With much fanfare, the original members of ABBA appeared in the flesh at an event in London to announce their first album of new material in 39 years. Why is the world losing its collective sh*t over this? I’ll explain.
- ABBA has been called the “quiet superstar group.” After winning Eurovision with the song “Waterloo” in 1974, they busted out worldwide, eventually selling over 400 million albums.
- Many of their songs–“Dancing Queen,” is the best example–are intergenerational culture touchstones.
- In 2000, they were offered US$1 billion (you read that correctly; that’s about US$1.5 billion today, equivalent to Paul McCartney’s overall net worth) to play about 100 shows on a reunion tour. They declined saying they already had enough money.
- Their musical, Mamma Mia, continues to bring in uncountable dollars.
But Björn Ulvaeus (age 76), Benny Andersson (74), Anni-Frid Lyngstad (75), and Agnetha Faltskog (71) say the time for a reunion is now before they’re all dead. (Seriously. That was their motivation.)
This reunion has been teased for years, but as you’ll see in a second, it’s not your normal let’s-get-the-band-back-together kind of thing.
Two new songs from this new 10-track album entitled Voyage (due November 6) were unveiled this week. Track one is a ballad…
…and the second is a disco-y song that wouldn’t have been out of place had it been released in 1979.
The album will be supported by some live-ish performances. On May 27, 2022, they will perform a digital concert in London using tech supplied by Industrial Light and Magic and in a theatre specifically built for them. (Note: That show was first announced in 2016!) That gig–called ABBA Voyage and supported by 850 people from IL&M-and subsequent shows will feature 22 songs over 90 minutes with the performances handled by ABBA avatars, each modeled after the members as they looked in 1979. So lots of digital satin, then. This also explains the promo shots of the band wearing digital motion-capture suits. The avatars will be supported by a live 10-piece band.
Will it be a hit? How can it not be? If you want tickets, go here.