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Mamma mia! ABBA to release first album in 40 years

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The 10-track album, ABBA Voyage, will be released on November 5, and the new songs will also be performed during a virtual concertresidency that will open at a custom-built arena in East London on May 27, 2022.

The “revolutionary” show, also titled “ABBA Voyage,” will run six nights a week and will feature ABBA holograms — cleverly known as “ABBAtars” — and a 10-piece live band playing 22 of the Swedish superstars’ greatest hits.

“Agnetha, Frida, Benny, and Bjorn got onstage in front of 160 cameras and almost as many VFX geniuses, and they performed every song in this show, to perfection, over five weeks,” producer Ludvig Andersson explained during a globally streamed press conference that took place Thursday at the AcerlorMittal Orbit in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Two songs off ABBA Voyage — the group’s first full-length LP since 1981’s The Visitors, which came out as the quartet’s two married couples were getting divorced — premiered during a recent press event. The effervescent “Don’t Shut Me Down” is a classic ABBA story-song in the vein of “The Day Before You Came,” while the earnest, nostalgic piano ballad “I Still Have Faith In You” is an ode to the bond that the four bandmates still share after all these years. A particularly goosebump-raising moment of that song is when Fältskog and Lyngstad trill in their signature heavenly harmonies, “You asked me not to leave/Well, here I am again/And I love you still.”

Ulvaeus, who along with Andersson attended the London press conference in person, said the latter track “is about realizing it is inconceivable to be where we are. No imagination can dream up that. To release an album after 40 years and still be the best of friends and enjoying each other’s company and still have total loyalty —who has experienced that? Nobody.”

At the press conference, Ulvaeus and Andersson explained that they hadn’t planned to write and record an entire new ABBA album, but after they began work on the digital concert in 2018, everything gelled. “At first it was just two songs, and then we said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a few others,’” said Andersson.ABBA have sold more than 400 million albums and singles over the past half-century, making them one of the most successful pop acts of all time. They have always rejected offers to officially reform (including a reported $1 billion offer to do a 100-show world tour in 2000), and they did not perform when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 (only Lyngstad and Andersson attended that ceremony).

However, they have been teasing a reunion of some sort since June 2016, when all four members appeared at a private party in Stockholm and performed “The Way Old Friends Do.” – YAHOO NEWS

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