Another smash hit from the group’s Arrival album (along with ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Money, Money, Money’), ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ was one of ABBA’s most successful singles, becoming the biggest selling song in the UK in 1977. Lyrically, it was one of the first songs to deal with the breakdown of the relationships between the band members, which would be further highlighted in songs such as ‘The Winner Takes It All’.
ABBA studio bassist Rutger Gunnarsson delivers a masterclass in creative pop bass playing throughout his part on ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’. This is particularly evident during the verse section, where he uses hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides to weave a melodic line around the vocals – this serves to contrast the staccato playing during the prechorus and the driving bass of the chorus. During the breaks between chorus and verse sections, his descending scale line serves as an important ‘sub-hook’.
Regardless of his concept, Rutger’s playing always retains a smooth sound and remains inventive without getting in the way of any of the vocal parts. In the final chorus he fills out his original part with more rhythmically active playing and greater use of chromaticism.
Like many other British people, I now can’t hear anyone say ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ without thinking of Alan Partridge. A-HAAA!