‘Does Your Mother Know’ was the second single to be released from ABBA’s 1979 Voulez-Vous album. Whilst it didn’t sell as other songs from the same album, it still troubled the charts in a number of countries around the world, reaching the top 10 in eight countries. ABBA nerds will tell you that this song is of particular significance because it features a male lead vocal (Bjorn, for the curious) rather than their signature female warbling.
Bass nerds (such as myself) will tell you that ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is of some significance in the grand scheme of ABBA bass lines, because it was played by Mike Watson rather than Rutger Gunnarsson, who is often referred to as the ABBA bassist; Mike also contributed bass to several other of the band’s hits, including ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ and ‘SOS’.
Although not particularly challenging, ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is definitely a lot of fun to play; you get to double a synth during the introduction, pump steady root note quavers in the verses and even throw in some clichéd octave parts in the chorus – what’s not to like?
As with almost every bass part, the devil is in the details. Note length, as always, is hugely significant to getting the right feel on ‘Does Your Mother Know’; the introduction requires quite a lot of fretting hand control to mirror the attack of the synth part, while the verse requires much smoother articulation.
ABBA Does Your Mother Know Free Bass Transcription