After 40 Long Years, ABBA Reunite for New Album, Voyage

ABBA, the group that gave us “Mamma Mia” and “Gimme Gimme Gimme”, is back with a new album set for a November release.

Credit: BBC

ABBA was founded in the early ’70s by then couples Agnetha and Bjorn, together with Benny and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Their initials coined the band name and from there they started making music. Their first notable success could be seen in their Eurovision victory in 1974.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, and sold more than 385 million albums and topped charts from Australia to America. 

In 2012 they were ranked the eighth-best-selling singles artists in the United Kingdom, with 11.2 million singles sold.

With a long list of legendary hits including “Waterloo”, “The Winner Takes It All” and “Take A Chance On Me”, they, unfortunately, disbanded after personal issues in 1982.

The Reunion

ABBA has now reunited, 40 years after their disbandment, to release a new album and string of concerts. Since 1982, fans have been waiting for this moment and can finally see ABBA again in their new album Voyage.

According to the ABC, the group starting recording sessions in 2018 but was delayed due to the pandemic. Several rumours circled around for years regarding the reunion of ABBA but were always rejected by the group. 

A launch event was held in London last week revealing the news and showcasing two new songs. The launch also had interviews with some of the band members and what they have been doing in the production of this new album.

Image: BBC

Virtual Holographic Concerts

Concerts were also revealed with a surprising twist. They will be held at a purpose-built ABBA Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on May 27. The concerts will have 22 songs from the ABBA catalogue performed by high-quality “de-aged” holograms of the artists. This is done by, using motion capture and other techniques, with George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic.

The decision to de-age the artists into “ABBAtars” is most likely due to the age of the stars and their 40-year separation from the stage. The band’s Bjorn Ulvaeus had previously refused to be seen on a stage due to the band’s desire to be remembered to be “young” and “exuberant.” This now shouldn’t be a problem as the concerts will feature those very young and exuberant versions of themselves.

The band has described the upcoming event as “the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of.” 

Two of their new songs, “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” are now available. Whether the album will perform well on the charts is not yet known. Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson mentioned that they do not wish to compete with present-day artists but just wish to make “the best songs they could at this age”

Image: ABBA

The Band’s Experience

It’s also a treat to know that the band is enjoying themselves making the record. Agatha Faltskog says she did not know what to expect regrouping, considering the history of the members together. She was recently quoted

“Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it I was really enjoying myself.” 

Bjorn Ulvaeus also claims he was glad to be back in the studio. “It all came rushing back in a matter of seconds,” Ulvaeus said. “It was like no time had passed.” 

Since Friday, Voyage has received more than 80,000 pre-orders in the UK alone. That’s four times the number one album, Donda, by Kanye West and a record for their long-time label Universal Music UK.

“We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it.”

Voyage by ABBA releases on November 7

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