The end of ABBA in 1982 was heartbreaking. The Swedish supergroup, responsible for such megahits/gay dance floor bangers as Dancing Queen and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, unofficially dissolved in 1982 after 10 years of ruling the airwaves.
But the band’s breakup did have an upside: it launched the solo career of ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a.k.a. Frida, who went from one of four to a superstar in her own right.
Frida released two albums in English after leaving ABBA. Her first, Something’s Going On, was a massive success, thanks in no small part to its lead single, “I Know There’s Something Going On.”
She recorded the album in early 1982 while still a part of ABBA, teaming up with legendary musician Phil Collins, who produced the album and also provided drums and backing vocals. Frida’s solo work was a sonic departure from the synth-pop world of ABBA, instead turning to rock-infused, drum-heavy sounds that gave her a brand all her own.
“I Know There’s Something Going On” tells the story of a woman uncovering her lover’s infidelity. “I call, you’re not at home / You’re home, but you’re not alone / If you wanna leave then why don’t you say it / Your love has gone anyway / I know there’s something going on,” she sings.
The music video is chock-full of all the ‘80s camp you’d expect. It shows Frida receiving incriminating photos from a private investigator, showing her photographer boyfriend spending time with one of his models. Frida then stalks them around the city in a trench coat. Crossfades and moody lighting abound. Totally not creepy at all, right?
The single was released in August of 1982, followed by the full album release in October. “I Know There’s Something Going On” topped the charts in Belgium and Switzerland, while it peaked at #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was the 20th-highest charting song of the year for 1983, while Something’s Going On has sold over 1.5 million copies to date, making it the highest selling album by a former member of ABBA.
The album’s whole recording process was captured in a one-hour TV documentary, featuring interviews with Frida, Collins, and other musicians featured on Something’s Going On.
At the start of working on the album, Frida said, “ABBA’s been working for 10 years now, and in a way, I feel like I’m stuck in a pattern, you know? And as my life has changed so completely in other respects, I feel that it’s a necessity to change even the musical respect, because I feel very strongly for it.”
The song’s legacy can still be felt today, being a popular song to cover with more than 10 official recordings by other artists, and even getting the sample treatment from famous groups like Salt-N-Pepa: the trio’s “I Gotcha,” which tells a similar story of cheating from the perspective of the other woman, uses the song’s guitar riff.
It also has its fair share of remixes, including a 2015 dance remix of the track from Norwegian producer Lindstrøm, if you’re in the mood to party to the sound of Frida’s angry heartbreak this Pride season.