ABBA is back, baby! The Swedish singing sensations have thrilled fans with the announcement of a new album and concert more than 40 years after they split.
The group has also released two fabulous new songs, ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ and ‘I Still Have Faith in You’, both of which feature on their forthcoming album Voyage, which will be released on November 5.
Taking to Youtube for the big announcement, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad said being back in the studio together was a dream come true.
“No imagination could dream up that: to release a new album after 40 years and still be the best of friends”, Björn said.
“It’s the most fun thing you can do: to write songs.”
Perhaps the most exciting part of the announcement was the revelation that the group will also perform a special one-night-only concert in London — and they’ll be doing it in their prime. The band has collaborated with George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic company to recreate digital avatars of themselves, which will perform all their hits during a spectacular 90 minute show.
The amazing avatars are a recreation of the band members as they were in 1979, when they were “in their prime”, according to Benny. The band described how they transformed into their digital selves using hologram technology and high-tech leotards that captured their movements and facial expressions and allowed them to be aged backwards through the decades.
Benny said the spectacular show is “technically immensely complicated, the screen, the sound, all the lights” and will take place in a purpose-built arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The band originally broke up in 1982, after both of the couples in the group had already divorced. Despite staying out of the spotlight, the foursome remained close.
It’s hard to say what’s been the most joyful thing for me with this project,” Benny said. “I think hearing Frida and Agnetha singing together again is hard to beat.”
Björn added: “They’re such amazing singers those two, I was completely floored by the way they delivered those songs. They Voyage project has injected life into us in more ways than one.”
Agnetha and Frida are still regarded today as two of the greatest singers of the 20th century. ABBA was catapulted to stardom in 1974 after winning Eurovision with their hit song ‘Waterloo’. In the following decade they had nine number one hit songs, their biggest being ‘Dancing Queen’, which spent six weeks at the top of the charts.
They are regarded as one of the greatest pop groups in history and their songs have been immortalised on stage and screen in the hit musical Mamma Mia!, which endeared them to a whole new generation of fans.