Abba are in the money money money on Australia’s sales charts. In the wake of the Australian theatrical release of “Mamma Mia!”, no less than ten Abba titles have made impressions on this week’s Motorola Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) chart. They are all released on Universal Music.
The “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack climbs to No. 1 from No. 4, while 1992’s “Abba Gold” re-enters the Top 100 at No. 4. Also listed are “18 Hits” at No. 43, “Number Ones” grabs No. 49 and “More Abba Gold” is at No. 54.
The music DVD chart has “Gold” re-enter at No. 12 and “Number Ones” re-enter at No. 25.
On the singles chart, the digital version of “Mamma Mia!” enters at No. 48. “Dancing Queen” is at No. 58 and “Gimme Gimme Gimme” at No. 64.
Australian chart historian Gavin Ryan says the Swedish pop group joined some elite company this week by becoming the seventh act to have a Top 50 charting single over four different decades. The others were AC/DC, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Queen, Santana and Boston-born, Sydney-based R&B singer Marcia Hines.
Cher, Tom Jones and John Farnham achieved it over five decades, while Cliff Richard’s effort spans six decades.
Australia was one of Abba’s most successful markets per capita. In the mid-70s, the “Arrival” album sold 1 million copies, according to their record label at the time, RCA Records, when the country’s population was just 12 million.
According to Ryan, “Mamma Mia!” becomes the 38th soundtrack to hit No. 1 in Australia.
This is not the first time that an Abba-infused soundtrack has hit the top Down Under. In September 1994, the companion album to the Australian movie “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” (PolyGram) was No. 1 for four weeks. “Abba Gold” returned to the chart soon after. Two months, later the soundtrack to another Australian movie, “Muriel’s Wedding” (Polydor) — which contained three Abba hits — reached No. 19.