ABBA fans are this week euphoric, as it's been announced that the long-delayed tour will go ahead in 2022. Though things look a little different. Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus won't actually be present, instead appearing as holographic avatars.
The Swedish group rose to fame in 1974 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with instant hit “Waterloo”. After 10 years of success, in 1983, they split at the peak of their career due to personal reasons (a primer for the uninitiated, Ulvaeus was married to Fältskog and Andersson to Lyngstad, but both couples divorced in the ‘80s). Since, fans have been dreaming of a comeback. The “ABBAtar” tour was first announced in 2017, set to run in 2019, though it never quite materialised, and then COVID hit. But now, in an interview with The Times, Ulvaeus, the songwriter of the group, has confirmed that it's going ahead.
“They made us grimace in front of cameras. They painted dots on our faces, they measured our heads,” the songwriter mused about the avatar creation process, saying that they were literally “photographed from all possible angles”.
“Being together in the studio again, it was so familiar. It all came rushing back in seconds. We had fun. You have to have fun,” he said. But will they sound the same after all these years? Even though Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s vocals are “about one tone lower, perhaps,” they still sound "very much like ABBA". Plus, for the first time in 40 years there's new music to look forward to – 5 tracks in total. “One of them is a pop tune, very danceable,” said Ulvaeus back in 2018, when new material was announced. “The other is more timeless, more reflective, that is all I will say. It is Nordic sad, but happy at the same time.” Mamma Mia, we can’t wait to hear them all.
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