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ABBA is back after 35 years — A millennial's guide to the pop supergroup

The legendary Swedish band announced recently that they are releasing new material since their breakup in 1982

Ujjainee Roy @UjjaineeRoy 28 April 2018, 7:40 PM
ABBA is coming back

ABBA is coming back Image: AP

The iconic pop band ABBA is coming back with new music, and one of their new numbers is titled I Still Have Faith in You. Oh, how apt.

The Swedish band which took the '70s and '80s by storm and is perhaps the most commercially successful band in music history, is reuniting after 35 years. The news was announced on the band's official Instagram page, by members Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog. "It was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyous experience!" says their latest post.

ABBA was formed in Stockholm in 1972, and won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the number Waterloo. The band was formed of two married couples, Bjorn and Agnetha, and Benny and Frida, and had a sequin-spangled string of hits including Dancing Queen and Take a Chance on Me before splitting up in 1982. But both these marriages collapsed in 1980.





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ABBA's significance goes beyond their hits and they have confirmed that they will be touring the world as their digital avatars in 2019. They're calling it the ABBA Avatar Experience — oh, so futuristic . So, what do you need to know about the supergroup now that they're back?

They defined bestselling

There's a reason your parents, their parents and all of your friends parents, all have ABBA records. According to a BBC report, ABBA has sold around 500 million records, which makes them one of the best-selling musical artistes ever. ABBA is also one of the reason why Eurovision saw a tremendous success in Europe, as the band was the most famous one to have ever been part of the show.







ABBA is also the bestselling band ever, which doesn't belong in the English-speaking world. The ABBA digital experience could turn out to be an incredibly smart move, or something dumb — and ABBA-heads are worried. We all remember what happened to the Prince Superbowl hallogen. *Shivers*

Also, the ABBA foursome were tremendous performers — their 1979 Wembley concert still remains one of the best live acts ever.

It got... nasty

ABBA broke up after the dual divorces between the married band members. Agnetha, who has two children with Bjorn, divorced him in 1980. Benny and Frida, who also have two children separated in 1980, and divorced in 1981. To say things got ugly between the members after their split would be an understatement. 

"Things were happening in real life too, not just in (our) working life. (Anni-Frid Lyngstad and I) got divorced, (Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog) got divorced. At first we still worked together though because we knew what we had," Benny revealed in an interview in 2017.

The band reportedly couldn't collaborate on a creative level anymore, and disbanded in 1982. Nobody expected them to reunite at all, especially since the band declined an offer of $1 billion back in 2000, to reunite for a concert. "You will never see us on stage again, we don’t need the money for one thing," they had told Billboard in 2014.

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia! — the famous jukebox Broadway musical, was based on ABBA songs, and ruled Broadway for 14 years. The title of the play is taken from ABBA's 1975 hit Mamma Mia. Benny and Björn, were involved in the development of the show. Their chartbusters like Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes It All, were also a part of the show.







The musical inspired the Meryl Streep movie in 2008, and is set to get a sequel this year.

The Beatles connect

"Abba grew up loving Schlager and they added other things that they loved like The Beach Boys and The Beatles to that simple blueprint,” Carl Magnus Palm, author of the band's biography, Abba: Bright Lights, Dark Shadows, told BBC.

In 2013,  ABBA: Greatest Hits became the UK's second biggest selling album of all-time, beating The Beatles’ iconic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band into third place.

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