"We should have been writing our own songs, but it was much better to listen to Abba": Ritchie Blackmore has named his favourite band of all time

A photoshopped image of Ritchie Blackmore with Abba
An artist's impression of what a meeting between Ritchie Blackmore and Abba may have looked like (Image credit: Fin Costello via Getty Images)

Guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore has revealed that his favourite band of all time are "probably" Abba. The former Deep Purple and Rainbow Man In Black made the revelation during a 40-minute online Q&A streamed on Instagram and hosted by his partner, Candice Night.

The interview takes place in what Night describes as the "Badger and Pussycat pub" in the couple's home in Long Island, NY, where Blackmore can be found in "a talkative mood", possibly aided by the consumption of Hofbräu, a German beer with an ABV of 5.1%. It's one of his favourites, he reveals.

At the 25-minute mark, Blackmore is asked for his favourite Abba song and immediately waxes lyrical, before telling a story about the recording of Rainbow's 1978 album Long Live Rock 'N' Roll alongside singer Ronnie James Dio and drummer Cozy Powell.

"We were all very bored. We were sitting around the fireplace. Cozy, myself and Ronnie. And we were getting a little bit kind of irritated because we were not coming up with any ideas. And Cozy said, 'Okay, I have to own up.' And we looked at him, because we'd been drinking, as usual, and we said, 'You have to own up about what?' He said, 'Are you ready?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'I like Abba.' To which I went, 'Oh my God. I love Abba.' And then Ronnie goes, 'Yes. So do I.' 

"So now we've all embarrassed ourselves going, 'Ah, we love Abba,' because you're not supposed to say that. And with that, Cozy runs off to get all the Abba songs and to play them. And we played, for hours, all the Abba songs, around the fireside in this chateau. We should have been writing our own songs, but it was much better to listen to Abba."

"I think Abba was the best band," Blackmore continues. "I always listened to Abba when I was a kid [note: Blackmore was 28 when Abba's first single was released]. It was so melodic, and it just worked. It was fantastic. And they are probably my favourite band of all time. And I know it's uncool to say that in certain areas. And they were wonderful."

"Love this!" responds Instagram user ianharkin_work in the comments. "Candice, please get Ritchie pissed more often!"

In related news, a new video for Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water has just been released. It comes ahead of the release of a 50th anniversary, super-deluxe version of their 1973 album Machine Head

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.