Data structures and algorithm analysis in c++ 3rd edition

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data structures and algorithm analysis in c++ 3rd edition

Bright Lights Dark Shadows: The Real Story of Abba by Carl Magnus Palm

I cant exactly recall the first time I heard Abba. Songs like Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia always seem to have been part of my life. But one thing I do know is that my appreciation for their pop genius has grown as Ive got older, and Ive always wondered about how it all began.

Bright Lights Dark Shadows is an exhaustive investigation into the story of Abba, from their humble Swedish beginnings into world famous superstars. Carl Magnus Palm starts his book by recounting the origins of each individual member. We learn that before Bjorn developed into the lyrical mastermind he is known as today, he was a part of a successful teenage band called the Hootenanny Singers (who I like to imagine as a Swedish folk One Direction). Benny, the groups musical engine, was a prodigious talent who started off by learning how to play the accordion with his grandfather. Frida, who endured a difficult upbringing, won a national talent competition and was well-known in Sweden. And Agnetha, the bands reluctant sex symbol, was a successful solo singer before she hooked up with the other three.

Palm does a wonderful job of weaving the histories of the four members together. When the quartet finally started making music, there was magic in the air. And once Waterloo won the Eurovision on that fateful night in Brighton, there was no stopping them. The chemistry that ran between the four of them was undeniable. Benny and Bjorn bounced ideas off each other in the studio and matured into one of the all-time greatest songwriting teams, while Agnetha and Fridas beautiful voices complimented each other in perfect harmony.

The book also looks at a number of people who had a huge influence on Abbas success. Chief among them was Stig Anderson, the bands ambitious manager. By Palms account he was at times a devious and cantankerous individual, but there is no doubt that Abba would not be where they are today without his drive and acumen. Another important figure was Michael Tretow, the lead engineer on most of their albums. They were lucky enough to cross paths with him in their early days. He shared Benny and Bjorns love of experimentation and innovation in the studio and formed a key part of their unique sound.

Palm also examines the relationships in the band and how success affected all of them. The two couples that formed Abba (Bjorn and Agnetha, Benny and Frida) suffered under the pressures of work and fame, and eventually drifted apart. These break-ups provided inspiration for some of their most famous songs, though it must have been difficult to sing the words of Knowing Me Knowing You and The Winner Takes It All while their marriages were falling apart.

Things I learned:
- Abba were incredibly popular in Australia, moreso than any other country. Over 1% of the nations population saw them perform live in 1977
- Stig Anderson came up with the name Abba and the band despised it at first
- They were one of the first groups to produce music videos and this was a major factor in their success. Lasse Hallstrom, the creator of these videos, went on to direct several Hollywood films such as Chocolat and The Cider House Rules
- Phil Collins worked on a solo album for Frida. They were both going through divorces at the time and ended up bonding over their trauma
- Agnetha had a stalker in the 90s and ended up in a relationship with him

Palm is clearly a huge Abba fan, and when he talks about his favourite songs, his passion really shines through. I did think that there was too much about the bands business exploits in the book - I just didnt find that aspect very interesting. But Bright Lights Dark Shadows is a treasure trove of fascinating Abba trivia and insight. For anyone who wants to find out more about this fantastic band, I cant imagine a better place to start.
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Carl Magnus Palm

Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C++, 3rd Edition

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Add to Wishlist. By: Dr. Clifford A. Book Reg. Product Description Product Details With its focus on creating efficient data structures and algorithms, this comprehensive text helps readers understand how to select or design the tools that will best solve specific problems. Techniques for representing data are presented within the context of assessing costs and benefits, promoting an understanding of the principles of algorithm analysis and the effects of a chosen physical medium. The text also explores tradeoff issues, familiarizes readers with the most commonly used data structures and their algorithms, and discusses matching appropriate data structures to applications.

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