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ABBA
ABBA - TopPop 1974 5.png
Background information
Also known as Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres
Years active
  • 1972–1982
  • 2016–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Hep Stars
  • Hootenanny Singers
  • Benny Anderssons orkester
Members
Logo ABBA
This well-known logo for ABBA was designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976

ABBA is a Swedish pop music group, who had many hits in the 1970s in Stockholm and early 1980s. ABBA was the most commercially successful pop group of the 1970s. The name "ABBA" is made from the first letter of each member's first name:

  • A gnetha Fältskog
  • B jörn Ulvaeus
  • B enny Andersson, and
  • A nni-Frid Lyngstad.

ABBA became very popular after they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. They had many hits. These included "Dancing Queen", "SOS", "Mamma Mia", and "Waterloo". Most of their songs were written by Ulvaeus and Andersson.

They broke up in 1982, but their music is still popular. It has appeared in movies (including the Australian movies The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Muriel's Wedding) and the musical Mamma Mia!.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2015, their song "Dancing Queen" was inducted into the Recording Academy's Grammy Hall of Fame.

History of ABBA

ABBA - TopPop 1974 1
ABBA on Dutch TV in April 1974: Clockwise from top left Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad

All 4 ABBA members had local music careers before ABBA even formed. Frida and Agnetha were both solo singers. Benny and Bjorn both had their own individual bands. In 1966, Benny and Bjorn both met and decided to write songs together.

In 1969, Bjorn met Agnetha and Benny met Frida. All four friends met together and decided to work together to record songs. By 1970, they were known as "Bjorn & Benny (With Svenska Flicka)". Later they were called Bjorn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida.

Their first hit was a song called "Hej, gamle man". By 1971, Bjorn and Agnetha were married and Benny and Frida were engaged. "Ring Ring" in 1973 was when the group achieved success throughout much of Europe and Africa.

It wasn't until 1973 that the group became officially known as ABBA. The name was suggested by their manager, Stig Anderson.

In 1974, ABBA was given a chance to perform in the Eurovision Song Contest. With "Waterloo", they won and soon got global success. In 1976, ABBA released Dancing Queen, which is often known as ABBA's "signature song" and "one of the greatest pop songs ever written". During 1977, their huge popularity became known as "Abbamania". In Australia, ABBA played in huge concerts that usually always sold out. "ABBA: The Movie" was also released in 1977 during the height of the group's popularity.

Throughout the mid and late 1970's ABBA performed in Europe, The United States, Japan and Australia.

In early 1979, Agnetha and Bjorn divorced. In early 1981, Frida and Benny also got divorced. This led to many sadder and more mature songs over the next few years.

By 1981, ABBA's popularity was declining. Their last album "The Visitors" was not a big success like previous albums. The Day Before You Came was the last song ABBA ever recorded together, while Under Attack was the last song ever released, both in 1982. ABBA broke up shortly before 1983 and all members continued on their independent music careers, just like before they had met.

In 2005, all four members of ABBA appeared at the Stockholm premiere of the musical Mamma Mia!

On 4 July 2008, all four ABBA members were reunited at the Swedish premiere of the film Mamma Mia!. It was only the second time all of them had appeared together in public since 1986.

A sequel to the 2008 movie "Mamma Mia!", titled "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again", was announced on 20 May 2017 and is expected to be released on 20 July 2018.

On 27 April 2018, ABBA announced that they had recorded two new songs and one of them, "I Still Have Faith In You", would be performed by their digital selves in a TV special produced by NBC and the BBC aimed for broadcasting in December 2018.

ABBA ABBAtars
ABBA ABBAtars

On 27 April 2018, all four original members of ABBA made a joint announcement that they had recorded two new songs, titled "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down", to feature in a TV special set to air later that year. In September 2018, Ulvaeus stated that the two new songs, as well as the aforementioned TV special, now called ABBA: Thank You for the Music, An All-Star Tribute, would not be released until 2019. The TV special was later revealed to be scrapped by 2018, as Andersson and Ulvaeus rejected Fuller's project, and instead partnered with visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic to prepare the ABBAtars for a music video and a concert. In January 2019, it was revealed that neither song would be released before the summer. Andersson hinted at the possibility of a third song.

