When Fernando Valenzuela, the screwball-throwing left-handed pitcher, took the home-field mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was to the organist playing ABBA's romantic "Fernando." Most of the people there would sing along. They knew the words.
ABBA's music is much like the national pastime -- just a part of the fabric of things. Hits like "Fernando," "Dancing Queen," "Take a Chance on Me" and "Waterloo" are stuck in the heads of millions still, long after the band's heyday as the most commercially successful band of the 1970s.
"When they came out, they had a unique sound -- especially their recording techniques," said Christian Fast, of Stockholm, Sweden. Fast performs as part of a tribute act called "ABBA -- the Music," which performs the band's music with the Utah Symphony on Thursday in Ogden and the following weekend in Salt Lake City.