of comedy in Act One just as Kretzmer realized the tension had to be broken with "Master of the House" in "Les Mis". I’ve no doubt B & B understand that.

    As an aside, to get at least a glimmer of what the public response might be, listen to the applause Alice Ripley gets when she performs "Du Maste
    Finnas" in recital. The crowd went wild and her partner on stage just said, "WOW!".

    I really think Benny and Bjorn are looking for a little "payback". They didn’t get it right with "Chess" and they’ve really taken their time with this. (The civil suit might have been a blessing in disguise.)

    You needn’t worry about Americans. Their mystique and pull over here is as great or greater today than it ever has.

    Not one in 1,000 impassioned theatergoers know anything about "Kristina" or even that it exists but just as Dvorak’s masterpiece "Rusalka" was virtually unknown to operaphiles only 20 years ago, it is now an international sensation.

    Rest easy, my fellow Abba fans, the perfect storm is brewing for "Kristina" and when it breaks Broadway will be rocked like it hasn’t been since the Phantom arrived in 1988.

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