In June 2019, Ulvaeus announced that the first new song and video containing the ABBAtars would be released in November 2019. In September, he stated in an interview that there were now five new ABBA songs to be released in 2020. In early 2020, Andersson confirmed that he was aiming for the songs to be released in September 2020.

In April 2020, Ulvaeus gave an interview saying that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the avatar project had been delayed by six months. As of 2020, five out of the eight original songs written by Benny for the new album had been recorded by the two female members, and the release of a new music video with new unseen technology that cost £15 million was to be decided. In July 2020, Ulvaeus told podcaster Geoff Lloyd that the release of the new ABBA recordings had been delayed until 2021.

On 22 September 2020, all four ABBA members reunited at Ealing Studios in London to continue working on the avatar project and filming for the tour. Björn said that the avatar tour would be scheduled for 2022 since the nature of the technology was complex. When questioned if the new recordings were definitely coming out in 2021, Björn said "There will be new music this year, that is definite, it's not a case anymore of it might happen, it will happen."

On 26 August 2021, a new website was launched, with the title ABBA Voyage. On the page, visitors were prompted to subscribe "to be the first in line to hear more about ABBA Voyage". Simultaneously with the launch of the webpage, new ABBA Voyage social media accounts were launched, and billboards around London started to appear, all showing the date "02.09.21", leading to expectation of what was to be revealed on that date. On 29 August, the band officially joined TikTok with a video of Benny Andersson playing "Dancing Queen" on the piano, and media reported on a new album to be announced on 2 September. On that date, Voyage, their first new album in 40 years, was announced to be released on 5 November 2021, along with ABBA Voyage, a concert residency in London featuring the motion capture digital avatars of the four band members alongside a 10-piece live band, due to start in May 2022. Fältskog stated that the Voyage album and tour are likely to be their last.

The announcement of the new album was accompanied by the release of the previously-announced new singles "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down". The music video for "I Still Have Faith in You", featuring footage of the band during their performing years and also a first look at the ABBAtars, earned over a million views in its first three hours. "Don't Shut Me Down" became the first ABBA release since October 1978 to top the singles chart in Sweden. In October 2021, the third single "Just a Notion" was released, and it was announced that ABBA would split for good after the release of Voyage. The fourth single from the album, “Little Things”, was released on 3 December.

Albums

ABBA - Super Trouper (Polar)
Super Trouper, seventh studio album released by the group in 1980

ABBA recorded eight albums between 1973 and 1981, as well as some compilation albums.

  • Ring Ring (1973)
  • Waterloo (1974)
  • ABBA (1975)
  • Arrival (1977)
  • ABBA: The Album (1977)
  • Voulez-Vous (1979)
  • Super Trouper (1980)
  • The Visitors (1981)
  • Voyage (2021)

Famous hit songs

ABBA Edmonton 1979 001
ABBA at Edmonton, Canada, 1979
  • Waterloo (1974)
  • Mamma Mia (1975)
  • Fernando (1976)
  • Dancing Queen (1976)
  • Money Money Money (1976)
  • Take a Chance on Me (1977)
  • Chiquitita (1978)
  • Gimme Gimme Gimme (1979)
  • The Winner Takes It All (1980)

Other songs

ABBA - Popzien 1973 4
ABBA (known as Björn & Benny Agnetha & Anni-Frid/Frida) at Popzien, 1973
  • People Need Love (1972)
  • Another Town, Another Train (1973)
  • Honey Honey (1974)
  • So Long (1974)
  • I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (1974)
  • SOS (1975)
  • Hey, Hey, Helen (1975)
  • That's Me (1976)
  • Dum Dum Diddle (1976)
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You (1977)
  • The Name of the Game (1977)
  • Eagle (1977)
  • Hole in Your Soul (1977)
  • Summer Night City (1978)
  • Does Your Mother Know (1979)
  • Kisses of Fire (1979)
  • I Have A Dream (1979)
  • Happy New Year (1980)
  • Me And I (1980)
  • Lay All Your Love On Me (1980)
  • One Of Us (1981)
  • When All Is Said And Done (1981)
  • Cassandra (1982)
  • Under Attack (1982)
  • The Day Before You Came (1982)
  • I Still Have Faith in You (2018)
  • Don’t Shut Me Down (2018)

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: ABBA para niños

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