Nearly four decades after disbanding and vowing never to get back together, Swedish superstars ABBA announced a musical comeback with a new album and a London show.

Members of the Swedish group ABBA are seen on a display during their Voyage event at Grona Lund, Stockholm, September 2, 2021.

Members of the Swedish group ABBA are seen on a display during their Voyage event at Grona Lund, Stockholm, September 2, 2021.
(AFP)

Swedish supergroup ABBA has announced their first new album in four decades and
said they would stage a series of virtual concerts using digital
avatars of themselves in London next year.

Fans piled online to celebrate the long-awaited reunion of
one of the world’s most successful bands.

“2021 has been saved
by new ABBA music,” @elliemiles23 said in one widely shared
Twitter post.

The album “Voyage” will come out on November 5, the band said during the streamed launch. They released two of its 10 songs — “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” — on Thursday.

“First it was just two songs,” songwriter Benny Andersson
said in a pre-recorded video message.

“Then we said ‘maybe we should do, I don’t know, a few
others. What do you say girls?’ And they said ‘yeah’ and then I
asked ‘why don’t we do a full album?'”

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ABBATARS

The recording went smoothly, co-songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus said. “It all came rushing back in a matter of seconds.”

“I knew when Benny played the melody it just had to be about us,” he added about “I Still Have Faith In You”. The new album will also include a Christmas song “Little Things”.

The concerts will be held at a purpose-built ABBA Arena in
London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in May, and feature
digital versions of its four stars Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn
Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

The “abbatars” were created using motion capture technology –similar to that used to create Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” movies series – and will show members of the band as they looked in 1979.

“The only big problem was that we had to shave our beards,”
Andersson said.

READ MORE: ABBA reunite with two new songs after 35 years

Return of ‘Dancing Queen’

The concerts will feature 22 songs, including the two new
numbers and a “sort of a greatest hits” compilation, including
“Dancing Queen”, he added.

Ulvaeus said ABBA had chosen London because the group felt
welcome there.

“Somehow, we have always felt that the Brits see us as their
own – it feels like that when we come here every time,” he said.

Faltskog and Lyngstad did not speak during the streamed
launch.

In a statement Faltskog said she had not known what to
expect when they got back together to record. “But Benny’s
recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and
before I knew it I was really enjoying myself.”

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Swirling rumours

ABBA was founded in the early 70s by then couples Agnetha
and Bjorn, together with Benny and Anni-Frid. Their initials
gave the band its name.

ABBA notched up over 400 million album sales over 50 years despite parting ways in 1982 and resolutely resisting all offers to work together again — until now.

The pop maestros had a string of hits in the 1970s and early 1980s after winning Eurovision in 1974 with “Waterloo”.

Their last album with fresh material, 1981’s “The Visitors”,
included songs tinged with the sadness of their divorces. The
band split a year later.

Rumours swirled for years that ABBA would get back together, but the members turned down many offers, including one reported $1 billion package to tour again.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies





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