ABBA – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

Sometimes a song becomes famous as a sample because of its repeated use. And sometimes, it gains notoriety for quite the opposite reason. According to Lucy O’Brien’s 2009 book Madonna: Like an Icon, in 2004 Madonna told producer Stuart Price she wanted him to concentrate on creating songs that sound like “ABBA on drugs”. The problem is that as a rule, ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus don’t like that. 

Hung Up was one of the first songs written for Madonna’s 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor. ABBA’s 1979 hit always formed the basis of the track, but getting the go ahead to sample it was anything but a gimme – even for the queen of pop. 

Hung Up marks only the second time ABBA’s songwriters permitted anyone to use one of their tracks (the first time being Fugees, who sampled The Name of the Game in their single Rumble in the Jungle). The story goes that in order to gain the rights to use Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Madge had to personally send a letter to Stockholm begging the pair for the privilege and also explaining how much she loved their music. She later told the BBC: “Thank God they didn’t say no… They had to think about it, Benny and Björn. They didn’t say yes straight away.” 

Andersson has since quipped that Hung Up is his favourite Madonna song thus far. The royalty cheques probably help. 

Buy Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA from Amazon

Buy Confessions On a Dance Floor by Madonna from Amazon

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