“Thank You for the Music” is a song by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally featured on the group’s fifth studio album ABBA: The Album (1977), and was released as a single on 6 November 1983, to promote the Epic Records compilation album of the same name (similar compilations were released in other countries). The song “Our Last Summer”, which was originally featured on the group’s seventh studio album Super Trouper (1980), was the B-side. The song was simultaneously released in Ireland (as Epic were the licensees for both UK and Ireland), and later released in France (by Disques Vogue), with the same B-side but different artwork, and the Netherlands (by Polydor Records), with “Medley” as the B-side (and again, different artwork).
“Thank You for the Music” was also the B-side to the single “Eagle” in 1978, which itself was only released in limited territories, namely Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and Australia (though in some territories, such as the Netherlands, it was released as a double A-side). It was released as an A-side single in South Africa where it peaked at number 2 in August 1978 and became the eighteenth best-selling single of that year.
The album version was recorded on 21 July 1977 at Glen Studio after a complete alternate version (known as “Thank You for the Music” (Doris Day version)) was recorded on 2 June 1977 at Marcus Music Studio. The Doris Day version was first released on a box set of the same name on October 31, 1994. Agnetha Fältskog performed the lead vocals, with Anni-Frid Lyngstad joining in on the chorus. “Thank You for the Music” was intended to form part of a “mini-musical” called The Girl with the Golden Hair (a phrase which is featured in the song) that songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson included in ABBA’s 1977 tour. It was the opening track in the four-song musical, which also included “I Wonder (Departure)”, “I’m a Marionette” and “Get on the Carousel”. The first three songs from the musical were featured on ABBA: The Album; the latter remains unreleased. “Thank You for the Music” is more well known in its own right today.
“Gracias por la Música” is the Spanish-language recording of “Thank You for the Music”, with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey. The B-side was the Spanish-language version of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” entitled “¡Dame! ¡Dame! ¡Dame!”. The song was released in 1980 to promote the band’s Spanish-language album/compilation Gracias Por La Música. It was the group’s seventh best-selling Spanish single, and also peaked at number 4 in Argentina.
“Thank You for the Music” also formed part of ABBA: The Movie which featured studio recordings of selected songs from the then newly released album ABBA: The Album. The song is included in the final scenes as the hapless journalist finally gets to broadcast his ABBA radio special, including an interview, on Australian radio. The song is accompanied by footage of a studio recording session, a live stage performance and a mimed studio performance by the four members of the group. The song also plays over the closing titles as the camera pans out from the band performing in a hut on an island in the Stockholm archipelago to views of the archipelago itself.