London: “All I want is to sing out loud.” This line from the chart-topping number, ‘Thank You for the Music’, of the Swedish pop-rock group ABBA took on a special meaning late on Thursday night.
The quartet announced that they had reunited to release their first album, ‘Voyage’, 40 years after their last venture, ‘Visitors’, came out in 1981 before the group disbanded the following year.
The band, which was established in 1972 by Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (the first letters of their first names form the acronym ABBA), would have celebrated its golden jubilee next year, had it been together.
Perhaps eyeing the milestone year ahead, and the vibrant nostalgia market, the four have announced that they are releasing ‘Voyage’ on November 2.
Along with the announcement, the reunited band, which in its heyday made the world groove to unforgettable numbers such as ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Money Money Money’, released two songs from its 10-track revival album. ‘The Guardian’ described them as the “stately and epic ballad ‘I Still Have Faith in You’ and the shimmying ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’.”
After selling a record 385 million albums in the days when vinyl ruled the music market, ABBA broke the heart of millions of their fans when they decided to stop their music in 1982 so that each one of four members of the band could chart out his or her individual career.
Since then, Bjorn and Benny have been writing songs for stage productions, and Agnetha and Anni-Frid have been doing independent recordings, but without the stupendous success that they savoured as members of ABBA.
Commenting on their ‘Voyage’ project, Benny said, “We’re truly sailing in uncharted waters. With the help of our younger selves, we travel into the future.” Anni-Frid added: “Such joy it was to work with the group again.” Will ABBA fans around the world respond as excitedly? That the world would know only after the release of ‘Voyage’ on November 2.
British fans, meanwhile, have a treat in store for them. The quartet has announced that starting from May 2022, digital versions of themselves will appear every night alongside a 10-piece live band at a new 3,000-capacity venue in London’s Olympic park named Abba Arena.
That will be a new concert experience altogether, proving that though the ABBA quartet may have grown grey and added some kilos, they have done so with panache and pizzazz.