The Swedish supergroup and pop innovators return after a 40-year hiatus.
What is the gay appeal of ABBA? Well, their music videos always seemed a touch camp, and then there was the fabulously irreverent comedy Muriel’s Wedding that brought the group’s music out of the doldrums and reminded us of our youths and the times when platform shoes, glitter, a mirror ball and some lip synching could fix just about anything.
Love them or loathe them, ABBA is one of the most successful pop groups of all time, with nearly 400 million albums sold worldwide, 17 No. 1 hits and over 16 million weekly global streams. Ever since their breakthrough with ‘Waterloo’ back in 1974, ABBA’s music has captured the hearts of people all over the world. .
Now they have announced that, for the first time in 40 years they are reuniting to present a new concert that will see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid performing digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built arena in London from May 27 2022.
The digital versions of ABBA have been created following weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by George Lucas, in what is the company’s first foray into music.
Now, an incredible 40 years since their last studio album The Visitors, ABBA have not only recorded two new songs, “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” that will both feature in the concert, but they have recorded and produced an entire new album. Recorded together at Benny’s studio Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm, Voyage will be released worldwide on November 5th on Capitol Records.
The ABBA Voyage concert is made with the help of: Producer Svana Gisla (David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Beyoncé and Jay Z for HBO, Springsteen and I), Producer Ludvig Andersson (And Then We Danced, Yung Lean – “In My Head”, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Director Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool, Being James Bond, Springsteen and I), Co-Executive Producer Johan Renck (Spaceman, David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Chernobyl) and Choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE (The Royal Ballet, Company Wayne McGregor, Paris Opera Ballet).
Baillie Walsh, Director says, “I watched ABBA win the Eurovision song contest in 1974, and never did I imagine that 47 years later I would be with them on this extraordinary voyage. Life is weird and wonderful sometimes.”
Wayne McGregor, Choreographer reveals, “Imagine: growing up in the North of England in the ’70s and learning to ballroom, Latin and disco dance to the incredible songs of ABBA. I was 8 and I was totally transported. Fast forward to 2020, being in Sweden and dancing with ABBA – in real life! I was about to be 50 and I was totally transported again. That is the magic of ABBA. We have shared many creative and joyful adventures with a bold collaborative team to make the impossible possible for ABBA Voyage: technological wizardry, state of the art immersion and entertainment innovation. And still at its searing heart we simply have new songs, new moves, classic songs, classic moves: ABBA is DANCE and always will be. See you on the dancefloor.”