1989 Roxette, a Swedish duo many Americans initially mistake for the Thompson Twins with sensible hair, outdistances ABBA's chart performance when it reaches No. 1 four times. Its most memorable hit, "The Look," is virtually identical to Prince's "U Got the Look," which many confused with ABC's "The Look of Love." It's a wonder the ad geeks who penned the "Jordache Look" jingle didn't sue the whole lot of them!

1994
Ace of Base scores a No. 1 with "All That She Wants (Is Another Baby)," a song that could be the unofficial anthem for the rhythm method of birth control still advocated by the Catholic Church. It's too early to tell if this quartet has real staying power, but one thing is certain--in every interview the members have done so far, they bitch about being compared to ABBA. Maybe if we start comparing them to Blue Swede . . .

1995 Predictions: Ace of Base already may be just another pretty Swedish face if Whale is any indication of what's to come from the land of good chocolate and cuckoo clocks.

Singer "and media personality" Cia Berg is unlike any Swiss Miss yet--a deliciously dirty dominatrix who's proud of her poor enunciation ("I meet choo on a chooseday" would do even Mariska Veres proud). Check out the other song titles on We Care, Whale's debut album for Virgin: "Young, Dum and Full of Cum," "I'll Do Ya" and "Eurodog," where Berg implores the listener "to smear my braces with mayonnaise." All this against ultraheavy Beastie Boys rhythm tracks. Whale's first single, "Hobo Humping Slobo Babe," is about a rich girl who delights in balling homeless men. It reached No. 24 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, whatever that may be. All we want to know is, how long do we have to wait for Casey Kasem to honor a long-distance dedication for "Young, Dum and Full of Cum"?

And if Whale's too rad for your Swiss sensibilities, there's always Bjorn Again--not exactly ABBA, but an incredible simulation. Technically, the to-the-T tribute band doesn't belong in this roundup since it hails from Melbourne, Australia. According to the group's bio, Bjorn Again started dressing like ABBA after its helicopter crashed into a giant glittering platform shoe from outer space. Hmmm. There's even a press clipping that recounts how the real Agnetha was recently mobbed in Paris by crazed Bjorn Again fans who thought she was the fake Agnetha! If there's a God, please let this be true!

GIVE MY REGARDS TO NORWAY 1985 The most memorable thing about a-ha was the band's groundbreaking video for its No. 1 hit, "Take On Me," which used a part-live, part-animation technique that reduced singer Magne into a pencil drawing. Before we could thoroughly erase him and a-ha completely out of our lives, the lads performed the least memorable James Bond theme ever for the even less memorable flick The Living Daylights. Shaky, not stirring.

The ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again is scheduled to perform on Thursday, September 21, at Anderson's Fifth Estate in Scottsdale. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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