Mama Mia, here we go again. Hit group Abba who split up in 1982 have announced they have recorded 10 new tracks.
“At first it was just two songs, and then we said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a few others,’ said Benny Andersson.
The first song, ‘I still have faith in you,’ portrays the strong bond the four members still share.
“When Benny played the melody, I just knew it had to be about us,” said Bjorn Ulvaeus.
“It’s about realizing that it’s inconceivable to be where we are. No imagination could dream up that, to release an album after 40 years and still be the best of friends, and still be enjoying each other’s company and have a total loyalty. Who has experienced that? Nobody.”
The welcome reunion had for many years, never eventuated. The band reportedly turned down $1b to tour in 2000.
In an interview with the BBC in 2013, Agnetha said that she preferred to leave Abba in the past. “It was such a long time ago, and we are getting older, and we have our different lives,” she said at the time.
On Thursday she said via a statement that she “had no idea what to expect” when they finally joined up again in 2018.
“But Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it I was really enjoying myself.”
“Abba Voyage” will be released in November, before a “revolutionary” series of concerts where virtual avatars will play hits such as Waterloo and Mama Mia.
The “Abba-tars” were designed by Industrial Light and Magic which is the visual effects company founded by George Lucas the creator of ‘Star Wars.’
Over 850 people worked on recreating Abba “in their prime” using motion capture technology that scanned “every mannerism and every motion” of the musicians who are now in their 70’s as they performed.
“Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Bjorn got on stage in front of 160 cameras and almost as many VFX geniuses, and they performed every song in this show, to perfection, over five weeks,” said producer Ludvig Andersson.
“So when you see this show, it is not four people pretending to be Abba, it is actually them.”
Abba is one of the most popular musical artists in history. They have sold hundreds of millions of albums worldwide since originally forming the group in 1972.
After the band parted ways, songwriters Benny and Bjorn continued to work together but the four members did not appear together publicly onstage again until 2016.