Radiohead member talks liking ABBA and ‘Mamma Mia’ giving him ‘spine tingles’

Ed O'Brien has appeared in the latest Ninja Tune podcast

Radiohead member Ed O’Brien has spoken about how his daughter got him into ABBA and how he experienced “spine tingles” while watching the Mamma Mia film.

Guitarist O’Brien was speaking on the Ninja Tune podcast, the podcast from the London label of the same name.

Appearing in a new episode with the Invisible frontman Dave Okumu, O’Brien said: “I can be totally honest, one of my daughter’s favourite films is Mamma Mia. Obviously ABBA in the ’70s was huge, but I never owned an ABBA record. And in the ’80s? ABBA? I mean, oh my god.”


“Unfortunately that shadow is cast upon, and it alters your judgement and you can be very judgemental about this music.”

However, O’Brien went on to add: “[We] watched Mamma Mia at Christmas, finally, all together, and I was like, ‘These songs are amazing! Oh my god!’ I got spine tingles, even with Pierce Brosnan singing.”

As Pitchfork reports, O’Brien also spoke about what he listened to during his childhood: “For me, one of the things—when I grew up—the taste police were out in force. And it was really limiting. So, the ’80s it was like, what tribe are you in? What gang are you in? So I was in the post-punk, Smiths, you know, indie… you know, and I didn’t listen to Led Zeppelin.”

“Happy Mondays and Stone Roses changed it all, because suddenly dance music, but in Oxfordshire we didn’t listen to R&B, really, and unfortunately it was one of the negative aspects of our childhood growing up.”

Hear the podcast here or on iTunes.

Over the weekend, a Radiohead listening party was attacked in Istanbul.


Radiohead have responded to the attack with a statement, writing, “Our hearts go out to those attacked tonight at Velvet IndieGround in Istanbul. We hope that someday we will be able to look back on such acts of violence as things of the ancient past. For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support.”


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