On Air Now
The Smooth Sanctuary at 7 with Gary Vincent 7pm - 10pm
21 January 2019, 13:56 | Updated: 4 April 2019, 11:11
ABBA are back!
The iconic Swedish group recently confirmed that they have reunited for new music and a tour (of sorts), but what exactly is happening and when?
Here is all the important info you need to know...
Sadly, ABBA themselves aren't going to be performing live together. But they are going on tour! Hear us out.
A virtual ABBA experience is currently in the works.
Special 'Abbatars' will represent the four members of the Swedish pop group for an upcoming digital show. Björn Ulvaeus said that the two-hour show will be broadcast in the UK and simulcast across the world.
A world tour is then planned for 2019 or 2020, according to the Times.
The band will appear as they looked back in 1979, thanks to special hi-tech imaging equipment. "We thought we looked good that year," Ulvaeus said. "You'll hear the voices of ABBA coming out of the mouths of the Abbatars.
"You won't be able to see that they're not human beings. It'll be spooky, I assure you, but great fun and no one has done it before."
No official announcement has been made yet about the virtual ABBA tour.
A world tour is expected to commence sometime in 2019, so we'd be expecting tickets to go on sale either late this year or early next year.
New song 'I Still Have Faith In You' was scheduled to debut in a special documentary in December 2018, but this was eventually delayed.
Meanwhile, a second track titled 'Don't Shut Me Down' will apparently be heard first on their hologram tour.
The songs have been delayed until September or October 2019, according to Bjorn in an interview he gave in April.
The group said in a statement: "The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence.
"We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did.
"And it was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyous experience.
"It resulted in two new songs and one of them, 'I Still Have Faith In You' will be performed by or digital selves in a TV special aimed for broadcasting in December."
ABBA also released a couple of photos from the recording session:
In January 2019, spokesperson Görel Hanser revealed that the tracks will be emerging at some point before summer 2019.
‘The songs will definitely not come before the summer, possibly afterwards,” Hansel told The Daily Star. “There will be two songs released. No album.”
Benny Andersson has said that the group don't have "anything to prove" with their new material.
"I don't feel that we have to prove anything," he told BBC News. "I don't feel we have to think about, 'Oh, what if it was better before?'
"Maybe it was, but we can't care about that. We do it because we think it was a good thing to do." He added: "We enjoyed it very much. We'll see. I hope you'll like them."
Benny explained that the songs were created while he and Bjorn Ulvaeus were working on a project featuring the band as touring avatars.
"So we said, 'Hmm, maybe we should try and write a couple of songs, ask the ladies if they want to come in and sing'. And they said, 'Yeah, absolutely'. So it was just, out of pure joy I'd say."
He also revealed more details on what the songs may sound like.
"One of the songs is like we would've written it [for] today. The other, we could've written in 1972. So I don't know, we'll see. I mean, they're not finished yet.
"We have the vocals, they're all recorded, we haven't mixed it, we haven't worked them through, really, but I think they're pretty good."
When asked if he thought it would serve Abba's legacy well, Bjorn added: "I think so. It certainly sounds Abba very much."
Benny said: "As soon as Frida [Anni-Frid Lyngstad] and Agnetha [Faltskog] start singing, that's when it sounds Abba."
ABBA's business manager has dampened hopes of a full ABBA reunion tour, saying that the foursome will never perform live together again.
At the world premiere of Mamma Mia 2, Benny and Bjorn gave more details about the songs and hinted that there might be a third track.
Describing ABBA's two brand new songs, Bjorn told the Press Association: “One of them is a pop tune, very danceable. The other is more timeless, more reflective, that is all I will say. It is Nordic sad, but happy at the same time.”
He added: “I think that exuberant quality of the two ladies [Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad] together singing, that makes the saddest song a bit uplifting, anyway I think that is what happens and that is very organic, that isn’t calculated, that just happened that way.”
Meanwhile, Benny hinted that he has a potential third song coming.
He said: “Yeah it is but don’t tell anyone. If we do a third one, it won’t be out until we go on the road.”
Sadly, Benny also said it is unlikely there will be a third album, saying: “It’s good to have a reason to do what you do and this avatar tour is a reason to come up with something.
"Doing another album is like doing Mamma Mia 3, what is the point unless there is a good reason, good script, good environment? It is such a joyful experience, so that is a reason to do it.”
However, in October 2018, Bjorn hinted that an ABBA album might still happen, telling the Evening Standard that the band’s time in the studio could lead to “a new album, possibly.”
“Or four songs or something like that – that’s possible," he said.