Eurovision 1974 winners ABBA shocked the world when they announced in 2018 that the band would be reuniting for a digital avatar tour dubbed the “Abbatars”, and during the filming process they had written two new songs. The process to make the concert has been a wild one, which would see all four members back in a recording and filming studio for months. And then in 2021 ABBA fans were in for even better news – the band had recorded a brand new album that was released in November of last year.
ABBA’s “Voyage” album contains 10 brand new songs and has a run time of just over 37 minutes total. The album shattered the charts in late 2021, coming first in twenty different countries, and finishing at number one in five charts at the end of the year. It has been certified as a gold album in both Poland and Australia, Platinum in Austria, Denmark, France, and the UK, and double platinum in Germany and their home country of Sweden. The album was also nominated for Record of the Year at the 64th Grammy Awards, but would lose the award to Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open”.
Despite being at one of the highest points in their career since the band broke up, Björn Ulvaeus says that ABBA won’t be releasing additional music together. Speaking to the sun about why he feels Voyage was the last ABBA album, he said: “When you do a thing like that, you don’t know how people will receive it. It was with such pride that we released that album. I don’t think there will be any more music with ABBA. I think that was definitely our last album.”
Another reason that Ulvaeus thinks ABBA is done is due to him and Benny Andersson working on the new “Pippi at the Circus” musical. The show is a musical adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s children book series Pippi Longstocking, and Andersson and Ulvaeus composed the music for the production. Rehearsals begin shortly for the show in Stockholm.
The music may be over, but the tour starts tomorrow!
While ABBA fans may not enjoy this news, there is the ABBA Voyage concert (staring the ABBAtars) that opens in London this coming friday. The show is a 100 minute review of the band’s greatest hits, and includes some of the new songs from the Voyage album as well. While the performers are digital and the vocals are taken from the original studio recordings of Agnetha and Anni-Frid, the band playing during the show will be fully real.
Ulvaeus said about the show: “It’s an experience that no one has ever had before, it’s completely new and pushing boundaries.” For those who were able to get tickets to the premiere, all four members of the band will be present and are tipped to perform together on stage. After tomorrow night, the show belongs fully to the ABBAtars. The concert tour is set to end in December, with no additional dates or locations being discussed at this time.