NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: ABBA Wax Figures To Make U.S. Debut At Madame Tussauds New York with Broadway Stars from Mama Mia on September 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Madame Tussuads New York)
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ABBA is reuniting for two songs but won’t tour. Here’s how much money they’re leaving on the table.

This isn’t normally anything I’d talk about, but the idea of ABBA getting back together is unusual, to say the least.

Next to the Beatles, ABBA has probably sold more records than anyone. Because they broke up before we started getting proper SoundScan sales numbers. That technology didn’t come along until the 90s, so all we have are estimates. (We have a clearer version of Beatles sales because of all the reissues, repackages, collections and box sets.)

On the low end, ABBA sold at least 100 million records. The upper estimate is 500 million. Then we have the Mamma Mia movie and musical, neither of which is going anytime soon. And thanks to the proliferation of Adult HIts radio stations, airplay is as strong as ever. How many times have you heard “Dancing Queen” in the last month?

ABBA was like the Beatles in that they refused any and all offers to reunite. They just didn’t see the point–even though at one point in the 90s, they were offered ONE BILLION DOLLARS to get back together and tour.

But then last week, they surprised everyone with an announcement that they are going to release two new songs (a “melancholic ballad” called “I Still Have Faith in You” and an uptempo song entitled “Don’t Shut Me Down”) later this year. No tour or live performances, but this will still be the first thing ABBA has done together in 35 years.

Naturally, this has led to more calls for a tour. The last estimate I saw suggested that the group could make £1.6 billion or about $2.8 billion CAD.

This will not happen, though. A business partner says that ABBA will do the two songs and that’s it. No live performances, no tour. And forget about that rumour about headlining Glastonbury.

Three BILLION for a reunion tour. Can you imagine the ticket prices? And can you imagine how the crowd would lose its collective mind when they launched into “Dancing Queen?”

This would have been the biggest reunion tour the universe has ever seen. And maybe it’s not out of the question yet. You can bet that companies like Live Nation and AEG are on their knees, crawling towards Sweden to plead with them.

What will we get? A tour of their holographic avatars in 2019. They’ll look and sound just like they did in the 70s, which is how they want to be remembered.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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