Mamma Mia! Almost 40 years later, ABBA is back with a new album

(AFP) – Gimme gimme gimme (new songs from ABBA)! The now seventy-year-old singers of the legendary Swedish pop group unveiled their first original album in nearly 40 years on Thursday and a digital hologram show, “ABBA-tars”.

Fans have been waiting for him since their breakup in 1982. The performers of “Dancing Queen”, “Waterloo” and “Money money money”, to the mega-success in the 1970s, extended by retrospective albums, a musical and films , have achieved a return promised for years.

During an event for fans broadcast on the internet from London, Stockholm, Berlin or New York, a song from the album was played, “I Still Have Faith in You” (“I still believe in you”). The ballad video shows archival footage of the four ABBA members – an acronym made up of the initials of their first names – Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 75, Agnetha Fältskog, 71, Björn Ulvaeus, 76, and Benny Andersson, 74.

“We made a new album,” announced Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from London at the time. It will be released on November 5.

“We must not leave more than 40 years between each album”, quipped Björn Ulvaeus, specifying that the one to come included “a mixture of what (the group) had done, and a Christmas song”.

The group with heady hits and mythical seventies outfits will also launch a new show for the occasion which will begin next May in a 3,000-seat theater specially designed for the occasion in East London. It will consist of 22 songs, unrolling their hits in an hour and a half, interpreted by improved holograms presenting them young.

In Stockholm, fans met by AFP near the ABBA museum were ecstatic. “I’m KO! ABBA is back! I’m so happy (…) I absolutely have to go see the show in London”, enthuses Hakan.

Johanna Pihl, 34, was completely surprised by the announcement: “I felt a huge shock in my whole body just seeing the video”, explains the young woman, “I did not expect it at all “.

– Discreet –
In April 2018, the ex-group revealed that they had returned to the studio for the first time in nearly four decades. Two songs were then recorded: “I Still Have Faith in You” and the other “Don’t Shut Me Down”, also released on Thursday.

“We had these two songs, it felt light to us and we thought, why not do a few more? We did some more and it was good, so we went on and recorded a full album. “, explained Benny Andersson on Swedish public television SVT.

“It was 40 years, or 39, it was as if the time had not passed”, he confessed from London during a big show organized by the record company Universal. “We did the best we could at our ages.”

The promise to release these new titles had not ceased to be rejected, then the Covid-19 pandemic came to play the spoilsport.

For the Swede Carl Magnus Palm, specialist of the group, the choice to use digital avatars for the show postponed the comeback of the legendary pop group.

“They had problems with the technology, it didn’t really go as they had hoped. And so there was a delay because of that,” he told AFP. “They were finally ready to go about a year ago, but the pandemic has struck,” he also explained.

If they all continued more or less active solo careers, the four Scandinavians had led a discreet life since the separation of the group, which had shortly followed the divorce of Fältskog and Ulvaeus and that of Andersson and Lyngstad.

The four friends had met at the end of the 1960s and had started a worldwide success after their triumph at Eurovision 1974 with their first hit “Waterloo”.

Since their last studio album in 1981 and their split in 1982, the legendary pop group with tens of millions of albums sold has not released any new tracks.

But the flame never really went out: the best of the group (“ABBA Gold”) released in 1992 has become one of the best-selling records in the world. And the musical “Mamma Mia” and the films that were made from it attracted new fans who weren’t born in the heyday of the 1970s.